In a post today in the Wall Street Journal “Speakeasy” blog (which covers media, entertainment, celebrity, and the arts), the latest music video from Weird Al Yankovic was featured. It’s hilarious!! Take a look there on that post (length is 4:34)... I'll wait.
What’s cool is that the video has a Minnesota connection. It turns out Yankovic and his longtime coproducer tapped TruScribe to make it — starting some ten months ago. TruScribe is headquartered in Madison WI, but also has an office in downtown St. Paul. (In addition, it maintains international operations through many key European partnerships.) Andrew Herkert, who’s VP of sales and a cofounder, heads the St. Paul office and helped launch the company while a student at the University of St. Thomas about five years ago. TruScribe has grown significantly since then.
An excerpt from the WSJ post:
The song, from Yankovic’s new album “Mandatory Fun,” is in the style of Crosby, Stills & Nash… (it) features Yankovic harmonizing with himself on lyrics constructed of corporate jargon, like “operationalize our strategies” and “leverage our core competencies,” while the animated whiteboard video depicts a live-action hand that is drawing illustrations to go with the words.
“I wanted to do a song about all the ridiculous double-speak and meaningless buzzwords that I’ve been hearing in office environments my entire life,” Yankovic says by email. “I just thought it would be ironic to juxtapose that with the song stylings of CSN, whose music pretty much symbolizes the antithesis of corporate America.”
I laughed out loud at one comment on the post (from a guy named David): “Weird Al hits all the right points. Anyone who has written a press release should hang their heads in shame.”
TruScribe is getting a ton of praise today (including from Al himself), as you can see on its Twitter account.
And here’s a great blog post TruScribe published today, Weird Al is making fun of you! And us, too.
TruScribe’s technology is called “Scribology,” and the company has built an impressive client list.
I had the pleasure of meeting cofounder Andrew Herkert at the most recent University of St. Thomas “Fowler Business Concept Challenge” (a student competition), where we were judges on the same team. Here’s what he had to say about the news today:
“Weird Al is a creative powerhouse, with a decades-long influence on pop culture, and that makes it an honor that we were selected as vendor for his whiteboard-animation project. The TruScribe team is optimistic this is just the beginning of a deeper relationship with the media industry. … I have high praise for Jay Levey of Imaginary Productions for catalyzing the vision for this video. Jay is Al’s business partner and manager/agent/fellow visionary — they’ve worked together for many, many years. In fact, Jay discovered Al some 30 years ago.”
TruScribe is another great example of Minnesota creativity and technology innovation! Okay, Wisconsin claims them as well. We hate to admit it -- but, yes, occasionally, cheeseheads can be creative, too… :-)