This week’s newsletter is brought to you with a massive craving for pizza.
In this week’s newsletter, I share a new fun productivity tip I started using this week, talk a little about the current project I’m working on, and share thoughts on music, movies, and TV shows I enjoyed this week. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved and a rant about political debates. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.
If you like listening to me talk about things I like, I was the guest on the Welcome to Geekdom podcast this week, and we talked all about one of my favorite movies of all time: Jaws.
This article is filled with a whole bunch of Mac productivity tips from various people. It was the catalyst for me finally setting up a trick on my Mac that I’d read about before called the “hyperkey.” The basic idea is that most of us don’t use our caps lock key very often, so what if we could make it more useable by remapping it to the combination of command+option+control+shift. Then you can use that to pair up with something like Keyboard Maestro to have fast shortcut keys to practically anything you’d like. I already have keyboard shortcuts that I use daily for things like responding to iMessages, moving windows around the screen to where I want them, and other things have become muscle memory. But after a while you run out of key combinations. Enter the hyperkey. At this point, I’ve only set it up to activate/switch to various applications. I use, and love, Alfred as an app launcher. However, to launch Safari with the keyboard, I need to type command+space, type “sa,” and hit enter. Now, I’ve mapped it so caps lock + S will launch Safari for me. It’s a little thing, but so far it’s proven to be incredibly useful. I have caps lock + T set to open up Textmate, my text editor of choice, and it makes getting a blank sheet to write on almost instantaneous. Caps lock + M opens up Messages for quickly responding to someone, and caps lock + H opens the app that runs my entire life: Things. I’ll keep playing around with this for the next few weeks, but I don’t want to overload it too much, instead I just want to have quick access to a few apps that I use all the time and often need to bring up during my daily workflow, and if I can do it even just a little faster than before, that’s worth it to me. Plus, that caps lock key was sitting there unused. Anyway, yeah, cool article, good tips.
One of the things I’ve struggled with in this newsletter is how to link to music I write about. If I’m writing about a TV show or movie, it’s easy to link to IMDB or Netflix. However, when it comes to a song, or album, everyone has a different preferred platform for listening to their music, and if I link to Apple Music, all the Spotify people will miss out on quick access to the tunes. I like those services that a lot of bands and press people use that aggregate all of the streaming platform links into one easy to share page. Basically, what I want is something like those but where I can plug-in any song or album and automatically populate it with the correct links. A Twitter user pointed me to song.link, and it pretty much does exactly what I’m looking for. Even better, they have an API that I can use to create a version with the tweaks I’d like. Using a combination of the Apple Music API from Apple (getting my money’s worth out of my developer account), and this Song.Link API, I’ve been spending this week building my own “share” page for music. So far, it looks like this. I’m actually really excited about this project, even though it’s just built for this newsletter at the moment. That entire page is created simply by giving my script “blink–182 generational divide” as an input. I like having control over these share links myself so that I know they won’t ever die and no longer work if a service shuts down. I can simply tweak what I need to, and they should keep working for as long as I want. I hope to finish everything up and have this working by the time I send out next week’s newsletter, and then I’ll be able to add the relevant links into my music thoughts section.
Next week we will be rolling out our “best of 2019 … so far” mid-year lists, and there’s a thread in our forums if you’d like to share your list. I’ve seen our contributor compiled list and think it’s pretty damn awesome. Some great albums have come out in the first half of this year. I’ll expand on my list in next week’s newsletter. Oh, and one last reminder that if you want a Chorus.fm Pride shirt or other merch, order now! You only have a week or so left.
The news about Jony Ive leaving Apple seems to be all the tech world is talking about today. I’m sure the podcast-sphere will be all about it over the next couple weeks with speculation and discussion as well. I thought John Gruber’s take was well articulated, and I liked Ben Thompson’s as well. I’ve been an admirer of Jony’s work for decades at this point, but I’m not that worried that his departure will significantly hurt the company. I think he’s built a great team full of world-class designers and his influence will be felt for years to come.
In Case You Missed It
With Holy Ghost, Isaiah Dominguez has taken personal experiences and packaged them in a way that seem strangely familiar. There is a familiar comfort in his choruses and a vague recollection of memories that align with his lyrics. Dominguez has markedly set himself apart from his past with this collection of songs and created a sound uniquely his own. His blend of nostalgic 80’s rock and contemporary alternative marry perfectly with his independent, solo-songwriter style. The record starts strong with a fist-pumping pop-rock staple and doesn’t let up until the last note rings. If you’re looking for an album that is equal parts “windows down, road trip” and “nostalgia-inducing introspection,” Holy Ghost is an absolute gem to add to your playlist.
My +44 vinyl finally arrived. I forgot I ordered this all the way back in January, but it was worth the wait. It’s god-damn-gorgeous. Of course, I had to get the pink. I gave the album a spin over the weekend, and it does hold up, and at this point, I maintain it’s almost criminally underrated. It has this almost modern feel to it, and all the songs still feel lively and fresh. I can’t believe it came out almost 13 years ago.
I listened to, and enjoyed, the new Stranger Things inspired album from Ingrid Michaelson this morning while posting news. It’s a solid album without ever quite getting to the “holy shit this is amazing” category for me. (I can’t wait for next season of the show.)
I saw Craig Manning recommend the new Runaway June album, so I gave that a spin, and it’s an enjoyable pop-country album. Some good songs, some forgettable songs, and something I’ll probably listen to again.
My most played album of the last week was Hatchie’s Keepsake. Still great.
This new release from The Black Keys feels like … The Black Keys.
With the final rips from Bleachers newest Terrible Things 7" being shared this week, and Jack releasing two new songs with this Red Hearse project, I feel like next week is going to be a heavy Bleachers/Steel Train discography dive. If the weather cooperates, it’ll be a damn good time.
Lucy Dacus’s new single “Forever Half Mast” is fantastic.
I saw a whole lot of praise for the new Prince Daddy & The Hyena album, but it didn’t do much for me on my first listen. I think it’s the vocals, but I couldn’t get into it at the moment. I’ll try again later. It seems like they’d be a blast to see live though.
All the praise for the new Mannequin Pussy album was deserved, it’s awesome. This was easily my second most played album for the week, and it’s such a perfect combination of angst and melody.
This new Shredders track (P.O.S., Sims, Paper Tiger, Lazerbeak) was a nice surprise this morning. I need to listen to their last album again. I remember enjoying it but always forget to toss it into any regular rotation.
Next up to listen to is the new Thom York.
I have no complaints with Shazam!. The chemistry with the leads was perfect, and the movie was pretty much exactly what I wanted and expected. It’s not a great movie, but it was a fun movie, and I’ll watch these characters in another film. CGI work was a little off to me at times, and the villain was pretty cookie cutter, but it was easy to overlook with all the charm coming from the rest of the film.
I was impressed with how engrossing Rust Creek ended up being. I like survival type movies, and this had enough of a new spin on it that I was in on the premise. It was well shot and maybe felt a little bit like a Netflix movie, but I also came away pretty impressed with Hermione Corfield’s performance. She’s good.
A Vigilante was a tough watch. It’s meant to be, and Olivia Wilde gives her everything to the role. The third act didn’t quite work for me.
Hannah was convinced we’d seen The Five-Year Engagement together, and it seems like the kind of movie we’d have watched, but I swear I don’t remember ever watching it before. I thought it was funny if maybe a little too long. Maybe this is the second time I’ve seen it, and I just forgot about it, but it felt like a new movie when we watched it, so who knows. It was funny to see so many babyfaced actors that have gone on to massive fame since this movie came out.
We’re up to episode seven of season two of Handmaid’s Tale, and I’m struggling with it. It’s undeniably good, and it undeniably has a negative impact on my mental state. Some of the episodes hit so close to home and what we’re seeing in our country right now that I can feel my blood start to boil. We’re powering through this season though; we’ll make it. I hope.
I’ve convinced Hannah she needs to see Fleabag, which has been one of the best things I’ve watched all year, so I’m re-watching it as she watches it the first time. We just started season two. It’s so damn good.
I watched the Democratic debates, and I honestly think “debates” like this are a farce. They don’t educate voters, they don’t help people understand issues, and they’re played off like entertainment and not a serious discussion of the issues at hand. The lack of climate discussion was gross negligence, and most of these people need to drop out. And, on top of that, I can’t shake the feeling that Joe Biden is John Kerry 2.0, the person everyone thinks can beat an incompetent sitting President, only to blow it. I want strong progressive policy and he ain’t it. To say the political world and bullshit going on in our country right now bothers me would be a massive understatement.
Hannah showed me the TwoSet Violin YouTube channel years ago and whenever we can’t come up with something to watch or don’t want to go to bed quite yet, we throw on one of their random videos. They’re shocking entertaining even to someone without a classical music background. A few nights ago we attempted the “tempo test” after having a few drinks and, even though I lost, I think I did better than anyone in this house expected.
Random and Personal Stuff
All our wedding invites came this week and I’m damn proud of how they turned out. Next up I think there is cake tasting and figuring out what we want the ceremony to look like.
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.
FIDLAR - Almost Free
+44 - 155
Ingrid Michaelson - Young and In Love
Mannequin Pussy - Cream
Walk the Moon - Tightrope
Shredders - Ayeyayaya
Runaway June - I Know The Way
My Chemical Romance - The Jetset Life is Gonna Kill You
Lucy Dacus - Forever Half Mast
Hatchie - Stay With Me
The trending and popular threads in our community this week include:
The most liked post in our forums last week was this one by DandonTRJ in the “Absurdist Twitter” thread.
I hope everyone has a great weekend. I’ll leave you with my new favorite Instagram follow, Juniper the Fox.
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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.