Liner Notes (March 8th, 2019)

Another week down.

In this week’s roundup I share my thoughts on new music out this week, and what I’ve been listening to (Maren Morris, Sigrid, The Get Up Kids), and go through the various movies and TV shows I watched this week (Aquaman, If Beale Street Could Talk, Shoplifters). There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved this week and a recap of various website improvements I made this week. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Five Things

  • This week on the website I cleaned up the automatic Reddit embeds, and made them look better in Dark Mode, and then added a new automatic Apple Music embed. Pasting a link to a song, album, or playlist from Apple Music will automatically insert the player into the page. I still have one little bug to fix up with it, but I’m happy with how it turned out. I also added some new emoji/smilies to the website, including some new secret/hidden band ones (like the awesome little MxPx logo).
  • I re-read this piece, “The Optimism of Uncertainty,” by Howard Zinn this week and it once again spoke to me and was what I needed to hear.
  • Trevor started a new monthly playlist series on the website. We’ve tried different playlist features before, and they’ve faded out, but this looks like a fun project.
  • I’ve shared this before, but if you use Safari on the Mac, I highly recommend the PiPifer Button extension. It lets you turn any video on your screen into a picture-in-picture video, and it’s fantastic for things like
  • MacStories launched their Shortcut Archive and if you like iOS automation, there’s a lot of really cool stuff here.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • The new Maren Morris album is a nice little slice of country pop but my first listen didn’t grab me in the way I was expecting. I’m not sure what it is — maybe the hooks aren’t what I was hoping for? The lyrics not entirely pulling me in? Whatever the case, I liked it, didn’t love it, on the first spin. I’ll give it a few more tries over the next week to see how it shakes out.
  • The new Sigrid album gave me the first listen feelings I expected from the Maren Morris album. It’s fucking awesome. Catchy, emotional, filled to the brim with fresh sounds, choruses, and little moments that make me smile. This will be in rotation all summer, and it’s a stunning debut. This gets my recommendation, and I’m already excited to give it another listen when I finish up this newsletter.
  • Still feeling the same about Marianas Trench’s new album as I did last week. I played it a few times this week, but it’s not sticking with me the way their past albums have. I’m not getting the same “must listen to this and only this on repeat for four days” feeling from this one.
  • I plan to give the new Zebrahead album a spin later today, probably at the gym. I’ll report back in next week with some thoughts.
  • Every time I listen to The Japanese House I find something new to love. It’s become one of those “any time of the day” albums for me too. Mid-morning, afternoon, or late at night, there’s something here for me. I’ve seen quite a few people say they finally checked out the band after I’ve been gushing about them the past few weeks — and they’re all happy they did. If you’ve been sleeping on that release, do yourself a favor and put on the album tonight with a good pair of headphones and your favorite drink. You’ll thank me tomorrow.
  • This new Marshmello/Chvrches collaboration, “Here With Me,” is pretty good. I wanted the chorus to be a little more, and the lyrics are a bit repetitive, but it’s fun.
  • I was not expecting to like the new The Get Up Kids song as much as I did on first listen. I like this band, I’ve liked this band for a long time, but even so, I was like, wait, what, this is damn good.
  • From what I’ve gathered, the new The Maine album should be coming any hour now. I’m anxiously awaiting its arrival. The plan is to interview the band sometime next week. It’ll probably be an Encore episode, and I want to dive into the band’s history and growing with the scene to where they are now. Keep your eyes peeled in the Q&A thread in the supporter forum for my first thoughts on the album when it does finally get to my inbox.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • BlacKkKlansman: This was a very well made movie that by the ending montage had me angry and trying not to feel pure hopelessness. It’s good, definitely worth seeing, and had more humor than I was expecting.
  • Shoplifters: I’m not sure how to explain this movie. It’s deeply affecting and almost soul wrenching. The performances are fantastic, and the direction amplifies the feeling of living in this world with the characters on the screen. Heartbreaking and heartwarming while redefining the meaning of “family” is a high bar.
  • Aquaman: In a lot of ways this was a tonal nightmare of a movie that couldn’t quite figure out what it wanted to be, but each section was good at the thing it attempted. There’s some gorgeous shots, some good action, some humor, some heart, some slapstick, and I appreciate that it just went for it. There was one moment where everyone’s riding around on sharks and seahorses and shit that I turned to Hannah and said, you know what, at least they didn’t try and make this super serious or realistic and just went all the way in. I enjoyed this for what it was and liked it enough. It’s not the best, but it was pretty fun. And that level of fun and not trying to take itself too seriously is why I’d probably watch it again, and I’m down for the same group to get together and make another one. For all its flaws, it shouldn’t even have worked as well as it did.
  • A Perfect Getaway: I was listening to some podcast that mentioned this movie, and I had never seen it. It’s a bad thriller set in Hawaii, and that’s so right up my alley that I just had to watch it. It’s pretty ridiculous, the ‘twist’ doesn’t quite make sense, but it was exactly the kinda silly thriller we were looking for the other night. A good turn off the brain kind of movie that I’ll never watch again.
  • If Beale Street Could Talk: One of the better movies I’ve seen in a long time. Barry Jenkins is officially on my “will see everything he makes” list. This ended, and all I could think about was “how the fuck did Green Book win best picture?” The film’s incredibly shot, the performances all have this deep richness to them, and the score’s perfect. This is a film that will sit with me for a long time. Our country’s history, up to and including this very day, with racism, the carceral state, and everything that entails … is so profoundly disturbing that my mind reels for words to describe it.
  • You’re the Worst: We’d been waiting for this show to air enough episodes so we could binge watch the final season. I genuinely love this show and think it’s maybe the best thing on television. I’m going to miss it deeply. We’ve only made it through the first two, but I’m delighted to have these characters back in my life and am ready for what I am sure is going to be a hilarious, and probably sad, final journey. I don’t know many other shows that can combine the humor, creativity, drama, and storytelling quite like this one. It’s been special.
  • I watched another half of an episode of the Ken Burns Baseball documentary. I hope to finish that episode tonight while Hannah is playing in the orchestra. It’s so good.
  • I decided to throw on some spring training games this week because I just missed having the sounds of baseball on while I was working. To me, something is calming about the sounds of the game. The ball, the bat, the talking, just having it on while I’m working brings me to a happy place.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • I thought it was going to be difficult to find our wedding photographer and instead Hannah and I both loved the same person right away. So, we’ve got that checked off our list.
  • Weight control remains right where I want it to be, I’m averaging 53.5 fl oz of water a day so far this year and feeling pretty good about that. I can’t believe I’ve made going to the gym a habit. I never thought I’d be the person that was making it a point to go to the gym virtually every single day, but here I am. I think it’s helped in various parts of my life to get more exercise. I feel better than I ever have and am happy with the results.
  • I’m coming up on my third week without shaving this week. The beard’s pretty filled in now and I may keep it one more week. With the wedding in November, and the hot summer months in front of me, this is pretty much my last time in a while to let it grow out a little bit. As long as my skin doesn’t get too irritated in the meantime, I think I’m going to ride with it for a while.

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. Sigrid – Strangers
  2. The Damned Things – Cells
  3. Maren Morris – To Hell & Back
  4. The Japanese House – Follow My Girl
  5. RADWIMPS – Dream Lantern
  6. The Get Up Kids – Satellite
  7. Dagny/Steve Aoki – Hit Your Heart
  8. Staircase Spirits – Skyline
  9. Noah Gundersen – Ledges
  10. Sigrid – Mine Right Now

The playlists are also available on Spotify and Apple Music.

And with that, I hope everyone has a great rest of the day and a fantastic weekend. I’m going to go back to thinking every email notification is maybe the new The Maine album and getting excited for half a second.

Previous editions of this roundup can be found here.