Weird Al. Super Bowl. YES.

UPDATE: there’s now a petition, plus a “Weird Al as Super Bowl xlvii Halftime Show” Facebook page. Patton Oswalt-approved Twitter hashtag is #SuperAl.

So go forth and help make the Super Bowl “Weird”!


The movement has begun. First in a NY Daily News article, then picked up at Nerdist. Tickles the brain, doesn’t it? But it goes way beyond that “wouldn’t it be neat?” feeling.

There is a serious case to be made. And so I present, point-by-point, why “Weird Al” Yankovic is the ideal entertainer for the Super Bowl XLVII Half Time Show:

  • Incredibly wide, positive appeal. Not only is he a genuine American icon, and not only has he continued to win NEW fans decade after decade, but if he were a politician, his negative poll ratings would be negligible. To quote The Simpsons: “He who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life.”
  • Featuring Weird Al is to feature a wide swath of musical styles. “Another One Bites the Dust”…”Beat It”…”Smells Like Teen Spirit”…”Amish Paradise”…”Lump”…”Ridin'”…”Born This Way”. Musically, what do they all have in common? Very little! But through his humor and personality, Weird Al appeals to fans of many types of music. No need to have gratuitous walk-ons by the musical Flavor of the Month. And that’s even before you get to his original songs.
  • Unparalleled showmanship and production values. Weird Al’s live show is a rock show disguised as a comedy show. All the elements are there: lights, video, costume changes, general spectacle. And given a stadium-sized budget? It would be awesome in every sense of the word. And though he wouldn’t need to include the musical Flavor of the Month, odds are he’d find inventive ways to include them nonetheless.
  • Nerds are now cool. Yep. Geeks and nerds are currently at the leading edge of popular culture, a trend that doesn’t show signs of ending any time soon. Tech innovators are celebrated. “The Big Bang Theory” pulls in killer ratings. EVERYONE carries little computers around in their pockets. Now is the time to bring one of nerdhood’s heaviest guns to one of America’s most celebrated events.

So go forth and spread the word. If a Facebook page can get Betty White on SNL, and netroots action can reverse the course of a major bank, there’s no reason a strong net consensus can’t help the NFL see the basic wisdom of having “Weird Al” Yankovic as the featured entertainer for the Super Bowl XLVII Half Time Show.

Make it so.

– Storm DiCostanzo

Weird Al Super Bowl Progress

Last update: April 24, 2012

Total as of Mar 15 (9:52 pm Eastern): 20,811 signatures

Check out the Facebook page
Twitter hashtag is #SuperAl


April 24, 2012


Feb 26, 2012
All Voices
Vintage Vinyl News

Feb 25, 2012
NY Daily News – Julian Garcia battles on!

Feb 23, 2012 – Al accepts the challenge!
Huffington Post
TMZ, in which Al accepts the challenge!

Feb 14, 2012

Feb 13, 2012 Five Reasons Weird Al Should Perform at Next Year’s Super Bowl
The Laugh Button
Ross and Burbank on 97.3 KIRO FM

Feb 12, 2012
CBS Chicago

Feb 11, 2012
Patton Oswalt picks up on it and establishes #SuperAl hashtag
NY Daily News – Julian Garcia update. Al retweets it.

Feb 10, 2012

Drew Curtis green-lights the petition on the front page of Signatures quickly jump from 700 to over 1,500.

Feb 8, 2012
SB Nation (Minnesota)
Paul and Storm post on Longer Thoughts, inspired by Nerdist article, in turn inspires dAVE Inden to start the petition and Facebook page

Feb 5, 2012
Nerdist post, inspired by the NY Daily News article.

Feb 4, 2012
NY Daily News article by Julian Garcia. Al retweets it.

Special thanks to dAVE Inden for starting and maintaining the petition.

Cats In Tanks

(go ahead and watch the video first. you know you want to, and it’s totally cool with me.)

Yesterday I touched on Jonathan Coulton’s appearance on NPR’s Planet Money podcast, in which one of the participants argued that, on the whole, the internet has been bad for individual musicians. Then I made some easy jokes.

Today I saw a short video called “Cats In Tanks”, which is another demonstration of why the internet as it exists today is absolutely a good thing for creative people and organizations. In short, if you’re doing something good that people are interested in, they will be able to find you without going through a host of middle-men and gatekeepers, giving you the opportunity to directly profit from your creative output.
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Flanging’s Greatest Hits

Still working my way up out of the grumpies, so a list it shall be…

Flanging (pronounced “flan-jing”) is an audio effect produced by mixing two identical signals together, with one signal delayed by a small and gradually changing period, usually smaller than 20 milliseconds. This produces a swept comb filter effect: peaks and notches are produced in the resultant frequency spectrum, related to each other in a linear harmonic series. Varying the time delay causes these to sweep up and down the frequency spectrum.Wikipedia

Still not sure what it is? Do you remember the first time you heard the song “Killer Queen”, and when Freddie Mercury sang “dynamite with a laser beam”, you went “YEAAAAAAAH!” because “laser beam” sounded SO FRICKIN’ COOL?!

That, my friend, was the work of flanging, the playful porpoise of the audio world. In sound production, if reverb is meat and EQ is bread, then flange is cheese sauce. Healthy? Mostly not. A responsible choice? Nope. But it can instantly make anything taste good! And when applied deftly and in moderation, you could almost call it noble.
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A Lawn Pimp, I

I tend to analyze everything I see, do, and think to an unwarranted degree, which today means explaining why I find Steely Dan to be the perfect sound track for doing yard word. But to get there, I have to start with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

During our most recent road trip, Mike Phirman and I found ourselves discussing CSNY’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock”. Mike told me he hadn’t encountered it at all until college, and I audibly gasped. He elaborated by stating that he bonded with it immediately, but it seemed inconceivable to me that a musician of his caliber, with his wide-ranging musical sensibilities, wouldn’t have had it chiseled into his mind at an early age.

Of course I quickly realized I was projecting onto him my own mind’s reaction to the song. And after apologizing for staring at him like he was a five-legged chimpanzee, I explained that, to me, CSNY’s “Woodstock” is a song that has always existed. Not just in the sense that it was on the radio even before I was born, or because it was one of the first songs I can remember hearing. It’s more like a feeling that it was formed whole at the dawn of time, waiting patiently for billions of years until there were hippies and suburban kids soiling their diapers in the 1970s, and college students in dorm rooms in the 1990s, to listen to it. I still get the tingles and my eyes go kaleidoscopic when I hear the sweeping harmonies on the line “…and we’ve got to get ourselves…back to the ga-a-a-a-ARRRRRR-DENNNNNN!”
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Thank You, Phil Collins

Grocery aisle photo by ThomasHawk (Flickr) (alterations by me)

I am not a Phil Collins fan.


I have never been to a Phil Collins concert or bought a Phil Collins solo music or video product. And I don’t say it to be mean, but many’s the time in the past 20 years that I changed the radio station because I heard his voice.

So yes, my first reaction to the news that Phil Collins was retiring from music was “so what”, and my second was “he’s still doing music?” I’ll even confess that I had other, less kind thoughts, fueled by memories of treacly ballads pushed into my ears in grocery store aisles, at shopping malls, and other public spaces that disgorge music that’s “universal”–and bland as bleached white rice. And don’t even get me started (or most especially Mrs. Storm) about “Sussudio”.
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The Persistence of the Brothers Gibb

Storm with Bee Gees coming out of his head in front of Devil's Tower

Here we are on the first “real” day for Longer Thoughts, and I’m already going to break my self-imposed rules. But I never was one to slavishly heed authority, and Just Yesterday Storm is kind of a dick, so screw him. I actually wrote the essay below a few days ago, and the only original writing is this introduction, which only adds up to 158 words. Also (semi-spoiler alert), the condition described in the first paragraph no longer exists in my mind, so that whooshing sound you hear is honesty going straight out the airlock. But in my own defense, every word was true when written.

Now that I think about it, I should probably get bonus honesty points for ‘fessing up, since I could have just posted the essay sans intro and you’d have been none the wiser. At any rate, for now please set your searing judgement aside and enjoy “The Persistence of the Brothers Gibb”…

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