Liner Notes (August 30th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter looks at some of the new music out this week and dives into my weekly media diet of mostly comic books and comic book related movies. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I liked this week, and a few new apps I discovered and have been playing around with. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Five Things

  • I came across a review from MacStories about a new app called DarkNoise. The app is a simple ambient noise app, but it’s well done. I often listen to ambient noise when I’m trying to concentrate, or meditate, and the ease of use and simple design has made this my new go-to.

  • I do not spend a whole lot of time on Reddit, for various reasons. However, I do have an account, and I follow a few subreddits that I think are relevant and helpful for my job. Some of them I follow via RSS to search for news I’d like to post, but this week, I decided to give the Apollo app a try. It’s easily, in my opinion, the best way to browse Reddit. It makes the website far nicer to read or quickly browse through. Not as nice as our forums, but definitely better than their website.

  • I thought this article, “Can Music Journalism Transcend Its Access Problem?,” was an engrossing read and something I’ve thought about a lot over the years in this gig.

  • This is the final week of August, so my month-long “pitch” to everyone to become a supporting member is coming to an end. I started with the goal of needing 90 new supporters to hit my yearly target, and as of right now, we’re about 40 more away from that number. So, I’m pretty happy! I’m hoping more people will signup throughout the rest of the year, and I’m feeling relatively good about where we stand right now. Thank you to everyone that did signup this month, it means the world to me, and now I’ll stop bringing it up each week in this newsletter.

  • A friend is getting married next week, and he asked if I wanted to join him and his friends’ Fantasy football league. It’s one where you pick the winner of one game each week, you can only pick the same team once, and if you lose, you’re out. I haven’t played one of these before, so, I’m curious if anyone has any suggestions for strategy. I’m aiming not to embarrass myself; high-bar, I know.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • Damn, I’m really into the new Lana Del Rey album on first listen. It’s got her signature sound, but the songwriting stands out to me here. I’ve enjoyed all her albums, but I’ve often had to listen to them a few times, in the right mood, to really fall for them. This was much more immediate. I’m looking forward to sitting on the balcony later with headphones and giving this a deeper listen. Hannah heard me listening to the chorus of “Fuck It I Love You” and said it reminded her of The Mamas and the Papas, I think that’s a pretty apt comparison in that melody. (One of these days Hannah and I need to figure out how to combine on a podcast or something.)

  • I spent a lot of time this week listening to Jay Som’s Anak Ko. I like the experimentation and almost jam session vibe that I get from quite a few of these songs. It’s a smooth listen.

  • I really can’t quite figure out how I feel about this The Band Camino EP. There are parts of it I like, and then there are parts of a few songs that feel completely unnecessary and tacked on for the sake of being different. I have this feeling, similar to how I am with Twenty One Pilots, where I can understand the appeal, but it doesn’t connect with me in the same way. (That band name sure is bad though.)

  • I can’t believe we’re getting new Audio Karate music. I loved Lady Melody back in the day, and the new song “Sin Cuchillo” sounds pretty damn good. I like that guitar line, and I’ve found myself humming that little chorus melody throughout the week. Cute kid in the video too.

  • All of the internet comment sections have told me the new Blink–182 “Darkside” video is terrible, and yet I can’t figure out how anyone could have an opinion any harsher than “it’s fine.” It’s a cute video of kids doing popular dances while Blink-dads play their song. It seems completely harmless, the song’s still great, and I don’t understand the adverse reaction I saw. The Target store employee jokes were good though.

  • The new Angels and Airwaves song sounds like an Angels and Airwaves song. The riff’s nice, the lyrics are whatever, and I like the electronic elements. This project still isn’t the kind of music I find myself interested in regularly, so I don’t think it’s something I’ll come back to.

  • I’m going to keep plugging Somos until you’re all annoyed at me. They released one of my favorite songs from the album, “My Way to You,” early this week and have now put the entire thing up on all streaming services. This is a great album.

  • The new Simple Creatures’ song “Thanks, I Hate It” is a nice little catchy track. I saw that some mishap over at YouTube ended up leaking the entire EP super early, but I’m not big on my first listen to anything being a YouTube rip, so I haven’t listened to it yet. I’ve enjoyed both songs I’ve head from it, and I’ll just wait to spin it in better quality whenever it arrives.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Parasite is one of the best films I’ve seen in a while. It’s a mix of a tragedy and dark comedy, but what pushes it over the edge (beside fantastic direction), is the way the film tackles class and two very different social-economical situations. I was utterly transfixed all the way up to its conclusion. If you like foreign films, this one comes highly recommended.

  • I listened to The Rewatchables podcast on Gone Girl, which meant we had to watch the movie after. Holds up. Not my favorite Fincher film (That would be The Social Network), but I still love his craft and virtually all of his films (I’m not huge on Benjamin Button).

  • We spent most of this week doing some MCU re-watches, and went through: Black Panther (still fantastic and maybe the best of the entire bunch), Captain Marvel (a very fun movie and just as enjoyable on a second viewing), and Avengers:Endgame (I still have issues with the entire time-travel plot device).

  • There was potential with X-Men: Dark Phoenix, but that potential was smothered in a poor script, and amateur looking cinematography and direction. The action scenes were, uh, boring. The characters felt wooden and stilted. The movie’s still not as bad as its 22% Rotten Tomatoes score, but it’s a middling mediocre movie instead of an outright awful one. There are a few good character moments, but they’re few and far between. I still enjoyed the first two X-Men movies in this “reboot” of the franchise, but it’s a real shame they weren’t able to do more with what they had. On paper, it’s a great cast, and this comic book has such a rich history and storylines that could be tapped into. Guess we’ll have to see what our Mouse-Eared-Entertainment-Overlords do with these characters.

  • We finished the first season of Derry Girls and that gets my recommendation if anyone’s looking for a funny twenty-minute show on Netflix to throw on. We’ll probably quickly plow through the second season this coming week.

  • I just finished episode 11 of Star Trek: Discovery, and damn, this show is excellent. Making me feel things. I think I’m willing to say I’ve enjoyed the second season even more than the first, and I really liked the first.

  • I’m incredibly excited for Titans to come back. The trailer for season two looks awesome, and I’m still surprised at just how much I liked the first season. I’ve been thinking of doing a re-watch of that after I finish up Discovery.

  • I’ve continued my comic-reading-resurgence with the Amazing Spider-Man. I just finished up the Hunted storyline and thought it was the absolute best from Nick Spencer yet. It mixes humor, suspense, an extensive collection of the rogue gallery, and a genuinely exciting storyline (that was at times quite touching). I’d say it’s a pretty good spot for someone that hasn’t kept up with comics, or Spider-Man, in a while to jump in and read. I was really impressed.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Not much to share in the personal section this week. Weight and stuff have been pretty good throughout the summer, so I’m feeling pretty good about that. I’m looking forward to this weekend and hopefully relaxing a little with Hannah and maybe trying out a new restaurant or something. I know, glamorous stuff here in the middle of my thirties.

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. Somos - My Way to You

  2. Tiger Army - Last Ride

  3. The Band Camino - Daphne Blue

  4. Jay Som - If You Want It

  5. Grayscale - Baby Blue

  6. Simple Creatures - Thanks, I Hate It

  7. Charli XCX - Warm

  8. Angels & Airwaves - Kiss & Tell

  9. Lana Del Rey - Doin’ Time

  10. Noah Gundersen - So What

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 “Accountability in Music” thread.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Be kind to yourself.

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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.