Friday Thoughts (September 14th, 2018)

Fall Leaves

I woke up this morning cold. It looks like summer is over. I’m ready for it. Give me some long sleeves, hot drinks, and all the Portland rain. I’m also looking forward to my musical habits moving away from the pop and toward the some more subdued tunes. Reflecting back on the past few months, however, it was a damn good summer of music. And this week brought with it quite a few albums I know I’ll be spinning for the next few months.

This week’s update contains: More thoughts on the new Thrice album (including, oh boy, my current album ranking), some thoughts on the new albums from Good Charlotte and The Living End, my weekly media diet roundup, and a playlist of ten songs I loved this week. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Four Things

  • I did a first impression post about Pale Waves’ new album. I like it. I still just think it’s not quite there as an album. I guess I expected more.
  • Drew reviewed the new album from Emma Ruth Rundle. I have only given it one spin so far, but I already know I’m going to be listening to this quite a bit in the next few months.
  • My sister has been doing this thing on Instagram where she shares the things she’s thankful/happy about each day. It’s been a real pick me up every day when I see it. Not only is it motivational for me to also try and think about the positive in each day, it’s nice to see something good on social media for once instead of all the bullshit that comes at us most days. Feel free to give her a follow and check out her story (and her photos are good too).
  • If you have any Funko that don’t stand up, I can recommend museum putty as being a good solution. My Spider-Man with headphones was on a filing cabinet and he would fall over all the time. Usually at weird moments in the middle of the night and scare the piss out of the cats. Just a little of this putty on his feet and he hasn’t moved in like two weeks.

Music Thoughts

  • This week finally saw the release of the new Thrice album. I feel like I’ve been listening to this one for such a long time that I forget most people have only had a week with it. I’m really happy to see fans on this website seem to really like it. I saw some weird comments on Facebook that I just don’t get, but, if the people I care about (you all) like it … that matters more to me than internet randos. Now that I’ve had more time with it, I think I can officially do my Thrice ranking. At this point in time, I’d go: Vheissu, Beggars, Palms, Alchemy Index, TBEITBN, Artist, Illusion, Major/Minor, Identity Crisis, First Impressions. Those top two are actually closer than I ever thought they’d get. Time has really served Beggars well.
  • I never got an advance for it, which was weird, so I have only spun the new Good Charlotte album once. I liked it. There’s at least six songs on here that I find really good and enjoyable. I don’t love the 9 song album thing. LANY is doing it with their upcoming as well, and I just feel like … I want the extra two songs at least. Give me 10, or 11, and I’m usually ok with it … but nine? As a full album listener I feel short changed. But, alas, not a bad release from these guys and I’m glad they’re still making music. The last two albums have been fun and enjoyable. It also got me thinking about how I have a lot of friends from high-school and college that loved bands like Thrice and Good Charlotte and don’t know they have new albums out to listen to. I think a cool article idea would be for me to do a “what you missed in the scene” piece. Something where I catch everyone up on the albums that have come out from the bands “you used to love but missed” and which ones are actually worth giving a spin and catching up on. The other version of this I want to do at some point is the “you used to like New Found Glory, who should you check out today” but I think that’s a tad harder. I just know there’s lots of people I personally know that have fallen out of even looking when bands, and albums they’d love, release new music. Bums me out.
  • The Dirty Nil album is really good. I hope more people check it out. I think “I Don’t Want That Phone Call” is a standout.
  • I’ve given the new album from The Living End about five spins total now. I really like it. Big rebound record for them in my opinion. It’s got all the elements of the band I like and yet feels refined. I know I’ll be playing this a bunch in the next few weeks. Standouts include “Not Like the Other Boys,” “Death of the American Dream,” and “Too Young to Die.”
  • I’ve been giving the Four Fists album a few more listens and it’s growing on me each time I play it. I just really like P.O.S.
  • The Hippo Campus album is going to be a sleeper top five album for me this year. I keep coming back to it.
  • The new 1975 single is incredible. I don’t know how they keep doing it, but they keep subverting my expectations in the best way possible. They combine what they’ve done before with new things, experimenting and pushing themselves, all while keeping that element that makes the band special. I’m at the point of thinking they’re the best band making music right now and I just feel lucky to be alive at the same time that they’re creating and putting this art out there. Call it hyperbole, that’s fine, that’s just where I’m at.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • I haven’t hated a movie as much as I hated Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in a long time. I hated this movie and was actively angry watching it. Trash, pure, utter, can’t believe this fucking got made, trash.
  • I’m getting excited to watch some more fall-themed and “scary” movies over the next few months. Not really on that level, but Hannah had never seen Goosebumps, and we wanted something light and stupid one night, so we watched that. I loved those books as a kid, so this has a soft spot in my heart.
  • Skyscraper was not good. It’s so dumb. I also enjoyed the hell out of it. Guess that’s what happens when your week starts with Jurassic World, everything looks good in comparison. Predictable, over the top, but it was not a bad way to spend an evening.
  • The reviews and commentary led me to believe Slice was going to be awful. Once I accepted it for what it was, I ended up liking it more than I expected. It is very aware of what it is. It plays that up. And yet, I could see it being a cult classic in time. The commercial at the end got a legit laugh from me. Hard to recommend as a purchase, but I definitely think if you have the right expectations going into it, it plays better.
  • Speaking of movies that the reviews/comments had me expecting the worst … I legit really enjoyed Solo: A Star Wars Story. This was the first Star Wars movie that I didn’t seen in theaters. I just never found the time to go and it wasn’t grabbing me as a “must see.” Which, is weird, given my Star Wars fandom. However, watching it on our new TV here at home, I had a whole lot of fun with it. There’s some flaws, but they didn’t take away my enjoyment in the moment. The biggest thing is “prequels” like this end up telling us too much. Going into the Kessel run is fine, I guess, but I always loved the idea of it being a myth, a legend, instead of seeing it happen. It took some time to get used to a new actor playing Han, because I’ve spent so much time (over 30 years!) with Harrison Ford that it’s really hard to buy someone else in that role. By the end, I thought he did a good enough job that I was ok with it. And, I guess, that’s really all you can ask. I’ll watch this again. Maybe even more often than Rogue One because it’s a more “fun” outing. It’s not on par with TFA or TLJ, but it did what it needed to as a movie. (Even if I’ll always wonder what it could have been with the original directors.)

Random and Personal Stuff

  • I’ve officially lost enough weight that my jeans no longer fit correctly. Fuck. The waist is way too big and they sag off my ass. Double fuck. So, I’m gonna have to go buy some new jeans. Not a bad consequence of losing the weight I wanted to lose, but that’s a fun unexpected expense.
  • This past week (and next) I’ve been working on a consulting project. (Web design, programming, server shit.) So I’ve been away from the website a little more than usual. After doing all the finance stuff and projections a few months ago, I’ve found that I’m so close to being exactly where I need to be, but one extra project a month, even if it’s just $1500-$2000 a month, makes all the difference in the world. The self-serve ad system on the website I was hoping would be able to bring that in, but it’s just not. I may need to start trying to talk to some ad networks to see if there’s a way to incorporate one standard ad on the pages, and remove my system, and if that would make up the difference. We do enough traffic that I think it could, but I don’t want to slow down the pages for non-supporters, yet only one ad on the threads may be a fine trade off. I’m gonna have to think about some options here. With that, uh, thank you, seriously, to everyone that does support this website and is reading this right now. You make everything possible and I hope that you’re seeing a good value here on the website. I’m doing my best to bring you that value every single day.

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 Living End – “Otherside”
  2. Good Charlotte – “Shadowboxer”
  3. The 1975 – “Sincerity is Scary”
  4. The Dirty Nil – “I Don’t Want That Phone Call”
  5. Pale Waves – “Drive”
  6. The Night Game – “Summerland”
  7. Betty Who – “Ignore Me”
  8. Thrice – “Just Breathe”
  9. Hippo Campus – “Bambi”
  10. Olafur Arnalds – “Re:Member”

The playlists are available on Spotify and Apple Music.

I hope everyone has had a good week and has something fun for the weekend planned. I think I’m supposed to go take holiday photos for family cards with my sister. We’ll see if that gets rained out. Or if I have pants that fit. My advise for the weekend is to tell someone you love, that you love them. I find I forget to tell people that enough when I get caught up in the day to day. And, with that, I leave you with a quote from Seneca:

Two elements must therefore be rooted out once for all, – the fear of future suffering, and the recollection of past suffering; since the latter no longer concerns me, and the former concerns me not yet.