Liner Notes (December 18th, 2022)

A mini-vacation behind, a holiday ahead. And, hey, who could have guessed it? Things are going great over on the bird site! As always, a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed this week is also included, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • A quick plug to say that gifting a membership (or signing up yourself) is a great way to spread holiday cheer.
  • For the past week, I’ve been on a bit of a mini-vacation. For the second year in a row, Hannah and I have thrown a Christmas party for our friends and then peaced out to the coast for a week to reset before the holidays and end of the year. I’m not a big “party” guy, but Hannah is a great host, and after I build myself up for it, I always end up having a great time. Spending time with friends, with the condo all decorated for the holidays, forced me to step back and take stock of life, and the past year. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day, especially with the pages of the calendar changing at an ever-quickening pace. As for the vacation? I ate too much fried food and drank too much beer. So, probably a success.
  • I finally took Twitter off my home screen. Most of the people I like to follow (except for sports and music) are basically all on Mastodon now, and I don’t want to continue giving the jackass that owns it any of my time or attention. It turns out that running a large platform at scale is super hard. But I can now confidently say my dumbass teenage self did it better than the (once) richest man in the world. And I sucked at it so much that I ran away screaming, “never again”! I don’t know if Mastodon will end up being where everyone goes. Still, for me, if I’m going to “move,” I find their model of a decentralized network far more enticing than just repeating the mistakes of all the previous social networks. I don’t personally want to have a following of the same size as I do on Twitter, so I am enjoying the smallness of Mastodon so far. It’s even got me posting more than usual since it’s super easy to do from Drafts. I like being able to post without actually visiting the app and getting sucked into the feed. No idea if I’ll keep it up, but for now, that’s where I’ll be instead of Twitter. (Chorus also has an account.) I’m thinking about spinning up a music-centric instance, but I have some other Chorus projects I want to work on first, and my priority is still my blog and website, for where I want to spend my time. If anything, the insanity of this Twitter thing has shown me even more why I believe in owning a domain name and your own “place” online.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • We are speeding toward the end of the year, and I’ve begun working on my end-of-the-year list. I’m trying to catch up on anything I may have missed through the year during these few weeks when there’s not a whole lot new coming out. And trying to narrow down my list of albums into something I can attempt to rank. My first pass had 78 albums on it that I felt worthy. Now, I’ll slowly whittle that down and try and put them in some kind of order. The plan is to post the feature on January 2nd. (I can’t believe I’ve been doing this since at least 2005. But it’s still one of my favorite things to look back on and see my musical history in this format, to see what I was listening to and enjoyed the most.)
  • Because of how Apple Music displays albums and how if an album has multiple editions, it sometimes “hides” those other editions in not the most discoverable place, I forgot that Sigrid’s latest had a “special edition” release in November. The new second half is full of acoustic and softer renditions of the album. I already liked this album (not as much as I did her previous one), but these new renditions are awesome. It’s been perfect for putting on late at night, Christmas lights on the tree, and having a glass of nice wine.
  • Having just returned from a little road trip, I’ll say that The Maine and MUNA make for fantastic driving playlists.
  • And, having just thrown a little holiday party, Apple Music’s got a handful of curated holiday playlists that also seemed to hit the spot. I had the classics on for a while, and last night tried out the “acoustic” holiday playlist and enjoyed it. I’m not a huge random playlist guy, but for the holidays and just wanting to play a bunch of the well-known classics, I thought this worked great.
  • Also, I plugged it last year too, but the Rob Thomas Christmas album is on my short list of fun holiday albums more people should know exist.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 90 different artists, 98 different albums (that’s what some playlist listening will do to your stats), and 247 different tracks (284 scrobbles). The Maine was my most played artist, with Lovely Little Lonely being my most played album of the week. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • We watched a bunch of stuff over the past week, but a lot of it was things we’ve seen multiple times. The kind of “comfort food” TV and movies that make us feel good and warm and happy. Stuff like About Time and Home for Christmas. We also did watch two new films. Tar was an undeniably well-done and well-acted movie. It gets high marks for that, but I’m not sure how much I enjoyed watching it. Hannah fluctuated between “this is too real” and “yeah, no way an orchestra would ever do it that way.” In the end, I’m glad I watched it, but I have no desire to watch it again. On the other end, I absolutely adored The Fabelmans. Every second had me spellbound by Spielberg’s magic. The film clearly meant a lot to him, and he’s one of the best to ever do it. Loved it.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • With next weekend being Christmas and there being a lot of family commitments, I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to write, so it may be a bit until I can sit down again. If that’s the case, I just want to wish everyone reading a happy holiday and thank you for spending time with me this year.

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. Cary Brothers – Stardust
  2. Hellogoodbye – Last Christmas
  3. Hannah Grace – Merry Christmas Everyone
  4. Sigrid – Mirror (Acoustic)
  5. Dashboard Confessional – Living in Your Letters
  6. The Devil Wears Prada – Noise
  7. Rob Thomas – New Year’s Day
  8. MUNA – No Idea
  9. The Maine – Do You Remember?
  10. Circa Survive – Discount on Psychic Readings

This playlist is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Community Watch

The trending and popular threads in our community this week include:

The most liked post in our forums last week was this one by Nyquist in the “General Politics Discussion (X)” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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