It Was 50 Years/One Month Ago Today…

Today is June 1, making it the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper. Giles Martin’s remix of the album is a stunning achievement and you should absolutely pick it up (or at least listen to it on Spotify).

It’s also been one full month since we released Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans — and what a month it’s been! We thought we had created something worthwhile, but we didn’t really know if people would discover it, or if they did, if they would connect with it. We posted the album at 6am on May 1, and the first major press outlet, io9/Gizmodo, wrote it up just 14 hours later. That was way faster than we expected anybody to notice, and the commentary was far more positive than we could have dreamed — press and fans alike started throwing out the kind of overwhelmingly positive adjectives that make us blush.

The next few days were a wonderful rollercoaster of shock and gratitude for us, as more press outlets and geek luminaries weighed in. After a month, we counted close to 100 blogs, sites, and podcasts (that we know of!) that shined a spotlight on the project. Some of our favorite and most flattering comments included:

“The best parody album ever.” — Nerdist

“Surprisingly elegant…the perfect combination of two giants of pop culture.” — Rolling Stone (France)

“Master satirists…lyrical geniuses…this is Weird Al-level parody but even greater in scope. An instant classic.” — The Spectrum (USA Today Network)

“Masterful” — Entertainment Weekly

“Even Darth Vader would be impressed.” — CNET

“The kind of comical mashup the Internet was made for.” — NPR

“A lot of elaborate internet jokes result in a sort of amused chuckle—’Hoo boy, someone had too much time on their hands!’—but Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans transcends this. It’s about as ambitious as such projects get…It’s hard to imagine someone biting off a larger task than this, nor someone chewing as vociferously as Palette-Swap Ninja does here.” — The AV Club

We were also amazed to see the project covered by huge outlets like Empire, Polygon (with an interview!), Slate (which noted the Porkins joke we hid in track 13), IGN,, Huffington Post, The Hollywood Reporter,, The Mary SueUproxx, and of course, Reddit. And the whole time, friends are reaching out to say “I just heard you on my local radio station” or “I was going to send you a link to this album but then I realized you made it!” Meanwhile, we’re just thinking…can this be real? It was all super humbling.

But for all this positivity, there was a high point above all others — one that made our hearts absolutely leap.

Folks, Luke Skywalker liked our jokes about Luke Skywalker. I mean, JMS ain’t nothing to sneeze at, but an actual Star Wars actor — and a huge Beatles fan — making our project his pinned tweet for a day? The Force will be with us, always.

And course, there’s all the “Have you heard this?” posts that you fans created to spread the word. All we wanted was to get this thing out there, and you helped — so sincerely, thank you!.Words can’t adequately express our gratitude for all of this. We did this project because we really thought it was an idea worth exploring, and we committed all our energy to doing the best job we possibly could. Getting the kind of acknowledgement and praise for that effort has really made us feel amazing.

Thank you as well to everybody used our tip jars (we beefed up our website hosting, and it did not crash, so now we can cover that expense!) and the kind soul who tried to create a PLSDSP page on Wikipedia. The rules of that site are understandably strict, and since the band doesn’t have a page already (and nothing was linked to the band’s mention on Dan’s page), there wasn’t much hope of the project itself getting a page — but it’s the thought that counts!

We’ve got a few more stories to tell about the making of the album, so for those of you who really want to know more detail, watch our site — when we get it together, we’ll post it! Until then, sincere thanks for all the support, kind words, and amplification you’ve given us over the last month. It means everything.

Hey look — new website!

As promised, we’re updating our website — rather dramatically. New theme, streamlined sections, better back-end support, all kinds of good stuff. Thanks to Kat for taking the lead on the redesign, and extra thanks to Ian, Will and Matt for the additional tech assistance. Expect that the site may misbehave a bit over the next week or so as things are optimized and configured. There are some significant changes behind the scenes.

Over the last week we also did a final check with a fine-toothed comb, looking for spelling errors (we found some), checking the videos, finalizing URLs and filenames….all that stuff that we don’t want to see posted publicly and suddenly regret because we were stupid and didn’t triple-check. The biggest near-mistake we caught: We forgot the hyphen in our name on the album cover. Four people missed that. You can never be too sure.

Dr. Demento should receive a package next week with a CD of the album (because that’s how you have to submit tracks!) and both digital and printed press kit assets. As you have probably figured out, that means…we’re pretty close!

The album is done

This weekend the final track was mixed, mastered, and approved by all stakeholders. That means that after five years, the music for this project is finally done. We have MP3s all tagged up and ready to go with the final album art; the album credits and lyrics are being designed as a PDF that will come with the download. We are thrilled, as you would guess — we get a mental break after the last five months of pushing hard, and after that, we might start hearing the album the way other people might hear it.

Our friend Rob Smith put on his biz-dev hat and approached some potential partners to make videos for some of the songs, but the DIY spirit that has powered this entire project actually wont the day. Katrin Auch has created videos for all 13 tracks, and they look excellent. So in addition to hearing the album upon release, you can watch it too! (Fun fact: Kat also appears on the album, one of only two guests…)

Now we’re working on pre-launch details. That PDF booklet is being finalized; the website is partially upgraded in case we get a rush of traffic but still needs some configuration; the current topic of discussion is nailing down the final release date. It won’t be long — we want to get it out there ASAP once everything else is in place.

But for about an hour this weekend, we actually relaxed and enjoyed the moment!

PS: Thank you to Todd Gagel, who gave us our first donation. If we could frame PayPal and put it on the wall, we would.

April 2017: Videos, websites & tip jars

It’s with some amazement that we realized we now have 12 of 13 tracks done. That’s all the way done — mixed, lightly mastered, ready for release. I’m embedding ID3 tags and album art and the whole bit now. Only the final track is left to complete and that should be done in about a week’s time. It’s a little surreal to finally be at the end of this five-year mission, but it’s time to boldly go release it for people to hear. We will offer the album here as a free 320K MP3 album, and probably a FLAC download too.

Our attention is turning to other aspects of release now. We are going to offer the album for download here on the site, but that won’t be the only place to hear it. Since we were unable to secure a video partner, Kat is creating lyric videos for the songs, so people will be able to hear the whole album on YouTube; she’s almost done and we’re just finishing up the little things like end cards that link between songs and stuff like that. We’ll also upload the tracks to SoundCloud so you can listen to them there if you like. Our pages on YouTube and Soundcloud are on our list of links on our sidebar, so if you wanna bookmark…do so!

The other thing you’ll notice on the website sidebar is the tip jar. We always give our tracks away for free, but have been asked for years if fans can buy albums or even just send us donations. (We sell t-shirts but we make no profit from them — we figured having people wear our logo was thanks enough.) So we’ve decided to finally offer a tip jar for people who want to use it. As they have for the last decade, our tracks remain free, and that includes the upcoming album — but if you want to throw us a few bucks, you can now use the PayPal or Venmo links to do that. You choose the donation amount; whatever you choose, we’re flattered and we’re not going to say no. We’ll use the money to recoup some of the investment in our gear and the website.

Speaking of which, the website is about to incur a larger expense. We feel there’s a fair chance of this project getting some mainstream exposure (especially since it’s free, which is the internet’s favorite word), so we’re going to invest a little money into a beefier server setup, so nothing crashes. Lots of attention is a nice problem to have…right up until the moment it crashes your website. Many thanks to our old friend Matt Hancock for his advice on this front.

So…we’re agonizingly close now, and we’re looking forward to posting the darned thing. We’re still considering a few different dates, but when we do launch, it’ll be with all cylinders firing.