Liner Notes (March 13th, 2020)

Pandemic! At the Disco

This week’s newsletter looks at the crazy week we just had. There’s some thoughts on music and entertainment as well, but honestly, my mind’s been pretty preoccupied this week with everything else. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Four Things

  • At this point, there’s pretty much only one thing on everyone’s mind, right? I can’t quite think of a week like the one we just had in my lifetime. The closest thing was 9/11, but this week has had such a feeling of uncertainty and this piling on effect. The news coming out, the administration bumbling like morons, and then everything starts to get canceled at once. The NBA suspending the season, baseball canceling spring training and pushing back opening day, and then Tom Hanks has the virus, and the March Madness is gone, and then schools are closing, and then there’s no large gatherings, and the stock market is in free fall, and it went from zero to sixty real fucking fast. At this point, we’ve decided we’re going to do our best to do the whole social distancing thing. Not because we’re worried about being sick, but because we don’t want to be part of possibly spreading it to others, especially older or immunocompromised people. We plan to make one last run to the grocery store today to pick up some extra things (my birthday is next week and I want some candy dammit) and then spend some time here, inside, for a while to see how things all shake out. We’ve been slowly building up a stash of things the last three weeks when we did our grocery run, so we are pretty well stocked and feel prepared to do our part in flattening the curve. I hope everyone out there is doing what they can to prepare and I think one of the more important things is to do what you need to for your mental health. This is scary, and for some that means reading up about it, for others that means trying to distract yourself with other things. Whatever works for you: do it. And know there are countless others feeling the same way. If you’re looking for community, our forums are a great place to talk with others feeling the same kind of stresses. The supporter Q&A thread has been a really lovely outlet for the past few days. Things are going to be weird for a while, that much is pretty well certain, so I hope we can all do what we can to be kind to each other right now, and look for the places we can help. Think about your older neighbors and those in your community most vulnerable and if there’s anything you can do to make their lives just a little better. Oh, and we have to vote this incompetent moron out of office in November, we just have to. I’ve put together a few links of things I read this week that helped me understand everything that’s been going on a little better because I’m the kind of person that just needs to dive headfirst into everything, so if you’re like me you may find these helpful:

  • The Wash Your Lyrics website is a clever little tool that lets you create graphics for proper handwashing with the lyrics to any song. I made one for Yellowcard’s “Ocean Avenue” and have been humming that to make sure my hands stay nice and clean.

  • It’s going to take some adjustments with Hannah also working from home over the next few weeks as we all do some good ’ol self-isolating. I’m not used to the extra sounds around the house while I’m working. This morning, as I sit here in the office and write, it’s the little noises from the kitchen, or the cat clearly confused, meowing, that make everything feel a little off. My current balm is noise-canceling AirPod Pros and the excellent Dark Noise app. It’s tough for me to write and listen to music at the same time. The lyrics mess with my flow and I find it hard to get into a rhythm. Dark Noise is an app full of various background sounds, white noise, and things of that nature. I currently am a huge fan of the thunderstorm sound. It’s comforting and helps pull out the rest of the world. Highly recommended.

  • I also recommend the Serenilite gel stress ball. I’m, by nature, a fidgety person. Who could have guessed? But all the little desk/fidget toys have never caught on with me. They make too much noise or are oddly weird to pick up and put down while typing or in the middle of other tasks. However, the little squeeze ball is perfect. It’s satisfying.


E.R.I.E have released their new album, Don’t Wanna Live, Don’t Wanna Die, on Bandcamp. The album is for fans of The Gaslight Anthem, Frank Turner, and Frightened Rabbit and is lush with addictive progressions and alternative undertones; the record boasts the aesthetic of pop-rock anthems befit for basements and festival stages alike.

The Upstate New York based songwriter/producer birthed the project out of a tumultuous experience, which resulted in an unexpected three-day stint at the hospital. Late one night, after Foster’s heart stopped for 15 seconds on his bathroom floor, he found himself on a hospital bed preparing for emergency surgery. Both before and after his surgery, the artist fought through existential thoughts and difficult questions. Though he left with many of them unanswered, there was one thing he knew for sure – a burning desire to play music again had returned.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • This week was a weird music listening week. I didn’t listen to a lot of music because I was either following the news or deep in my redesign of Chorus coding project. But, the [Lauv album](’ m+feeling~) got a whole lot of love when I needed a pick me up.

  • My album of the morning was the new release from Niall Horan, Heartbreak Weather, and it’s pretty much just the kind of pop album I needed this morning.

  • The Killers’ new song gives me a Sam’s Town vibe and I like it more than anything on their last album.

  • The new Dogleg album that came out today, Melee, is sure to be right up a lot of your alleys.

  • I have been listening to the new The Bombpops album while writing the newsletter this morning and really enjoying it. It’s one that’ll be getting more time throughout the next week. And next on my list to listen to is the new one from Caitlyn Smith that I’ve heard good things about.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Sonic the Hedgehog was surprisingly silly and fun for what it is. For a movie that by all accounts should have been an absolute trainwreck, this was completely watchable, kinda fun, and mindlessly watchable.

  • With everything else going on in the world, why not add a little more intensity, right? We watched 1917 last night, and I thought it was a good movie that wasn’t quite great. It’s very well shot, and it’s quite intense, but it didn’t quite get elevated into the upper tier for me.

  • We plowed through the second season of Ugly Delicious in no time. Hannah and I like watching food shows together and talking about all the places we want to go, and all the cookbooks we have in the kitchen full of fun things we just promise we’re going to try and make one of these days. I swear, one day I really am going to make those dumplings. This show makes me just wanna sit around, talk about food, and eat with friends.

  • McMillions was a wild ride. I enjoyed every part of this mini-series. What an absolutely insane story.

  • We’ve started watching Barry and the first four episodes have us hooked. I think this will be what we’re going to watch this next week while we’re isolated from the rest of the world.

  • For those that are sitting at home and wondering what they should binge-watch over the next few weeks, some under the radar gems I’d recommend giving a go: Cobra Kai11.22.62You’re the WorstThe Bold Type. And there’s always my list of favorite TV shows in my blog.

  • Yep, still reading The Stand during all this. It’s starting to pick back up again after a little lull in the middle. Good book.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Hannah’s college jobs are all going on extended hiatus due to the virus, so she’ll be at home with me for, at least, the next two weeks. All of this is going to be a fucking mess for the economy. I’m worried about what it’s going to do to all of the reader-supported businesses out there (like mine!) and how we’re going to be impacted.

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. Alice Phoebe Lou - Witches

  2. Niall Horan - Black And White

  3. The Bombpops - Double Arrow Down

  4. Lauv - El Tejano

  5. The Districts - Velour and Velcro

  6. Porches - Do U Wanna

  7. Snarls - Twenty

  8. Dogleg - Bueno

  9. Vundabar - Petty Crime

  10. Vasudeva - Stockmar

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 dylan in the “General Politics Discussion VII” thread.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Stay healthy out there!

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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.