April 24, 2012

Countdown to Yankoheit

We are so incredibly excited to finally announce that, after over two years in production, our feature-length documentary YANKOHEIT 27 will be released!!!

DVD coverTo say that this is an update we thought we would never be able to make is a gross understatement. What started off as a mere side project--that needed to take a backseat to some major campaign drives--eventually ballooned into something that involved cross-country travel, meeting some incredibly cool fans, and tracking down footage and information that had eluded the fan base for years. It simply became the pinnacle of all the work, time, and research that has gone into this campaign, and in the future it will become our go-to promotional tool when approaching folks and media outlets for participation.

So the big question is, where can everyone see this opus?

Well, since so much of the success of this campaign has been due to the Internet--with our web site, our Facebook page, and our Twitter feed (including our annual Tweet-In)--it would be silly to not premiere the movie on the most logical place. So for one day only--appropriately, April 27--Yankoheit 27 will debut on YouTube as a free stream. Anyone anywhere (you hear that, Ludo!) can watch it for free...but again, for just one day.

The movie will be embedded on our main web site, we'll probably offer a ravioli-sized version on our Facebook page, and Greg will be hosting it on his own YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/CatraDhtem

Following its one-day free stream, Yankoheit 27 will be released on DVD during the first week of May exclusively through Amazon. It will be made available as a manufacture-on-demand disc (a la Warner Archive), hence why we can't announce a firm "street date" for the DVD. Such DVDs are typically region-free, but the disc was mastered in NTSC, so international consumers plan and prepare accordingly.

It would be wonderful if we could count on the entire Weird Al fan community to spread the word. This is as much a celebration of the fans as it is a celebration of Al himself. And hopefully, it will open some eyes about the often-controversial Rock Hall induction process.

And of course, if you like what you see and you haven't done it yet, be sure to sign the current online petition: www.allthingsyank.com/petition

So again, Yankoheit 27 on April 27. Be there!

September 28, 2011

Announcing our first ever online petition...sign it now!

Yesterday morning, long before most of you were probably even awake, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the nominees for the 2012 class of inductees. Unfortunately, Al did not make the cut for the eighth year in a row.

The big news is that Guns N' Roses has been nominated in the group's first year of eligibility--and they are generally being regarded as a shoe-in for immediate induction. Al and the band had dressed up as GNR early in the "UHF" music video. Al was also this close to parodying Roses' cover of "Live and Let Die" for the Off the Deep End album as "Chicken Pot Pie," but Paul McCartney reluctantly refused to grant Al permission because of the former Beatle's strong vegetarian beliefs...so the song became a concert-only classic for the better part of the decade.

The only other act to be nominated in its first year of eligibility is hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim...even though they had never scored a top twenty album or top forty single. Al, meanwhile, has had seven top twenty albums and three top forty singles--because "fame" shouldn't ever be about popularity.

Also noteworthy is that a number of female artists have been nominated for the first time ever after various years of eligibility to justify--err, coincide with the museum's current "Women Who Rock" exhibit. Leading the pack are Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, who are nominated for the first time since first becoming eligible in 2005. Of course, Al famously parodied Joan's biggest hit, "I Love Rock n' Roll," as "I Love Rocky Road," the song that helped get Al signed to Scotti Bros. Records in 1982. Joan was reportedly less than pleased with Al's version (while her management were rather cold to our campaign a few years back), but the song's writer--Jake Hooker--continues to be a supporter of Al's, even signing our first paper petition back in 2004.

Another major female act nominated for the first time is none other than the sisters of Heart, who have been eligible since 2001. In his earliest of days, Al parodied the sisters' "Crazy on You" as "Throw Gravy on You," a part of a food-themed medley called "More Songs About Food" that aired a scant number of times on the live Los Angeles version of The Dr. Demento Show in 1979.

Other artists being nominated for the first time include the Cure (eligible since 2003), blues legend Freddie King (eligible since 1981), Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan (eligible since 1997 with that lineup), the combined lineups of both Small Faces and Faces (eligible under the former since 1990), and the Spinners (eligible since 1986). Museum president Terry Stewart once told us via form letter that one of the problems the Rock Hall nominations face is that there are simply too many eligible acts that haven't been nominated yet. Why would there be such an ever-increasing backlog?

Oh, here's why. Returning nominees this year include Beastie Boys (marking the third year they've been nominated), Donovan (second year in a row), Laura Nyro (third year in a row), Red Hot Chili Peppers (second year), Donna Summer (fourth year), and War (second year). So, sorry eligible acts that have yet to be given a nod, artists who have never had any hits or made any real impact (Nyro) and artists who simply cannot get enough final votes (Summer) need to be nominated again and again year after year instead of you. One thing our campaign prides itself in is that it has yet to really parrot the old "Oh, the Rock Hall is such a fixed, biased thing and this one person has all the say and boo-frickin'-boo-hoo, etc." gripe, but it's really hard to keep our head above the proverbial water when we have to hear about how Laura Nyro is supposedly a bigger and more essential part of the rock and roll genre than the hundreds of mainstream, successful acts yet to receive a nomination.

So at least for our campaign, it's on to 2012. Admittedly, this past year of campaigning was a little on the slow side, as a great deal of attention for us was on getting a distribution deal for our video documentary, Yankoheit 27. It's times like these where we really need the fan base to step up and write and send their heartfelt letters to the Rock Hall Foundation. It should be something a fan would want to do at any time, not just specifically during scheduled campaign "projects."

But as we've announced on our web site main page and on our Facebook page (and really, why haven't you "liked" us yet??), for our next big campaign project we are doing our very first online petition! This isn't something we enter into lightly, as it seems that the Internet is chock full of online petition for causes large and small. It can get downright tiring to see yet another issue that one must type their name and city in to "support." Our campaign had wanted to avoid online petitions for just that very reason. But this is 2011 and we wanted something a little more interactive and "web 2.0-y"; something that can be easily passed around in order to quickly gain support from new fans. And with Al's Alpocalypse album closing with a track called "Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me"...well, the temptation to finally do something that can be forwarded seemed too great.

We've also added an element to make our petition all the more unique and meaningful. Our petition is being hosted on Care2.com, the premier petition site for political, social, and cultural causes. For every 500 signatures our petition receives, Care2's partners at Trees for the Future will plant a tree in a part of the world that sorely needs one, be it in a Third World country or even parts of the United States. It's our little way to offset the real-world physical "damage" huge paper petitions like our last one have done to the environment. It's perhaps the most socially conscious undertaking ever connected to Weird Al's name, and we hope this provides some incentive for fans to want to help and spread the word.

If you haven't signed it yet, please do so now: www.allthingsyank.com/petition

Click the link, sign it, and then pass the URL along to every single person that you know. It really couldn't be any simpler. We'll also need fans to volunteer to spread the word at concerts on Al's currently underway Alpocalypse Tour.

Also, on October 23--Al's birthday--we'll be hosting our Third Annual Make the Rock Hall "Weird" Tweet-In on Twitter, in which we ask Twit-savvy fans to send tweets to the Rock Hall's official Twitter address to urge them to induct Al. Amazingly, our Tweet-In has just been reported on by none other than the Washington Post!

And of course, in December we will be releasing our long-awaited documentary, Yankoheit 27. The DVD will be an exclusive on Amazon, and although we don't have the details ironed out just yet, we MIGHT figure out a really cool way to release it beforehand to allow everyone and anyone to watch it. Stay tuned for that.

But for right now, SIGN THE PETITION...click, sign, forward! Click, sign, forward! Click, sign, forward!

Let's make this our campaign's biggest year ever!

June 21, 2011

The ALPOCALYPSE is here!

After long last--a nearly five-year wait--Al's latest album, Alpocalypse, is finally in stores! If you haven't gone out and bought it yet, what the heck are you waiting for??

In-store deals for the album will last through Saturday, so figure you have a five-day window to buy it for a good price and still help Al's debut-week sales. Seriously, we can't stress this enough: buy the album this first week. Al could potentially see the highest charting album of his career. This would help his career, help the album's success, and by proxy help the fan campaigns like ours.

What's that? Going into a real store and buying a three-dimensional copy is just "too 2005" for you? No problem, you can also download the MP3 version of the album. In fact, for ONE DAY ONLY, Amazon is offering the MP3 version for just $3.99. Come on, what kind of a fan are you? You can't even be bothered to spend FOUR BUCKS on an entire brand new album?? (note: the MP3 version on Amazon is the standard version without the music videos)

We'll keep bugging everyone via our Twitter until this first week is over. This first week of sales is almost indescribably important.

Meanwhile, we are just about ready to launch our newest campaign project. All we can say right now is that we will need volunteers at Al's shows on the upcoming Alpocalypse Tour, which starts in July. So if you're game, be sure to contact us....

GO BUY ALPOCALYPSE! IT COULD MEAN THE END OF THE WORLD! (well, it doesn't, but it could)

June 19, 2011

Alpocalypse Deals

On Tuesday, Al will release his long-awaited thirteenth album, ALPOCALYPSE.

If you haven't preordered it yet and would like to, by all means use the following link to get it from Amazon: http://t.co/he7jsuS

But if you're going to brave the big, bad physical world on Tuesday and buy it in an actual store, Best Buy will most likely be your...ahem, best bet. According to their Sunday circular, the regular CD edition will sell there for $9.99 while the CD/DVD version will sell for $12.99. Those prices will only be valid through Saturday.

Sadly, very few other stores advertised the album (or really, ANY album) in their respective newspaper circulars. The only other store we know the sale prices for is FYE. They will sell the CD edition for $9.99 as well and the CD/DVD edition for $14.99, and of course if you're a Backstage Pass member there you'd get 10 percent off those prices. Keep in mind that some FYEs vary in sale price depending on their location, so just use the aforementioned prices as a guide.

Al will be hitting a number of shows this week to promote the album (including sitting in with the Roots on Monday night's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon). And of course, the "Perform This Way" music video will debut online Monday and premiere on television on VH1 Monday morning at 9:30AM EST during their Big Morning Buzz Live program.

The Alpocalypse is coming Tuesday...GET READY!!!

June 14, 2011

SEVEN DAYS UNTIL THE ALPOCALYPSE!

It's Tuesday.

In seven days, where will YOU spend the Alpocalypse??

That's right, we are now just one stinkin' week away from the release of Al's thirteenth studio album, Alpocalypse. First off, if you haven't preordered it yet, DO IT NOW! http://t.co/he7jsuS

With just a week left to go, it was inevitable that the album would leak somewhere, and amazingly, Al himself has posted an online stream so one can listen to the whole shebang (http://mog.com/albums/mn54902181/'weird-al'-yankovic/alpocalypse). We'll keep these blog posts spoiler-free until next Tuesday, but we do hope everyone out there who is feeling courageous is enjoying what they're hearing.

There will be three versions of the album released: the normal single-disc CD, a deluxe CD/DVD edition, and...wait for it, wait for it...a VINYL version to be released July 19, marking the first vinyl Weird Al album in the U.S. since 1989's UHF soundtrack. You can preorder the vinyl version here, but you're not off the hook. You MUST still buy one of the two CD versions, and you must do it during the album's first week of release.

By the end of the week, we should be seeing the music video for Al's Lady Gaga parody "Perform This Way," which will further increase anticipation for the album.

As we said last week, if you plan on buying the CD in a store instead of online, please put your money aside right now and have it ready. Let NOTHING stop you from buying the CD next Tuesday. On Sunday we will post all the known posted sales that the main "big box" and physical retailers will be selling the album for so you can plan accordingly.

The Alpocalypse is coming! Will you see it happen??

June 08, 2011

The Alpocalypse is coming!!!

We are now exactly two weeks from THE Weird Al event of the year: the release of his long-awaited thirteenth studio album, ALPOCALYPSE!

We will try to keep these blog updates as spoiler-free as possible, but for the next two weeks we are officially on Alpocalypse watch. We want to make sure every single Al fan in the world is ready to purchase it as soon as it comes out on June 21 (release dates in other countries may vary).

Obviously, you can save yourself a whole heap of headache and time by merely preordering it somewhere such as...oh, let's see, like Amazon! What's great about preordering through Amazon is if their price goes down at any time between the moment you reserve a copy and the end of the day on the street date, you'll get the CD for the lowest price.

(Note: the above link is going to the deluxe CD/DVD edition, but Amazon also has the normal CD version available as well...but really, for a dollar or so more you get a DVD with music videos. Come on, you know you want the deluxe version!)

Also, there are a couple of exclusive packages available through Weirdal.com. Both of the site's exclusive versions come with a lithograph of the awesome cover art, while a super limited edition deluxe package also includes a four-foot-square Fathead wall decal of the cover available nowhere else. And of course, all preorders through Weirdal.com also come with a free download of the Lady Gaga parody "Perform This Way."

But what's that, you say? You prefer The Hunt? You want to be out there on June 21, standing in line waiting for your local music retailer to open its doors and let you in so you can buy a copy in person? How very awesome and dedicated of you to actually want to go into a physical store and buy a three-dimensional copy off a wire rack. You are truly an endangered species, and we are grateful that you a part of this fan base.

Have no fear! The weekend before the album's release, we will post as many publicly revealed sale prices from major retailers as we can. This way you will know exactly which chain will be offering the best deal...or which circulars you can take to Best Buy in order to get a price match.

But in the meantime, if you do plan on waiting until the twenty-first and going into a store to buy it, there is something we strongly ask of you. Take the money you are going to spend on the album, say most likely around fifteen dollars at most, and put it into a safe place. Just put it aside now and have it ready...put it in a piggybank, a coffee can, or heck seal it into an envelope with the words "AL MONEY" hastily scribbled on it in burnt sienna crayon if you prefer. Make absolutely sure you are ready to go on the twenty-first and have your money ready to buy it!

You may be asking, "Why is it so important that I be THIS ready?" Well, because we need this album to chart in Billboard, and the sales it garners its first week of release is incredibly important. In 2003 Poodle Hat sold over 49 thousand copies in its first week to chart at #17 (and that was without the benefit of an actual single or even a music video). In 2006 Straight Outta Lynwood debuted at #10, having sold over 73 thousand copies. Now, the music industry has of course seen better days, but there is a silver lining in that. For the last several weeks, an album only needs to sell between 24 to 25 thousand copies in order to land in the top ten, resulting in albums that may have relatively weak debuts or just average sales weeks to nevertheless still chart fairly high. So if Al sells even half of what Straight Outta Lynwood did in its first week, he still could realistically get his highest charting album ever! How cool would that be thirteen albums in? Sure, chart positions are all relative, but it would still be quite an accomplishment. We can do it!

There are two really important things to remember, though....

1. If you are lucky enough to stumble upon the CD before June 21, such as at a local record store or at a lazy K-Mart or Target that doesn't pay attention to street dates, DO NOT BUY IT! Wait until June 21! We know that is an extremely hard thing to do, passing up a chance to hear the album early. But the Billboard chart week will not begin until June 21, as their weeks start on Tuesday (didn't you ever wonder why release dates for music or DVDs are almost always on a Tuesday?)...so any sales from physical stores logged in before June 21 will NOT count toward the album's offical debut week. Don't worry, online preorders are exempt from this, but if you plan on buying the CD in person, you MUST wait until June 21.

2. The CD's first sales week will end, perhaps not too surprisingly, on Saturday, June 25. Yeah yeah, we know that doesn't really make sense considering it starts on Tuesday, but that is the way of the Force. Anyway, Saturday will also mark the final day a number of physical retailers will stop offering the album for its new-release sale price. So it's definitely in your best interest as a consumer to purchase the CD before the end of the day that Saturday. So that gives us all a FIVE DAY window to buy the new album, from June 21 until June 25, in order to best help Al.

It is vital that this album does well...and in particular, charts well. It would help Al immensely, and (believe it or not) it would help our campaign and Al's chances of Rock Hall induction immensely.

The Alpocalypse is upon us...so get ready!!!

May 31, 2011

New CD information!

It's been several years in the making. Numerous fans thought it would never happen. But it's finally on the horizon.

There will be a new Weird Al tribute CD.

Of course, as we get closer to June 21, all attention will be focused on Al's upcoming brand new studio album, Alpocalypse (available to pre-order here!). But in the meantime, let us instead talk about a project that's near and dear to two fans' hearts.

Twenty-Six and a Half: A Tribute to "Weird Al" Yankovic is the name of the new twenty-track CD produced by Austin Aeschliman (oddaustin) and Jace McLain (weirdojace). It marks the first CD of Weird Al covers and homages since 2002's Me, Myself, and I. The album's first single, a cover of "Everything You Know is Wrong" by Steve Goodie, is currently available to download at www.thefump.com

A number of comedy and rap stars have contributed to this album, including MC Lars, Insane Ian, Worm Quartet, Lager Rhythms (who offer an amazing a cappella cover of "Your Horoscope for Today"), and others. There is also an all-new song by comedic rapper Devo Spice titled "Weird Al Didn't Write This Song," which takes to task members of the general public who adamantly believe that any funny song must be a Weird Al song. There are also--hold onto your hat!--parodies of Al originals, such as the aforementioned Mr. Goodie's parody of "Hardware Store" titled "Dumbledore."

The CD concludes with Al's own band--Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, Steve Jay, Jim West, and Rubén Valtierra--performing...well, "Al's Band," the quartet's inaugural 2008 single. For those who have yet to hear this autobiographic gypsy-polka-styled number chronicling the musicians' thirty-year career with Al, you're in for a treat. The cost of the album is worth it for this track alone.

Best of all, when you buy the CD you'll be helping out not one but two fan campaigns, as part of the proceeds will go to help fund both the Weird Al Star Fund and us here at Make the Rock Hall "Weird." The Star Fund still has a bit to go to reach the current Hollywood Walk of Fame sponsorship price of $30,000, while money that goes to our campaign will help pay for the web space, production of promotional materials, and will help fund the distribution of our feature-length documentary, Yankoheit 27.

The CD is currently in the process of being mastered and pressed, so there's still some time left to pre-order a copy. If you pre-order it before its general release, you'll also receive super-secret exclusive MP3 content. If you're an Al fan and collector, it's WELL worth it to pre-order!

Pre-order the CD today right through their web site: www.weirdaltribute.com

May 17, 2011

Make the Yahoo "Weird"

Hey there, blog readers! It's been a while, hasn't it? Hopefully everyone who reads this is following us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rockhallweird (and vice versa)--and, to a lesser extent, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Make-the-Rock-Hall-Weird/160475345080 --but don't worry, the blog is still here, as is obviously the campaign.

Before we get to the big Al news...WOW! What a crazy month April had been. For us, it all started back in February when the Duran Duran to the Rock Hall campaign contacted us to say hi and compare notes. We're always happy when other fan bases get into the act when it comes to the Rock Hall, and we're always willing to do what we can to show our support for campaigns and encourage such activity, especially since fan campaigns for other acts have generally been cold to us whenever we ask them for help, advice, or whatever. Anyway, the exchange resulted in our head honco, Greg, chatting with their head honcho, Kirk, for a fun, lively, and in-depth interview. We of course linked to it back when it was first posted, but for those who haven't read it yet, you can find it here: http://ddrockhall.blogspot.com/2011/02/interview-with-make-rock-hall-weird.html

And of course, we ask that while you're at the DDTTRH site, please show your support for the group and sign the campaign's online petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/duran-duran-to-the-rock-hall-of-fame

Interestingly, news of the launch of the DDTTRH campaign caught the attention of Diane DiPiero, a Cleveland-based contributor for Yahoo! News. She then interviewed Kirk about Duran Duran, their chances, Rock Hall politics, etc. At the end of the interview, Kirk graciously told Diane something to the effect of, "If you want to hear about Rock Hall campaigns, you really need to talk to the Weird Al people!" Diane contacted Greg for another lively interview, with Greg being his usual sardonic self--balancing his answers with facts and tongue-in-cheek humility.

We thought nothing had come of the interview, as for what seemed like the longest time there was neither hide nor hair of it on Yahoo! News. That can be expected--sometimes stories go nowhere, reporters get new assignments, articles simply don't get posted, anything. It's the very nature of journalism sometimes. Well, imagine our surprise when the story finally made it onto Yahoo! News at the end of March, just in time for April Fools Day. We saved the article for posterity here: http://www.allthingsyank.com/rockhall/yahn.htm

But that wasn't all, no sireebop! On April 4, at around two o'clock in the afternoon, the story made Yahoo's front page! Granted Yahoo! customizes its front-page content depending on one's local settings, so it's unlikely that it happened anywhere outside of Northeast Ohio, but for the next few hours off and on, as far as Clevelanders were concerned, this was one of the day's top news stories, complete with pictures of Al and Duran Duran. Of course we HAD to save that as well: http://www.allthingsyank.com/rockhall/yhoo.htm

We just can't stress enough how big of a deal this is for our campaign. Every once in a while Greg will set up symbolic benchmarks for us, much in the same way Al has set up professional benchmarks as career goals such as--to name some that still elude him--playing Hawaii or appearing on Saturday Night Live. Over the years our campaign has reached some of those goals--getting mentioned on The Dr. Demento Show, finally getting Barenaked Ladies to sign our second petition after years of back-and-forth with their manager, and getting covered in Cleveland's local newspaper--but if any one benchmark seemed the most impossible, the most fanciful, the most pie-in-the-sky-like, it was being featured on Yahoo's front page. We're not quite sure what event could possibly top that without Al actually getting nominated or inducted.

So in case we haven't expressed it enough, we send our deepest thanks to the DDTTRH campaign for setting this chain of events into motion. Again, if you haven't signed their petition yet, go here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/duran-duran-to-the-rock-hall-of-fame

As if the month couldn't have been more epic, on (perhaps appropriately) April 20 the world was treated to the unfolding craziness known as the "Gaga Saga," in which it seemed as if Lady Gaga had denied Al permission from releasing his already written-and-recorded parody of her #1 hit "Born This Way"...only to quickly reverse her position and give him the okay. The day-long drama soon resulted in the official announcement that Al's long-awaited thirteenth studio album, Alpocalypse, would finally see a release on June 21.

We'll obviously have a more Alpocalypse-focused post very soon, but let's say right now that you BETTER buy this album. Either set aside about fifteen bucks right now in order to buy it from a physical store, and save yourself the trouble and just pre-order it now: http://amzn.to/iAY53i

And of course, all of this will lead up to both the release later this year of our feature-length documentary, Yankoheit 27, and then our big 2011-2012 campaign, which we will be setting in motion in the coming weeks.

We have got some other cool things to announce very soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, send out a letter to the Rock Hall Foundation!

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!