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Liner Notes (September 17th, 2023)
Another week, another newsletter.
A Few Things
I went looking for a new wallpaper for my laptop last week and decided to edit this classic Blink-182 image to fit the MacBook Air. I uploaded my edit in color and black and white if you're interested.
I was talking to someone last week who mentioned feeling intimidated by getting into any automation on their computer (or iOS). I recommended they take some time to play around with Shortcuts and think of something they do a lot that they wish they could do faster. I have so many different places where automation fits into my life that I often need to remember that starting from square one can feel intimidating. (This newsletter begins with an automation that builds the basic structure from a template and populates various sections with pre-filled links/information.) So, here's one of my favorite simple automations that I run at the start of every week. It's built-in Shortcuts, and it's called "Begin Work." It opens up all the apps I use daily for work. I sit at the computer, hit ⌘Space to launch Raycast, and trigger this Shortcut. All the right apps are opened, my office lights are set to my preferred settings, my desk light is turned on and set to 50%, the overhead light is slightly dimmed, the Work focus mode is automatically turned on, and then AppleScript triggers the hotkey (Cap Lock + 1) that Moom uses to automatically rearrange the opened applications to my preferred saved layout. It's a simple automation that can be quickly triggered to get all the right apps opened and positioned where I want them to be and, in my opinion, an easy way to dive into the automation world. Sidebar: I've been a Moon advocate and have multiple saved app configurations that put windows in my preferred locations. I like having a home base to return to if I've moved a bunch of stuff around where everything is precisely where I want it to be, in the right place, the right size, and I can get back there with one keyboard command. I highly recommend it.
MxPx have been sponsoring the website and newsletter for the past month. The band recently released their new album, Find a Way Home, and just released a new music video for “Call Me.” They’ve been going strong for over thirty years, and as their new album proves, they don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
In Case You Missed It
Switchfoot released a re-recorded version of The Beautiful Letdown as a new "deluxe edition" that contains the album re-imagined by other artists. The whole thing is excellent. I love the Relient K, Jonas Brothers, and Jon Bellion versions, but there are not really any misses here. It's an enjoyable idea that I'd love to see other artists embrace. It's also got me in the mood to do a Switchfoot discog dive, so I'll begin that on Monday.
Demi Lovato also released an album of revisited songs called Revamped this week. It's a lot of fun, and The Maine feature is a highlight on "Neon Lights."
The only other new release that grabbed my attention this week was the new one from Gatlin. This one leans more into the pop realm than some of her previous tracks, but she does it well.
Neon Trees, I think, are eyeing an April release for their next album. If it's full of songs like their recent few singles, I'm completely in.
Explosions in the Sky don't have an album in their entire history that I don't enjoy. I have to be in the right mood to want to listen to their specific blend of instrumental rock, but it's always so well done.
The rest of my week was spent listening to a whole lot of The Gaslight Anthem. Also, the early mornings have been starting to turn a little chilly, and that's enough to get me reaching a little more toward some fall-themed music. A little American Football (LP3 is a masterpiece) and some Alkaline Trio have already entered the rotation.
The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 33 different artists, 50 different albums, and 428 different tracks (481 scrobbles). Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or Last.fm.
Theatre Camp was a cute film. There are some funny moments, and everything Jimmy Tatro does makes me laugh. The right length for something like this. It's probably not something I'd re-watch, but it's a nice light comedy.
I had the chance to watch a screener of Tom DeLonge's directorial debut, Monsters of California, and they've asked that all coverage be held until October 6th. That's how it was worded, and it wasn't really an embargo, but I'm treating it as such to be on the safe side. I will say that I came away most impressed with the actual direction of the film. It did not feel like a first-time director. There are a couple legit great shots, it holds tension well, and that impressed me. More commentary next month.
Random and Personal Stuff
Our power went out for about six hours on Friday evening, so we ended up over at my sister's place to watch Theatre Camp, and then the internet was down for most of Saturday. Weird weekend.
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.
Demi Lovato - Neon Lights
Gatlin - Really Funny
Relient K - Ammunition
Josh Ritter - The Goonies' R' Good Enough
Neon Trees - Losing My Head
Maren Morris - The Tree
Ruston Kelly - Asshole (Apple Music Session)
Joan - Nervous (Stripped)
Switchfoot - Dare You to Move
Explosions in the Sky - It's Never Going to Stop
The trending and popular threads in our community this week include:
The most liked post in our forums last week was this one by Kibbles in the "blink-182" thread.
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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.