Liner Notes (November 23rd, 2018)

I finished this up early, so I figured I’d post it now. I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend and getting filled up on good food (and booze) and then taking mid-day naps on the couch.

For the Thanksgiving edition of this roundup, I rank my favorite Thanksgiving foods, give some thoughts on new music, and give my regular media diet roundup from the past week. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Five Things

  • This week I’m ranking my favorite Thanksgiving foods. Next week I’ll probably try and tackle The 1975 catalog, but right now I have food on the brain:
    • Stuffing: My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. I think it’s my carb addiction kicking into overdrive, but I fucking love me some stuffing. Put some gravy on it, and I’ll go back for more of this than anything else in the spread.
    • Turkey: I think the turkey has become underrated. I don’t like eating it on a regular basis, but if you factor in all the leftovers and the sandwiches that come throughout the next week, it’s a staple.
    • Mashed potatoes: Bonus points if they have lots of garlic in them.
    • Bread: Duh, more carbs.
    • Veggies: This always changes depending on the year and who’s cooking, and they’re never my favorite, but if there’s a good green bean and bacon dish of some kind I’m usually in on that. Roasted Brussels sprouts are usually damn good too.
    • Cranberry sauce: I don’t think I’d eat it on any other day of the year, but Hannah makes a good one.
    • Pie: I have a sweet tooth, but I don’t love pumpkin pie as others do. (I’m also the only one in my family that likes cherry pie.) Don’t get me wrong, I eat every part of the pumpkin pie put in front of me, but it’s not my favorite compared to other pies or other foods.
    • Conclusion: I love stuffing and love smothering everything with gravy. Gravy isn’t really a food item by itself, but it makes everything better. Cracking jokes around the table with family, washing everything down with a good beer, and then taking a long nap with some sporting event on TV … that’s my kinda holiday.
  • It’s Wednesday, the 21st, and I’m writing this update from my iPad at the moment. I wanted to get a head start on this roundup because I know the next couple of days with Thanksgiving are going to be pretty crazy. Thursday is with my mom and sister, and then Friday we’re doing second-dinner with Hannah’s family. It’s going to be a family filled few days. (Wish me luck.) Hopefully, we can make it through unscathed and have a relaxing few days to recover over the weekend. I must say, sitting here by the fire writing in Ulysses on the iPad? Pretty awesome. I love the flexibility of this device.
  • I posted up some Black Friday deals that are going on today, might be worth giving a look if you want to get some of your holiday shopping done early.
  • Just a quick reminder that I’m selling Chorus stickers at cost for any supporter that would like them. I plan to get them mailed out after the weekend. At some point, I’ll have time to put together a better and more official store for the website, but I have to work with what I have at the moment. DIY style.

Music Thoughts

  • I don’t understand the decision to hold all US reviews of The 1975’s album until the release date. Their call and all that, but it’s super strange to me. I’ve always viewed the internet as “flat” and when some publications can write and talk about an album and others can’t, it’s … odd. And I never really know what’s allowed in a situation like this, like, if I don’t officially review it … can I still talk about it? Besides the funny emoji ‘review,’ can I say that the back part of the album is slower than I was expecting? Can I say that from a musical standpoint it’s probably their most daring and expansive album? That it’s a real treat to hear production and soundscapes like this? That some of the lyrics don’t quite work for me, some knock me on my ass, and that there’s nothing that gets to me and makes me move quite the way “Loving Someone” and “Somebody Else” do? But at the same time the risks taken in “How to Draw” and “I Like America…” are a band operating at full confidence. I’m just grateful to be alive while this band is making music, and I think they’re one of, if not the, best artists alive right now. They capture a spark in me that I’m, more than anything, just happy still exists. I love that new music can still get to me. I love that a band can still excite me. I always feared that would go away as I got older, but here I am at 35 just as giddy as ever about this album. I’m sure I’ll have much more to say in the future, especially when I feel like I can say more without the risk of getting in trouble from the embargo police. But, I’m thrilled with this album. And, I love this band, and I am already excited to see what they do with the next one. Their creativity and talent and boldness are why I think they’re the most exciting thing in music right now. From the weirdness to the soft acoustic strums and brass to the bombastic autotune and cheekiness … this band hits me just right.
  • The new Millencolin song sounds solid. I’m now looking forward to that album more than I was before.
  • I keep trying new Weezer songs thinking “this time it’ll click, this time will be different!” It’s never different. It never clicks.
  • I enjoy the two new-ish Mutemath tracks. Paul Meany is just ridiculously talented, so I’m down to see what comes out of this project now. Kind of wish there was more transparency on what is going on though. Who’s in this band now? Solo project but keeping the name is fine with me; I just want to know.
  • Blink-182’s untitled album turned 15 this week. I can’t believe that album is 15. I gave that spin for the first time in a while early in the week, and it is still great. “Stockholm Syndrome” and “Easy Target” really stood out to me this time. Great album.
  • I haven’t had time to really dive into the new Spielbergs album yet. I gave it one spin and liked it, but it’s something I need more time with, and the fall seems like the wrong season for me to put it into constant rotation.
  • First impressions of the new Pedro the Lion were good, but that’s another one where I want to dive in before I say more. Early favorites were “Model Homes” and “My Phoenix.”

Entertainment Thoughts

  • It was a week of just throwing on bad, or silly, holiday movies. After a long day, sometimes that’s what you need. I’ll Be Home For Christmas had multiple actors from Life in Pieces in it, so that was enough for us to give it a chance. It was Hallmark bad. I was very much in on the premise of The Princess Switch, but it ended up being just quite stupid. And not stupid in a good way, like The Christmas Prince, which I unabashedly enjoy. We re-watched Bad Moms so that we could watch A Bad Moms Christmas. Both of these movies are not ”good,” but they’re fun enough for what they are. I am pretty sure I’ll watch Kristen Bell in literally anything at this point.
  • Saw Mission: Impossible – Fallout for the second time. Loved it even more. The first time I saw it was the day I proposed to Hannah, so I was all nervous watching it and somewhat distracted. What a blast of a movie. This franchise has had such a fun place in my life over the past however-many-years.
  • We re-watched Infinity War last night, and while it has a high degree of difficulty in what it’s trying to pull off, as a whole, I still have a lot of issues with it. It’s still good, but I know now it’s never going to be one I go back to and want to watch over and over again.
  • Titans continues to be a treat each week. I said this in the thread for the show, but this is something I never thought I’d see on my television. Growing up, I loved Batman and Robin, and being able to look at these characters, such a fleshed out and real Robin, on TV. With this level of quality, fight scenes, and darkness? I just never thought it would exist. I still can’t wrap my head around the idea that comic books and the characters … got popular. That the things I hid about myself as a teenager are now mainstream will never stop being weird to me. (‘Nerd’ culture has, in turn, become impossibly toxic and something I would rather stay away from, but that’s another topic entirely.)
  • Leading up to Thanksgiving I’ve been re-watching all of the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends. It’s been a few years since I’ve done a re-watch of this show but leading up to the holiday I wanted to watch a few of my favorite episodes — the Thanksgiving episodes. Some real classics in here and it made me want to do a full series watch in the near future. This show brings back so many memories. Back at the start of I’d work on the website, and write most of the code, with this series playing on a crappy TV via DVD in my bedroom in my parent’s basement. At one point I had almost every episode, word for word, memorized. It was a comfort blanket for me. I’d watch it at night as I fell asleep, or have it on during the day as noise in the house by myself, and it’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • It’s nice to have a few pairs of jeans that fit me finally. (Thank you for having a 50% off sale Lucky.) I went from almost buying new jeans because they were getting too tight on the waist about five months ago, to buying new jeans because that same pair were now way too big. That’s a pretty damn fun change.
  • This week was wedding spreadsheet making. The guest list is coming together, all the contact information is being compiled, and I’ve got our budget calculations pretty much done. Now we get to make some decisions like colors and overall theme. Should be fun.

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. Mutemath – Pixie Oaks
  2. Good Riddance – Contrition
  3. Amy Shark – Middle of the Night
  4. Jimmy Eat World – Half Heart
  5. Pennywise – American Lies
  6. Carly Rae Jepsen – Cry
  7. Bad Suns – Love Like Revenge
  8. Jason Isbell – Hope the High Road (Live)
  9. The Beatles – Something
  10. The 1975 – Love it if We Made It

The playlists are also available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Slower music week this week, but it’s not like that would have mattered that much, there’s really only been one thing on my playlist for most of the week anyway. Now that this is finished, I’m officially going to try and relax a little over the next four days. Maybe get caught up on some comic books and decompress. And, with that:


Previous editions of this roundup can be found here.