Snow

Liner Notes (February 8th, 2019)

For some reason something is messed up with the login system on the main website right now, so, I’m going to make this version of Liner Notes available for everyone while I try and sort out what’s going on. This week’s roundup includes updates on what I’ve been working on around the website, some thoughts on albums and singles released this week, my usual media diet recap, and a playlist of ten songs I loved this week.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I’ll be bundled up by the fire trying to avoid the predicted snow storm. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Four Things

  • As I wrote about a little in the Q&A thread this week, I’ve been playing around with a way to integrate Giphy support into the forums. This is why you’ve probably seen a billion gifs from me in my posts throughout the week. I’ve had the idea for a long time, but I woke up earlier this week finally with a plan for how to implement this in a good way. At this point, it’s almost finished. I want to tweak a few minor things first, and then I’ll be able to roll it out. I’ll see if I can get to that today, but it may need to wait until next week. It’s a whole lot of fun to be able to search for quickly, and then post, gifs (I even built in a keyboard shortcut so when you’re posting on the desktop you can launch the gif browser). It’s so much better than searching on Google and copy/pasting.
  • Our most anticipated of 2019 feature will be going up next week. I got all of the blurbs and write-ups from everyone participating, and now I have to put together the post, format everything, and get it ready for launch. I wrote about The 1975, Blink-182, Bad Religion, Carly Rae Jepsen (again), and Jimmy Eat World. Look for this mid-day Monday.
  • As I wrote about last week, I’ve been playing around with a new design for the homepage and that work continued throughout this week. I continue to love designing in Sketch, and I’ve got quite a few pages prototyped out now. I still have a few more to do, and then I want to tackle the mobile looks as well, and then after some review and revisions, I’ll make the call on if this is something I want to make a project and do all of the coding. It’ll be a pretty massive undertaking, so I need to make sure I’m at a spot where I can take the time to do it and that it’s a good use of my time financially as well. Not only do I think what I’ve been playing around with looks way better, but I have a lot of functionality tweaks I want to make. Things like sorting, searching, and being able to better organize all of the data we have on the website. Plus, I know how people read and use the website after almost three years, so I know what to keep, what to ditch, and a better way to structure it all. It’s been a lot of fun to flex this part of my creative brain again and I look forward to sharing some of the new ideas with you all shortly.
  • I ripped the acoustic version of The Maine’s “Numb Without You” if anyone would like it for their collection.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • The new album from Betty Who comes out next week and I went on a kick of listening to all her old records this week. I love her first album, and it’s so ingrained in my head that it’s a perfect “design” album for me. It’s the albums I know the best, and that I have memorized, that work best for me when I’m trying to concentrate. Instead of listening to the music I can get into the vibe and flow, and this was great during a few evenings with the iPad on the table sketching and bobbing my head. I’m looking forward to the new one, I have avoided most of the singles so I can go in fresh.
  • I didn’t come back to the new Broods album much this week. Not grabbing me as much as their last.
  • After seeing that Strung Out are recording a new album I returned to their acoustic album earlier this week. It holds up. It looks like they’re recording with Cameron Webb again, so I am instantly anticipating this one. Now if only we could get A Wilhelm Scream into the studio as well …
  • I still enjoy that recent release from LANY. Sometimes it feels a little too much of a breakup album for my mood, but it is an excellent breakup album.
  • I took a break from The 1975 for a while, went back to their latest yesterday, it’s still damn good.
  • I have only listened to the new Ariana Grande album once so far, and I think as a whole it’s better than her last album (which I haven’t come back to much at all), but there aren’t as many highs as there were on that one. I don’t know, I need more time with it. I like “Bloodline” and “Ghostin'” on first listen.
  • I gave the new Emarosa album a listen and it’s … fine. On one hand I’m proud of them for taking a chance at a new sound, going big into the pop aesthetic, and going for it. The problem is … pop music is more than a good vocalist and some synths. Most of the choruses aren’t strong enough. The melodies feel overused. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s that it feels very paint-by-numbers for this sound. It’s a sound I like, and I listen to a lot of music in this vein, but it doesn’t bring anything new into it besides that the lead singer’s very strong. Maybe it’ll grow on me with a few more listens. I do want to like it more than I did on the first pass because I like when bands swing big, and I like this style of music. It solidifies for me just how hard it is to write a hit song. Too much of this album feels like window dressing to me. Of injecting sounds and styles into the songs because you think they need to be there to be this kind of album, without thinking about if they should be, or why, or making sure it’s in service to the song as a whole.
  • Not sure how it found its way to me this week, but I had never listened to Lea Michele’s Places before. Damn that girl can sing. By the end, the album blended together, but I kind of love the sparse instrumentation and just someone belting their heart out. I’ll have to come back to this again.
  • Frank Turner was weird on social media all week and I don’t understand why people can’t listen when someone points out they’re doing something that’s offensive. Especially when it’s being presented to you in a way that’s not harsh or mean. Becoming immediately defensive almost never ends well. (And I know this because for the longest time I was the most defensive person in the entire world and would have a sharp comeback on the tip of every interaction.)
  • From what I’ve heard … new Alexisonfire music is coming our way next week. That and new Copeland finally getting into everyone else’s ears should lead to a fun time around the website next week.
  • I was not a big fan of Marianas Trench’s “Only the Lonely Survive” on first listen. Too Imagine Dragons-like. I do like “Echoes of You” however. So, I’m less worried now. I need to figure out who is doing PR for this release so I can hear it in full.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Widows: We watched this before Liam Neeson went fucking nuts this week. It didn’t do much for me. I liked how it looked, but the pacing and flow and story never really gelled for me. I thought Viola Davis was fantastic, but the “twist” wasn’t surprising, and the execution was just ok. Not a bad movie, but not great.
  • The Sisters Brothers: This was a good movie that I’ll never watch again. I thought Gyllenhaal stole the scenes he was in, and the third act was only alright, but it was just the right length and entertaining.
  • The Guilty: Damn was this intense. It’s a movie that takes place in one location, and most of it over the phone with our main character talking, but it was very engaging and very well done. If you’re looking for a good thriller, and don’t mind subtitles, this was extremely compelling. Dark, and a tough watch at times. It’s interesting because you don’t really see anything, but your imagination takes control, and that almost makes it worse.
  • We finished season five of Below Deck this week. Great season. I don’t know how they find some of these people, and some of the guests are the kind of people you would want to throw food at if you ever had to be in a room with them for more than five minutes. We’re onto season six and a new crew!
  • I’m on episode ten of Star Trek: Discovery. I just got to one of the big “reveals,” and I had suspicions, but didn’t know for sure. I’m still really enjoying it.
  • I’ve been enjoying the NBA a lot this year, mostly following the Blazers and the Sixers. (And some of the Bucks’ games if I can handle the NBA thread during them.) It does feel like the ending is a foregone conclusion though … I don’t see how anyone beats the Warriors in a seven-game series.
  • I cannot wait for baseball season to start back up. I’m counting down the days.
  • No comic books reading this week. Hopefully, I’ll have some time this weekend.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • It’s supposed to start snowing tonight and then not let up all of next week. Fun! After I finish this, I’m going to have to run to the grocery store and grab some warm food and lots of beer to be on the safe side. Thankfully I don’t have to go anywhere (thanks to all of you!), so I can enjoy the city covered in white, but I always feel bad for anyone that does have to drive. Hannah is playing with the city orchestra next week, so luckily she can walk to the concert hall if needed. Wish us luck!
  • I had plans to meet up with my college roommate and one of my friends from high school on Thursday to ask both of them to be groomsmen in my wedding; however, one of them now has a kid, and his kid had a massive ear infection, so he had to cancel. I had one of those “oh god this is a new level of growing up” moments. Seeing all my friends as parents is so funny to me. I reminisced with the friend who could make it about all the stuff we did growing up, and how we somehow kind of turned out alright in the end. I miss those times in our early twenties where we’d see each other multiple times a week and could spend hours at a bar talking about everything and nothing at the same time. Now we go months without getting together and trying to get everyone in the same place is almost impossible. I’m thrilled with my life right now, don’t get me wrong, I was in a bad place for a few of those years as well, but I sometimes miss the lack of responsibility and nothing really to do besides drink beer, play “Puzzle Fighter,” and debate which Indiana Jones movie was the best. (It’s Raiders, and it’s not as close as people pretend.)
  • It’s the fun part of the year where I get to do taxes. Blllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. I’ve got a pretty good system now for keeping track of everything and being able to compile the right information to get to my accountant, but it’s still some of the most mind-numbing work. It’s also the part of the year where I get the most anxiety because it lays out in black and white numbers exactly what my finances did over the past year. I’m so painstakingly close to having this website make enough money where I will feel secure and stable, but it’s also not quite there. And it’s that little space between comfort and panic that I sit. Thank you to everyone that signed up as supporters this year, and those who have been there since the start, without you this entire project wouldn’t exist and I can’t put to words how much it means to me.

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. Betty Who – Just Like Me
  2. FIDLAR – By Myself
  3. LANY – Thru These Tears
  4. Ariana Grande – Bloodline
  5. Beach Weather – Home Movies
  6. Marianas Trench – Echoes of You
  7. Emarosa – Cautious
  8. Lea Michele – Heavy Love
  9. Fickle Friends – The Moment
  10. Betty Who – A Night to Remember

The playlists are also available on Spotify and Apple Music.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Thanks for reading.

Previous editions of this roundup can be found here.

Jason Tate
Jason Tate Jason Tate is the founder and editor-in-chief of chorus.fm. He can also be found at @jason_tate on Twitter and on Facebook.