Liner Notes (September 13th, 2019)

Let’s get ready for action.

This week’s newsletter has my first thoughts on the upcoming album from Blink-182. I also have some opinions on other new music released recently, including MUNA, Fall Out Boy, Green Day, and Charli XCX. I also have a few brief thoughts on preparing for trips, a couple of thoughts on the Apple event, and I go through my usual media diet rundown from the week. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed this week. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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The Secret to Adam Ottavino’s Calm: A Little Black Notebook

James Wagner, writing at The New York Times:

Before every game, one of the linchpins of the Yankees’ talented bullpen, Adam Ottavino, finds a spot in the clubhouse to sit and write.

To combat the six-month mental minefield of self-doubt that is baseball’s regular season, Ottavino has found solace in a daily routine of writing in a journal. In it, he tracks how he cares for his powerful right arm, how he sharpens his focus, how he plans to attack an opposing lineup and, sometimes, he gives himself a pep talk by writing such messages as, “I am a great pitcher.”

“Sometimes you slip into that natural state that you’re getting beat out there,” Ottavino said. “Or maybe you’re starting to doubt your ability a little bit. Sometimes it’s important to remember how good you really are and the many tens of thousands of good pitches you’ve made.

“So I just try to remind myself, ‘I can do whatever I want with my breaking ball.’ Or, ‘I can throw perfect fastballs.’”

There’s some good advice in here for just life in general.

Liner Notes (September 6th, 2019)

I’m currently headed out to a friend’s wedding, but I love you all so much that I wrote throughout the week to bring you this week’s newsletter on time and full of goodies. This week’s newsletter includes my first impressions on the new album from The Menzingers, some thoughts on the new Blink-182 single, as well as my usual rundown of other music and entertainment habits from the last week. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed this week. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (August 30th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter looks at some of the new music out this week and dives into my weekly media diet of mostly comic books and comic book related movies. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I liked this week, and a few new apps I discovered and have been playing around with. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (August 23rd, 2019)

This week’s newsletter looks at new music from The 1975 and Taylor Swift, as well as offering some first impressions on the upcoming album from Tiger Army. There’s also some thoughts on a few other records, as well as my weekly media diet rundown, and a playlist of ten songs I loved this week. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (August 16th, 2019)

This was a fun one.

In this week’s newsletter, I offer first impressions on new albums from The Early November, Somos, Grayscale, and Refused. There are also some comments on a bunch of other music, my weekly media diet rundown, and the usual random other thoughts. And, we close out with a playlist of ten songs I loved this week. (If Somos were out on streaming services right now, I’d probably have led with “Iron Heel.”) This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (August 9th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter contains thoughts on new music from Bon Iver, Colleen Green’s Dude Ranch covers, Shredders, and more. Plus, there’s my usual media diet rundown, a playlist of ten songs I loved this week, and my PSA to make sure your surge protectors are working and healthy. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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My Yearly Pitch for Becoming a Supporting Member

Each August I do an evaluation of how this website’s running, how our traffic numbers are doing, and what kind of revenue we’re bringing in from advertising, merch, and from our supporting members. It’s not the most fun part of running this website, but it’s one of the necessities to make sure we’re still on the right track and to assess the website’s viability for the upcoming year. I use this time to figure out what kind of freelance work I’ll need to schedule out for the rest of the year, as well as what projects I can focus on during the last quarter.

Based on these calculations, I am exactly 90 supporters short of this website hitting my goal for the year.

That means if 90 more people sign-up to any tier of the supporter membership by the end of this year, I’ll be sitting right where I want to be and it’ll be a massive weight off my shoulders. My plan, if I can hit these numbers, is for my next big project to be a rethinking of the homepage. I have wireframed a refreshing of the main website’s design, and that’s what I’d like to tackle next.

So, this is my yearly pitch to everyone that reads this website: if you like reading the news and content during the week, like reading the newsletter each Friday, and/or like reading or participating in our community, please consider becoming a supporting member. Every tier gives you the same perks: no ads on the website, dark mode, extra features in the forums, and it basically comes down to about seven cents a day.

Thank you to everyone that reads this website every day and for helping to make it what it is. I try not to post about this sort of stuff all that often, but once a year I like to try and update everyone on where we’re at and how everything is currently working out.

Liner Notes (August 2nd, 2019)

This week’s newsletter has first impressions on the new Strung Out album, thoughts about new music out this week, and my weekly media roundup of movies and TV I enjoyed last week. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (July 26th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter has thoughts on new songs from Blink-182 and The 1975, early impressions of The Faim’s new album, and some random thoughts about other music I’ve been enjoying this week. Then there’s my weekly media diet rundown which including a spoiler-filled rant about the new Veronica Mars. I was frustrated. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved this week and a little recap about the current health of this very website. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (July 19th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter contains first impressions on the new Noah Gundersen album, lengthier thoughts on the new album from Sum 41, some brief views on the new album from Oso Oso, and random commentary about a bunch more music. There’s also my weekly media diet rundown, a playlist of ten songs I loved this week, and news and forum recaps. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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What Americans Do Now Will Define Us Forever

Adam Serwer, writing at The Atlantic:

In the face of a corrupt authoritarian president who believes that he and his allies are above the law, the American people are represented by two parties equally incapable of discharging their constitutional responsibilities. The Republican Party is incapable of fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities because it has become a cult of personality whose members cannot deviate from their sycophantic devotion to the president, lest they be ejected from office by Trump’s fanatically loyal base. The Democratic Party cannot fulfill its constitutional responsibilities because its leadership lives in abject terror of being ejected from office by alienating the voters to whom Trump’s nationalism appeals. In effect, the majority of the American electorate, which voted against Trump in 2016 and then gave the Democrats a House majority in 2018, has no representation.

I Think About This Quote All the Time

Hannah Arendt:

If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie — a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days — but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.

Liner Notes (July 15th, 2019)

Well, this one ended up being quite long.

In this week’s newsletter, I share some thoughts on new music from Frank Turner, Shura, Good Riddance, Sum 41, and quite a bit more. I share a love letter to Stranger Things and go through the rest of my media diet from the past week. There’s a playlist of ten songs I loved, some thoughts about Lil Wayne and Blink-182 and the drama of last night, and some random thoughts about what I worked on (and failed at) on the website this week. Plus, I share a couple of iPhone wallpapers I like. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Updated Recommendations

Once a year I update a bunch of my recommendation posts around the website to see if new things need to be added to them, this year I’ve made updates to:

Also, I tossed out an ask on Twitter for recommendations of blogs or websites (about any topic) that people recommend reading. I like to ask this every once in a while to refresh what I have in my feeds, so if you have any recommendations of websites I should be checking out and reading, please let me know.

Liner Notes (July 5th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter is brought to you by fireworks and scared pets.

In this week’s newsletter, I write about the new music sharing pages I created, talk a little about the Taylor Swift/masters thing, share some thoughts on new music out this week, and go through my usual media diet rundown. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved this week. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Simple Streaming Music Sharing Page for Chorus

The music streaming service revolution has been one of the biggest, and most exciting, developments to the music and technology world in my lifetime. We went from driving to a store to buy music, often without ever hearing it beforehand, to having countless hours of music in our pockets with virtually no limits to what we could discover and listen to with the mere press of a button.

As someone that runs a music website, and now a weekly newsletter, that often includes recommendations about new music, I’ve long struggled with just how to share those recommendations with the most people. On this website, I often link to the YouTube video in the post itself for instant listening and then will link to Apple Music and Spotify when appropriate (or if the song isn’t on YouTube yet) since those are the two biggest streaming platforms. I like those short URLS that a lot of labels and PR people are using these days that aggregate all of the streaming platforms into one place for easy sharing; however, what I really wanted was something that I had a little more control over. What if I use a service like this and then it goes under, and all my links die? All of a sudden hours of meticulously linking music recommendations on this website or my newsletter could end up having dead links. So, after coming across the excellent Song.Link service and their API, I decided I would be best served in creating something for myself. That way I could easily create a place to share a song or album, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the URL going away in a few years or it not being updated as streaming services come and go.

The end result is a page that includes links to all the big streaming services, as well as a YouTube video for quick streaming if it exists, and links to purchase the music as well. For example:

Liner Notes (June 28th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter is brought to you with a massive craving for pizza.

In this week’s newsletter, I share a new fun productivity tip I started using this week, talk a little about the current project I’m working on, and share thoughts on music, movies, and TV shows I enjoyed this week. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved and a rant about political debates. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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