Liner Notes (June 26th, 2020)

I get it, the weeks are blending, and you were just reading a newsletter from me last Friday, but it’s here again. Round and round we go. This week’s newsletter has thoughts on music, entertainment, and other stuff on my mind. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Five Things

  • This week’s article was about heading back to 2008 and not only revisiting the music we were all listening to, but also getting a sense of place and remembering the feeling of hope and change I was feeling that year. It was a historic year for the country but also one for me personally. It’s also the year of The Gaslight Anthem’s 59 Sound, an album that’s come to mean so very much to me in the subsequent twelve years. This was a fun one to write and reflect on.

  • Scott Sellers of Rufio covered Slick Shoes’ “For Better or For Worse” and I ripped that from Facebook if anyone wants it for their collection. That guitar riff is so damn good and brings me back.

  • I watched Apple’s WWDC keynote on Monday, and by and large, I think there’s a lot of cool stuff here. If it works right, I’m most excited about automatic switching for AirPods. It’s a small thing, but it’ll probably make the most real-world change in my listening to various things across various devices, especially while Hannah is also still working from home. I think the new widgets on the home screen look attractive, and I’m curious how that will all work and if I’ll find some new ways to tweak my current setup. I’m not sold on the new look for macOS quite yet. That may be a wait and see for me. Of all the coverage of the event, and analysis afterward, I thought the ATP podcast was great, this video interview from John Gruber was informative, and I thought thesetwo overview write-ups from MacStories were great.

  • This article is worth a bookmark. It lists out, as of right now, 759 atrocities committed by Donald Trump. Seeing them all laid out like this is overwhelming, but a good reminder of how absurd everything has been. The flooding-the-zone strategy he uses makes it difficult to comprehend just how patently disgusting this dude has been over the past four-plus years.

  • My project for next week is bringing ApplePay to the website’s membership program. I’m not sure how much work this will be, but I already have it set up for our website/newsletter sponsorship page, so I think I have most of the code already written; I just need to put it together. I’d like to make it even easier for people to sign up, and while I already think the flow is pretty simple, adding ApplePay into the mix will make it even better.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • It was another Phoebe Bridgers heavy listening week for me.

  • HAIM’s new album (finally) came out today. It’s not that far removed from what they’ve done in the past, but it feels a little more breezy, a little more experimental, and a good listen. It didn’t really grab me though in a way that made me think: “Oh, I’m going to be listening to this all summer.” I was hoping for a little more wow factor from my first impression.

  • What am I missing about Mansions? The new album is getting lots of buzz in our community, but I guess I don’t think I get it? I kept waiting for the songs to pick up or have some energy to them and ended up kind of skipping around trying to find something that grabbed me. I’ll have to try again later.

  • PVRIS’s new album got pushed back, again. At this point, I’m officially worried about this band and album. Signing to a major label and then having a delay after delay is never a good sign. I still haven’t heard it, but I want this band to break out, and I thought this would be the time and album to do it. I know there’s a lot of shit going on in the world right now, but I worry this album is going get swallowed up and forgotten. Bums me out.

  • Ruston Kelly released another new song from his upcoming album, I’m going to keep singing his praises because I’m still really into this release.

  • Tigers Jaw announced a new album, and a new song that won’t be on said album.

  • LAUV released a new EP of songs he’s been working on during quarantine. “Dishes” is probably the standout here, a nice little mellow pop-track about missing an ex. Nothing grabbed me in the same way as his recent full-length, but not a bad addition to his catalog.

  • New Lawrence Arms single rules, cause the new Lawrence Arms album rules. That’s pretty easy math.

  • The surprise release of a new HUM album took me by .. uh .. surprise this week. It’s now on streaming services as well, and it’s really good.

  • Next up on my list to check out is the new album from Gordi.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • This week we started Little Fires Everywhere and that has been most of our TV watching. I don’t think I can recommend the show, though. It’s trying ever so hard to be prestige TV, but I’m often bored and don’t find the drama or many of the characters all that compelling. I can see the bones of a really good story, and I bet the book’s great because the idea of tackling motherhood from all these different angles is really interesting; the show … just hasn’t pulled it off for me. We have two left. I’m very ready to move on.

  • The third season of Search Party is now out and I cannot wait to watch it. The moment we’re done with Little Fires, this is my pick for the next binge as we wait for Dark’s return. And, in the category of shows I watch by myself: Doom Patrol is also back! I’d argue this isn’t just the best “superhero” TV show on right now, but it might be one of the best TV shows and best renditions of a comic book out there. I loved the first season and can’t wait to see what they do next. I’ll probably wait until all the episodes air and then watch the crap out of this.

  • We watched the first episode of Love, Victor last night and I enjoyed it enough. Some of the dialogue is roooooough, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

  • I finished reading Run Away and thought it was effortless to read and digest thriller. It kept me guessing enough to be a fun read. After that, I read The Last House Guest; which I enjoyed. This would be the epitome of a beach/summer thriller read. The perfect “sit by the pool” kind of book. Now, I don’t have a pool, nor would I be caught dead near a pool right now, but as a sit on the balcony in the sun while I remain socially distant from my fellow citizens kind of book, it was great. Easy to read, compelling thriller, shifts in time by going back and forward one summer worked well. Would recommend. I’m now about halfway through with Miracle Creek, and I’m quite into this as well. It’s a courtroom drama, and I haven’t read one of those in a while. The mystery is working well and being revealed at a nice pace; I’m still not quite sure what the hell actually happened either, so that’s good. It’s also well written, especially for a debut.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • I was pleasantly surprised with how many pro-pineapple on pizza folks came out of the woodwork last week. Hell yeah! I’m not sure what tonight’s pie is going to be; Hannah is back home, so my jalapeño run must come to an end.

  • I woke up to my Twitter feed being full of anti-mask rallies amidst spikes in the virus across various states that have “opened up,” and I just can’t get over how fucking stupid this all is. Anti-mask rallies, huh? I can’t believe this shit got politicized. 🤦‍♂️

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. Andy Hull - Born of You

  2. Neon Trees - New Best Friend

  3. HUM - Waves

  4. HAIM - Don’t Wanna

  5. City and Colour - Murderer

  6. Lauv - Dishes

  7. Phoebe Bridgers - Halloween

  8. David Bowie - Modern Love

  9. Gordi - Unready

  10. The Midnight - Prom Night

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 aliens exist in the “Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher (June 19, 2020)” thread.

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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.