Friday, September 26, 2008

Reminder: Alizée America MTVLA Vote-athon - Sunday Sept. 28 @ 10 AM EST!

This is just a reminder to all and sundry that Ruroshen from the Alizée America forums is hosting an all-day MTVLA voting marathon community chat this Sunday, September 28, starting at 10 AM eastern time, and going as late as people are interested.

From Ruro's post over at AAm:

OK folks, the Alizée America MTVLA Vote-athon has officially been scheduled to begin at 10 AM EST on Sunday, September 28, 2008. Please join us as we support, amuse, entertain, console and generally try to keep each other sane throughout a day-long marathon of Lili-voting madness. Chat and interact with fellow Alizée fans from across America and (hopefully) around the world as we spend the day voting en masse to push Alizée to victory.

You can find the Vote-athon’s page on TalkShoe here:

—from here you’ll be able to join the community call once it goes live on Sunday morning. Before you can join, you’ll first need to sign up on TalkShoe, and download the TalkShoe Live client. Registering is free, downloading the software is free, and joining the call is free as long as use the ShoePhone VOIP that’s built into TalkShoe Live. (You can also call in via phone or Skype, but this will cost you money, so try not to do that.)

Click here to watch a few short videos explaining how TalkShoe works:

I recommend that you have a headset and mic handy if you’re planning to join in on the voice call…but even if you don’t (or if you’re just shy), you can still participate via text chat, or just lurk and listen in as you vote right along with us.
(The more people who participate in the voice call, though, the more fun this will be!)

I’ve deliberately set the call to “public” so that anybody can join, so please don’t hesitate to invite others to join us. Alizée fans old and new from any site, forum, nation and walk of life are welcome and encouraged to join in the madness. Please just be aware that the primary language of the call will naturally be English, and that we’re going to try to keep the profanity down to a PG level. (I really don’t need any emails for angry mothers in Guatemala, thank you.) Don’t let that scare you off, though—we’re a friendly bunch, and I guarantee that you speak English far better than most of us speak your language.

Also, please note that although the default length of the call is 120 mins, we’re actually able to go as long as we want. Everyone but me will be able to drop-in and drop-out at will—I’m the host, so I have to stick around for the duration—which means you can come and go whenever you please. Come and hang out as often as you like, for as long or as little as you can.
So please drop in even if you can only stay for a few minutes—every vote for Lili counts, and those of us running the marathon will appreciate the infusion of fresh blood!

And I think that’s everything…! Please let me know if you guys have any questions or concerns, and I’ll do my best to address them as quickly as possible! Thanks, and hope to see you on Sunday!

I'm sadly not able to be there--my cousin clearly has his priorities messed up and has elected to get married that day, instead--but it sounds like a good time for a good cause. Even if you can only swing by for a little while, I'd recommend you check it out! How often do you get to geek out about Alizée with real, live people and help her out at the same time?

Man, I wish I could be there. Stupid cousin...

Meet the Candidates, Part II

There's just five days left to vote for Alizée at Los Premios MTV 2008 (the Latin American MTV awards) , and ensure she takes home the trophy for 'Mejor Artista Nuevo Internacional' (Best New International Artist). Remember, you have to vote in all the categories (not just Alizée's) in order for your vote to count.

Not sure who else to vote for? Op Drop can help. Check out this second post in a series which shares a little of my own voting strategy (such as it is), with more outtakes from my promotional YouTube video.

Op Drop recommends...

Although she's competing against Alizée in 'Mejor Artista Nuevo Internacional' (boo!), the gorgeous Miss Perry is also nominated in the category of 'Cancion Del Ano' (Song of the Year), which I frankly think she deserves. Perry's unbelievably catchy and controversial song I Kissed A Girl took the world by storm this summer, to the point where you couldn't get away from it if you tried.

And then there's the small matter of the video, which is quite frankly--and you'll forgive the blogger a moment of maleness here--undeniably hawt. (The fact that it kinda sorta plays like a more risqué version of the Mademoiselle Juliette video to me only accentuates its hawtness.)

Ahem...uh, moving on...

Yes, because it's MTV, they actually have a category for 'Mejor Musica de un Videojuego' (Best Music of a Video Game). I haven't played the majority of the games in this category, including Rock Band--I know, I know, blasphemy--but I was pretty obsessed with Guitar Hero III for several months back at the beginning of the year. Though I'm not sure which one Alizée would prefer to play, I do know which one I'd prefer to see her play:

You just know she's gonna six-star Through The Fire and the Flames, here...assuming the guitar doesn't melt first. Yum.

Er, let's continue, shall we?

Seriously. How do you not vote for someone who has the audacity to go through life with Doctor Krapula as their stage name? He's nominated in the category 'Mejor Artista Central' (Best Artist Central). Fortunately, his music is not only much better than his name would have you believe, it actually kinda rocks. Check out his videos for BAM and El Pibe de mi Barrio to see for yourself.

More recommendations to come tomorrow. For now, I have a strange compulsion to dust off Guitar Hero III...and maybe watch En Concert again...

I can't imagine why.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Meet the Candidates, Part I

Only six days remain before the voting closes for Los Premios MTV 2008, the Latin American version of the MTV awards...less than a week in which to help Alizée triumph over the likes of Katy Perry and the eeeeeevil Jonas Brothers, and be crowned as 'Mejor Artista Nuevo Internacional' (Best New International Artist).

Regular readers may recall--because I've only mentioned in every single post since--that I created the above YouTube video to promote Alizée at the MTVLA awards, and to explain in plain English exactly how one could go about voting for her. The key is not to just vote for Alizée, but to vote in all the categories in order for your vote to count. The problem is, not only is this kind of a pain in the butt, but most of the other categories are filled with artists who are unknown to North Americans like myself.

Who to vote for, then? Once again, folks, Operation: Disque Drop is here for you. Allow me to drop some science on you, and share a little of my own voting strategy with the following outtakes from the aforementioned YouTube video.

Op Drop Recommends...

OK, not so obscure and kind of a gimmie, but I thought we'd warm up with a really easy one first, and work our way down to the really hard ones. Nominated in the categories 'Mejor Artista Pop Internacional' (Best International Pop Artist) and 'Mejor Ringtone Musical' (Best Musical Ringtone...seriously, there's an award for this?), Madonna is arguably the most recognizable nominee to most North American voters. (Unless, of course, you're a twelve year-old girl with a crush on Joe Jonas.)

Though personally I'm not a big fan of her later stuff, Madonna has served as a major influence on Alizée and her music since the age of five. Lili has done covers of both La Isla Bonita and Hung Up (both of which appear on the Op Drop disque), and samples Music in the 'new' version of Moi...Lolita that she performs on the Psychédélices tour. And as aw has speculated on his blog, she may even have drawn inspiration from Madonna's video for Deeper and Deeper in creating the song Fifty Sixy. There's no questioning the fact that Alizée would vote for Madonna, since Alizée is kind of the point of all this, we vote for Madonna.

I mean, screw Tokio Hotel anyway, right?

Next up...

A little more obscure, at least to North Americans, but also a nominee with an Alizée connection...for me, anyway. See, I stumbled across the video for Belanova's single 1, 2, 3, Go! in a post they'd made on Alizée's offical MySpace page a couple of months ago (back when embedding videos on her page was still allowed), and absolutely fell in love with it. Bouncy and fun, with an awesome bassline, it's one of the few non-Alizée tracks to see heavy rotation on my iPod in recent months. And the video is cute.

Nominated in the categories 'Artista Del Ano' (Artist of the Year), 'Group O Duo' (Group or Duo), 'Mejor Artista Pop' (Best Pop Artist), 'Video Del Ano' (Video of the Year), and kinda/sorta in 'Mejor Fan Club' (Best Fan Club), Belanova is one of the few nominees I can genuinely say I'm voting for on you'll see when we get further down the list, here.

For example...

Seriously. That's a pretty kick-ass hat, man.

Actually, since I began voting in this thing, I have bothered to do a little research into the artists I've been voting for (often with the flimsiest of excuses), and I've discovered that Café Tacvba is one I can genuinely get behind...if only because their video for Eres perfectly captures what it was like to be me at twelve years old. I guess some experiences are universal. Café Tacvba is nominated in a bunch of the same categories as Belanova, but is my choice for 'Mejor Artista Alternativo' (Best Alternative Artist).

More recommendations tomorrow. Until then, get out there and rock the vote for Alizée!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dateline: Lilly Town

Just a quick update on a few things as I run out the door to work. A little dry, perhaps, but I find if you read it in the style of one of those old-timey black & white newsreels they used to show before movies back in the day, it's infinitely more entertaining. Enjoy!

  • Snatcher42 (aka Ben from Operation LTNY) graciously shows Op Drop a little love in his super-sized Lili News segment on the tenth episode of the Alizée America Podcast, which dropped on Monday. Ciara and Ben's show is always a fun and informative listen for Alizée fans, and I'd heartily recommend it even if it wasn't out there pimpin' for me. They're up to double digits now, people! Ow!

  • Meanwhile Op Drop’s YouTube promotional video, ‘Vote for Alizée in Los Premios MTV 2008’, is racking up a decent number of views—the version on my account has reached 611, while the mirror that Ruroshen graciously posted has netted 459. That’s 1070 views in total in less than a week, which hopefully translates into a decent number of votes for Alizée...and with less than a week to go before the polls close, every vote counts! Big thanks to Alizée fan HRO87, who embedded it in a post in the English section of the multi-lingual Alizée Forum, where it's been racking up a fair number of views. Thanks for helping to spread the word, HR087. Hopefully it gets folks over there pumped up to vote.

  • And speaking of Ruroshen and the MTVLA awards, he’s going to be hosting a day-long Alizée Vote-athon voice chat over at TalkShoe this Sunday, September 28, starting at 10 am Eastern Time, and going as late as people are interested. Essentially, it’ll be place for fans to drop in and hang out with each other as they spend the day voting Lili up at Los Premios MTV 2008. It sounds like fun, and I’d totally be there myself if it wasn’t for a) my oppressive fear of awkward social situations, and b) the fact that I have to attend my cousin’s wedding on Sunday (which is not going to be good time—see a). You can learn more about it in Ruro’s post about the event at the Alizée America forums.

  • Finally, just a quick reminder that MySpace singing sensation Yelle’s American tour, ‘C’est Amerique!’, starts in just a few days, with the first American date being October 7 in Dallas, Texas. These shows provide a great opportunity to promote Alizée in the United States…and if you’re interested, Op Drop is willing to supply the disques you need to do it! We already have one remote operative scheduled to make a drop at an upcoming show, but the more we have, the better! Check out Yelle’s MySpace for the show nearest you, then drop me a line if you’d like to get in on the action!

Monday, September 22, 2008

In which I break my arm patting myself on the back...

I’ve always felt that one of my strengths in this little quest of mine to spread awareness of Alizée to North America—and indeed, in life in general—is my ability to be honest in my evaluation of how well things are working, and my commitment to go back to the drawing board to fix things when necessary. It can be frustrating sometimes when I realize I have made a misstep, but I can honestly say that continually evaluating, refining and upgrading the Op Drop disque has actually been one of the most fun parts of the experience, for me.

As a result, the Mark IV disques I dropped this past weekend are a vastly superior, more professional product to the Mark I’s, much more likely to be picked up, explored, and convert Lili-heathens into outright Alizée fans. But even the Mark IV’s aren’t perfect—I’ve been inexplicably having a persistent labeling issue with these ones that I wasn’t with the Mark II’s and III’s, which I think is going to force a slight redesign of the face label, and one of the videos on the disque didn’t come through the transition from FLV to VOB looking as good as I’d like. I can definitely see a Mark V disque on the horizon.

The thing is, because I’m so open about the process—which is kind of the point of the blog—and free with sharing frustration or self-criticism, I get the feeling some of you are getting the impression that I’m down on myself or getting discouraged. And while I genuinely appreciate all the words of encouragement left in the comments, let me assure you that this isn’t the case. Though I may come across as glass-half-empty sometimes, that’s honestly just me working out loud (as it were), looking for opportunities to do things better. Please don’t mistake it for pessimism.

By my count, I’ve dropped just a shade under 300 disques so far. That's not too shabby for one guy working on a shoe-string budget. People are beginning to notice. And we’re still in the early stages, yet—I have plans for yet another massive Op Drop at the upcoming Nuit Blanche event in early October that ought to make the Fan Expo operation look like a training exercise.

Though there’s been bumps along the way, I honestly couldn’t be happier with or prouder of the way Op Drop has progressed so far. Overall, I think it’s been a success. Hopefully Alizée would agree.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


So the promotional video I posted on YouTube to encourage fans and casual viewers alike to vote for Alizée in Los Premios MTV 2008 (and explain in plain English how they might go about doing it) has surpassed 500 views so far, while the mirror that Ruroshen hosted for me on his account has garnered a little over 200. While that’s not bad considering how little exposure it’s had, I’ve decided against producing alternate versions for La Isla Bonita and other Alizée videos as I’d originally planned. Given that it took me the better part of three days to cut the first one together, and there’s apparently only a little more than a week left to vote, the return on investment just isn’t high enough.

The whole point of the exercise, you see, was to post them as Video Responses to the most highly-trafficked Alizée clips on YouTube—not a bad strategy, given the incredible number views some of those videos rack up in a single day. Unfortunately, what I didn’t realize is that a) the newness of my account, which I created just under a week ago specifically to do this, would apparently prevent me from posting video responses, and b) that the owner of the video you’re responding to has to approve it before it’ll even show up as a response on their page.

Ruroshen was kind enough to solve the first problem for me by offering to mirror the video on his account, which he’s had for awhile…but unfortunately we’ve both been stymied by the fact that the dude who posted the video we’re trying to respond to hasn’t logged on in about a week. By the time he does log on, the window for voting could very likely have already closed…if he even chooses to approve the response in the first place.

Argh. While I get the rationale behind it—clearly everyone should have the right to veto the type of content that appears on their page in relation to their own work—it’s frustrating, nonetheless.

Oh well, so much for viral marketing. At least it’s been well-received by the few who have seen it. Big thanks to Ruroshen for hosting the mirror and posting it over at Alizée America, and to AC Mix for doing the same over at Lilly Town USA (and saying some very kind words about it, besides). You’re both gentlemen and scholars, good sirs. It’s greatly appreciated.


Had a lot of trouble sleeping last night. After a little over an hour of tossing and turning, I decided to get up and at least put my insomnia to good use by stockpiling another payload of Mark IV disques, seeing as how Friday’s mission at The Eaton Center had depleted my reserves. Dusting off my trusty old multi-CD player—I tend to listen to music mostly via iTunes these days, unless my computer’s doing something memory-intensive like burning a bunch of DVDs—I popped in my Alizée collection (including my newly-acquired copy of Gourmandises), set it on repeat, and set to work.

By the time I realized I was yawning along (phonetically, of course) to Moi…Loita for the fourth time, it was five in the morning, and I had a stack of forty freshly-burned, labeled and packaged disques in front of me.

Oops. Time flies when you’re mindlessly working a one-man assembly line while singing in poorly-enunciated French, as the old saying goes.

Despite not dropping off to sleep until almost five-thirty, I still forced myself to drag my sleepy ass out of bed at ten, lest my sleep-schedule be FUBAR’ed for the work-week ahead. Groggily stumbling out into the living room, I bumped the corner of the coffee table and knocked over the stack of disques. As I stooped over to pick them up, I contemplated the day ahead, and tried to determine how best to spend it. I could either a) be responsible and do the week’s grocery shopping and laundry before vacuuming the living room and attacking the pile of dishes in the sink…

... or b) blow all that off, take my forty disques back down to TEC, and run another Op Drop.

Six hours later, the dishes are still in the sink and the clothes are still in the hamper…but a little over three-dozen disques are now in the hands of some potential Lili-converts, including one lady who looked old enough to be my grandmother, yet seemed pleased as punch to find her disque on a bench as she sat down. Am I now responsible for converting Alizée’s first septagenarian fan in North America? Could be!

All in all, I’d call that a Sunday well-spent, wouldn't you?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Back to Basiques

Why's it called 'Operation: Disque Drop' again...?

Given how little I’ve written about it in the past few weeks, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Operation: Disque Drop had maybe lost sight of its core purpose, in that there’s apparently been precious little disque-droppage going on. Heck, the last time I even mentioned undertaking an Op Drop was back on August 28, when I summed up the last of my efforts at Fan Expo, almost three weeks ago.

Since then, it seems like I’ve written about practically everything but! I’ve been distracted, after all, by the rumors of Alizée changing record labels within Sony BMG (and hopefully getting a better promotional team behind her in the process). And then there was the hoopla surrounding Alizée’s nomination for an award at Los Premios MTV 2008 (and my ongoing efforts on YouTube to encourage fans and casual viewers alike to vote for her), which consumed me for the better part of this week.

So when is Op Drop going to get back to the business of actually dropping disques, you ask? Well, I’m happy to announce that, after two weeks spent upgrading, refining and stockpiling the reserves, the first of the Mark IV DVDs have made their way out the door, and hopefully into the hands of several enthusiastic Lili-converts. A grand total of thirty disques were unleashed Friday afternoon upon an unsuspecting public in and around the Toronto Eaton Center, downtown T-dot’s most highly-trafficked shopping center, and a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Though not as major an undertaking as the three-day assault on Fan Expo, in its own way, the concentrated burst appeared to be even more successful—I managed to unload all thirty disques in about half the time it took me to drop the same amount at the convention, with some disques being picked up mere seconds after I’d dropped them. I felt a little bit more exposed—in a mall that crowded, it’s nigh-impossible to pull off a discreet drop completely unnoticed—but while I raised a few eyebrows, nobody actually stopped me this time to try and return a disque. In fact, the curiousity translated into at least a few immediate pickups.

Also—bonus!—in the course of the afternoon, I discovered that the major chain music store across the street not only has a robust international music section on their third floor, but that they actually carry Alizée’s albums! Not Psychédélices, sadly, but they did have both Gourmandises and Mes Courants Electriques in stock. (Granted, it was only one copy of each, but that’s still two more Alizée albums than I’ve seen anywhere else!) I happily snapped up Gourmandises, at a relatively reasonable price, finally filling the only gap in my collection (if you don’t count Tout Alizée, which I don’t, but that’s a subject for another post). Bonus objective, achieved!

All-told, a very good day. I will definitely be making TEC a regular stop on the Op Drop tour, especially as the Christmas shopping season approaches.

Meanwhile, another payload of Mark IV disques is currently winging their way to an undisclosed location via international airmail, en route to Op Drop’s very first remote operative, for use in their mission to infiltrate one of Yelle’s upcoming North American tour appearances. More on this to come as the date of the operation approaches…

Want to get in on the action? You, too, can become a remote operative for Op Drop in your city and get in on the ground floor of Alizée’s North American revolution. Whether you’d like to infiltrate one of Yelle’s concerts (or that of another artist whose fans you think would be receptive), or you’d just like a hand getting set up to do smaller promotional things in your home town, Op Drop is here for you! Drop me a line either here in the comments or via email, and we’ll see what we can do about getting you started in promoting Alizée where you live!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rocking the Vote for Alizée, YouTube-style!

My name is Disque, and I approve this message

If you'd told me a year ago that I'd spend every spare moment of three days working on a guerilla marketing video for a French recording artist nominated for an MTV Latin America video award, I would have looked at you like you had lobsters crawling out of your ears.

And yet, here we are. It's funny how life works, huh?

I literally just uploaded it to YouTube, so I don't think it's propagated through to the 'Most Recent Videos' listing, or shown up yet as a video response to that tactical nuke video I keep please consider this a sneak preview of the promotional video I made for Alizée with my own widdle hands:

A couple notes on the making-of...the director's commentary, if you will:

  • This is my first ever YouTube video, and only the third I've edited with Windows Movie Maker. It turned out alright, all things considered. It's not perfect, and it took me about three times longer than it should have, but I learned a lot while putting it together. The next one will be better.
  • Though it's a far cry better than the dual VCRs and jog-shuttle editing board I used in AV Club back in high school, Windows Movie Maker is a little skimpy on options, and is a bit of a bitch to work with besides. If anyone knows of a cheap-as-free alternative that's more robust, or at least a little more user-friendly (i.e. less prone to crashing repeatedly), I'd appreciate it if you dropped me a line.
  • My original plan was to use J'en Ai Marre! as the backing music, but lip-syncing it with the clips plucked randomly from throughout the original video proved to be too cumbersome, and not lip-syncing it just looked weird.
  • Plan B for the music was to use David Bowie's Heroes, a song I've always loved which I thought was oddly appropriate, especially given the ongoing superhero metaphor running through Op Drop. Unfortunately, there's about thirty gazillion versions of it out there, all of them different, and most of them over six minutes in length. I tried a few, but they also proved to be difficult to work with as far as syncing things up went. I finally just gave in and went with the Wallflowers' cover from the Godzilla soundtrack, instead. It's an inferior version, I know, but at least it's studio-quality and easy to sync to.
  • I have plans to do a version of this for La Isla Bonita too (the next most-watched Alizée video on YouTube), and possibly versions for Ella, Elle L'a, Mademoiselle Juliette and Fifty Sixty as well. We'll see--there's not a whole lot of time left before the voting ends. If anyone has suggestions on how I could improve upon this first effort, I'd be more than happy to entertain them.
Anyway, if you're reading this, if you could please take a moment to visit the video's page on YouTube to comment on it and vote it up, I'd really appreciate it. And if you'd like to spread it far and wide on any fan sites, Facebook pages, MySpace profiles or blogs you happen to frequent and/or operate...well, that would be totally cool, too.

And, of course, don't forget to vote!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rocking the vote for Alizée, Latino-style

Lilly Town catches election fever! (Well, sorta...)

While it’s unlikely that anybody who actually visits Op Drop on a semi-regular basis isn’t already aware of this—it’s been posted on her official MySpace, and all the fansites I lurk on are all a-tizzy about it—it still bears mentioning: our girl Alizée has been nominated for an MTVLA award, and she needs our help to win it!

While it may seem odd for someone with eight years and five million albums sold under her belt to be nominated as a ‘new’ artist, that’s nevertheless the category Alizée has been nominated in—‘Mejor Artista Nuevo Internacional’—alongside the Jonas Brothers (ugh!), Katy Perry (yum!), Paramore and Tokio Hotel. That’s some pretty stiff competition right there, so Lili needs all the help she can get!

On the bright side, there appears to be no limit to the number of times you can vote…but on the down side, in order for your vote to count, you need to vote in every single MTVLA category, not just the one in which Alizée’s been nominated. Not only is this a major pain in the tuchas, but it appears to be a point that many of Alizée’s supporters who followed the link from her MySpace (myself included) have initially overlooked, resulting in a whole whack of votes not being counted in the first few days of the contest.

Just so you’re clear on how it works, then, here’s an excerpt of a post from AC Mix at Lilly Town USA, which gives the 411 on exactly how to rock the vote:

so here is what we need to do.................

1- the link: click on where it says Mexico or any other place... its just to know where the votes are coming from... but there is no USA.. so i guess mexico is best that will take you directly to the MTVLA awards home page...

2- click on where it says
"Nominados" that will take you straight to all the categories...

3- in the list on the left. click on where it says
"Mejor Artista Nuevo Internacional"... it will take you to Alizée's category and she will be on on top left.

4- click on "Votar" you should first see a cone like shape in the middle of all the categories. then automatically, it should take you to her category... alizee again top left hand corner...

5- click on "Votar" again... and it will take you out to another category so you can continue your voting.....


i know its a pain in the but to vote for people you dont know and categories you dont care for... but it is a requirement... ill repeat!!!


Lets all do it for Alizée so we can see her happy
so then.. we can vote as many times as we want... as long as we go trough all the categories..

so then
6- click again on "Nominados" and it will take you back to the list of actegories and repeat steps 3-5 as many times possible please...

Meanwhile, over at Alizée America, friend of Op Drop NarutoSoul drops a little more science and lends some inspiration:

I did the math, and if you devote all of your attention to the voting, you should be able to get 20 votes for every hour spent voting. If that sounds crazy and difficult, try this: Listen to a Lili CD. As long as that CD is playing, spend the time voting. ONLY vote, do nothing else. Promote Lili while you listen, and help repay her for some of the joy she's brought into all of our lives!

While I hardly needed an excuse to kick back and while away a couple hours this weekend listening to Psychédélices and En Concert again (my personal two favorites of Alizée’s albums), this sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.

Vote early and vote often, kids. Let’s help Alizée take this one by a landslide.

"Hey, you! Yeah you, with the mouse! Why haven't you voted yet?!"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan Alizée blog....

Great Scott!

OK, so I’m not so much the Alizée Batman this week…more like Alizée Clark Kent, what with the chasing down of news stories, and all. Fortunately for all of us, however, my ongoing investigation of Alizée’s rumored changing of record labels, from RCA Records to Jive/Epic, is unlikely to lead to me having to save Metropolis from Lex Luthor’s evil death ray…

While there still appears to be no official word on the subject, it sounds like I may have jumped the gun in assuming a move to Jive/Epic could increase our chances of seeing Alizée cross over to North America. Snatcher42 (from Operation LTNY) explains below, in this post excerpted from Alizée America, which expands on his earlier post from Sunday:

A few points of clarification and commentary:

-I don't know if RCA is shutting down worldwide or only in France, but it's probably just the later.

-Aside from the management team change, this
shouldn't really effect Alizée overseas in places like Mexico or potentially the United States, since there she's always just been with "Sony BMG", no sub-label.

- While this will hopefully be good for Alizée in the end, I Personally find it a bit hard to be so happy over what amounts to news of restructuring and layoffs. Some may say they deserve it, but as others have mentioned this could actually be an explanation for the lack of promotion. Apparently their fate has been in question for some time. It wouldn't make sense to be promoting a lot when you think you might close shop in a few months.

-The good news is that Lili will be back soon with new stuff!

Good news, indeed. At the very least, we’ll hopefully see the renewed promotion for Fifty Sixty that was rumored to be happening on Sunday, as well as the release of a third single from Psychédélices. Personally, I’m holding out for Lilly Town—it’s catchy, poppy and fun, and has the potential to make for a really trippy music video. I’d also love to see a revival of the Psychédéclips website, particularly the Lilly Town TV section, which would go a long way towards providing real, meaningful fan interaction, and really drive home just how truly international Lili’s fan base is.

More on this story as it develops, gang. Let’s just hope I don’t have to fight a giant spider in the third act...

Image courtesy of Operation LTNY

In other news…

Production of the new Mark IV Op Drop disques continues apace. It’s slow-going, what with the me-having-a-day-job getting in the way, but the first batch is just about done and ready to be shipped out the door…to Op Drop’s very first remote operative!

That’s right, folks—one brave soul has stepped forward to take up the challenge of performing an Operation: Disque Drop at one of Yelle’s shows on her upcoming North American tour. Remember, Op Drop is committed to supplying disques free of charge to anybody who’s interested in ‘infiltrating’ one of these shows on Lili’s behalf…so if you’re an Alizée fan who’d like to get in on the underground guerilla marketing movement for zero dollars, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Op Drop breaking news: Is Alizée moving from RCA Records to Jive/Epic?

Unsubstantiated Rumors: The Best Kind

Noticed this in a fan post Sunday morning on Alizée’s official MySpace page:

coucou ma belle,
c'est vrai??

Fini le label RCA ! Alizée va prochainement changer d'équipe (Toujours sous Sony) !

Une fois ce changement d'équipe effectué, la promo reprendra. FIFTY SIXTY aura donc sa promotion, et d'autres singles suivront.

Qu’est-ce que c’est? I dropped French like a bad habit in Grade 10—a decision that twenty-plus me now profoundly regrets—so my understanding of the above is incomplete at best…but ‘Fini le label RCA!’ doesn’t leave much to interpretation. Ruh-roh, Raggy!

Fortunately, for those of us who don’t speak fluent French, Snatcher42 (of Operation LTNY fame) drops some science over in the forums at Alizée America. Turns out this was originally part of a post was originally made by a gentleman by the name of julien over at AFC. Snatcher’s rough English translation of julien's post, and some analysis, appears below:

End of the RCA label! Alizée will soon change teams (Still under Sony)!

Once this team change is made, promotion will resume. FIFTY SIXTY will have it's promotion, and other singles will follow.

In October, Alizée will be in Madame Figaro for a special Gainsbourg issue. Several artists participated. Each artist took a picture and said a word.

Next Saturday, there will be an interview with Jean Fauque (And Alizée?) on the new program "Access private."

The Concert Tickets sell very well! (I wanted to add in the euphoria)


Basically, it sounds like she's getting new management that wants to re-launch promotion (hopefully better this time), first with Fifty Sixty and then with other singles. It's like a fresh start for the album! Edit, more info from Nidalizee: It's not just Alizée that's leaving RCA, the whole label is shutting down! The artists are being moved to other branches within Sony. Alizée is going to JIVE EPIC.

Hmm. Rumor or fact? It remains to be seen, as I’ve so far been unable to independently confirm that RCA is indeed being shut down. But if it does prove true…while Sony BMG’s shuttering of RCA Records—a label with a long and storied history behind it—makes for some pretty distressing commentary on the state of today’s music industry, could this potentially be a positive development for Team Alizée?

Almost as long as I’ve been an Alizée fan (which is admittedly not long, only since the end of last year) I’ve been reading complaints that RCA’s promotion for Psychédélices has been fairly lackluster, to the point of being virtually non-existant of late, and the time it’s taken for things to actually happen has bordered on ‘interminable’. For example, Alizée’s official site (the design and maintenance of which I can only assume falls under the purview of the label, RCA) hasn’t been updated since sometime in April…and though it’s certainly very pretty to look at and heavy on the bling, it’s sorely lacking in actual content.

And while there was a decent amount of promotion for the release of Mademoiselle Juliette as the album’s first single in December (despite the single having been originally released at the end of September), there’s been comparatively little for its second single, Fifty Sixty, which debuted in February. The beginnings of a viral marketing campaign looked to be underway with the unveiling of the Psychédéclips website in May, which features not one but two official remixes of the song alongside the original. But a major component of the site—Lilly Town TV, which is apparently intended to feature fan-created content (a la YouTube)—is still “Coming Soon” four months later. (This is an absolute shame, as I can think of at least a few fan-made remixes that could really rock the casbah, and one in particular that's so good, it positively transcends the source material.)

Jive/Epic, meanwhile, is another subsidiary label of Sony BMG, which publishes a stable of enormously successful American music stars such as Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Jordin Sparks and Micheal Jackson, as well as internationally (if not domestically) renowned artists like Lemar, Indochine, and Amel Bent. Will they have more on the ball than RCA Records did? Is there a greater chance of Alizée crossing over to America with Jive/Epic?

The rumor of increased/renewed promotion for Fifty Sixty gives me hope as far as the former is concerned. And as far as the second goes…check out these excerpts from the Wikipedia entry of another French Jive/Epic artist, Julien Doré:

Julien Doré, born July 7, 1982, in Alès (Gard), is a French singer, winner of the 5th season of the television show Nouvelle Star, aired on the French Television M6 channel.

His most memorable performances and revelations were while singing "Moi... Lolita" from "Alizée" and "...Baby One More Time" from "Britney Spears", Dance music songs, in acoustics.

Les Limites [the first single from Julien’s first studio album, Ersatz] is to be released June 16, 2008 worldwide. It was released March 31, 2008 in France. On Perez Hilton's celebrity gossip blog, the music video made its world premiere.

A worldwide release, for a French artist, with a video premiere on Perez Hilton’s blog. This is the kind of North American exposure that Alizée fans over here have been dreaming about for years! (Although, we could probably do without the naked guy with the banjo...) Granted, Les Limites hasn’t exactly set the US music charts on fire…but I’d be willing to bet that he didn’t already have an established fan base here who were not only entrenched, but were already actively evangelizing for him without any guidance or co-operation from Jive/Epic.

Alizée, on the other hand, does have that going for her, in spades. We’re already dropping disques, handing out fliers, infiltrating other artists' concerts, and spreading the signal. Imagine the possibilities if her label was on the same page…or if, dare I suggest it, they were working with us?

Attention Jive/Epic folks: if you’re reading this, we’d love to talk to you.

More on this story as it develops, folks...stay tuned!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The hardest-working Canadian in show business!

I yet live!

My apologies for the lack of updates this week, folks. Though I was between jobs when I first began this mad crusade of mine, I’ve since become gainfully employed. On the bright side, this means I no longer have to make the unenviable choice of either funding Operation: Disque Drop or eating this month. The downside is, of course, less time in which to actually devote to the many responsibilities of Op Drop, only one of which is coming up with new blog content.

It’s a vicious cycle, I tells ya.

This doesn’t mean I’ve completely abandoned my post, however—I am, after all, the hardest working Canadian in show business. (Thanks, aw!) Most of my free time this week has been devoted to finalizing the contents of the Mark IV disques I teased on Tuesday. The biggest upgrade to hit Op Drop yet, the Mark IV’s are DVDs, playable in most set-top DVD players, which negates the whole ‘will this obviously home-made disque give my computer a virus?’ drawback of the earlier CD-ROMs. Hopefully, the convenience and perceived safety of a DVD will entice more of the people who discover a dropped disque to actually play the thing!

Size matters not? Pfft, whatever!

The Mark IV’s also have one other pretty big edge over the previous iterations: they’re freakin’ huge! While a CD-R holds about 750 mb of data, a DVD-R can hold up to 4.6 gb worth! This translates into the ability for Op Drop to pack more Alizée into its ‘Alizée Fan Start Kits’. Much more Alizée—whereas the Mark I and II disques contained only five measly little AVI videos, the Mark IV now contains over an hour of fan-favorite music videos, television appearances, and live performances.

(The mp3s and desktop wallpapers from the previous disques are still there, but the end user is still going to have to pop the disque into their PC to find them, relegating them more to ‘bonus content’ rather than being the main attraction.)

It’s a veritable Alizée cornucopia, a collection of the videos that a large portion of Lili’s existing fanbase attribute to making them fans in the first place…playable not just in a little browser window on YouTube, but full-screen on virtually any TV and DVD player. If this doesn’t convert me some Lili-heathens, I don’t know what will.

More to come on the selections that made it onto the disque, and my rationale for choosing them later…and, as promised earlier, a few ideas on where the Mark IV’s will make their first appearance. For now, it’s time for Op Drop to rush off to its day job…

What can I say? A hard-workin' Canadian's work is never done.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Coming Attractions

I need a vacation from my vacation!

OK, now that was a long weekend...and I mean that in every sense of the word.

On the bright side, after much cursing and gnashing of teeth, the upgrades to the Batcomputer are finally done, and the design and prep work for the next batch of 'Alizée Fan Starter Kit' disques is just about complete. On the not-so-bright side, all of the above hasn't exactly left me with a whole lot of time to do much of anything else...including coming up with content for today's blog post.

So here, instead, is a sneak preview at the contents of the brand-spankin' new Mark IV disques, which ought to be ready for dropping before the end of the week:

Not too shabby, huh? I'm really excited about these--the Mark IV is easily the best, and most professional-looking iteration of the Op Drop disque to date. And now that most of the up-front donkey work is out of the way, they're surprisingly not much more expensive or time-consuming to produce than the Mark II's were.

More on the Mark IV's tomorrow, along with an idea where and when they might first start being dropped. Because, from the look of things, they'll be done just in time...