Andrew Whipple

The most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, muppetational

Mid-Year Musical Checkin

Published 7/23/2017

It’s the mid-year, and while we’re many months away from when I write up my eventual end of the year top ten albums posted I’ve listened to many an album thus far and I want to document thoughts.

Below you will find one-sentence reviews of each of the 23 new full-length album I’ve listened to so far in 2017. Enjoy!

Near To The Wild Heart Of Life - Japandroids

Dang Japandroids sound a lot more like Bruce Springsteen than I remembered.

Nothing Feels Natural - Priests

I am categorically too boring a person to get fully into Priests and that makes me sad.

Tourist In This Town - Allison Crutchfield

I genuinely think every vague sense memory of listening to this album is actually from me listening to the most recent Allison Weiss record last year.

Number 1 Angel - Charli XCX

The only thing better than PC Music is getting PC Music sprinkled and mixed in with another great pop star.

Everybody Works - Jay Som

Suck it Owl CIty, bedroom pop has a new gold standard.

The Navigator - Hurray For The Riff Raff

Let us conquer the world with our melancholy.

Mental Illness - Aimee Mann

Ain’t nobody can paint an image, undersell it, and then have it punch you in the throat two weeks later when you least expect it than Aimee Mann.

DAMN. - Kendrick Lamar

Just because it’s maybe the most conventional Kendrick album doesn’t mean it’s not pretty wild y’all.

What Now - Sylvan Esso

Full disclosure: I remember liking it but not much else, so I should probably relisten I guess?

Humanz - Gorillaz

The kind of mess I can get down with as heck.

After Laughter - Paramore

If this were literally anyone other than Paramore I’d be at least mildly here for these nouveau disco shenanigans but GUYS I LOVE RIOT! ERA PARAMORE SO MUCH AND IT HAS BLINDED ME OKAY???

Pageant - PWR BTTM

I can't lie; I definitely loved it, but no matter how much you "death of the author" it's hard not to take this album in context and frankly impossible to get back to that good feeling I got the first time through.

Harry Styles - Harry Styles

This is an album that my classic-rock loving brother and dad would adore, but will only be heard by my pop-loving sister and me.

Powerplant - Girlpool

I hate being the “I liked the old sound better” guy but I guess I already burned that bridge with Paramore so.

Guppy - Charly Bliss


Goths - The Mountain Goats

I genuinely don’t understand why The Mountain Goats have never clicked for me but spoiler: the bizarre trend continued it seems.

Dua Lipa - Dua Lipa

Does Dua Lipa have a “sound” yet, and if not can it please be “New Rules” because Y’ALL.

Melodrama - Lorde

Fun fact: every single memory of high school know has a Lorde song retroactively added as the background music.

Something To Tell You - Haim

MY GALS ARE BACK and the bops are EVEN MORE LUSCIOUS and also “Walking Away” is destroying my entire life.

Split Lip - The Love-Inns


Beautiful Mess - Jessie Thoreson

This album is very very good but because I’m a unrepentant narcissist I mostly want to point out I rode the bus with Jessie freshman and sophomore year of high school and had a bit of a crush during the second of those years.

Cowgirl Blues - Katie Ellen

I love Chumped more than life itself and while “Cowgirl Blues” doesn’t have as much to immediately latch on to as “Guppy” above or earlier Chumped albums, I can tell already that this heartbreaker will be with me for a minute.

No Shape - Perfume Genius

Took a few listens but it started to soak in, so hey Bryn thx.

-Andrew W.

Hi Amelie! 👋 🔗

Published 7/2/2017 (Permalink 📌)

For the last couple of months I've been spending a bit of free time here and there cleaning up some of the code that runs this site. The goal? Have a reasonably pretty, moderately useful generic version of this blog engine available!

And so, today I'm open-sourcing version 1.0.0 of "Amelie," the blog engine that powers this site.

I've been running it for about 16 months in various forms, making piecemeal edits and bugfixes and it's finally at the place where I was able to, in a matter of minutes, spin up a whole new server and have it work. So I think that means it's as good a time as any to make it a thing.

Look. I get it. No one cares and no one else is probably gonna use this. And I'm certainly not going to really go through the work to maintain it on the off-chance that someone champs at the bit to contribute. More than anything I wanted an excuse to go through and make things presentable, make it real. I want a coding project out in the world that I'm proud of, and even if the only people who look at it are myself and future job interviewers, that's okay.

Plus this makes it infinitely easier if I want to spin up a new site from scratch using the engine.

Anyway a bit of info on Amelie:

  • It's a lightweight, Node.js blog engine that lives on top of Express
  • It's built to give a middle finger to admin panels and complicated CMS-es, and instead all writing is done by creating and editing Markdown files in a folder
  • Since it's all files in a folder, it works great with Dropbox (and that's how I run this site!)

It's not all peaches and rainbowcorns, of course:

  • It renders everything dynamically, so it's definitely not the most high-performance server (though it can work well if you place it behind a caching server)
  • There's minimal error checking
  • Post publishing is more high-ceremony and error-prone than I'd like
  • There's almost certainly weird bugs and confusing stuff that I missed in code cleanup

If you'd like to give it a try, head on over to its Github page! And if you want to mess around with it and hack it apart, feel free to do so too! In both cases I'd love it if you let me know what you do with it!

Oh, and yeah, you probably have one more question: "Why Amelie?"

Boy oh boy do you have a great 1:59 ahead of you.

  • Andrew W.

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