T minus three and a half weeks until my album release!!

And I have to say folks, I’m feeling really good about it.  Like surprisingly good.

You’ll recall that in my year-end retrospective, I tried to speak frankly about the cost and benefit of the Serious Business of releasing an album.  It probably won’t surprise you that at the time I was still sifting through a dizzying amount of blogs, trying to figure out where would be appropriate to send my record, and then firing (literal) scores of emails off into the ether, not knowing what if anything might return.  I don’t mean to be overdramatic, but it really is quite tedious, more so because there’s almost no way to evaluate one’s success or lack thereof.  I was still feeling this way as recently as two weeks ago, but in the last few days something’s changed.  I’ve crested some sort of hump I was struggling to get over, and now I am legit really excited about putting this record out again.

What changed?  Well, for one thing, my partner and I announced that we’re expecting a wee one in August!  We knew that people loved and supported us, but the outpouring of warm wishes was really overwhelming in the best possible way.  (There’s much more I could say about the prospects of being a parent seven short months from now, but not within this blog post.)  I got a bunch of my ducks in rows for the non-show aspects of the release: finished emailing all the blogs and publications requesting coverage, placed orders for LPs and t-shirts, picked up the CDs, worked on getting the tracks ready on iTunes, Spotify, etc.

And lo! Some of the fruits of my earlier toil have begun to appear. My first music video for my song “Tucson” dropped earlier this week, and was quite well received, despite an initial snafu regarding the spelling of the (ahem) title*.  And Christopher Millard over at Examiner.com wrote a really nice, thoughtful review of the record.  And then everyone has been so goddamn sweet about all of it, sharing the review and the video and the picture I took of the CDs when I picked them up.  Jesus, it’s like you guys really support me! *wipes tear*

So basically I’ve reached a point where 1) my to-do list for the release appears to have a finite number of items, few enough that I can keep them all in my field of vision if I step back, and it doesn’t seem insurmountable that I could actually complete them in the next couple weeks; and 2) I really just have the feeling that, barring some unforseeable catastrophe, there’s no way this couldn’t be a great fucking show.  I know what I need to do is remember to savor times like these, and remind myself of them when it’s feeling like a complete slog.

So regarding what I wondered in my last post: yes, I think it has been worth it.

This is going to be a good year.

See you at the show,

Shareef Ali

*This is super silly I know, but there are like 250 views on the initial video we put out. Add that to the 300 on the corrected one, and that’s already a couple hundred views more than any other video I have out. In like four days! Feels good :)