Liner Notes (April 19th, 2019)


A quick reminder that we’ve got a new merch shop full of and merch.

This week seemed to fly by at hyper-speed. In this week’s newsletter I run down the music I enjoyed this week and share a playlist of ten songs I loved, then I go through my usual media diet of movies, TV shows, and books (it was heavy on one TV show this week). The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Four Things

  • A lot of people are getting their and merch this week, and virtually everyone I’ve heard from has loved it. I’m thrilled with how this all turned out and already thinking about other designs or products I could add.
  • I ripped the acoustic performance of the new 1975 song from YouTube if anyone wants.
  • Next week I’ll make the call on what I’m going to work on next around the website. I’m not sure if this auto-link embed thing I was playing around with is going to work quite right, but I want to test a few more things before I know for sure. I’m still working on my blurbs for the “In the Spotlight” feature that will run at the start of May, and what I want to do is add some more supporters before summer so I can decide if it’s going to be enough to work on a redesign of the main website. Someone shared a screenshot of the website with me the other day and had an ad-blocker on, and I get it, but I’m also like “duuuuude, it’s like 7 cents a day to help me out, and then you get no ads at all.” It’s a tough place to be because I don’t want to look for any freelance work this summer, but I’m probably going to have to unless our ads make a tad more each week, or a few more people become supporters. It’s the only way I’ll feel comfortable heading into next fall and the wedding and not worrying.
  • I liked Jason Snell’s review of the new Kindles this week. I have the previous version of the Paperwhite, and it honestly shocked me how much I love this thing. I didn’t think I’d be someone that wanted to read on an e-reader, given my long love of books, but having every book in the same font, same spacing, same size, same weight and easy to read format? It’s incredible.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • I’m not listening to the new Carly Rae song until the album comes out. I want to hear it all at once at this point, and I don’t want to overplay the first three songs on the album.
  • While searching around Apple Music and Bandcamp for music to include on our upcoming “In the Spotlight” feature, I found the album from Icon for Hire, titled You Can’t Kill Us, that came out in 2016. I saw that the band used to be on Tooth and Nail Records so I decide to give it a listen for fun. It sounds exactly like I would expect. It has that alternative rock sound that that label was big on for a while, but while adding in a little bit of that more modern “electronic” sort of sound. It’s not bad, but it’s not very good either. It did, however, get me thinking about how much I think about that Drive-Thru Records era and I don’t often think back on the Tooth and Nail era or bands from that same time. They had a pretty good run, but I only return to maybe two or three of those bands.
  • La Bouquet only have something like 12 songs total, and four of those are just acoustic versions, but what they have released is pretty damn good. They have a sound that reminds me a lot of Bad Suns meets LANY and stuff like “Loveless” and “Names Like Songs” really stand out.
  • Someone recommended Small Talks to me this week and I like this album. Zac Djamoos already claimed it on our “In the Spotlight” spreadsheet, or I think I would have grabbed it.
  • The new album from Lolo Zouaï came out today. I’ve only had time to listen to about half of it, but there’s some stuff here I like on first look. It’s a slower, but catchy beat orientated sound. I think we’re going to see a bunch of albums in this vein in the next few years.
  • Parachute Day is an instrumental emo band that I found on Bandcamp this week. I like listening to instrumental music when I’m working sometimes because I don’t have to think about lyrics or anything and can get lost in the sound. This is good.
  • I’m gearing up for an Anti-Flag discography dive next week. It’s been a while since I’ve spun their stuff, and as it gets warmer I start getting more and more in the mood for punk music.
  • Speaking of … the Bad Religion album is still in my rotation and holding steady.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • The only movie we watched this week was How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. I got a little misty-eyed at the end. This trilogy ended up being surprisingly good and I never really expected that. It’s charming, fun, and has just the right amount of action to humor to tug-at-the-heart-strings moments. After it ended, I needed to go hug our cats.
  • We didn’t watch many movies this week because we got completely sucked into the first season of Mr. Mercedes. We watched the entire thing, and if you’re looking for a dark, fucked up, ex-cop vs. psychopath kind of show, this was quite good. I think I’ll need a palette cleanser of something nice and light for a while before we go into season two, but every once in a while I like something creepy and dark, and this fit the bill. Excellent performances and pretty good writing/directing in most of the episodes.
  • It looks like we’ve got an episode of Superstore to watch tonight, and two new Life in Pieces episodes. I think both of these shows are underrated gems. They’re fun, light, and straightforward to watch. Just the kind of thing to get my mind out of dark and gritty murderville.
  • On the pleasure reading front, which I’ve been trying to do more of and pull myself away from Twitter or my RSS feeds, I tried to get into Snow Crash, but I couldn’t do it. I had heard good things about it, but the writing just … bugged me. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I was having a lot of trouble getting pulled in and instead just felt annoyed. I’ve gotten a lot better at not trying to force stuff I know I’m not into so I don’t just sit there and not read because I feel like I have to finish a book if I start it. I returned it to the library instead and checked out The Diabolic. It’s a super fast and easy young adult novel set in a dystopian-like world. The kind of thing that’s easy to get sucked into but not exceptionally deep. I enjoyed the hell out of it and read it in three days. I’ve already got the sequel on hold to see where it goes next. After that, I decided it was time to once again dive into the Star Wars novel world and checked out Thrawn. I’ve only been reading it for a few days now, but my first impressions are very good. I think I’m going to like this. I still remember reading the original Timothy Zahn expanded universe trilogy of Star Wars books way back in the day. It was my first real exposure to something outside of the movies and I loved them. Getting more of these characters I loved and new adventures kind of blew my mind. I’m really glad they’re bringing Thrawn back into the Star Wars canon, and this has got my Star Wars goosebumps activated. I look forward to being done with work each day, so I can sit on the couch and get lost in a book.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • After a weekend of hanging out with friends last weekend, this week’s weight was … not great. I spent the week being careful about calorie intake again and I’m back to only being two pounds over my goal weight today, so that’s an improvement. I’m going to not allow myself to go over throughout the weekend as well and hope I’m closer to where I want to be starting next week.
  • Twice a year, usually right before the seasons change, I do a clothing audit to look at everything in my closet and try on things to decide what to keep, what to donate, and what I need to replace. I was pretty shocked just how many of my button down collared shirts I didn’t wear in the past six months, and my nice dress pants are at least four sizes too big now. A bunch of my daily work t-shirts were getting pretty threadbare, so I replaced most of them as well.
  • We’re hanging out with Hannah’s parents tomorrow for an early Easter thing and then seeing my mom and sister on Sunday for a drink downtown.

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. Parachute Day – Good Posture
  2. Small Talks – Teeth
  3. La Bouquet – Loveless
  4. LAYNE – Leave it Now
  5. Lolo Zouaï – Moi
  6. Death Cab for Cutie – Your Hurricane
  7. Against the Current – Voices
  8. Aaron Sprinkle – Lush
  9. Tyler Hilton – When the Night Moves
  10. Caitlyn Smith – This Town is Killing Me

The playlists are also available on Spotify and Apple Music.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I’m going to head to the gym for a bit and then have some early dinner with Hannah since she has the day off today. I leave you with this tweet:

Previous editions of this roundup can be found here.