Liner Notes (January 17th, 2020)

Inches and Falling

This week’s newsletter looks at new music from The 1975, Green Day, and Fickle Friends. There’s also my usual media diet rundown and a playlist of ten songs that I enjoyed this week. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Three Things

  • This week I posted up all the data and information behind my attempt to re-think how we calculate all of our ranking lists on the website. I shared my reasoning behind the project, what my goals were, and then the re-rankings of all our best-of lists from 2016 up to now (and the best of the decade list). I found all of this extremely interesting to tackle and play with and a helpful distraction this week.

  • Next up on my to-do list is looking at the mobile posting in the forums. I’d like to play with a few options to make the posting box bigger and expandable on mobile devices to better accommodate longer posts and new, bigger, phones. I’ll be working on that most of next week and hope to have it done in a week or two.

  • If you have places where you need to hide, or control, various cords, I still highly recommend these cable drops from BlueLounge. I have iPhone and Apple Watch docks on the nightstand by our bed and these work great to attach behind the bed frame to keep the wires at bay, but available if they need to be detached for any reason. I think it ends up looking nice and clean. Lots of different use cases; a good company with some excellent organizational products.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • The 1975 announced some new tour dates with Phoebe Bridgers and they’re not coming anywhere near Portland. This tour is practically custom made for me, and I won’t be able to see it. I’m not angry, you’re angry. What an incredible concert. They also released a new song, and it, again, has this little breezy almost shoegaze quality to it. If anything, it reminds me of the ’90s and the kind of song that would appear alongside an episode of Friends. I know there’s going to be 22 songs on the new album, and they’re going to release probably three more before the album release, but I’m still trying not to overplay the early singles so that the entire album still feels fresh when I finally hear it. But, that’s hard, because these new tracks are great. I still have no real idea what the direction or sound of this album is going to be when it’s all said and done, but I’ve enjoyed all the singles so far (“People” being my favorite). I do wonder if they have anything on here that they’ll attempt another radio run with.

  • For the life of me, I can’t get into any of the new Green Day songs. The latest is another that falls very much into the “if this didn’t say Green Day on it I wouldn’t listen again” bucket. Something’s missing, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

  • Brian Fallon released another new song this week but since the album is only eight tracks long, and I’ve been told advances will be going out soon, I haven’t listened to it yet. I want to experience the whole album for the first time as a whole. Comments seem to be positive, but my thoughts will have to wait until I hear it.

  • Today sees the release of the new Anti-Flag album and if you’re looking for a great punk album full of melody and fist-pumping-anthems, this should be a must-listen. This completes a three-album run from the band that has been top-notch and comes highly recommended.

  • Fickle Friends’ new single “Pretty Great” is, oh yeah I’m gonna do it, pretty great. This band remains one of the most underrated around these days.

  • I spun the new Halsey album this morning while posting news and enjoyed it. I still haven’t had that song or album from her that’s really knocked me on my ass and made me a fan, but I also don’t dislike anything she’s done either.

  • I’ve been enjoying these remixes of various The Midnight songs this week as well. Super 80s/nostalgia-bait, but I’m here for it.

  • Next up on in my queue to check out are the new albums from Steve Moakler and AJJ.

  • This week was a Dog Problems week. [shakes magic eight ball] Outlook good.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Wildlife was a very well acted, very well directed film. A tough watch, like a 1960’s version of Marriage Story, at times. I was really impressed with Paul Dano’s directorial style.

  • A re-watch of Bumblebee has confirmed for me that it’s my favorite Transformers movie, but a large margin.

  • I loved the new Netflix series Cheer. It’s a reality TV show more in the vein of something like QB1 than the drama-filled reality shows, and I found it engaging, touching, and very binge-watchable. It was pretty much all we watched last week.

  • I can’t get into this final season of Silicon Valley. We have two left; I’m bored.

  • I read The Outsider by Stephen King, and Hannah listened to the audiobook, so we were both extremely excited for the new HBO series. We watched the first episode last night and are totally in. I’m curious about what they’re going to do or change in this versus the book, but the first episode was great and creepy. We bailed on the third season of Mr. Mercedes, we just couldn’t get into the story, so I’m glad to have another show to take its place.

  • Speaking of Stephen King, one of my goals for the year, I guess one of my goals every year, is to read more for pleasure. So, first on my list is the The Stand. It’s a book I’ve always wanted to read, and it’s so long that it feels like something I can get immersed in and just let the world fade away. I’m only like 12% of the way through, but I’m enjoying it so far. Post-apocalyptic stories are very much in my wheelhouse.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • The start of the year always leads to a lot of anxiety for me. On the 15th of January I do a pretty length audit of everything in my financial world and the state of the website. I like to start getting things ready for tax season and doing a recap of how the website did the previous year and how I need to adjust budgets to account for changes in spending or higher prices on our regular items. It’s stressful and annoying but it needs to be done. I’m going to have to make some difficult decisions coming up that I’m not looking forward to.

  • One thought that I’ve been coming back to a lot this week is making sure to check in and that I’m doing things I want to be doing. That I’m spending my time where I want to be spending it and in service of things that I find enjoyable. Sometimes I forget that I have a choice where I divert my energy and put my attention, brain, and self. The more I focus on putting those things into things I love, the better off I feel.

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. Anti-Flag - The Disease

  2. Fickle Friends - Pretty Great

  3. The Naked and Famous - Bury Us

  4. The Midnight - Collateral (Kobana Remix)

  5. The Format - She Doesn’t Get It

  6. Halsey - You Should Be Mad

  7. Circa Waves - Wasted on You

  8. Beck - Die Waiting

  9. The 1975 - Me & You Together Song

  10. Alexisonfire - Season of the Flood

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 Jason Tate in the “The 1975 - Notes on a Conditional Form (April 24, 2020)” thread.

Well, there we have it, another week in the books. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. Thank you for subscribing and reading.

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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.