At Weezer's show at The Forum in Los Angeles Wednesday, Weird Al got onstage mid-song to join the band in a cover of Toto's 1982 hit "Africa." You may remember that a 14-year-old recently convinced Weezer to cover "Africa."
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"We're gonna take you on a distant voyage," promised singer Rivers Cuomo, who was sporting a classic sleeveless Nirvana T-shirt and rocking a flying V guitar. "To the continent of your choosing... where do you kids want to go tonight?" The question was rhetorical, of course, as "Africa" has become the highlight of the band's sets on their current co-headlining tour with The Pixies. Just moments after the crowd shouted "AFRICA!!!," the band kicked into the song's familiar heat mirage intro and Cuomo awkwardly played some air drums and then, just after the third verse, it happened.
"Weird Al" wandered out on stage in his signature Hawaiian shirt, his accordion at the ready to rip off a wicked solo. Al joined in on the chorus and finished it off with an accordion/guitar riff-off with Cuomo. And then, officially, summer was over.
After all the noise made over Weezer covering Toto's Africa, it was only a matter of time before Joseph Williams and the rest of the lads decided what's good for the goose is good for the gander: at a concert in Vancouver, Canada earlier this week Toto unleashed their cover of Hash Pipe upon an undeserving world. Read the rest
Since everyone's doing posts about their favorite cover of Toto's "Africa," here's my frontrunner, because it's very Norwegian: metal and ironic and funny all at once. Read the rest
Weezer revealed their cover of Toto's 1982 hit "Africa" on Tuesday.
It was a matter of "giving the fans what they want," as the Weezer fan Twitter account @weezerafrica began suggesting the band "bless the rains down in africa" late last year.
In early December, Noisey reported that a 14-year-old Cleveland girl named Mary, "who has been learning Weezer songs in her School of Rock cover band," was behind the account.
Mary has been busy tweeting at the band members with her humble request and has been encouraging others to do the same. “it’s about time you blessed the rains down in africa,” she tweeted at Cuomo on Wednesday. Agreed, it is time. She even got a reply from drummer Patrick Wilson. “I laughed,” he said. But Mary, with a determined, unbreakable focus on her goal, replied: “thank you for replying patrick. it has made me feel almost as blessed as the rains down in africa.”
The band is currently on a North American tour. No word if they'll be playing the song live. Read the rest
It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from the door chime in this Volvo 240. Why? Because it plays an 8-bit version of Toto's "Africa."
This sweet mod was created by Chris NG, a fan of the YouTube channel 8 bit Universe. NG's currently got a Kickstarter going for custom vehicle door chimes.
Need more Toto?:
-- Toto's "Africa" playing in an abandoned mall
-- Toto's 'Africa,' as performed by a computer hardware orchestra
-- The story behind Toto's 'Africa'
-- Pop music genres illustrated with Toto's Africa on a lightweight portable keyboard
"I seek to cure what's deep inside, frightened of this thing that I've become"
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Cecil Robert posted this remarkably effective video. It should be inscribed on titanium disks, encoded in the simplest possible video format to decipher, so that future generations may understand the essence of angloamerican culture at the twilight of mankind.
Toto's 'Africa,' as performed by a computer hardware orchestra
The story behind Toto's 'Africa'
Pop music genres illustrated with Toto's Africa on a lightweight portable keyboard
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Toto's got a new greatest hits album and is going on tour which is probably why they are popping up in my feed so much lately. On Wednesday, I posted the story behind their hit song "Africa" as told by the man who wrote it, the band's David Paich.
Today I noticed that the Floppotron (previously) has covered the song. Yes, love it. Everything's turning up Toto! Read the rest
Love it or hate it, Toto's 1982 soft rock mega-hit "Africa" is here to stay. But how did a band from Los Angeles get famous for a song about Africa?
Dave Simpson of The Guardian recently interviewed the song's writer (and vocalist) David Paich and found out:
One of the reasons I was in a rock band was to see the world. As a kid, I’d always been fascinated by Africa. I loved movies about Dr Livingstone and missionaries. I went to an all-boys Catholic school and a lot of the teachers had done missionary work in Africa. They told me how they would bless the villagers, their Bibles, their books, their crops and, when it rained, they’d bless the rain. That’s where the hook line – “I bless the rains down in Africa” – came from.
They said loneliness and celibacy were the hardest things about life out there. Some of them never made it into the priesthood because they needed companionship. So I wrote about a person flying in to meet a lonely missionary. It’s a romanticised love story about Africa, based on how I’d always imagined it. The descriptions of its beautiful landscape came from what I’d read in National Geographic.
Paich told Musicradar in 2013:
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"Its first inception came when there used to be UNICEF commercials on TV, showing children and families living in poverty. The first time I saw that it affected me deeply…
"I sat down and started playing and the chorus just came out like magic.
Yale professor Alexander Nemerov found a great way to get students to pay attention: lecturing in a Wi-Fi dead zone. Glenn Fleishman, writing for The Economist:
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The good professor is no Luddite. He realises that a request to turn off the hall's Wi-Fi routers during a class may meddle with other nearby needs. (And it would in any case be useless in blocking mobile 3G and 4G signals.) Some students, he concedes, clearly use the internet to enhance his lectures, looking up artwork he discusses to get a closer or different view, or taking notes. But some engage in less pertinent online activities. Dr Nemerov debated with himself whether to note the signal blockage in his course syllabus but ultimately decided to leave students to discover this for themselves.