The countdown is on! Weird Al's new album Mandatory Fun comes out on July 15th. It may have an Iggy Azalea parody and something on the album impressed the heck out of Patton Oswalt.

Alright, so what's the plan? When is the first single coming out and what will the video look like? Al answered those questions recently and laid out the album's release plan. First there won't be a lead single. Breaking with music business tradition Al is turning over the hit making to the fans. "I’ll be releasing 12 “singles” all at once on July 15" Al posted on Facebook, "so you can decide for YOURSELF which songs are the hits!"

As for a video, says he has eight ready to go. One will premiere each day in an eight day smorgasbord of Yankovic-ian delights starting the day before the album drops, July 14.

As for myself, that is the extent of the early info I want. Like any obsessive weirdo worth his or her salt, I have a very specific ritual I follow when listing to a Weird Al album for the first time. I've got every album on, or very near, it's release day since 1988's Even Worse. I may not be able to remember the names of all my cousins, but those day are seared into my memory.

The ritual is simple but must be followed. First, during the run up to release I try to block out as much information about the songs as possible. When I get the album, I do not read the track listing, any song name could give away a joke. First listen is from first track to last track, straight through. I want to be surprised by every parody, the songs chosen and the direction of the content, and all the songs in the polka melody. I want the comedy and creativity to wash over me.

By the way, I understand how goofy this sounds, and seeing the words on the screen really brings that home to me, and other then this I don't have any other Weird Al centric rituals.

So, start the countdown to July 15th. I will be enjoying my required Mandatory Fun.