This Is All the Fault of Stranger Things …

So apparently, a Twitter user wanted Weezer to cover Toto’s “Africa,” after hearing the iconic 1980s yacht-rock classic on the season 1 soundtrack of Stranger Things.  After the meme went viral, in very short order:

  • Weezer tried to troll Twitter with a cover of “Rosanna.”  The masses were not appeased.
  • Four days later, the inevitable Weezer version of “Africa” dropped.  And it was a hit, scoring their first Alternative No. 1 song in 10 years.
  • Of course, Weezer now had to play “Africa” in concert; Toto synthesizer whiz Steve Porcaro even joined in the fun for the keyboard solo on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”  And last night, Weezer was joined by a very special guest for a even more very special solo:


  • Clearly enjoying the whole thing, Toto (currently on the US leg of their 40 Trips Around the Sun tour), have started covering a Weezer song for their encore:


  • And of course, Toto’s single of “Hash Pipe” will be released tomorrow.

All of which, to quote Robert Plant, makes me wonder:

  • Will Rivers Cuomo crash the stage when I see Toto live in a couple of weeks?
  • Are we witnessing the birth of a new supergroup, the likes of which the world has never seen?  Is a mashup of “Buddy Holly” and “Hold the Line” inevitable?
  • Is all this really the Upside Down’s revenge?
  • Can this astonishing turn of events be stopped before it’s too late?  Should we be frightened of this thing that it’s become?

On the other hand, perhaps we should all just relax.  And plan to tune in to season 3 of Stranger Things.  If only to see what music is hot in Sam Goody’s at … the Starcourt Mall …


— Rick Krueger

Monetizing Prog: “By the way, which one’s Pink?”

Jason Notte on how “Weird Al Yankovic Just Made a Joke of the Music Industry“:

Google CEO Larry Page watched Psy’s now-ubiquitous Gangnam Style rake in $2 per 1,000 pageviews on its way Ito a $1.2 million payday by November alone. Page called Gangnam style “a glimpse of the future” as Psy was able to make a bonafide bankable hit through a video/download approach that had since been reserved for novelties like The Bed Intruder Song or Rebecca Black’s Friday. Songs no longer need airplay, major label backing or televised videos to be hits: They just needs to catch people’s attention and hold it as Yankovic has done for years.

If you applied that $2 per 1,000 to the 20 million views Yankovic’s four videos received during their first week of airplay, that’s $40,000 in one week alone. Not $1.2 million, but still not shabby for a week’s work.

But how does a company monetize that, you ask? Most of Yankovic’s partners do so through advertising: A concept that’s lost on many companies trying to make a dime off of streaming.

A glimpse of the future and the way prog bands can perhaps make some money to keep the music alive?