Liner Notes (November 29th, 2019)

It’s the “still full from yesterday’s dinner” version of the newsletter. It’s a slow part of the year, so this week doesn’t have a whole lot of music to go through, but there is a bunch of movies and TV shows to make up for it. Also, since it’s Black Friday, I share a few of the sales around the internet that I recommend. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Two Things

  • I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and got to stuff yourself with your favorite foods. Today’s the completely made-up “holiday” known as Black Friday, that’s all about consuming and spending money. It’s such a weird day, and I never know quite how I feel about it. However, there are quite a few good deals out there on things, and I figured I would highlight a few of my favorites:
    • Our merch shop is having a sale on everything, including $15 regular t-shirts. If you’ve ever wanted to grab some Chorus or AbsolutePunk merch, now is a great time to do it. The sale will only last until Tuesday.
    • GoRuck: They only have a few sales each year, and this sale is where I grabbed their packing cubes (which I love) last year. I can also recommend their kit bag and their backpacks (I have the GR1). Exceptionally well made and high-quality products.
    • Parachute: We love these towels and completed our collection using some wedding gift cards this morning.
    • These Massdrop flashlights make a great gift.
    • My favorite kitchen utensils from GIR are bundled in holiday sales.
    • My favorite MacBook sleeves and cases are on sale at InCase.
  • I ripped Carly Rae Jepsen’s Tiny Desk Concert and put it into individual tracks if anyone would like that for their collection.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • This week was extremely slow music-wise. We’re in that quiet period at the end of the year, where there’s not a whole lot of new music coming out. I spent most of the week listening to The Japanese House. I went back through all of the EPs, and then the incredible full length. It’s so damn good and so perfect for these cold November days. Next week has me thinking I’ll be breaking out Copeland and Now, Now.
  • I’m not sure I’m quite ready for holiday music yet, but the new Kacey Musgraves Christmas Special is going to be in the rotation when I am.
  • Scott Sellers, the former lead singer of Rufio, is releasing another new album tomorrow called Power Hungry. I have enjoyed all of his releases so far and can’t believe how prolific this dude is and how consistently good these riffy pop-punk tracks end up being. I plan to check this one out tomorrow, and I have full confidence it’ll be added into my gym music rotation quite quickly.
  • WhoHurtYou’s cover of “The One That Got Away” is very well done and I’ve been listening to their EP quite a bit. It’s a smooth listen.
  • I’ve been enjoying the King Princess album, Cheap Queen, a whole lot this week as well. It came out in October but just came back around on my radar, and it’s definitely worth a look.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • The relative lack of new music listening for the week was more than made up for by an onslaught of entertainment watching. The week started with It: Chapter Two, which was alright. The story felt too big for a movie. Some of the giant set pieces and CGI didn’t quite work for me, and it wasn’t all that scary. It ended up feeling too much like a big-budget blockbuster to me.
  • Anna and the Apocalypse was a fun holiday musical … but with zombies. However, I wanted to like this more than I did. A couple of the songs were pretty good, but the movie itself was sadder than I expected. I liked the lead, and I’ll watch a zombie get taken out with a giant candy cane almost any day of the week.
  • I liked Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, mostly because I like Brad and Leo. It’s an entertaining film and worth seeing, but I’m not sure it’s one I’ll want to watch again. Then again, I always end up liking Tarantino films more on the second watch, so I probably should see it again. However, I’m not sure my ego can take watching 55-year old Brad Pitt take off his shirt again.
  • Ready or Not: Welp, my wedding was definitely better than this one.
  • I liked The Peanut Butter Falcon, but not to the level it seems most critics did. It was a fun, heartwarming movie with an excellent performance from Shia LaBeouf and Zack Gottsagen. Totally worth seeing, but I wouldn’t put it in the “incredible” category.
  • On the opposite end, I liked Where’d You Go Bernadette way more than the critics did. I’m a big Linklater fan and was charmed by this film. It was the perfect length, had great performances, and I was shocked by its Rotten Tomatoes score.
  • I’m still not quite sure what The Art of Self-Defense was trying to say, but it sure was a weird fucking movie. It ended, and Hannah and I looked at each other, and both were like … yeah, um, ok, so that was a thing. Jesse Eisenberg plays this kind of character almost too well.
  • Instant Family is a made for the holidays kind of movie. It’s inoffensive, heartwarming, and something that you can put on, and almost everyone in the family can enjoy. The type of movie worth having in your pocket when the family is all together and tastes are all over the place.
  • We’ve begun season seven of Below Deck, and it’s everything we wanted. This show is our happy place. We’ve had so much fun over the years watching and pausing to comment on the drama or dumb charter guests or rant about one of the characters being an idiot. It’s such a perfect after work, watch with a good drink, kind of show. I love it.
  • Holy shit was episode five of Watchmen incredible. This show is just getting better and better each week. The music is on point, the story is keeping me guessing, and I am all in.
  • I really liked episode three of The Mandalorian and can’t wait to watch episode four tonight. I love the world-building here and hope we can keep that going. I liked episode three so much that I ended up watching some Rebels last week instead of finishing up Doom Patrol.
  • This season of Titans has felt disjointed to me. It’s been good, I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s also been all over the place. I felt like the characters just got together, then got split up again, and all the flashbacks and side-episodes got a little distracting to the overarching plot. That said, I’m incredibly excited to go watch the final episode and see the Nightwing costume in action for the first time. This is a moment I’ve been wanting and waiting for my entire life.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Our first Thanksgiving as a married couple was fun. We spent it with Hannah’s family this year and the food was fantastic. Early in the week, while walking down some stairs, Hannah slipped and fractured two of her fingers. So, she’s currently got those in a brace and her left hand is pretty unusable. At least it didn’t happen before the wedding, but as a concert violinist, it means she can’t play the violin for over a month. Not good. Not good at all. Especially since the holidays are when she usually gets quite a few gigs and makes a lot of her income. That combined with the nightmare of insurance and the cost of x-rays and specialists, given that her hands are her livelihood, have added some extra stress to our lives at the moment. However, we’re happy it wasn’t worse than it was, and everything looks like it’s going to be ok.
  • I’ve typed out all of our thank you cards, and now we begin the process of writing them all out.
  • It is currently 31 degrees outside, and my fingers are cold in the office. The heat and fire aren’t quite unthawing me today. The plan is to clean up the condo a little bit today since we’re doing pie and wine with my family tonight as a little secondary Thanksgiving. I’ve been doing a lot of planning for possibly diving into a redesign of the Chorus homepage early next year, and I am leaning toward that being my next massive project after we finish up the best of the decade and end of the year lists for the website. I really like the design I’ve been working on, and it feels like the next evolution of what Chorus could be. The main thing worrying me right now is being able to bring in enough revenue to justify all the time it will take to build, but that’s something I can evaluate more in the new 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. The Japanese House – Follow My Girl
  2. WhoHurtYou – The One That Got Away
  3. Pale Waves – Red
  4. King Princess – Tough on Myself
  5. Fickle Friends – Amateurs (Acoustic)
  6. Nataly Dawn – Careless Whisper
  7. Airways – Out of Luck
  8. Young the Giant – Superposition (Reflection)
  9. Copeland – Colorless
  10. Now, Now – Prehistoric

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 nohandstoholdonto in the “Post Your Picture Thread” thread.

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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.