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Hey there. How’s it goin’? Me? Oh, I’m fine, thanks.

Anyway…

There’s some misinformation that’s been floating around the Internet (how unusual!) and I hoped it would dissipate quickly, but it only seems to be picking up steam. So before it gets much worse, please allow me to set the record straight.

I did a print interview recently where I talked about how I only had one more album left on my current record contract, and how after that I would be weighing my options. I talked about how at that point I might be more inclined to focus on digital distribution, since theoretically that would allow my releases to be more timely and topical. I talked about how quickly the industry is evolving, and how perhaps it might not even make sense to continue releasing conventional albums at that point. In fairness, my quotes in the article seemed pretty accurate. But the headline screamed, “WEIRD AL SAYS HIS NEXT ALBUM WILL BE HIS LAST!” Well, um… no, I didn’t. That’s inaccurate, and extremely misleading, and has caused more than a few fans to freak out. But I guess “WEIRD AL IS CAREFULLY WEIGHING HIS OPTIONS AND ISN’T ENTIRELY SURE WHAT HE’S DOING AFTER HIS NEXT ALBUM!” isn’t quite as catchy, headline-wise. So again, to be clear… if you were led to believe that I’m planning on retiring anytime soon, I’m not (sorry, haters). I truly love what I do, and if I ever stop working, it won’t be of my own free will.

Okay… what else?

I’m on the road right now. This is the tail end of the Alpocalypse Tour, and it’s going great. If you haven’t seen it yet, I behoove you to get yourself to a show – all the summer dates are listed at weirdal.com. We’ll be doing the final dates sometime in the fall, and of course we’ll be sure to list those on my website as soon as they’re confirmed.

Also, I’m extremely excited that HarperCollins is releasing my second children’s picture book – My New Teacher and Me! – on June 25. Wes Hargis did the artwork (as he did for my first book, When I Grow Up) and it’s really wonderful. If you have a kid – or just like to pretend you have a kid – I think you’ll enjoy this book.

And speaking of the book… I’m doing a 7-city book-signing tour at the end of this month! If you live anywhere near Minneapolis, Houston, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cincinnati, Raleigh or Los Angeles, I’d love to see you at one of these book stores. And if you CAN’T make it, but still want a personally autographed copy of the book… guess what? We have the technology! Just contact any of those bookstores before the event, and they’ll arrange to make that happen for you! And if you want a copy of the book WITHOUT my lousy autograph… well, I’m sure Amazon or any other fine online retailer would be happy to sell you one! After the 25th, I’ll bet you could even walk into an actual bookstore and buy a copy! So many options!

The new album? It’s coming along extremely well. I’m about half done with it, and I’m really excited with the tracks so far. So if I’m dismembered in a freak accident next week, at least they’ll be able to release a nice EP. (Can’t wait to see what kind of headlines they’ll make out of THAT!)

Okay, that’s it for now. Thanks for letting me ramble. Hope to see you on the road and/or at the bookstore!

xo,
Al

Well, hey there.

It seems like just yesterday (but actually it was two months ago) that I got the news Lady Gaga had officially approved my parody of “Born This Way.” Ever since that moment, things have been absolutely insane (in a good way).

For starters, we were able to immediately begin work on the “Perform This Way” music video (which is now done… you can see it HERE). This is the first music video I’ve directed since “White & Nerdy,” and it marks the very first time that I have performed in drag (as far as you know). I want to send out a huge thank you to the other cast members: Vlada Gorbaneva (the body), Marissa Heart (the contortionist), Holly Beavon (the Madonna), Josuè De La Vega & Phil Collins (the dancers) and particularly all the wonderful Twitter followers, band members, friends and relatives who showed up on the set to be paparazzi. The crew was awesome as well – I think this might have been my most fun shoot ever.

Also, in the last month, the band and I did 20 live shows in 20 cities – thanks to everybody who came out to see them. The official Alpocalypse Tour will start in July – we’ll be doing a week’s worth of shows leading up to two performances at Massey Hall in Toronto (where we’ll be recording the concert for a TV special airing later this year!) – and then we’ll do a couple more months’ worth of touring in the fall.

So anyway, the album is out TODAY. (Or, if you’re reading this after June 21, 2011… just do the math.) It’s available at myplaydirect, iTunes, Amazon, Amazon MP3 and if you can find one, even at actual record stores!! If you bought Internet Leaks and/or “Perform This Way” on iTunes, as promised, you will be able to use their “Complete My Album” function to get the full album without re-purchasing the tracks you already own. If you order through myplaydirect, you’ll have the option to get some super-fancy-deluxe album packages.

The physical album is available in two configurations – as a regular CD in a standard plastic jewel case with a 20-page color booklet, or (for just slightly more) as a deluxe version with both a CD and DVD in a digipak (also with the color 20-page booklet) as well a cool embossed cover with gold foil lettering. The DVD includes music videos for ten (TEN!!) of the songs on the new album.

The “Perform This Way” video is unfortunately not on the new album’s DVD (we just finished it a couple days ago, for crying out loud) but it’s available on iTunes right now. And I tweeted a while back that we were doing a video for every single song on the new album. I wasn’t lying! That means I’m also doing a video for “Polka Face” – the first time I’ve ever done an “official” video for one of my polka medleys. 10 separate directors are currently working on this… it will be mostly animated, but there’s a tiny bit of live action as well. It’ll be out in about a month.

I announced that Alpocalypse is being released on vinyl in July, and I’m very excited about that… I was thrilled to get my very first feature piece in the New York Times… what else? Oh yeah… my children’s book When I Grow Up just got released at the iTunes store as an app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch! It’s a really cool, fun, interactive version of the book – and if you have kids (or even if you don’t) I think you’ll have a blast with it.

That’s all the updates I can think of right now. Thanks, everybody, for your continued support and for your wonderful reviews of the new album – I’m so glad you’re enjoying it!

Your pal,
Al

When you’re 105 years old, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to regale your great, great grandchildren with the story of how you were once an unpaid extra in a Weird Al music video?

Well, now’s your chance.

As I may have mentioned previously, I’m going to be shooting a music video soon, and if you’ve got absolutely nothing better to do, you’re welcome to help me make it!

Basically, we’re looking for a dozen or so extras to be paparazzi in a scene or two. We will consider pretty much anybody, but we’re particularly looking for males between, oh, 25 and 45 years old. And – this is important – you’d need to bring your own professional (or at least professional-looking) camera equipment.

So… if this sounds like your idea of a good time, here’s what you do. Send a digital picture of yourself holding your camera – along with your e-mail and phone number – to:

weirdalcasting@gmail.com

I won’t set a deadline for submissions, but the earlier you send in your pic, the better chance you’ll have of getting picked.

We’ll shoot this scene on Sunday, May 15. Los Angeles area people only, please.

The video will be released pretty much simultaneously with my new album (Alpocalypse, out June 21).

Thanks!

Al

Well, this was a strange day.

After putting my Lady Gaga parody on YouTube this morning – and announcing that it wouldn’t be on my next album because Gaga didn’t approve it – there was a huge outpouring of disappointment from the Internet.

Apparently the fact that she didn’t approve it was news to Lady Gaga herself!

Gaga’s manager has now admitted that he never forwarded my parody to Gaga – she had no idea at all. Even though we assumed that Gaga herself was the one making the decision (because, well, that’s what we were TOLD), he apparently made the decision completely on his own.

He’s sorry.

And Gaga loves the song.

I’m thrilled on many levels to hear this, because 1) I truly respect and admire Gaga as an artist and it pained me to think of her as having less than a great sense of humor, and 2) it means I GET TO PUT OUT MY ALBUM!

As promised, all my proceeds from the song (and the MUSIC VIDEO… I can’t wait…) will go to the Human Rights Campaign.

Thank you, Gaga. And thanks to everybody who had my back.

Whew!

Your pal,
Al

Hey there.  It’s been a while since I’ve blogified my existence, so I thought I’d take a few moments and try to encapsulate what I’ve been up to.

We’re a few weeks into my cleverly-named “2010 Tour” – we’ve pretty much shaken the cobwebs out at this point and are now confidently pretending like we know what we’re doing.  The shows have been going great and the audiences have been fantastic.  We’ll be playing all the way through Labor Day weekend – the remaining tour dates are posted at weirdal.com.  We still have a few more shows which are unconfirmed at this point – when those get finalized I’ll of course add those to the list on the tour page and give everybody a heads-up on Twitter.

The new album has been put in suspended animation for the duration of the North American tour, but after I get off the road my main focus will be writing and recording the three songs that I need to complete it.  That’s really all I can tell you – any release date information would be pure conjecture at this point.

The band and I are very excited that we’ll be doing our first-ever European tour in December.  Well, at this point, it’s just 2 dates (the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Minehead and a show at the Forum in London) but it’s still a tour.  We’re doing it.  We promise.  And we’ve got our fingers crossed that the promoter will see fit to book some more European dates while we’re there as well.

I’ve mentioned the situation with Cartoon Network in a few interviews and podcasts, but I never formally addressed it, so… here’s what happened.  As I had previously reported, after years of negotiation, I was able to sign a major production deal with Cartoon Network to provide content for them.  They were primarily interested in live action features, so I pitched them on a movie idea.  They loved it, and gave me the go-ahead to start working on the screenplay.  I worked closely with them for several months, and after submitting my 4th draft, just when I was just about to get the official green light… Cartoon Network let me know that they were no longer in the feature film business.  It was a major policy change that affected not only me, but also the dozen or so other movies of theirs that were in various stages of development.  Everything just stopped.  So, bad news for me, but good news for all the Cartoon Network fanboys that already hated my movie without seeing it (because apparently any live-action programming on that network would be sacrilegious).  Anyway, it’s not entirely bad news – the script went into turnaround, which means I’m free to sell it somewhere else.  (Come to think of it, that was pretty much the exact thing that happened when I was trying to get UHF made.)  So maybe it’ll get produced at some point, maybe it won’t… all I know is, I’ll have a lot more free time this fall.

Let’s see, what else… “When I Grow Up,” my first children’s book for HarperCollins, is still scheduled to come out in March.  Other than that, well… I’ve got several other very exciting projects that I’m working on, but considering what happened with Cartoon Network, maybe I should just shut up about them.

That’s it for now.  Hope to see you on the road!

Al

I’ve just signed a production deal with Cartoon Network.

When I say that I’ve “just” signed, that means that I actually signed several months ago, but this is the first time I’ve been allowed to openly talk about it.

Without going into too much detail, the good folks at Cartoon Network decided that they liked me and wanted me to provide some content for them – series, features, animation, live-action… they were open to anything.  So after a couple years (yes, really) of the lawyers going back and forth, we finalized a deal – now all I have to do is start making stuff!

The first thing I’m on track to do for them is, in fact, a live-action feature film.

You may ask all your obvious questions now.

Have you already written the script?

Yes – in fact, I’m about to start the third draft.  It needs to be fine-tuned a bit more and it hasn’t been officially green-lit yet, but it’s gotten some very positive buzz at the network.

Is is going to be a sequel to UHF?

Sorry, no.

Is it going to be a documentary about Winston Churchill?

Again, no.

Is it going to be funny?

Well, that’s the intention.

Are you going to star in it?

No, but I’ll be making an appearance in it.  Cartoon Network had requested that I develop a show with a much younger protagonist – the actual star of the movie will most likely be teenage.

Are you going to direct it?

Yes.  I’m very excited about that.  I’ve directed a lot of music videos as well as the “Al’s Brain” 3-D attraction and the “Spy Hard” title sequence, but I’ve never shot an entire feature film, so this will be a big first for me.

When’s the movie going to be done?

Hey, don’t rush me!  I don’t know.  It’s a miracle any time a movie actually gets made, so I don’t want to jinx it too much.  The very earliest we’d be able to shoot it would be this fall (after my national concert tour).  I’ll definitely keep you posted.

What’s the movie going to be abou—

That’s it.  No more questions.  I’ve said all that I can say for now.  Thanks for coming to the press conference.

First of all, big thanks to everybody that bought (or still intends to buy) Internet LeaksI’ve had a terrific time reading everybody’s reactions to the new songs and videos.

Next up… Sony Legacy will be releasing The Essential “Weird Al” Yankovic on October 27.  This will be a jam-packed 2-CD collection featuring the best of my first 12 studio albums.

Essential

Long-time fans know that I’m extremely leery about releasing any kind of hits compilations, but this one is exciting to me for a number of reasons.   First of all, my record label hasn’t released a new hits package since 1994, so, well, it’s about time.   Also, frankly, it’s a pretty great deal.   The good folks at Sony Legacy managed to remove the 12-songs-per-disc ceiling that I usually have, and they’ve allowed me to cram each disc to near capacity.   The MSRP is $15.98 – which I think is a darn good value for over two and a half hours of music!   Of course it will be available at all the usual retailers like Amazon, and it’s available for pre-sale right now at weirdal.com too.

As per usual, the track listing was left entirely up to me, and it was an extremely difficult process.   I wanted to include all the hits, all the fan favorites, and all the historically important songs – but in making my list, I found that I painfully had to omit tunes in all three of those categories.   I wanted this collection to feel like a true “best of” instead of just another generic Greatest Hits package.

Hardcore fans will probably be a little disappointed, because this collection is not specifically geared toward them.   There are no basement tapes, hidden tracks or hard-to-find rarities (unless you count the alternate mixes of “UHF” and “The Night Santa Went Crazy”).   If you already have most or all of my albums, this collection will probably hold little interest for you, unless you’re a completist who just compulsively buys anything with my name on it (bless you, whoever you are).   I should also point out that this collection doesn’t include any tracks from Internet Leaks – it didn’t seem right to include songs on a hits compilation before they had a chance to be on an actual studio album.

The Essential collection is more geared toward the cost-conscious consumer who wants a great “instant Al collection” without having to purchase an armload of my back catalogue.  And of course, The Essential “Weird Al” Yankovic makes a fantastic holiday gift for any and all of your sadly Al-deprived friends and family members!

As I mentioned, it was very tough narrowing down the tracks.   At one point I asked my Twitter followers to help me decide between “Polkas On 45” and “Polka Your Eyes Out.”   The tally was very close… I believe that “Eyes Out” actually got a few more votes, but the fans of “45” in general seemed more passionate about their choice, so I went with that.   Hey, it’s not a democracy, it’s art.

I apologize if I’ve left off any of your favorite songs.   I know that I had to leave off some of mine.  But in the end, I felt like the list below would please the most people… including me.

Thanks,

Al

THE ESSENTIAL “WEIRD AL” YANKOVIC

(Release Date: October 27, 2009)

DISC 1

1. Another One Rides The Bus

2. Polkas On 45

3. Eat It

4. I Lost On Jeopardy

5. Yoda

6. One More Minute

7. Like A Surgeon

8. Dare To Be Stupid

9. Dog Eat Dog

10. Lasagna

11. Melanie

12. Fat

13. UHF (single version)

14. The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota

15. Trigger Happy

16. Smells Like Nirvana

17. You Don’t Love Me Anymore

18. Bedrock Anthem

19. Frank’s 2000″ TV

20. Jurassic Park

DISC 2

1. Since You’ve Been Gone

2. Amish Paradise

3. Gump

4. Everything You Know Is Wrong

5. The Night Santa Went Crazy (extra gory version)

6. Your Horoscope For Today

7. It’s All About The Pentiums

8. The Saga Begins

9. Albuquerque

10. eBay

11. Bob

12. Hardware Store

13. I’ll Sue Ya

14. Canadian Idiot

15. Pancreas

16. Don’t Download This Song

17. White & Nerdy

18. Trapped In The Drive-Thru

One week from today (Tuesday, August 25), my 5-track digital EP “Internet Leaks” will be officially released. It’ll be on iTunes, Amazon… you know, all the usual places.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve already heard 4/5 of the songs on it: My T.I. parody “Whatever You Like,” my Doors pastiche “Craigslist,” my Jungle Cruise homage “Skipper Dan” and my Charles Nelson Reilly tribute “CNR.”

The fifth and final track from “Internet Leaks” is called “Ringtone.” It will be released the same day as the EP – Tuesday the 25th. The video for it was done by the guys behind Current TV’s hilarious show “SuperNews” – and it will world-premiere this Friday night as part of a half-hour special show that I’m co-hosting with SuperNews creator Josh Faure-Brac. For more info on the show and where you can see it, go here.

If you’ve been holding out on buying these tracks individually up until now, you can pick all five up in one fell swoop on Tuesday. Who knows, maybe “Internet Leaks” will even chart like a “real” album!

The songs on “Internet Leaks” will all show up again on my next full album release, whenever that is (I’m assuming next year sometime, but there’s no way to be sure). Some people may say, “Why should I buy the ‘Internet Leaks’ tracks now when they’re going to be on your next album anyway?” Well, if all you’re interested in is the physical CD, and you don’t mind waiting a year or so… you probably SHOULDN’T buy the tracks now. Nobody’s forcing you to buy the songs twice – I just wanted to make the tracks available so everybody could enjoy them as early as possible.

By the way, if you DO purchase “Internet Leaks” now, you’ll be able to take advantage of iTunes’ “Complete My Album” function when the full album becomes available. You’ll be able to painlessly add the missing tracks, and the full purchase price of “Internet Leaks” will be deducted from the cost of the album.

While I’m thinking of it, HUGE thanks go out to Liam Lynch, Divya Srinivasan and the folks at JibJab, who made the videos for “Craigslist,” “Skipper Dan” and “CNR,” respectively. If you haven’t seen those videos yet, check them out on my YouTube page. Or if YouTube won’t let you watch them for some crazy reason, try here.

In other news… “Al’s Brain” finished up a successful run at the Orange County Fair – a quarter of a million people so far have seen my 3-D movie, and the reviews have been fantastic. If you live in the Western Washington area, be sure to look for it at the Puyallup Fair next month!

And last week, I passed the “one million followers” threshold on Twitter. (Did Ashton Kutcher beat me to it? I haven’t really been paying attention.) Anyway, I’ve really been enjoying Twitter… in an obsessive-compulsive kind of way. If you’re not following me there already, check it out – I’m at twitter.com/alyankovic.

Other than that, I’ve been enjoying the summer with my family, and I’ve had a great time reading everybody’s tweets, posts and comments. Thanks so much for all the kind words about the new songs and videos!

Al

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