September 29, 2010

On to 2011!

Wow, what a day yesterday was for the big news, huh? Can hardly believe it that after all these years Southwest and AirTran are merging!

Oh, and the nominees for the 2011 induction class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced.

Unfortunately, for the seventh straight year, Weird Al did not make the cut...even though he won Rolling Stone's own Rock Hall readers poll last fall...and even though he routinely tops the write-in option in the Cleveland Plain Dealer's readers poll...and even though he is the most successful rock parodist in music history, one that has sold more records than 108 of the 169 acts already inducted into the Rock Hall.

But, to the Rock Hall's credit, the news isn't all that bad. In fact, like last year with Kiss's surprise nomination, we can score another one for oft-snubbed artists, as for the first time ever (and after fifteen years of eligibility) Alice Cooper has finally been nominated for induction!

Joining Alice as first-time nominees are perennial hair rockers Bon Jovi, acclaimed singer/songwriter Neil Diamond, mellow '60s rocker Donovan, raw-voiced legend Tom Waits, and Polynesiantown star Dr. John. Interestingly, it should be noted that not a single artist who first became eligible this year was nominated.

Nominees returning from previous years include Beastie Boys, Chic, the J. Geils Band, LL Cool J, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, Donna Summer, Joe Tex, and Chuck Willis. About half of the artists on that list have been nominated numerous times in the past, making the list very bottom-heavy as far as dead weight goes. Really, Laura Nyro? Darlene Love? Chic? Nothing against them, but there are a number of other artists--from 1985 and before--that probably could have been given a shot on the ballot instead of having these routinely rejected acts turn up yet again.

It seems as if reaction around the 'Net has been mixed at best...of course. At this point it has almost become a cliche for people to gripe about and ridicule the choices. A quick scan of the usual places can already result in folks questioning how "rock and roll" Neil Diamond and Bon Jovi really are. It's such a silly debate to even get into every single year, especially as it seems the majority of complainers won't consider anything but Kiss or Rush to be "rock and roll." Sometimes we'll get a criticism like "Oh yeah, Weird Al, riiiight...that's not rock and roll" or whatever, but really, by now, ANY artist is going to get that question from someone. One hopes that the Rock Hall isn't avoiding nominating Al out of fear of mockery. Some people are going to complain regardless of who's nominated, funny material or not.

It seems as if the one unanimous opinion is that Alice Cooper's nomination has been a long time coming. It is certainly optimistic for our cause, as following Kiss's nomination last year and now Alice's, it seems as if every year we'll be seeing a nomination for a, for lack of a better phrase, "fan-favorite" act. That may very well be unintentional, but after so many years of neither Kiss nor Alice receiving so much as a nomination, it's hard not to wonder what has prompted this back-to-back recognition. Might all these fan bases finally be wearing the Rock Hall down?

If you were among the fans who volunteered to contact individual members of the nominating committee over the summer, we thank you so much for your help. There are still a number of committee members yet to be contacted, so let's try to get a jump on next year! Remember, we need you to send not only a personal letter to committee members but also a copy of the recent Essential "Weird Al" Yankovic compilation (either the normal one or the new 3.0 version).

In the meantime, though, we have two (or maybe even three) tasks that we want every fan to participate in. They're quick, they're free to do, and they'll help get our point across!

Cleveland's Plain Dealer--the Rock Hall museum's hometown newspaper--has started its annual unofficial Rock Hall readers poll, which asks...um, readers...who they want to see...um, in the Rock Hall. Ahem. As it often does in the past, the poll has a write-in option, and in previous years Al has routinely topped the write-in portion of the poll. This year will be no different!

The poll will run until October 11. Just vote once; don't do anything fishy like vote numerous times from numerous computers. But, by all means, spread the word! Tell everyone you know! Post the link on your Twitter and Facebook! http://www.cleveland.com/popmusic/index.ssf/2010/09/bon_jovi_neil_diamond_and_alic.html#poll

The poll page is inviting comments, but it's not necessary to vote. It's mostly in case you want to submit a soundbyte for use in the eventual article about the results. Be warned, though, that the comments are quickly turning extremely argumentative, combative, and just plain old ugly. Weird Al fans are above that. If you must leave a comment, then speak your peace, don't argue, and quickly move on. (If you plan on leaving a comment, you must register to the Cleveland.com web site first: https://signup.cleveland.com/register/?return_to=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cleveland.com%2Fpopmusic%2Findex.ssf%2F2010%2F09%2Fbon_jovi_neil_diamond_and_alic.html)

Speaking of polls, last year Rolling Stone ran its first ever Rock Hall readers poll online. This was quite monumental because of the Rock Hall's close, incestuous affiliation with Rolling Stone, so clearly any results would get relayed back to the Rock Hall. Last year, Al BURIED the competition, earning more votes than Alice Cooper, the Moody Blues, and others. The magazine has yet to announce any similar poll for this year, but as soon as they do, we will of course post the information here and urge you to vote with the same fervor that you did last year.

And on October 23--Al's 51rst birthday--we will be hosting our second annual Make the Rock Hall "Weird" Tweet-In on...well, Twitter. Throughout the day, we will be asking fans to send tweets to the Rock Hall's official Twitter account (@rock_hall) to demand Al's induction. This is just symbolic and for fun...think of it like the march to the museum the Kiss Army did a few years ago, only digitally and less clown white. And if you haven't yet, be sure to follow our campaign on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/rockhallweird).

Meanwhile, we are proud to announce that Yankoheit 27, our feature-length documentary, is finished, done, completed! Early feedback from our close, personal friends has been quite positive, and we hope everyone will get a chance to see it and enjoy it. It is a celebration of Al fandom as much as it is of Al's career.

As for the "when," well...the movie is currently being shopped around on the film festival circuit, and we are looking at an early 2011 release. We are trying to get the movie submitted for consideration to all of the major festivals across the country, and that is where you come in.

We are NOT asking for donations. If you have spare money just for donating purposes, please contribute to the Weird Al Star Fund (http://www.weirdalstar.com). As for our campaign, though, we do need to raise funds, as it costs money to submit projects to festivals. Over the years we have posted Al-related product links both here and on our parent site, All Things Yankovic, and we receive a tiny but much-appreciated commission for sending you to said product with said link. That is essentially what we're asking of you; just continue shopping online for products (Al-related or otherwise) as you normally would, but please use our links so we can keep receiving such commissions.

Below are links to some of the major online stores. If you plan to shop at any of these places--especially with the holiday shopping season rapidly approaching--please use the following links to get there. If you'd like, you can even bookmark these links to make it easier for you...just right-click on each link and follow your browser's bookmarking/favoriting instructions. We ask that you do this way because these are more or less redirect links, and we cannot guarantee that a visit will be still be "read" the right way if you were to open a link, go to the web site, and then bookmark it.

Amazon
DeepDiscount
iTunes
Cafepress
eBay

Again, don't feel like you have to go out of your way to shop online...but if you do, we would be eternally grateful if you used the above links.

There are a couple of ideas floating around for our next major campaign project, and if Al releases his new album soon (knock on wood) then we of course would want to do a project that utilizes the expected corresponding tour. But for the time being, we ask that you continue writing to individual members of the nominating committee, and hopefully we'll be spending the first half of next year heavily promoting Yankoheit 27.

Right now, though, go vote in the Plain Dealer readers poll!

July 09, 2010

Essential Spatulas

First of all, today marks our sixth anniversary...so, um, Happy Anniversary Us! We would sincerely like to thank all of you who have stuck with us over the years and are always willing to leap at the chance to help out. This campaign only exists because we have great friends out there willing to actually work on it.

For those of you wondering about the status of Yankoheit 27, our feature-length documentary...it IS coming. Production will ideally wrap this month, with final editing taking up the month of August. It might still be a little while after that before it gets formally released as we try to line up a distribution deal, but copies will make their way to the Rock Hall Foundation as soon as it's completed.

Also, we are still scheduled to have our second annual Make the Rock Hall "Weird" Tweet-In on October 23, Al's 51rst birthday. If you haven't been following us on Twitter already...good god, man, what is wrong with you?!? We're @rockhallweird

Most importantly, though, today we are launching our summer 2010 campaign project. Taking inspiration from the "Spatula City" commercial in UHF, we will be urging fans to show how much they care by sending spatulas to the Rock Hall Foundation in New York. All we ask is that you attach a gift tag onto your spatula conveying your desire to see Al inducted...but the type of spatula is entirely up to you! Decorate it, paint it, let your creative juices flow if you'd like. And please, be sure to take a picture of your spatula before you send it out. We would like to have a big "Spatula Map" on our home page showing everywhere they're being sent from.

Also, for those of you with a little more time and money on your hands, we are asking fans to send copies of Al's recent The Essential "Weird Al" Yankovic compilation to specific members of the Rock Hall's nominating committee. This is a new strategy that we're taking this year, targeting the individual committee one-to-one...as Darth Vader said in Star Wars, we'll need to attack them ship-to-ship.

On our new campaign page, we have listed the thirty-four known members of the nominating committee and, in most cases, where they normally reside/work. If you would like to send a member a CD and a heartfelt letter, please e-mail us to request a member, and then we will get back to you with their contact information. We already have a number of members already spoken for, so send in your request soon!

Full details and instructions on the new campaign activities can be found here:
www.allthingsyank.com/rockhall/spatula.htm

To commemorate our anniversary and our new project, we have also opened up a brand new campaign shop. More items will be added very soon, but to start things off we have parodied--alluded to--ripped off, whatever verb you'd like--two of the biggest pop culture phenomena of the last couple of years, The Dark Knight and the insufferable Twilight franchise. We're especially proud of the "Team Yankovic" design and hope it becomes the next big thing even for those who don't necessarily know about the campaign...after all, making fun of Twilight should be a universally shared experience.

The new store is here:
www.tinyurl.com/twilightshop
(or for you sticklers for real URLs, www.cafepress.com/teamyankovic)

As said, some more designs will be added in the coming days, and we'll gladly be taking suggestions for things to play up or parody. Think of this new shop as the "Hot Topic" of our stores. All trend, very little substance.

And of course, you don't necessarily have to send either a spatula or a CD to the Rock Hall to show your support...like before, a nice, polite, heartfelt letter would do just fine. But we need to get their attention, so let's have some fun doing it!

Get out there, send your spatula, buy your CD, pick your nominating member, be sure to see Al out on the road this summer, and Make the...well, you know the rest!

February 18, 2010

My-my-my-my Bologna!

First, a quick housekeeping note (usually Gordon handles this, but he's off today): we have updated our wishlist of what we still need for our documentary Yankoheit 27. Read it, won't you?

And unless you've been living under a rock, you already know that Al is starting to announce tour dates. We might--MIGHT--do a project this summer in which we'll need field operatives again as we have in years' past. It won't be the main campaign project this year, but we may need some help at these shows rallying fellow fans to the cause, so stay tuned...or let us know if you're ready and raring to go for certain shows no matter what.

But really, we wanted to take some time to note the passing of Doug Fieger, who died on Valentine's Day after suffering from brain cancer for several years. Doug was the frontman and chief songwriter of the Knack, the new wave group that a number of music historians credit as ending the "disco era" of popular music.

In the summer of 1979, the Knack had a huge hit with their debut single "My Sharona." The song was becoming so popular that Cal Poly's campus radio station, KCPR, was getting swamped with requests. This inspired student deejay "Weird Al" Yankovic to take his accordion into the bathroom across the hall from his studio and record a silly parody about luncheon meat: "My Bologna." Al sent the song to his friend and hero, Dr. Demento, who played it on his nationally syndicated comedy radio show to tremendous response.

Al was gaining little more than a cult following through his parody, but all that changed when the Knack played a concert at Cal Poly that fall (IF ANYONE KNOWS THE EXACT DATE OF THIS PERFORMANCE, PLEASE CONTACT US!). Al wormed his way backstage after the show and introduced himself to the band. Doug immediately knew who he was and turned to Rupert Perry, Capitol Records' vice president of A&R, and suggested that Capitol sign Al and release the parody. Rupert agreed, and by Christmas, "My Bologna" was out as a 45.

Doug remained a supporter and friend of Al's ever since then. Doug later appeared on Al's episode of Behind the Music, was one of the guests Al invited onto VH1's The List in August 2000, and even again gave Al permission to cover "My Sharona" for the bridge of "Trapped in the Drive-Thru" as a "Plan B" when it momentarily looked as if Led Zeppelin was going to be unresponsive.

And if there ever was any stronger indication of how much Doug was a fan of Al's and appreciated what he did, in 2004 he became the first celebrity to sign our first Rock Hall petition. We are forever grateful for his support and for the prestige and credibility that came with his participation.

The point is that Doug had a great sense of humor about himself and his work, and Al fans are grateful for the contribution he made to Al's early career. Doug was a wonderfully talented artist and he will be missed. Thank you, Mr. Fieger.

November 18, 2009

Al Odds and Ends

Wow, it's November! We don't have an actual news update or anything to announce, but we did want to catch everyone up on a few miscellaneous Al things going on.

Greg is still hard at work on our big documentary, Yankoheit 27 (he decided against the movie's working title, Tyler Perry's Yankoheit 27), sifting through archival footage and sending requests out to various entities for assistance. We will soon update our documentary wishlist on the main site, but by all means, if you have Al concert footage that you yourself had shot that you would be willing to let us use, please give us a holler.

If you happen to live in or around Los Angeles, you might want to head to The Echoplex on December 8 for the two-day Winston Calling rock/comedy benefit. Al will appear on stage that first night with none other than the Pixies! Tickets are either $20 in advance or $25 the day of the show. You can order general-admission tickets online through TicketWeb: http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=500645

Speaking of Al-related events in Los Angeles, the AlFest 2009 DVD is still for sale, featuring highlights from all the events, live performances, the UHF panel, and even a special video cameo from Al himself. Order here: www.alfest2009.com

Meanwhile, as we look ahead to the holidays, we are delighted to say that we will again be posting our annual gift guide, offering suggestions on what can be sent to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation to help show Al's body of work. And yes, the recent compilation The Essential "Weird Al" Yankovic will be featured prominently...which leads to the bigger question of, have YOU bought it yet?? All thirty-eight tracks have been completely remastered, sounding better than they ever have before, and the liner introduction by NPR music editor Stephen Thompson makes no bones about it...Al belongs in the Rock Hall! And remember, when you buy things through the links we'll provide, you will in part be helping to fund the campaign, maintain the web site, etc.

On the same wavelength of buying stuff, we did want to mention to our fellow U.S. fans a huge sale going on online that we won't be reflecting in our holiday guide only because the sale will soon expire after our page goes live. DeepDiscount is having a gigantic across-the-board sale until November 29 on everything...DVDs, books, CDs, etc. It is quite possibly the biggest sale they've ever had, and you don't even need a coupon code this time out!

Anyway, we bring it up because all of Al's CDs are dirt-cheap during this sale (except for Straight Outta Lynwood, only because it seems to be on permanent backorder there or something). Al's back catalog had recently gone down in price in general at retail, so this current sale at DeepDiscount really puts them in the "you can't pass this up" category. These are quite possibly the lowest prices these albums have ever been offered for by a retail outlet.

As of this blog update, these are the current sale prices (current RIAA sales statuses noted in parentheses)....

"Weird Al" Yankovic - $5.59 (not yet Platinum)

In 3-D - $5.59 (not yet Double Platinum)

Dare to Be Stupid - $5.59 (not yet Double Platinum)

Even Worse - $6.29 (not yet Double Platinum)

Greatest Hits - $6.29 (not yet Gold - includes Polka Party! tracks no longer available on CD)

Off the Deep End - $6.29 (not yet Double Platinum)

The Food Album - $6.29 (not yet Platinum - includes Polka Party! and UHF tracks no longer available on CD)

Alapalooza - $6.29 (not yet Platinum)

Greatest Hits Volume II - $6.29 (not yet Gold - includes Polka Party! and UHF tracks no longer available on CD)

Bad Hair Day - $6.99 (not yet Double Platinum)

Running with Scissors - $6.29 (not yet Double Platinum)

Poodle Hat - $6.29 (not yet Gold)

In addition to Al's own albums, there are also sales on some of the other Al-related releases of the last couple of years such as the Pokemon 2000 soundtrack, the Halloween II soundtrack (featuring an excerpt of Al's cameo on the explicit version), and the Simpsons Testify CD...not to mention even bigger sales on such Al DVDs as UHF and The Ultimate Video Collection.

This is the perfect time to fill those holes in your Al collection...and by buying them from a retail outlet you'll not only be contributing to the albums' respective sales status, but you'll also be giving Al his due royalties. Just be sure to get your order(s) in by November 29...even if a certain album is out of stock, you'll get it as soon as it comes back in, and at the price you ordered it for!

Speaking of Halloween II, it seems as if it has been quietly announced that the movie will be released on DVD on January 12. So if you want to own Al's hilarious cameo as he razzes Dr. Loomis on a talk show while host Chris Hardwick looks on, click here to pre-order it (or click here for the Blu-ray).

And speaking even more of movies, Al appears on the recently released anniversary edition of Say Anything (um, of course), showing up in an "I Love the..."-style featurette poking fun at the film. If you don't have the DVD yet, order here (here for Blu-ray).

And speaking even MORE of movies, head to your local multiplex December 16, as Al will be the featured guest on the one-night-only RiffTrax LIVE: Christmas Shorts-Stravaganza!, appearing alongside Mystery Science Theater 3000 stars Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett as they mock a number of Christmas-themed short subjects. This will be a satellite-provided live feed, and hundreds of theaters across the country will be showing it. Click here to find one near you and order tickets: http://www.ncm.com/Fathom/Comedy/RiffTrax_Xmas_Live.aspx

And in addition to continuing work on Yankoheit 27, we are slowly formulating our big mail drive for next year. We can't say too much just yet, but we guarantee that you will not think of a better way to express your love for Al.

October 23, 2009

The Tweet is on! (cue "Beverly Hills Cop" music)

Today is the fiftieth birthday of not only the most successful comedy recording artist of all time but also rock and roll's premier satirist, "Weird Al" Yankovic.

Today is also our First Annual Make the Rock Hall "Weird" Tweet-In, a day-long event on Twitter where we want all fans of all walks of life to send a tweet to the Rock Hall requesting Al's induction.

Just be sure to properly format your tweet so that the Rock Hall receives it. Remember, to address them you need to include @rock_hall somewhere in your tweet. And please include the tag #WeirdAl. Let's turn this into a trending topic!

And don't forget, you can also follow our campaign on Twitter as well by going to our account @rockhallweird

One final little activity for today: the People's Choice Awards are now asking people to vote online for nominees in various categories. Feel free to write in Al's name in the appropriate categories, but be sure to cast your vote before moving on to the next section or it will not count: http://www.peopleschoice.com/pca/nominations/vote.jsp?pollId=300030&_requestid=19964

(Thanks to erkman27 for the heads up on this!)

So go out there and tweet!! We're doing it for the birthday boy!

Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY AL!

October 22, 2009

'Twas the Night Before the Tweet-In

Tomorrow will be a very Al-focused day. Of course, the man himself will turn fifty years old (and you HAVE sent him a card already, right?), but it will also be the day of our First Annual Make the Rock Hall "Weird" Tweet-In on Twitter.

We have set up a page on our web site detailing all that you need to do, but for those who need their information right now this second...at some point during the day on Friday, send a tweet to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's official Twitter account and request that Al be inducted. That's it!

Just be sure to properly format your tweet so that the Rock Hall receives it. Remember, to address them you need to include @rock_hall somewhere in your tweet.

And if you want to suggest other artists for induction, feel free. All we ask is that non-Al-related tweets still include the tag #WeirdAl. After all, it's still his day.

So if all that is still too much for you to remember, we supposed you can just copy and paste the following sample tweet, but it would be better if you personalized it a little....

@rock_hall: Isn't it about time for you to induct "Weird Al" Yankovic? #WeirdAl

Be sure to spread the word on your own Twitter account, your Facebook page, your MySpace (for all three of you who still use it), etc. There is absolutely no reason any online Al fan cannot participate.

And don't forget, Tuesday marks the release of the new two-disc collection The Essential "Weird Al" Yankovic. Be sure to pre-order it or at least buy it during its first week of release so that it will chart in Billboard.

Let's make our tweets heard!

October 02, 2009

Vote for Al in the Plain Dealer readers poll

It's that time of year again, when the Plain Dealer in the Rock Hall's hometown of Cleveland asks its readers to vote for which of the nominees they want to see inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Usually the poll has a write-in option, and though this year is no different, they are doing things a bit differently and more "Web 2.0ish" this time out. The newspaper wants people to post their write-in choices underneath the poll the way one posts a blog comment.

Click here to go to the poll. You need to register a username for the site first, so if you need to do so just click here. Don't worry, it's free and there's an option to select so that they won't send you any advertising.

This poll is just for fun and has no bearing on the actual induction process, but we nevertheless would like Al to win. Come on, everyone, we just buried the competition in Rolling Stone's poll...let's work that magic once more! The poll is open until October 11.

In other Al news, in case you didn't attend the awesome Al Fest 2009 this past August, there is now a DVD available chronicling what happened! The two-disc set includes Jim "Kimo" West and the Valtierra Latin Orchestra's complete performances, the complete UHF anniversary panel, highlights from Bermuda's onstage presentation, and highlights from all the comedic artists who performed...and yes, Al himself also appears via video clips that were shot especially for the convention! The DVD is now on sale at the convention web site: www.alfest2009.com

Some additional footage shot at Al Fest will soon be seen in our group documentary Yankoheit 27...stay tuned!

But for now, go write-in a vote for Al!

September 28, 2009

Al tops Rolling Stone poll!

Holy cow, did fans rally on Al's behalf or what?! Al topped Rolling Stone's online poll this weekend asking readers who should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The results are listed here:

http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/09/28/readers-rock-list-who-should-be-nominated-for-rock-hall/

Competition was fierce, but in the end Al beat out such other rock legends as Rush, the Moody Blues, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, and others.

Hey, we think they're all great and a lot of them are certainly worthy, but deep down we are all tickled pink that Weird Al got more votes than the whole lot of them!

This is the only the first step in our post-nominations rally cry. As soon as a technical glitch gets resolved with their site, we will soon be urging everyone to flood the Plain Dealer's annual Rock Hall readers poll with votes for Al. Come on, we just buried the competition in a national poll hosted by the premier popular-music magazine in the world...we eat the Plain Dealer for breakfast!

And of course, on October 23--Al's big 5-0--we will be hosting the First Annual Make the Rock Hall "Weird" Tweet-In on...where else?...Twitter.

But for right now, way to go, Al!

September 26, 2009

Rolling Stone Weekend Poll!

Over the course of the weekend, Rolling Stone's web site is conducting an unofficial, unscientific poll of sorts asking people who should be inducted into the Rock Hall, using the fan demand for KISS as their inspiration.

In the article's comments section, be sure to mention Al! Don't worry, you don't have to sign up for their site or anything.

Just go here:

http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/09/25/weekend-rock-list-who-should-nominated-for-rock-hall/

They said they're only doing this for the weekend, so don't delay! Flood the comments with votes for Al!

Thanks to TMBJon for the heads up on this!

September 23, 2009

2010 Nomination Round-Up/Tweet-in Announced!

The nominations for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's class of 2010 inductees were announced today. Unfortunately, Al was not nominated yet again, but there was a glimmer of hope, as two longtime snubbed acts are finally in the running this year.

But first, let's update everyone on some of our new outlets for that social interaction thing that the kids seem to like these days.

First, because we want to catch up to the world of 2008, we are proud to announce our brand new, official, and rather anemic Facebook page. There had been a group page for the campaign on the site before, but we wanted to make sure we had an official presence there as well: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Make-the-Rock-Hall-Weird/160475345080

Also, like everyone else on the planet who has exactly 140 characters of thought at a time, we're now on Twitter, too! We have a big Twitter event coming up (see below), so it might be a good idea to follow us so that everyone's on the same page...err, tweet...or whatever: http://www.twitter.com/rockhallweird

And of course, we're still on MySpace, us and maybe about three other people anymore: http://www.myspace.com/rockhallweird

Now then, the nominees. We are proud to say that we have predicted exactly 31.87 percent of this year's nominations. Okay, that's not true at all, but it sounds cool and creates this false sense of mathematical legitimacy to our site.

The big news, at least to us anyway, is that two perennial shut-outs have been nominated for the first time ever: Genesis and KISS. This is a long time coming for each act, and we couldn't be happier for our comrades in spirit who had been campaigning on KISS's behalf. Whether or not they were given the nod because of the campaigning, we don't know (strangely, not a single news outlet today has mentioned the fans' effort to get them in), but we nevertheless can't help but feel optimistic about our own cause after today's news.

The other big news is that two acts were nominated in their first year of eligibility: rapper and Toys star LL Cool J and Al parody target and Tough Guys stars Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Previously nominated friends include Mamma Mia! composers ABBA, girl group pioneers the Chantels, Lethal Weapon 4 star Darlene Love, aging grouches the Stooges, and disco queen and Thank God It's Friday star Donna Summer.

Newbies this year are reggae icon and Club Paradise star Jimmy Cliff and Graham Nash's whiny Beatles wannabes and After the Fox theme song performers the Hollies.

Another newbie is the late singer/songwriter Laura Nyro, who didn't really have any commercial hits on her own but whose songs led to moderate hit covers by such groups as the Fifth Dimension and Three Dog Night. No offense to her, of course, but we're not quite sure why she was nominated...at least in the main performer category. According to the RIAA, none of her releases have ever gone Gold. Meanwhile, she never had a top twenty single or album...in fact, only one of her singles even charted in Billboard: "Up on the Roof," which reached #92 in 1970. In fact, her greatest claim to fame might be that she launched the managing career of David Geffen.

As they do every time they have a "WTF" nominee, the Rock Hall attempted to justify Laura's nomination with a quote from a celebrated rock/pop legend. In this case it was Elton John, who apparently said, "The soul, the passion, the out-and-out audacity of her rhythmic and melody changes was like nothing I'd ever heard before." It should be noted that he had also told Billboard in 1999 that having Al cover your song is "a compliment" and "really quite a thrill," as long as we're using Sir Elton as ammo (even though, ironically, Al has yet to do an Elton John parody).

Seriously, we congratulate all of this year's nominees and wish them well.

BUT, this campaign isn't about reporting news and patting the Rock Hall on the back; it's about getting Weird Al inducted!

Greg is still holed up in his Unabomber-like bunker working on Yankoheit 27, our group documentary. We are grateful to everyone who allowed themselves to be interviewed at Al Fest 2009 last month, as it was literally the final place we were interviewing anyone for the movie. Hopefully--HOPEFULLY--the whole thing will be done and ready for release by year's end.

In the meantime, our Great Greeting Card Project is still going on, so if you haven't sent a greeting card to the Rock Hall Foundation yet, now's your chance.

In fact, on October 23, Al's fiftieth birthday, we're going to end this latest project with a bang!

We will be urging everyone to send out two cards to arrive on October 23: one to the Rock Hall Foundation urging them to induct Al, and one to Al himself wishing him a happy birthday. We want EVERYONE to participate, even if you've already sent a card to the Rock Hall.

Send your card to the Rock Hall to:

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation
Attn: Joel Peresman
1290 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10104
USA

Send your card to Al to:

Close Personal Friends Of Al
PMB #4018
8033 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
USA

Also, on October 23, we will be staging a brand new one-day event: THE FIRST ANNUAL MAKE THE ROCK HALL "WEIRD" TWEET-IN!

The what, you may ask? Well, hypothetical person, 2009 has been quite a year for hippie culture. The summer marked the fortieth anniversary of the ultimate expression of peace and harmony, Woodstock, and this month saw the unprecedented reissue of all the Beatles' studio albums remastered on CD. So, keeping in with the spirit of peaceful protests--the sit-ins, the love-ins, the laugh-ins--we will be urging everyone to join us on Twitter for a "tweet-in!"

Essentially, we will spend the day tweeting the Rock Hall's Twitter account to ask why Al hasn't been nominated or inducted yet. We will also be encouraging fans of other snubbed artists to join in, creating a virtual love fest for those acts who have been shunned so far.

More details to follow, but in the meantime be sure you're a member of Twitter, even if you have no other plans to use it anytime soon!

And in the meantime, if you haven't yet, also be sure to pre-order your copy of the new two-disc collection The Essential "Weird Al" Yankovic, in stores October 27. It will cover Al's entire career with thirty-eight songs, including the rare and sought-after "Extra Gory Version" of "The Night Santa Went Crazy!"

We will make our voices heard!