Liner Notes (February 21st, 2020)

Sugarcoated Poison Apple

Hello Friday. This week’s newsletter looks at the music and entertainment I enjoyed this week and includes a playlist of ten songs I think are worth your time. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Three Things

  • Well, I finally started a new branch for the redesign of the Chorus homepage this week. After months of designing and prototyping, I’m ready to sit down and write the code. It’s going to be a long process because I’m writing the entire thing from scratch. When I started this version of the website, it was my first real foray into WordPress, and now that I know it better, and know how I want the website to work, there’s a lot of things I want to do differently. This way, I can keep everything clean, lean, and build the exact version of the main website that I want. The first thing I worked on was bringing notifications from the forums to the homepage for supporters. There will be a few more modifications that better integrate the two sections of the website, and this is the first I wanted to build. On that note, because this will be what I’m working on for quite a while, it means I won’t be taking as many freelance or consulting jobs for a while. So, if you’ve ever been thinking about signing up as a supporting member, now’s a great time to do it. I’ll be posting updates in the supporter Q&A forum as I work on things and want to share. It’s going to be a process, but I’m feeling good and excited about it.

  • This project is interesting. It uses machine learning to try and separate the vocals and music in a song automatically. I played around with it a little, and it kind of works, but it works better on some songs versus others. I think more artists should release instrumental versions of their albums if they have them. I listen to that instrumental version of Brand New Eyes pretty frequently. I still don’t even know where that came from.

  • I thought this TEDx Talk about copyright infringement, music, and the finite number of possible melodies was fascinating and worth a watch.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • The 1975 released their new single “The Birthday Party” this week. I only listened to it twice because I’m still trying to hold out on overplaying any of these songs until I can hear the full album. First impressions are that it’s fine. It’s a little meandering. I couldn’t make out all the lyrics, but nothing about it grabbed me and made me think, “Oh shit yeah, this is great” – it’s just a fine song that maybe will have more gravitas in the album’s sequencing. The video sure is fucking weird.

  • All Time Low announced their new album and released another new song. I’m, so far, crazy into these new songs. That chorus is an immediate earworm, and I like the verse vocal melody. There’s something instant about these songs that grabs me. Within a few seconds, I’m nodding along, going, “yap, that’s good, that I like.”

  • Allie X’s new album, Cape God, is out today and it’s a little different than her past couple releases. It has more of this ethereal, moody vibe to it. I liked my first listen, but it feels like something I’ll need to spend some more time with to get into since it doesn’t have the same immediate energy as her past work. Some solid songs here though.

  • Beach Bunny’s new album, Honeymoon, got quite a bit of play this week. It has a nice energy to it that lends itself to the days where it’s kinda, sorta, maybe, getting sunny again.

  • I’m ready for a new Neon Trees album. That “Used to Like” song is a legit hit, and I want more. I think I’m going to revisit Picture Show later today, that album was ahead of its time

  • This week was another heavy Soccer Mommy week. That new album is special.

  • I didn’t listen to the new New Found Glory album at all this week. I should try it at the gym.

  • I listened to the new Coin album once. And by listened to, I mean skipped through a bunch of songs because I found it boring.

  • Brian Fallon shared another new song from his album this week and it’s not one of my favorites from the album, but I think it’s a pretty good indicator of where the album’s sound is. I still come back to this album at least once a week, so far, it’s had legs.

  • I still listen to Selena Gomez’s recent album pretty frequently, and the new one off single is good, but I can see why it wasn’t on the album.

  • Vasudeva remains very underrated and their new single is a perfect introduction into the band. If you haven’t checked them out before, you should, they’re great.

  • Lanterns on the Lake released their new album, Spook the Herd, today and I get a little Daughters feel from it. I really liked “Swimming Lessons.”

  • I plan to give the new Best Coast album a spin next, and after that the new Katie Pruitt album I’ve seen recommended by some people I trust.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • On paper, I probably should have liked the remake of Black Christmas. And yet, I did not. It was boring and lacking suspense or thrills.

  • The new Charlie’s Angels was atrocious, but every single scene Kristen Stewart was in was incredible. She’s on another level right now, and I don’t know what movie she thought she was in, but I want to watch that one.

  • We are four episodes into the final season of Mr. Robot and holy shit, they’re just really going for it, aren’t they? From the opening scene, I have no idea what to expect in each episode, and it’s just flying now. The plan is to finish this before we start anything new, so we’ve been watching one or two each night, and it’s been as good as I could have hoped.

  • I’m a fan of the first two episodes of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. I like the actors, I like silly songs, and I like being able to turn my brain off and inject cotton candy into it every once in a while. I’m in on this for now.

  • I still very much love Atypical and don’t want to finish season three and not have any more to watch.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Not much to share in this section this week. It was a relatively laid back week that went by way faster than I expected.

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. All Time Low - Sleeping In

  2. The Griswolds - Nice to Meet Ya!

  3. Vasudeva - Breaks

  4. MxPx - Salt Like City

  5. 5 Seconds of Summer - Old Me

  6. Allie X - Life of the Party

  7. Beach Bunny - Cuffing Season

  8. Mint Julep - Just for Today

  9. The 1975 - The Birthday Party

  10. Lanterns on the Lake - Swimming Lessons

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 bmir14 in the “Real Friends Part Ways With Frontman” thread.

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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.