Liner Notes (April 12th, 2019)

Sorry for this being a little later than usual, but I had a late lunch with friends and just now finished getting it all written.

In this week’s newsletter, I write about creating the new Chorus.fm shop and review my order of three t-shirts that arrived this afternoon. I share some thoughts on music, TV, movies, and books I enjoyed this week, and share a playlist of ten songs I loved. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Three Things

  • This week was a big week because I launched our merch shop. There’s a whole bunch of t-shirts, hoodies, long-sleeve shirts, mugs, stickers, and all kinds of other merch in a variety of colors, t-shirt types, and styles. (You can find out more about the brand of shirts available here.) I wrote a little more about the shop in the announcement post, but my order just showed up as I was writing this, so I figured I would offer my first impressions.

  • I ordered the full-color logo shirt on heather onyx in the tri-blend variety. I've ordered, and worn, the Next Level tri-blend shirt in the past so I already knew I'd like the shirt itself. It's a soft feeling shirt that I think fits great without feeling boxy. It's kind of a worn-in feel that I find very comfortable. The print itself I was originally a little worried how it would turn out, but the colors are vibrant, correct, and the size and look is as good as I could ask for from a digitally printed shirt. I also ordered a white breast pocket shirt on a dark blue triblend, and I think it's my favorite so far. I really love how the monochrome logo looks and the sizing and placement is perfect. I can see this being my go-to shirt for the near future. This came out as good as I could ask for. And, because I had to, I ordered the AP.net heart logo on heather onyx as well. The logo itself looks good, but the red is a little darker than I think I would have liked. It's not bad, and the blood was always the most ridiculous part of that logo, but I'm going to reach out to Threadless to see if they need a more specific color designation or if that's how it looks on a darker shirt. Shirts all fit as expected. Print quality is better than I expected, sizing and colors and placement of the logos all are right where I wanted them to be, and I'm delighted with how it all turned out. I am now going to be the guy wearing my own merch for the foreseeable future. What I've always liked about the Chorus logo is that it is a strong mark that I think works even if you don't know what it is for. The AP.net heart was always a little more opinionated about what it was but I feel like I could wear the Chorus shirt anywhere and it just looks cool. I'm happy I finally did this.
  • In the first week the most purchased product was the AP.net white breast logo shirt. The second best seller was the full color centered logo shirt. We've sold about 80 shirts in the first week and quite a few other products as well. Not a bad start at all.
  • This week I had some random person message me on Instagram after seeing my story that had a New York Yankee coffee mug in it. They made some crack like "come on Tate how can you like the Yankees" or something like that. I skimmed it and didn't respond. However, it got me thinking about how much I don't understand when people feel the need to judge/make fun of/poke at things other people like or they derive joy from. What does someone think is going to all of a sudden happen? I'm going to be like "you know what, I don't actually like this thing I like?" It happens all the time from music, to a movie, to whatever and I just don't get it. Expressing a dislike for something is one thing, actively mocking someone by messaging them is... annoying.
  • The new Disney+ streaming service looks interesting. There are quite a few things on there that I think I'm going to be interested in watching right away; however, it also makes me realize how much content and TV there is out there right now. I already feel like I'm far behind in a bunch of shows I want to watch. I think I have to become more ok with not seeing things right away when they're released and watch them on my own time.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • I can't believe The Dangerous Summer's Reach for the Sun turns ten this year. I feel old as fuck. The album holds up well though. It's still an excellent alternative rock album with some of the better lyrics from this genre.
  • I'm really like this new Dave Hause album. It's got that singer-songwriter-Americana thing going on, and the lyrics elevate it for me. There are a few parts where the production sounds a little thin for my tastes, but that doesn't ruin anything. I played it often over this week and think it'll stay in rotation for a while.
  • I found myself listening to the last album from Against the Current this week as well. This one ended up working a whole lot better for me on this listen than it did last year. I think that's probably because I was obsessed with that Now, Now album last year and I wanted everything to sound like that.
  • I asked on Twitter for some recommendations for bands to check out for possible inclusion in our "In the Spotlight" feature that we'll be running next month. I've now got a pretty large list of bands and artists to give a listen to before finding the five or so I want to write blurbs on. So far the stuff I've spun that stood out to me the most includes: Emerson, La Bouquet, Better Love, Mainland, and Layne.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • My sister came over last weekend for pizza, beers, and a movie, and we decided to throw on 21 Jump Street. That movie, and the sequel, have become like a safety blanket for me. They're just great to put on and watch at almost any time of the year.
  • Continuing my trend of watching baseball movies, I took Drew Beringer's advice and watched Major League this week. I hadn't seen this film in years. It holds up in a few areas, is dated in a few others, and I wish had less of the relationship stuff and more of the baseball stuff.
  • We finished the 11.22.63 TV mini-series and both liked it. It's not as good as the book, but I think they did a pretty decent job hitting the main points. I'd recommend to someone they read the book before seeing the show, especially if they want to know more about the rules of the time hop and, in my opinion, get a much more satisfying ending.
  • We also finished the final season of You're the Worst. It's perfect. Seriously, what a great finale and what a fantastic show. I remember hearing about this show years ago and taking a chance on it and almost immediately falling in love. Little did I know it would shift from being just a comedy to talking about relationships and mental health and the modern relationship in ways unlike anything I've seen on television. I loved it.
  • We gave one episode of the new The Twilight Zone a watch. We like Adam Scott, so we started with Nightmare at 30,000 Feet. It was good, not great, a little predictable, but a fun watch for the evening. We'll watch more.
  • Since we've been in a Stephen King mood lately we gave the pilot episode of Mr. Mercedes a watch. Dark. Some fucked up shit. We'll see if we stay in a "want something dark" mood or not and keep going with this one.
  • The Veronica Mars teaser trailer is everything and I could not be more excited. That show means as much to me as almost any other.
  • The Star Wars trailer looks pretty damn good on first viewing. I'm not sold on the "Force Flip" because I've never liked when they make the Jedi act like that kind of superhero, but I'm willing to see what they do with it. My only fear is that JJ attempts to retcon stuff from the first two movies ... and if he does that it'll be a disaster. I've got faith, and I love these characters, so I'm optimistic. However, I am not excited about the internet and the toxic bullshit to spin up again.
  • We've watched the first two episodes of the new VEEP season, and it's still VEEP. Ridiculous but funny.
  • I finished reading Meddling Kids and enjoyed it for the most part. I didn't expect it to go the way it did, but it ended up feeling like a pulpy adventure novel that was pretty well written. If you liked The Hardy Boys or Scooby Doo and like mystery/fantasy/adventure books this is worth a look.
  • I wanted to read Stephen King's The Stand next, but it's not currently available at my library. So, while I wait for that hold to come in, I read The Outsider instead. It starts as a creepy John Grisham like crime novel and then quickly takes a turn toward the supernatural. Overall I liked it and found the characters interesting, the writing fast and well done, and the villain sufficiently creepy.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • We've basically finished our wedding registry and "save the dates" went out on Tuesday. So, we're feeling pretty on top of stuff at the moment.
  • Weight management was not super great this week. I ended up way hungrier than usual on Wednesday, and that threw everything out whack. I'm still within the range I want to be, but toward the higher end. That means I need to be good next week and get everything in check.

Ten Songs

Here are ten songs that I listened to and loved this week. Some may be new, some may be old, but they all found their way into my life during the past seven days.

  1. Now, Now - Enda
  2. LAYNE - Bad Feeling
  3. Emerson - Waves
  4. La Bouquet - Sad People Dancing
  5. The Ricochets - Devils Highway
  6. Icon For Hire - Supposed to Be
  7. Canon City - Lost Sparks
  8. Tsunami Bomb - Dawn on a Funeral Day
  9. The Foxies - Battery
  10. Better Love - Don't Have to Stay Down

The playlists are also available on Spotify and Apple Music.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. We're meeting up with some friends for drinks in an hour or so, and then home to watch something I'll be writing about at this time next week.

Previous editions of this roundup can be found here.