Saturday, August 30, 2008

Alizée and Yelle: Two great tastes that taste great together!

Image courtesy of Operation LTNY

More info after the jump. (Get it?)

Just a quick reminder that Operation: Disque Drop is still looking for remote operatives to "infiltrate" the upcoming North American tour of French MySpace singing sensation Yelle. If you're a fan interested in promoting Alizée in the United States (or Vancouver, BC), this is a great way to get involved for zero dollars--I'll ship you the disques you need to do the job, free of charge, if you'll provide the manpower and the legwork to get it done!

I've only been recently exposed to Yelle, myself--having just learned of her when NarutoSoul first posed the infiltration idea this week--but from what I've heard of the music on her MySpace, going to see Yelle would be worth it just for the experience of seeing Yelle. It's very fun, poppy and catchy. I'd definitely be hitting up one of the shows myself if they were playing in my town, but unfortunately it sounds like they were already here earlier this year before I knew of them. Even if you're not interested in pimping Alizée and Op Drop--which makes me a sad panda, indeed--I'd still recommend checking them out if you're a fan of Alizée, or French pop in general.

Also, if you're a New York-area Alizée fan, and you're going to be free on October 14th, Operation LTNY would really like to hear from you.

Friday, August 29, 2008

United States of Alizée


"Some days, you just can't get rid of a bomb..."

Sorry for the lack of update this morning, folks. Operation: Disque Drop is experiencing some technical difficulties as I monkey with the Batcomputer to perform what I expected to be a fairly painless upgrade. It's proven to be more of a hassle than I expected--which is very much in keeping with virtually everything I've done in connection to Op Drop--but it ought to pay off handsomely when it's done. Watch this space early next week to find out exactly how! (Or, if you're really impatient, you might be able to find a little hint--OK, a big hint, actually--in the comments section of this post, here...)

So in lieu of any content that's actually related to Op Drop in some fashion, please accept the following Alizée factoid, which ought to be of interest to North American fans.



Did You Know...?

...that the USA is on the verge of overtaking Alizée's native France as her second-largest fanbase? It's true, at least according to the Google map on her official site. The United States currently weighs in with 220 fans, while France boasts 221. All it would take to tip the scales is for two peeps with a US zip code to access her "secret page" and key in their info to put themselves on the map!

Have no idea what I'm talking about? Didn't know that Alizée's official site even had a secret page? Brother, where have you been?!

Here, let's get Sir Wood from Alizée America to drop some science on you:

Step-by-Step How-To Join Alizée's fans on Google Map: (aka: the "Bonus" page)

1) Go to her official site, http://www.alizee-officiel.com/
2) Left click the big "X" with "Close" next to it.
(Note: This is not the [x] for your browser window.)
3) Tinkerbell should apprear.
4) Left click on an empty space and draw a geometric figure, ie: triangle (only triangle, square or 5-point star allowed).

Drawing tip: You left click to start and stop the line drawing, when you complete the figure a small blinking green dot will show that you've connected the all the lines to form the needed figure. (In vector terms, go "Tip to Tail.")

5) You will then be directed to the Bonus menu.
6) Left click the pink bubble, "Join Alizée's fans - Google Map".
7) Enter your pseudo/online name and e-mail address, then left click "Localize yourself on the map".
8) A new screen pops-up with Google map.
9) Select your country (from the drop down menu), enter your street address, and zip code.
10) Left click "Find out" and move the pointer to a closer location to your address if it's not correct.
11) Once you've completed moving the pointer, left click on "Confirm"

Voila, you're done and you can just bookmark this URL to go directly to the Alizée's fans - Google Map: http://www.alizee-officiel.com/googl...php?version=en
Thanks, Wood! (Can I call you 'Wood'?) Anyway, just an additional heads up from me: I don't know what's up with it, but the map is kinda FUBAR at the moment, with portions of it blanking out or not showing up for some reason. Don't let that stop you--adding yourself to the map will still produce a little stickpin for you, and add you to the total number of fans in your country, even if your stickpin isn't stuck to anything but a blank grey square.

I only mention all this because I heard a rumour once that Americans really like to win at stuff...and right now, you guys are sitting in a distant third. (Mexico is soundly kicking everybody's ass with a hefty 388 fans.) So what are you waiting for?! Get out there and represent!

(And uh...hey, Canadians? We have just 19 Alizée fans, total. Nineteen! That's just pathetic, you hosers! Turkey is pointing and laughing at us! So go sign up already, eh?)


UPDATE, 12:40 AM EST:

The USA has now successfully surpassed France, 225 fans to 221. Well done, guys! Mexico is still holding strong at 389...but toppling them can be done! Let all the American fans you meet to put themselves on this page, on every Lili forum and YouTube video you frequent! (Let them know there's some sweet desktop wallpapers in it for them on the bonus page, too!)

Meanwhile, Canada is...still at just 19. C'mon guys, you're makin' us look like jerks, here...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Op Drop at Fan Expo: Dia 3



Are we there yet?

Friday’s Op Drop at Fan Expo had surpassed all expectations, despite it being the shortest day. Saturday’s performance had been underwhelming, in spite of it being the longest and best-attended day of the convention by far. This had all run exactly counter to what I’d predicted—it was like I’d somehow wound up in Alizée Bizarro World. Given that Sunday historically fell somewhere between the two, both in terms of length and attendance, I wasn’t sure what to expect anymore. All bets were off at this point.

The only two things I knew with certainty were a) that I had only to drop a little over 20 disques in order to reach my goal of 100, and call it a day, and b) I was so exhausted that I desperately couldn’t wait for it over and done with, so I could call it a day. And looking around at my nerd and geek brethren, I could tell I wasn’t alone. Even the ubiquitous cosplaying teenagers were beginning to look a little haggard and rough around the edges. The con fatigue had definitely set in. There’s only so much unrelenting nerdery (and nonstop advertising) a body can take, after all.

You can see where this might have created a bit of an obstacle for Op Drop. Though there was still a relatively steady (if thin) trickle of Expo virgins heading in from the registration tables, the vast majority of the attendees were tired, two-day veterans who weren’t in the mood to pick up or look at anything, anymore. Discarded posters, fliers, postcards and promotional materials of all kinds littered the con floor, and every available surface. And this was the environment that I was trying to drop twenty more disques into. It wasn’t exactly a winning strategy.

Still, I set about doing what I could, clearing obvious piles of garbage off chairs, tables and payphones and replacing them with freshly-dropped disques. This earned me quite a few thankful—if puzzled—looks from the maintenance staff, and at least one stern talking-to from a security guard (who had apparently noticed me on and off all weekend—whoops—and assumed I was trashing my competition’s advertising in favour of my own).

It was kind of a dicey moment, especially when I admitted that I didn’t have a vendor’s pass and hadn’t been authorized to distribute promotional materials by the convention’s promoter…but after I showed him one of the disques, and he read the message on the back, he surprisingly gave me the thumbs-up to carry on, as long as I continued not to harass anybody or interfere with the paid advertising. He even went so far as to give me his name in case I got stopped again, so his colleagues could check that I’d cleared it with him. I just wish I could remember it so I could thank him here—he was very cool about the whole thing, much more than he had to be, or than I had any right to expect. Couldn’t convince him to keep the disque and give it a try, but at least he smiled and wished me luck as he handed it back.

(I sincerely doubt he’s reading this, or even remembers that the exchange took place, but just in case he is—thanks for being Commissioner Gordon to my Batman, sir. You rock.)

Emboldened by my new quasi-almost-official endorsement, but still desperately needing to unload almost twenty disques, I immediately set about pushing the boundaries of it. Though I’d stayed away from the registration area so far, heavily patrolled as it was by security guards and convention volunteers alike, I was beginning to sense that appealing to the Expo virgins right as they walked in the door might be my only hope. Fortunately, with the influx of newcomers being much more manageable compared to the endless sea of humanity that had been fighting to get through the doors on Saturday, the registration staff had been pared down to just two volunteers. Even more fortunately, they appeared to be much more interested in flirting with each other than in anything I might be doing, making it very easy for me place an Alizée disque or two next to each pile of registration forms.

The next several hours passed slowly as—bored and broke—I paced up and down the convention’s three floors, checking on the status of the disques I’d dropped, replacing the precious few that had been picked up, and recovering and re-distributing those that had gone hours without seeing any interest. I cursed when I returned to find one disque sitting bare on a payphone, after hours of not being touched, having been stripped of its cheap vinyl clamshell case and discarded. (Oddly enough, though, after deciding to leave the bare disque there and see what happened, I returned an hour later to see that it, too, had been picked up.)

The disques in the registration area seemed to be moving better than the others—and the two volunteers had progressed to a full-contact tickle war—so I gradually began moving all of them up there…until finally, at about five thirty, a half hour before the convention was set to close, I did one last circuit of the show floor, and discovered that there wasn’t a single one of my disques left to be found.

I’d actually done it. 100 disques dropped in three days. Picked up by one hundred people who (hopefully) took it home and let it infect them with Alizée-fever. It seems like such a paltry amount—less than 1% of the over 50,000 people who reportedly attended the show—but it was surprisingly hard work.

Was it worthwhile? Will Alizée-fever take hold? Will it spread? Could this be the humble beginning of a Lili-demic? Only time will tell…

(Well, time and you. If you’re one of those 100 people who picked up a disque at Fan Expo, please do speak up…either in the ShoutBox to the left or the comments below, or email me at disquedrop@gmail.com. Let us know where you found it, what you thought of it, and what you’re planning to do with it next.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Vive La Resistance (d'Alizée)!

Hey, Amigo!

You may remember, back on Monday, when I called out any Alizée fans who might be following Op Drop's progress from the west coast:

P.S. A Message to West Coast Alizée Fans:

Last weekend, Operation LTNY:

  • 300 Cards
  • 40 CDs
  • 15 Posters
  • 3 People
  • 2 Days

This weekend, Operation: Disque Drop:

  • 100 CDs
  • 1 Dude
  • 3 Days

You West Coast folks have some catching up to do.

I’m just sayin’…

Well, it looks like I just might have to eat those words, as it appears not everybody on the Left Coast has been content to sit back and wax their surfboards while us Easties do all the work. Check out this post from Amigo! over a the Alizée America forums:

Well New York City isn't the only town getting a dose of Alizée (Better late than never eh?)

It is finally time to hit the west coast of the US



I already begun the campaign the previous weekend by placing several business cards (see image below) In many places throughout the heart of the city (e.g the union square area, market st. area, which include the virgin megastore and various restaurants) This was for the most part, a trial run to scope out even more areas to promote Lili. This coming weekend I will be hitting the heart of the city once again and expanding to different neighborhoods throughout the city. (and this time take at least one... picture... )

Here are the items I will be dropping and handing out...

* Business cards on the left (Front and back)

* The CD's : Track listing...
1. Par Les Paupières
2. Lilly Town
3. Mon Taxi Driver
4. La Isla Bonita
5. Mademoiselle Juliette
6. Fifty Sixty
7. Mademoiselle Juliette (Push Up Plump DJ's Remix)


I wanted to concentrate on Psychédélices rather then mix songs from all the albums. And all tracks are only about a min and a half except for the remix which is about two and a half min.

* The Posters on the right (Some of which are printed on Sticker Paper to prevent easy removal )




And yes... I am planning to "infiltrate" Yelle's concert in SF on october 31st to bring some of their fans on over to our side

Yes, it will take a lot more work, but in the long run if I at least get some new fans here, it'll be worth it.
Pretty cool, huh? It's awesome to see somebody taking the LTNY model and running with it in their home city. I'll be watching LTSF closely and reporting on its progress here. Hopefully others are inspired by Amigo's example and take up the charge elsewhere!

And speaking of taking a model and running with it, it looks like Lefty12357 (who produces most of the music heard in the most recent episodes of the Alizée America Podcast) has undertaken a few Op Drops of his own, in the wilds of Minnesota!

I've been using the disc drop method in my area. So far I've dropped about a dozen CDs in the last 2 weeks. I just copied Snatcher's design and track layout. I hope to keep it up at a steady pace.

Man, I can't tell you how excited this makes me. It's not just a one-man operation anymore, or two guys working seperately but in parallel in different cities. Granted, there's still only four of us...but I guarantee you that this is only the beginning.

Remember, if you want to get involved, it's not hard to do. It won't even cost you anything! Operation: Disque Drop is looking for remote operatives to perform Op Drops in and around the venues for Yelle's upcoming North American tour. Check out Yelle's MySpace for dates and venues near you, then either drop me a comment or shoot me an email to let me know you're interested. I'll supply the disques, and even ship them free of charge, if you'll supply the manpower and the legwork!

Op Drop at Fan Expo: Dia 2

Hail to the Geek!



Though Friday’s Op Drop had surpassed even my wildest expectations, I still had a lot of work ahead of me: I was only roughly a third of the way to my goal of dropping 100 Alizée music samplers and ‘Fan Starter Kits’ before the weekend was out. It was a daunting task, but given how smoothly Friday had gone—with every one of the over thirty disques I’d dropped apparently having been picked up, some just minutes after I’d dropped them—I figured Saturday would be a cakewalk, given that it was traditionally the busiest day of the three.

What I didn’t realize is that this would be both a blessing, and a curse. While it meant more people to whom I could potentially introduce Alizée, it also meant more people, period. A lot more people…people who would get in my way, congregate around (then refuse to walk away from) prime drop locations, “helpfully” hand back to me the disque I’d “accidentally” left behind, catch me in the act and force me into an awkward conversation explaining exactly what I was doing, and generally make it harder to disque drop in the smoothly clandestine manner to which I’d become accustomed.

The sheer crush of humanity—a larger portion of whom were now dressed in bulky and outlandish costumes in preparation for that night’s masquerade—caused traffic patterns to shift wildly, rendering some of Friday’s best drop locations useless and inaccessible. It also brought increased vigilance both from security and from the retailers in the dealer room—more than once, I’d drop a disque on what I’d thought was an unattended table or display, only to have it a volunteer I hadn’t seen hand it right back to me. (Or, in the case of one memorable exchange, actually throw it at my head.) As the day wore, and the building continued to fill up, it became harder and harder to even find an inch of empty space on which make a drop…and then, once found, to manage it without being completely frackking obvious.

Father Christmas vs. The Daylight Detective


(I should probably explain that—I mean, who cares if a half-dozen of my fellow comic geeks notice me dropping it, right? One of them might even be motivated to pick it up out of curiousity. The only explanation I can give is that it violates my personal “rules” of disque dropping as I’ve come to think of it. Discovering one in a random public place is meant to be kind of magical and mysterious…like coming down the stairs on Christmas morning and finding presents in the empty stocking you put up the night before. Getting caught in the act of a drop…I always feel like it robs it of its mystique, somehow…like Batman fighting crime in broad daylight, or something. There’s also the fact that I’m painfully shy around strangers—particularly cosplaying cuties in extremely abbreviated outfits—which makes having to explain a bungled drop somewhat akin to slow torture, but that’s neither here nor there.)

In short, as far as drops went, the day proceeded slowly. Despite my being there nearly twice as long, by the time the doors were set to close on Saturday, I’d barely managed to match the all-time record high I’d set on Friday. And for the first time in my career, I was actually forced to make a few humiliating recoveries, as disques I’d dropped first thing in the morning at what had been prime drop locations the night before had remained there the entire day without so much as being touched. At the end of the day, I actually did better in just five hours on Friday than I had in nine hours on Saturday.

Still, thirty-plus drops in a day was nothing to sneeze at, and I was still on pace to meet my goal of dropping a hundred. All it would take was a little over 20 drops on Sunday, and I’d be golden. Surely I’d be able to drop twenty lousy disques in seven hours, especially given that the hall wouldn’t be nearly as packed as it had been on Saturday, right?

Right?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Op Drop and Alizée shine the Batsignal!



An exciting franchise opportunity from Op Drop...

Over at the Lilly Town USA and Alizée America forums, NarutoSoul (mastermind behind LTUSA's birthday serenade to Alizée) has come up with yet another brilliant idea, this time to promote Lili here in North America:

"The French artist Yelle has a US tour coming up this fall. These shows are a great opportunity for the US fans to get more people interested in Alizée. Wear something Lili-related, drop Alizée materials, have fun! The tour's success would also be something to show Sony/BMG that promoting a French artist in the US is a viable business venture.

Yelle's Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/iloveyelle

See if she'll be performing near you!"

This is indeed a golden opportunity for us to spread the Lili-love to folks who might not be aware of her, but who'd definitely be open to the idea of getting to know her better. Here's the rub though: given the locations and the timing of the shows nearest me, it doesn't look likely that Operation: Disque Drop is going to be able to capitalize on it...which really, really sucks.

So this is where you come in, folks--if you're an Alizée fan who'd be interested in being a remote operative for Op Drop at one of these shows, please leave me a comment here on the blog, or email me at disquedrop@gmail.com. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to distribute as many disques as possible in and around your venue, in the method of your choosing. I'll supply the disques you need to do the job, and ship them to you absolutely free of charge, if you can supply the manpower and legwork to get it done.

So, what do you say? Do you have what it takes to be an Alizée Batman? Think about it and let me know.

(P.S.: If you're in the New York area, and considering hitting up the show on October 14th, I'd suggest you contact Ben at Operation LTNY instead, as it sounds like he's already hatching a plan, even as I write this.)

Op Drop at Fan Expo: Dia 1

Holy Cosplaying Cuties, Batm--er, Alizée!

Friday, as indicated by the post I made that day, was kind of a mad panic as I rushed to get the last of that day’s disques burned and labeled before heading out to Fan Expo—40 disques altogether. The stressful state of mind wasn’t at all helped by the fact that I’d decided to change gears at absolutely the last minute, and make half of them the new Mark III ‘music only’ CDs, which necessitated a slight redesign of the labels.

Mark III Back

Mark III Front

As you can see, proofreading was not my strong suit that morning. Nor was it for the rest of the weekend…I only noticed the rather glaring typo in the track listing as I pulled up the image just now. Argh.

I was also feeling surprisingly nervous as I made my way down to the convention, much as I had the night I made my first few drops. Though I’d since gotten pretty good at dropping them inconspicuously, without feeling like I stuck out like a sore thumb, it had always been in relatively small quantities, spread out over large areas. And at that point, my career total of drops had been in the high teens. Dropping a hundred disques over the course of three days in a relatively confined and crowded space was daunting to say the least. Surely, sooner or later, somebody was bound to catch me in the act and start asking questions…and I really, really didn’t want to have to explain to anybody—particularly security—why I wasn’t a terrorist, or something.

Fortunately, I needn’t have worried. Despite all the years I’d been coming to Fan Expo, there were two things I’d overlooked about it: first, that it’s almost impossible to look conspicuous in a roomful of cosplaying teenagers in full Stormtrooper armor or barely-there anime outfits as they strike poses, stage mock-lightsaber battles and play spin-the-Pocky with each other. Second, that if there’s one thing these people understand more than anything, it’s what being a rabid fan of a semi-obscure foreign celebrity is all about! Though I failed my stealth check more than once over the course of the weekend, almost without exception, my stammered and embarrassed explanation invited polite—and in at least a few cases, genuine—interest.

Though Friday was the shortest of the three days, running from 4pm to 9pm in the evening, it was also by far my best day in terms of drops and pickups. After casing out favorable drop points on the show’s three floors—pay phones, food court tables, unmanned booth tables and unguarded displays, and what few precious empty seats were scattered around the hall—I settled on a route that would let me drop disques as efficiently and inconspicuously as possible, while still letting me see everything I wanted to see.

The first circuit, which must have taken me the better part of three hours—mainly because I kept getting distracted by one thing or another—saw me drop about half of the 40 disques I’d brought with me. And as I began my next lap, I was excited to see that virtually every single disque I’d dropped had disappeared, and the few that hadn’t at least looked like they’d been picked up and given a look-over. Encouraged—and foolishly believing this meant the rest of the weekend was going to be a snap—I decided to pace myself and take it easy, breaking off from my mission for long stretches to shop, look around, and attend a few panels.

I’d be kicking myself to that come Sunday. I’m almost certain that if I’d really pushed it, I could have exhausted the supply of disques I’d brought with me, and then some. If I had to do it over again—and who knows, in a year’s time, I just might be—I think I’d aim to drop at least half, if not two-thirds of the weekend’s total payload on that first night, while everybody’s still excited to be there, and before they’re sick to death of having a flier, a promo comic or some other piece of marketing thrust into their hands every thirty seconds. (Lord knows I certainly wasn’t interested in picking up anything else come Sunday afternoon…but we’ll get there.)

I wound up dropping just over thirty disques that first night, right on target to reach 100 drops by Sunday evening, and more than doubling my career total. And it had been so easy, too—I hadn’t been spotted once, and as far as I could tell, every disque I’d dropped had been picked up. I was practically giddy with excitement over how well it was working. As I called it a night and headed for the subway home, I briefly considered dropping my few remaining disques along the way, as had been my standard M.O. up until that point.

“Nah,” I said to myself. “Why waste them? You’ve got the whole weekend ahead of you, and tomorrow’s going to be even easier than tonight was!”

Uh huh. Little did I know what the rest of the weekend had in store…

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Success! (Well, kinda...)

"...and boy, are my arms tired! Wocka wocka!"

I just got back home from FanExpo. After three days there, I am possibly more exhausted than I have been in my entire life leading up to this moment. So this is going to be a very short post…for real, this time. I’m happy to report, however, that Op Drop’s mission at Nerd Prom was an unqualified success: despite some difficulties encountered on Sunday, 100 disques were successfully dropped over the course of the weekend.

Go me!!

Of course, what remains to be seen is whether any of these disques manages to successfully convert themselves a Lili-heathen. Sadly, I didn’t receive any responses over the course of the convention, neither here on the blog, nor on any of the other sites that the readme file points to, which was a little disheartening. But then, I didn’t become an Alizée fan overnight, either…it was probably about two weeks after seeing that first ‘sexy fish dance’ video before I made the effort to track down who the pretty French girl in it actually was. All I can do is trust that I’ve planted the seed, and hope that the contents of the disques I’ve dropped will sustain it until it blossoms into full-blown Lili-fandom.

Speaking of the ‘sexy fish dance’ video, I want you to take a look at this outfit:

Wearing this, Alizée would have fit right in at this convention. She may have even been severely overdressed. Booth Babes and cosplaying teenaged cuties alike, I bless you from the bottom of my heart. You gave me the wherewithal to keep going, even when I was at my weariest. (Cosplaying dudes too, actually—not that I swing that way, but there were some seriously wicked-awesome costumes going on at this thing. Next year I am definitely bringing a camera!)

A full report of the experience is to come, probably doled out in multiple parts over the next week, but for now I am going to bed. In lieu, please accept this video summary of LTNY’s successful assault on Times Square last weekend:





P.S. A Message to West Coast Alizée Fans:

Last weekend, Operation LTNY:

  • 300 Cards
  • 40 CDs
  • 15 Posters
  • 3 People
  • 2 Days

This weekend, Operation: Disque Drop:

  • 100 CDs
  • 1 Dude
  • 3 Days

You West Coast folks have some catching up to do.

I’m just sayin’…

Friday, August 22, 2008

Found an Alizée disque at FanExpo? Welcome!


Welcome and bienvenue, visitors from FanExpo! Thanks for joining us here at Operation: Disque Drop, a one-man (so far) grassroots fan effort to spread awareness of Alizée and grow her fanbase here in North America. If you or someone you know found a CD in an inconspicuous place somewhere in the convention, and that disc led you here, thank you for proving that this crazy idea might actually work!

I hope you enjoy your first exposure to the wonder that is Alizée. If you haven’t already, I invite you to explore your disque and open your mind to some new music. I think you might have just found your new favorite artist!

Then, in either the Shoutbox to the left or in the comment section of the blog below, let us know how and where in the convention you found it, what you thought of it, and what you're going to do with it next! (Also, if you could mention which version of the disque you received—music-only, or music-plus-videos, that would be cool, too.)

If you’d like to learn more about Alizée, and interact with other North American fans on the web, the absolute best places to start are Alizée America and Lillytown USA. Both communities are filled with fun and friendly fans who absolutely love welcoming new converts, and would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Links to other Alizée sites on the intertubes, including her official MySpace, Facebook and YouTube pages, can be found in the upper left-hand margin of this page.

If you’re curious about Operation: Disque Drop (or ‘Op Drop’ for short) and what it’s all about, you can either check out the archives down at the bottom-left of the page, or start here at the first post and work your way forwards. (Don’t worry, it won’t take long—I’ve only been at it for a couple of weeks.) If you have any questions that I haven’t answered exhaustively in the blog—I know, I know, I tend to run off at the mouth, a lil’—please feel free to again either leave a comment, or shoot me an e-mail at disquedrop@gmail.com. I’ll be checking both the blog and my e-mail periodically throughout the weekend, so keep an eye out for a reply sooner rather than later!

Thanks again for visiting. I hope you enjoy your stay!


Mutation of a Disque? (Snikt!)

The blind, searing panic before the storm

This is gonna be a quick post—I still have a ton of work to do before heading to FanExpo this afternoon, to begin Op Drop’s biggest operation yet: the dropping of 100 disques over the course of three days and 270, 000 square feet, in the midst of over 50,000 comic, sci-fi, anime and gaming fans. Hopefully, I’ll be able to convert at least a few of these people into Lili fans, as well…

(I think the Stormtrooper is a pretty good candidate. They're joiners, y'know...)

Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice...

Anyway, earlier this week, Ben from Operation LTNY, dropped by to leave a comment on Tuesday’s post, and made a point I’ve actually been struggling with since the very earliest stages of Op Drop:

“Hi there, Ben from LTNY here. I really like what you're doing! But I can think of one problem. At least speaking for myself, I'd never put a strange found disc inside my computer. Despite saying no viruses or spyware, how can know? It's like having unprotected sex. That's one reason LTNY has stuck to audio CDs. Those either just play or don't, they won't break your stereo.”

Hmm...I’ve talked before about my rationale for making the Op Drop disques “Alizée Fan Starter Kits” (containing mp3s, AVI clips and a few desktop wallpaper images) as opposed to just a straight-ahead music-only CD. With mp3 players being so prevalent now, and viral videos like ‘J’en Ai Marre!’ appearing to play a pretty big part in winning over so many of the existing North American fans—on top of the whole ‘language barrier’ issue posed by the fact that Alizée sings almost exclusively in French—it just seemed like a no-brainer to go the multimedia route. As I’ve said before, you don’t go to war and leave your most effective weapons at home!

Also, looking at it from a logical standpoint…while I’m certainly no hacker, I tend to think that propagating a computer virus via random CDs dropped in public places, masquerading as fan promotion for a semi-obscure French pop singer would be awfully inefficient, mais non? Isn’t your average hacker a lot smarter and more resourceful than that? And, um, also prone to not wanting to leave the house?

I know, I know…who am I to talk? I’m spending my weekend at Nerd Prom, after all.)

But while it appears that logic and reason are on my side in this, the fact remains that we’re living in a pretty illogical and unreasonable age right now, in a culture that’s sadly wracked with paranoia and suspicion. I could go on at length about the root causes for it, and the disastrous effect they’ll still be having on our society a generation or two from now, but it wouldn’t change anything. As things stand right now, it only seems to be common sense to somebody like Ben—who, from my limited dealings with him, I gather to be a very rational and intelligent individual—to err on the side of caution, and not put an Op Drop disque in his computer and explore its contents.

…which is kind of counterproductive, given that the whole aim of Op Drop is to get rational and intelligent individuals to do exactly that, and discover Alizée in the process.

You see my dilemma.

This was one of the big reasons behind the push to upgrade the disques from the sad, obviously home-made Mark I Prototypes to the slicker and more polished Mark II’s—not only will a more professional-looking disque naturally be more attractive, but hopefully a recipient will be more willing to take a chance on trusting it if it doesn’t look like it was made by the Unabomber.

As an experiment, though, I’m also going to take a page from LTNY’s playbook, and change gears a little bit: of the 100 disques that I plan to distribute at FanExpo this weekend, 40 of them are going to be brand-new Mark III ‘music only’ disques, playable in a standard CD player. They’ll feature the exact same track list as the Mark II’s, but be stripped of the videos and wallpapers, and have different packaging that invites the listener to learn more about Alizée here at Op Drop. We’ll see which of the two disques garners the greater response this weekend, and adjust our future direction accordingly.

OK, so that wasn’t short at all! And I’m still horribly behind, blargh!

Anyway, stay tuned to Op Drop all weekend for updates from FanExpo. Remember, if you’re an Alizée fan in the Toronto area for the weekend, and you’d like to lend a hand, drop me a note either here in the comments below, in the ShoutBox to the left, or email me at disquedrop@gmail.com!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lights out in Lilly Town

A quick hit 'n' run post as I make my final rounds on the interwebs before turning in for the night:

• Simultaneously the funniest and (literally) sweetest Alizée birthday tribute I've seen all day, RadioactiveMan over at Alizée America has continued what appears to be an annual tradition of baking Lili a birthday cake. Though he claims this year's cake isn't as impressive as last year's, I think it turned out pretty damned impressive. Check it out for yourself here.

• Speaking of AAm, Ciara and the Alizée America Podcast have returned after a short hiatus. This episode has a special focus on the promotion of Lili in North America, with both Snatcher42 (aka Ben from Operation LTNY) and Ciara touching on it in seperate segments. Op Drop isn't mentioned specifically by name--given the lead time of the podcast (and the extreme lead time of this episode in particular), it's likely we weren't up and running until it was already in post-production--but the lovely Miss C says she'll likely be coming back to the topic on a regular basis... so in a future episode maybe? Let's hope!

• Finally, today's post on the Alizée blog from aw is a funny and interesting look at the effect Lili has on her fans, and the crazy lengths we'll go to for her (like, say, baking cakes for her, producing podcasts about her, and promoting her out-of-pocket on a continent half a world away). And I don't just mention this because he's very kindly pimping for Op Drop not just in his post, but all over his site. Well OK, not just because if it...really. (Thanks, aw! I appreciate it!)

And we're out! Only one more sleep 'til Nerd Prom! (Ugh, still so much to do...)

Birthday-girl Alizée and Op Drop: Partying it up, nerd-style!


Go Lili...it's your birthday...go Lili...it's your birthday!

Before we get started today, let’s take a minute and join the rest of Lili-fandom--particularly NarutoSoul and all his conspirators at Lillytown USA-- in wishing our girl Alizée a very emphatic (if slightly off-key) ‘Joyeux Anniversarie!'

It was twenty-four years ago today that Corsica’s gift to the world first saw daylight, and she’s been spreading magic (and pixie dust) in her wake every day since. Happy birthday, Lili! I hope you get everything you wish for this year, and more!

(If you'd like to take a moment to send Alizée your own heartfelt wishes, here's some handy links to her official MySpace and Facebook pages!)

So how is Op Drop going to be celebrating Alizée’s birthday weekend, you ask? That’s easy—we’re goin’ to a party. A very big party…for nerds

That’s right, kids—Operation: Disque Drop is gonna be geeking it up in full effect for three days at FanExpo, Canada’s largest annual comic/sci-fi/anime/gaming/horror convention, and the third-largest show of its kind in North America (a.k.a. Nerd Prom), and I could not be more excited if I tried! We’re gonna be rubbin’ elbows, pressin’ flesh and gettin’ down with everyone from TNG’s Data, Smallville’s Lex Luthor and B-Star G’s Admiral Odama, to the pimp of the LoTR trilogy himself, Sean Motherlovin’ Astin. (And lest you think it’s all just a big sausage party, Kristy Swanson, Gabrielle from Xena, and Kara from the last season of Smallville are also gonna be there…)

You know who I’m the most jazzed about, though? The Fonz, baby. Ayyyyyy!

Tonight we're gonna party like it's Nineteen-Nerdy-Nine!

As much as this sounds like nothing more than a non-stop, fun-filled geek orgy, though, it’s going to be a working weekend for Op Drop. With over 50,000 fans in attendance, most of them (let’s be honest) single eighteen-to-forty-year-old males, FanExpo presents possibly the single greatest opportunity all summer to spread awareness of Alizée to as many members of our target demographic as possible!

And that’s why I’ve set a rather daunting task for myself, as a birthday present to Alizée, to take on the single biggest Operation: Disque Drop to date: to drop no less than one hundred of the newly upgraded Mark II ‘Alizée Fan Starter Kit’ disques over the course of the convention. Sure, it sounds like a lot, but with 270,000 square feet to cover over three days, I ought to be able to manage. Heck, I think I’ll barely scratch the surface!

Which isn’t to say that I couldn’t use some help! If you’re an Alizée fan who’s planning to be in the Toronto area for FanExpo this weekend, and you’d like to get in on the Op Drop action, I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line either here in the comments (or in the ShoutBox to the left), or e-mail me at disquedrop@gmail.com, and we’ll set something up! C’mon out and help me show our fellow geeks, nerds and dorks some Lili-love!

Oy, look at the time…I’ve got about forty more disques to press before Friday. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about a possible shift in strategy for Op Drop, brought on by a comment from none other than the man and the legend himself, Ben from Operation: LTNY. Tune in then, Op Drop fans…same Lili time, same Lili channel!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Evolution of a Disque, Part III

Previously, on Operation: Disque Drop…

Allow me to explain…no wait, there is too much. Allow me to sum up. In case you’re just joining us here at Op Drop, here’s a quick bullet-point list of what we’ve covered so far…

When we last left our hero (me), I was on my way home from my most daring Op Drop yet, having dropped two disques in plain site in the middle of a busy tourist attraction, with my civilian companions completely unawares. Awash with pride and excitement, I logged onto the forums at Alizée America, where my first disques had directed my intended Alizée converts, certain that at least one of the ten had succeeded in their mission.

Yeah, well…I suppose it’s nice to have dreams. Not only did I not return to enthusiastic posts from brand-new converts, overflowing with gratitude for my part in exposing them to their favorite new artist…but in my disappointment, I also stumbled across an image that hit me like a sucker-punch to the gut, and drove all that pride and excitement right outta me…and replaced it with a sense of jealous humiliation that burned worse than a bad case of genital herpes. (Er…or so I imagine.)

Amateur Night In Dixie

Now before I show you what that image was, let me remind you exactly what I mean when I say that the Mark I disques were ‘rather unspectacular-looking’:

So, yeah…even at the time, I was aware of how cheaply homemade they looked. There was a reason for that: they were cheap and homemade, clumsily fashioned from a bunch of old CDs and paper envelopes that I happened to have lying around the house. But I told myself that was part of their charm…that the sheer ‘Look! I Made This For You!’ quality of them underlined the fact that it was the product of a genuine grassroots fan effort—a product of love, dammit!—and not of some soulless corporate promotional machine.

That argument started to ring a little hollow, even to me, after I saw this:

This is an image of the American sampler CDs that Ben and his crew from Operation LTNY were handing out in Times Square last weekend…which Ben burned, labeled and packaged himself, much as I had with the initial ten Op Drop disques.

Except, y’know…his looked good. Polished. Professional. Mine looked like they’d slapped together by a troupe of retarded girl scouts on a three-day tequila bender. No wonder they weren’t getting a response. Charmingly amateurish or no, I had to ask myself: if I found one of my own disques sitting on a bench in a subway station, would I be motivated to pick it up, take it home, and stick it in my computer? The honest answer: oh, hells no!

Clearly, it was time to go back to the drawing board…

Mark II: Building a Better Mousetrap (On the Cheap)

The problem was, I had limited resources with which to do it. Unlike Op Drop’s patron saints, Batman and Iron Man, I was not a billionaire captain of industry by day, blessed with a vast fortune and a state-of-the-art R&D facilities with which to equip my one-man crusade.

No, I was an unemployed writer faced with the uncomfortable choice of either making rent or eating for the month. The first ten disques had been made for exactly zero dollars, which was about all I could afford. Spending a small fortune on upgrading to semi-professional-looking disques that I was then going to hand out for free was not in the cards.

Or was it? While I might not have Bruce Wayne’s and Tony Stark’s billions or engineering genius, I do have the edge on both of them in at least one way: I live around the corner from a pretty kick-ass Dollar Store…and you’d be amazed at what you can find in a pretty kick-ass Dollar Store.

To wit:

HP Music CD-R 40X/700 MB – 3/$1.00

Either CD-R’s have really lost their cachet with the introduction of DVD-R’s in recent years, or these fell off the back of a truck somewhere, wink-wink. Either way, I scooped up two carousels of 50 (which in hindsight is an odd way to sell them, seeing as how 100 isn’t divisible by 3, but whatever) and didn’t look back. The only drawback to them was that, since they didn’t come with jewel cases or envelopes, I’d have to find a cheap way to package them myself. Fortunately for me, right across the aisle from them was these:

VINYL CD-R CLAMSHELL CASES – 10/$1.00

Admittedly kind of cheap-looking, but they snapped closed and stayed closed surprisingly well, held the CDs snug and still, and were translucent enough that you’d be able to see the disque’s face through them. Dressed up with some decent-looking labels on the front of the disque and the back of the case itself, they might just do OK. And speaking of labels…

SELECTUM BLANK CD/DVD ADHESIVE LABELS – 20 LABELS/$1.00

Again, cheap-looking at first blush—the labels are kinda thin, and are consequently a real bitch to work with—but the adhesive on them is surprisingly strong, holding strong even after being heated up by a spin in my computer’s CD drive. It took some trial and error with Photoshop and my inkjet to get them aligned right, but for five cents a label, it was worth the headache. And in the end, the labels came out looking pretty swanky.

Factoring in the cost of ink—thankfully, I had a few cartridges still on hand—I’d estimate my total outlay to be somewhere between 50 and 60 cents per disque. Not exactly the zero dollars it cost me to make the first ten…but given how much better they were going to look, I was pretty satisfied. And I guarantee you that Bruce Wayne spends at least double that on a freakin’ batarang…

Was it worth it, though? Well, take a look at how they turned out, and you be the judge:

Yeah, yeah, I know…the front of that disque looks awfully familiar. What can I say? It’s the perfect image! And imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, y’know…

Outfitted now with a much more polished, professional-looking disque, I set about mass-producing them, on an order tenfold of my initial salvo. But where to drop them that they’d have the greatest impact? The answer showed up in my Thunderbird Inbox just a few days ago…and suddenly I find myself faced with Op Drop’s biggest operation yet…

But more on this—you guessed it—tomorrow…same Lili time, same Lili channel.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Interlude: Mission Improbable

Previously, on Operation: Disque Drop...

Well, I think we discovered why yesterday’s special guest imaginary bold headline reader didn’t show: he was too busy elsewhere leaving an extra-special early birthday present for Alizée. So much for wondering if he’s a closeted Lili fan…

Anyway, in case you’re just joining us, here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve covered so far on Op Drop:


Your mission, should you choose to accept it…


Despite how shoddily home-made the Mark I disques looked, it still took me the better part of an afternoon to burn all ten and get their packaging ready for dropping. Yeah, yeah, I know…they certainly didn’t look like much work went into them, but that personalized message was handwritten on the back of every single one! Believe it or not, I actually felt a flush of pride as I put the finishing touches on the last one…along with a flush of excitement. Like I said yesterday, I felt like Tony Stark completing his first crude suit of armor…and now that it was done, it was time to use it for that which it was built.


For him, that meant taking it out for a spin to put down the terrorist scum who’d kidnapped him and stolen his weapons. For me, it meant dropping me some disques, and converting me some Lili-heathens.

I stared at the pile of completed disques before me, wondering where and how I was going to do the deed, when suddenly the phone rang: a good friend, inviting me to dinner and drinks…at one of the many pubs near her apartment…right on the busiest subway line in the city…on a Friday night. And just like that, the die was cast. Operation: Disque Drop had its first mission.





Objective: To inconspicuously drop ten (10) disques in full public view along the [street name redacted to guarantee security of operative] subway line, to be discovered by unsuspecting Lili-heathens.


Assets: Aforementioned disques; nondescript laptop bag to aid in the carrying and distribution of said disques; fully-charged Sony PSP loaded with DVD rip of Alizée En Concert and the full complement of Alizée’s studio albums and remixes; transit pass.


Obstacles: Suspicious transit security agents; overachieving transit sanitation workers; drunken, rowdy, overly-curious (and, in one memorable case, motion-sick) teenagers and/or college students; “helpful” senior citizens who insist on letting you know that you “dropped something”, then chasing after you with it when you try to ignore them; lack of co-ordination caused by likely intoxication for return trip home.

Notes: Drunken teenagers/college students potentially useful as diversion against transit security/senior citizens. Inadvertently dropping disques in path of overzealous transit sanitation workers may result in irrecoverable loss of assets. Interchange between [redacted] line and [redacted] line is most highly-trafficked stop, and thus best target of opportunity. Wear comfortable shoes you don’t mind getting puke on. Several people will look at you funny.

Suggested Playlist: JBG, Mon Maquis, C’est Trop Tard, Gourmandises (live versions); J’en Ai Marre (Soft Skin Club Mix); J’ai Pas Vignt Ans! (Benny Benassi remix); A Contre-Courant (Steve Helpstrip Club Mix); Fifty Sixty (Lefty Remix); Mademoiselle Juliette, Lilly Town, Decollage (studio album versions).


Missed it by that much...!

I didn’t manage to successfully drop all ten disques that first night. As you can probably guess from the above, nervous and inexperienced in the realm of disque dropping, I suffered a few setbacks in my first fumbling attempts. I only managed one successful drop en route to the pub—a disque that I surreptitiously slid between my butt and my seat on the subway (the better to avoid the gazes of drunk kids and curious seniors) and sat on until the last possible moment, before jumping up and leaving it behind as I burst through the closing subway doors at my stop, almost getting caught between them in the process.

Alizée Batman, I was not. Not even close. Even Adam West would have been stealthier than I.

The way back in the early hours of the next morning was easier. Surrounded more by obliviously drunk kids than curious seniors (and bolstered with liquid courage, myself), I managed to double my career total of dropped disques on the return trip. That’s right: two whole successful drops—one on the train again (a little more casually, this time), and another on a bench at the crowded interchange platform. It would have been three, if it hadn’t been for that overzealous sanitation worker who picked up the last disque I dropped at my destination. (Although, who knows? Maybe he kept it, and he’s an Alizée fan now…)

Three successful drops, with the only casualties being one disque MIA, my poor ruined shoes, and my dignity. (See above, re: almost caught in subway doors.) I hadn’t achieved even fifty percent of my target for the night, but it didn’t matter; in the rush of inebriated pride I felt as I walked home from the station, I was more than happy to call the night a success.

My campaign had begin. A little shakily, true…but even Iron Man’s first foray into the fight against terrorism hadn’t gone entirely according to plan. Even if those first drops didn’t amount to anything—and to date, they still haven’t—at least I took action, and started building momentum. Every journey begins with a single step, even if it’s in vomit-covered shoes.

Over the next week and a half, with six disques left and my intial self-consciousness gradually becoming a thing of the past, I embarked on two more operations. The first saw me surreptitiously drop four disques downtown in the most highly-trafficked mall in the city’s core. (Once again, a “helpful” senior tried to chase after me with one, but when I told her with a wink that I’d meant to leave it behind, she smiled and seemed to understand.) And my third operation was an even greater success, as I managed to drop two disques right in plain sight, on either end of a major tourist attraction, completely unbeknownst to my unsuspecting civilian companions…and actually got to witness one of them being picked up, by a guy who seemed genuinely interested! (Never heard from him either way, but that’s neither here nor there…)

The Mark I’s had all been distributed (more or less). My mission was well underway. Feeling pretty good about myself, I headed back home and logged on to the forums at Alizée America (where those first disques had directed their recipients to learn more about Lili), certain in the knowledge that at least one of the ten had succeeded in winning over a brand-new Alizée convert.

Uh-huh. Didn't happen. Instead, I was treated to an image which took the wind right out of my sails, and almost literally made my heart sink to the soles of my feet.

(Wow, now how's that for a cliffhanger ending, huh kids? See you tomorrow...same Lili time, same Lili channel!)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Evolution of a Disque, Part II

Previously, on Operation: Disque Drop...

Welcome back, Op Drop fans. No imaginary celebrity reader of bold headlines today, I’m afraid. I did have a rather impressive speaker lined up, but unfortunately he had to cancel due to time constraints—apparently a good three dozen other bloggers are scheduled to put words in his mouth today, and he just didn’t have the time to fit us in. (See what I did there? That was my rather lame attempt at timely political humor…and it’ll never happen again, promise.) It’s a shame too, since he and Alizée apparently have a goal in common: making the French language known in the United States. (Could he secretly be a closet fan, perhaps? Hmm…)

So anyway, here’s what we’ve covered so far on Operation: Disque Drop:

My videos! Let me show you them!

One more thing before we move onto new business—in referring to my last post while I was writing up this one, I realized that I neglected to actually link to the videos I included on the disc the way I’d intended. I’ve since gone back and edited the post to fix it, but in case you can’t be bothered to click on either of the links to it that I’ve already provided for you (slacker!), here they are again:

Again, let me know in the comments what you think of the selection, whether you agree or think I’m totally off my nut. As the title of the post suggests, this is a project that’s constantly evolving, so if somebody makes a pretty compelling case for an alternate video or performance, there’s a decent chance it’ll show up in a future iteration of the disque.

So that’s the contents of the disque out of the way. Now that we know what’s on it, let’s take a look at the disque itself.

Mark I: So cheap, they’re practically free! (And boy, does it show.)

Once I got (stole) the intial idea for Op Drop, I immediately rushed into action. Like Tony Stark designing his Iron Man armor, for my first crude attempt I made do with whatever crude materials I had available on hand. In his case, it was a cache of state-of-the-art weapons stolen from his company by the terrorists who were holding him hostage. In mine, it was a package of 10 CD-Rs and a box of paper sleeves I had lying around the house, left over from a time before iPods and DVD burners, when dinosaurs walked the earth.

Both of our first attempts were functional, but lacking a certain aesthetic. They got the job done, but they sure weren’t pretty…


Actually, I’m not altogether sure mine even got the job done. Because I didn’t have this blog set up yet, the first ten disques I dropped pointed whoever found them to Alizée America, and asked them to post on the forums to tell the story about how their disque found them. At the time, I thought it’d be really cool and mysterious, both for the disques’ recipients and the forum regulars at AAm

Uh-huh. It’s been about a month since I dropped the first of those disques (more about which in a future post, later this week), and about two weeks since I dropped the last one. Nobody yet has ever posted on Aam to say they found one. Given how crude and homemade they looked, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if –as Euphoria suggested in the comments last Thursday—if they just wound up being thrown out or smashed…just like Tony’s Mark I armor after he escaped from those terrorists.

Clearly, for both of us, an upgrade was in order…

But more on that tomorrow. See you then, folks...same Lili time, same Lili channel!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Evolution of a Disque, Part I

Previously, on Desperate Housewi—uh, Operation: Disque Drop

Welcome back to Op Drop. Today’s imaginary reader of bold headlines is Marcia Cross, better known as Bree Van de Kamp from Desperate Housewives. Although I’m not a big fan of the show, Alizée is (at least according to aw’s informative and hilarious Alizée blog), and Bree is apparently her favorite character…so, voila. Personally, I preferred Marcia’s turn as Dr. Kimberly Shaw, the mentally unbalanced redheaded hottie on Melrose Place. Mmm…mentally unbalanced redheaded hottie…

Anyway, to business: the whole recap thing at the beginning of each post is getting kind of long and tedious, so we’re just gonna reduce it to bullet points this time around…

There’s that wasn’t so painful now, was it?


So what's on these discs you're dropping?

Geez, Marcia…do you have to sound so hostile when you ask that? Why are you glaring at me? What? No, I did not sleep with Micheal…!

So I sorta answered this question last time, in very broad terms—a variety of mp3’s from all four of Alizée’s albums, 5 avi’s of music videos and television performances, and a few desktop wallpapers, to make up kind of an ‘Alizée Fan Starter Kit’. But then I got distracted by the discussion of intellectual property law and the possibility of getting my pants sued off, and forgot to mention which songs and videos I actually used.

So, here they are:

The songs:

  1. LILLY TOWN (Psychédélices)
  2. MOI...LOLITA (Gourmandises)
  3. GOURMANDISES (Alizée En Concert)
  4. J.B.G. (Alizée En Concert)
  5. J'EN AI MARRE! (Mes Courants Electriques)
  6. I'M NOT TWENTY! (Mes Courants Electriques)
  7. A CONTRE-COURANT (Mes Courants Electriques)
  8. L'ALIZE (Alizée En Concert)
  9. MADEMOISELLE JULIETTE (Psychédélices)
  10. FIFTY SIXTY (Psychédélices)
  11. MON TAXI DRIVER (Psychédélices)
  12. DECOLLAGE (Psychédélices)
  13. HUNG UP (Generation Disco)
  14. LA ISLA BONITA (Psychédélices, Mexican Tour Edition)

The videos:

The track selection is deliberately weighted more towards the latest album than the older ones, in an effort to make it more reflective of the artist Alizée is today. Although her debut single Moi…Lolita is unquestionably the biggest hit of her career, using Lilly Town as the introductory track was a no-brainer. Not only does it literally start out with a welcome to the listener, it’s easily the catchiest cut off Psychédelices and packed with awesome references that North American fans are likely to grok, even if they don’t understand the language. (“Wait…did she just take a shot at Paris Hilton?!”)

Most of the favorites from the album Gourmandises are represented by live tracks from En Concert instead, mainly just because I prefer how the concert versions sound compared to the studio versions. Though I’ve read more than a few complaints about the quality of her voice in En Concert, I tend to think that Lili actually sounds pretty frakkin’ awesome live. I’ll take enthusiasm and energy over pitch-perfect studio sterility any day of the week.

It’s also probably going to be controversial that I elected to include ‘I’m Not Twenty!’ instead of the superior French version ‘J’ai Pas Vingt Ans!’ My rationale is simply that I really wanted to get a third English song in there, and ‘I’m Not Twenty!’ is less of a bastardization than ‘I’m Fed Up!’, and more fun than ‘Youpidoo’ or ‘Amelie’. I tried to make up for it by throwing the French version of the JPVA music video.

Video selection was far easier: Fifty Sixty and Melle Juliette are her most recent, so they were no brainers; Alizée is at her most radiant in the video for JPVA (and you just can’t beat those shots of her going to town on the drums); La Isla Bonita is easily the hottest English-language performance she’s ever given; and, as I’ve stated often, this performance of JEAM has served Lili fandom well as our weapon of mass devotion. (Over nine million YouTube views can’t be wrong.)

Agree? Disagree? Think I’m completely off my nut? Let me know in the comments below. One of the great things about this project is its ability to grow and evolve over time, so if you think there’s a great track or awesome performance I’ve neglected (or I’ve included one on here that you absolutely can’t stand), go ahead and make your case, and we’ll see what happens!

More to come on the evolution of the disc next time, I think, as Marcia has just donned a short blonde wig and headed out to the garage, muttering something about ‘setting that bitch Jane up to take the fall’. I should probably see about putting a stop to that…

See you on Monday, Op Drop fans…same Lili-time, same Lili channel!