Sun., July 14, ’Weird Al' Yankovic
California State Fair, 8 p.m., $8-$20
Dismissed as a novelty, “Weird Al” Yankovic's 30-year career testifies to his enduring talent. Songs like “Another One Rides the Bus,” “Like a Surgeon” and “White & Nerdy” not only reprise familiar melodies culturally ingrained by heavy rotation, but cleverly construct their own parallel universe extending a theme from the song. Even as pop's ubiquity narrows in accordance with the statistical long tail, Yankovic's proven capable of tapping the zeitgeist—note recent covers of Lady Gaga (“Polka Face,” “Perform This Way”) and Taylor Swift's “You Belong With Me” (“TMZ”). Yankovic's humor is sometimes goofy, but almost never small or mean-hearted—an admirable trait in a cynical age. 1600 Exposition Boulevard, www.weirdal.com.