I am incredibly honored to announce that together, we have achieved something sort of ridiculous.
Because of you (not any record label, not any big corporation, just you), "The Near Future" was the #5 Vinyl Album in the entire USA last week, as you can see from this screenshot of the Billboard charts:
In addition, I am incredibly psyched to announce that tonight, we are playing Lincoln Hall in Chicago for the official "The Near Future" album release show, AND WE'RE STREAMING THE WHOLE THING LIVE ON OUR USTREAM PAGE!
A little birdie told me we might even be performing Side 1 of The Near Future in its entirety... but then again you really can't trust birdies these days. Still, I think he may have been on to something.
Thank you again for taking this ridiculous journey with us, and please join us to celebrate and cap it all off tonight.
First of all I just want to say a gigantic thank you to everyone who took the time to listen to "The Near Future" this weekend and message us or post about it. Hearing that you guys are listening and understanding the album makes this whole insane journey 100% worth it, and we are completely over the moon about the entire thing, it's completely nuts to me that the public release is tonight at midnight central time!
That said, I realize that the physical records have not been arriving as quickly as we had hoped, so I wanted to give you the full update on exactly how they were shipped so that you have all the info:
The records heading to US destinations went via Media Mail, which is a great way to send records and books since they qualify for a special flat rate, however the downside is that Media Mail typically takes 2-9 business days to arrive, and doesn't come with tracking. Plus, since it's December, the postal service basically says that everything will move slower due to the holiday season.
I know that some people have received their records already, and I'm hoping that the majority of the shipments should arrive this week, but I wanted to give you the full story so that you don't think your record was lost in the mail if it hasn't arrived yet.
Also, as I said before, we sent these out Address Service Requested, so if your record is returned to us we'll contact you for an updated address and get it sent back out to you.
International packages went via First Class Mail International, and delivery time will vary widely depending on the destination country.
The final piece of the puzzle is that the records began shipping last Monday 12/1, however due to the large nature and number of boxes, the shipping actually happened throughout the week in stages, which added a couple of days delay for some of the records.
And believe me, it was an undertaking! Here's a video tour of the process:
1- The records arrived on 6 gigantic pallets from Gotta Groove records where they were pressed, here's the smallest one: (most were twice this size)
2- The boxes were all opened up, and the records individually packed with a signed Certificate of Authenticity and a sheet of bubble wrap: (the mailing house said we would be OK without the bubble wrap but we didn't want to take any chances with these babies)
3- The mailing house ran our data file through the USPS database to update any addresses that were missed, then printed, cut and labeled over 3000 boxes
4- Did we mention there were literally thousands of boxes?
5- The boxes were then sorted, bagged, and delivered to the Post Office, here's one pallet of them:
A huge thank you to Judy's Mailing Service who got these turned around incredibly fast under the circumstances. We dropped off six giant pallets an hour before they closed, and by the next business day thousands of them were winging their way towards soon-to-be-happy Kickstarter backers. As you can see, it was no small feat!
This is really happening. The vinyl arrived on Wednesday (6 cubic meters of vinyl delivered on 6 giant pallets), and we sped it right over to the mailing house. Due to the holiday weekend, they weren't able to ship them out last week, but they are going out TOMORROW!!!
This means you only have a few hours left if you need to update your address. I know we have been harping on this the past couple of weeks, but we are submitting the mailing info at midnight tonight, November 30th, after that the records will be on their way to whatever address we have on file for you, so this is the last chance to update.
We wanted to get the records mailed out before releasing the digital version, however we are pushing up against our release date and we wanted to still give the Kickstarter backers (especially those at the digital level) early access to the album. Thus, we will be releasing the digital version of The Near Future to all Kickstarter backers on Friday, December 5th.
The official public release date is December 9th. We will be doing a UStream that night to hang out with you guys and answer questions about the whole crazy journey (more info to come on that). We will also release another update that day detailing the final costs of the entire project so that you know exactly where every cent of the money was spent, since I think that transparency is important in any Kickstarter.
Plus, as we mentioned previously, each of you will be receiving a signed Certificate of Authenticity along with your vinyl. We had a bit of a wacky night signing them:
However, I also do have one piece of sad news that I must reluctantly report. In the end, we were not able to fulfill the stretch goal of the fireball picture disc singles. The original manufacturer we had planned on using turned out to be lying to us, causing the price to skyrocket, and with the increased shipping costs and re-recording costs, we simply ran out of money. We decided to put the album first, since it was the core of the project, and you'll be able to see the full picture of how everything shook out in the December 9th update with the budget breakdown.
I want you to know that it breaks my heart that we weren't able to make these picture discs, and I do have a fantasy that one day we'll be able to release them and ship them out to you guys, even if it's years down the line.
That said, as we prepare to cross the finish line with this project and this album, I can honestly say that the past 18 months have been a completely enriching life experience for the entire band, and that we cannot wait to share this album with you. We poured our hearts and souls into it, and I hope that you love it as much as we do.
Guys, this is really happening. It's happening because you made it happen, and there aren't words strong enough to express how thankful we are that you have taken this crazy journey with us.
I am incredibly elated to report that we are fast approaching the climactic moment of the 18-month quest you so boldly embarked upon with us back in early 2013.
We had no clue when we launched Project Atma just how insane of a journey it would be, but you've been there for every twist and turn, from the elated frenetic early days to the band nearly breaking up, from us scrapping the entire first recording sessions to our time wrapping our heads and hearts around the album, from the second recording sessions in 2014 to the most recent heartbreaking delay after missing our vinyl pressing window.
Which is why it feels so sweet to be a mere 3 weeks away from the album release December 9th. It sounds corny as hell, but I truly believe that when you're holding this record in your hands, knowing that it only exists because you took a giant leap of faith with us, it will all be worth it.
You can see actual video of The Near Future being pressed below. We're expecting the vinyls to be finished within the next 2 weeks, as as soon as they're ready we'll be shipping them straight out to you.
This means that if your address has changed in the past 1.5 years, and you haven't let us know yet, you should shoot us a Kickstarter message or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know your name and new address ASAP.
This is super important, because these items are not forwarded through normal mail forwarding, so it's absolutely crucial that we send them to your correct address.
Plus, as an additional bonus, we'll be sending you a signed Certificate of Authenticity along with your LP package of awesomeness:
And now for the videos themselves. You can see actual copies of The Near Future being pressed, trimmed, and stacked below. It's really happening!! (FYI the colors are a bit off in these vids, but the records are a neon green shot through with blue).