This week’s newsletter has thoughts on baseball, Last.fm, Marvis, and pop-punk music I like. Surprise!
A Few Things
Well, well, well, I am writing this week’s issue of the newsletter from a train on my way back from Seattle to Portland. I had planned on writing and finishing this on the trip up, but better late than never, right? My dad gifted me tickets to see the Seattle Mariners play the New York Yankees for my birthday (back in March), so we turned it into a Memorial Day weekend trip and took an extra day off real work. The game itself was incredible. Perfect Pacific Northwest weather for a night game. Incredible atmosphere. We had tickets behind the Yankee dugout down the third base line, and it was filled with Yankee fans. Aaron Judge hit two home runs, robbed another, and I stuffed my face with hot dogs and beer. Seriously, I couldn’t ask for much more. I still think watching games at home on the couch is the preferable baseball experience. Replay, multiple angles, and not dealing with other people are definite perks. At 40, you would think I would stop being surprised by other people, their decisions, and how a good portion of them act like it is their first time outside with others in their entire lives. Add alcohol, add general traveling chaos, and I’m ready to return home. An incredible birthday trip, though. I guess now I have no more excuses for embracing my new in-my-forties existence.
Last week, I passed the 100k scrobbling mark on Last.fm. After going entirely back all in on Last.fm two or so years ago, I enjoy marking the milestones. Not just of the big numbers but also seeing different bands climb up my personal charts. The ones that hit a thousand plays, the different rise and fall of albums, and seeing how my listening preferences move and sway throughout the year. Summer has, predictably, brought out a big pop-punk swell.
So far, we’ve hit Baseball and Last.fm; we might as well go for the newsletter trifecta and drop a Marvis plug. They recently updated their iPhone app to allow for more customizable sidebars, similar to their iPad app. As the hands-down most customizable music app on the market, this was yet another place to think through how I mostly use the app and what I’d want quicker access to. Here’s what I’m currently going with. Some basics up top, matching the order of my Marvis home screen. Then I have instant access to my “Listenlist” playlist. This is a playlist where I add things I want to remember to listen to throughout the week. Often it’s got recommendations in there or something I was sitting around and thought, “Oh, I haven’t listened to XYZ in a while; I should do that tomorrow.” I have this set to display by Albums, since it’s all about albums I intend to listen to in the near future. Next is my newly created “Loved Albums” view. This is a smart view that shows any album that I have specifically “Loved,” and all albums, longer than three tracks (to weed out singles), where I’ve “liked” more than 33% of the album. This gives a great album list that perfectly shows me only albums I adore. I have this view set to shuffle the albums so that when I open it up, there’s always something new at the top. There are currently about 150 albums from my collection that show up here. Next is the “Forgotten Albums” view I’ve written about before. It shows albums I’ve played more than 25 times but not within the last 60 days. I’ve only had this setup for the past week or so, but it’s giving me an even deeper insight into my collection and working well for me at the moment. If only the first-party Apple Music app could be so great. God, I want a developed for the Mac version of Marvis so badly.
I was interviewed for this book a while back. I think it’ll be something almost anyone reading this newsletter will enjoy.
sleepingbagzzz has released the new song “Hypnotized.”
sleepingbagzzz is the new solo music project from a username you may recognize from around the forums, RileyWitiw, and straddles new-age pop punk (Blackbear, KennyHoopla, and Waterparks) and classic emo and indie rock bangers (Mayday Parade, Chain Gang of 1974). The mission? Keep it anthem-worthy and irresistibly catchy, even while experimenting with the wild and wonderful. In describing the new single, the artist said:
My debut single, “Hypnotized,” explores life as a digital guinea pig, subjected to the whim’s of brilliant minds who put all their focus in keeping us on their apps for even a second longer, regardless of the human cost of what that might be. – Overall, sleepingbagzzz personifies the fatigue that comes from growing up as a digital native. W 're the first to wrestle with the perpetual onslaught of constant comparison, digital manipulation, and instant gratification – a reality as relentless as it is exhausting.
The song is now available on all streaming platforms.
In Case You Missed It
My most played album last week was the new one from FRND CRCL. It comes out on June 30th and is one of the best throwback pop-punk albums I’ve heard in a long time. It gives me massive early Sum–41 and Blink–182 vibes. Fun, energetic, fast-paced, and perfect for the summer sun. I have it on right now as we’re rolling through the countryside on the train. It reminds me of being in high school, being on a long car ride with my family, sitting in the backseat with my headphones on and a pop-punk album blaring in my ears, thinking about life, thinking about the future, and enjoying the time in this little space that is just mine. I’m going to highly recommend this album for fans of pop-punk and anyone that is looking for something that has flashes of that late 90’s sound. This is a gem.
This week saw the release of the new Arrows in Action album. It’s an alternative pop-rock album reminiscent of The Maine, Grayscale, and Slowly Slowly. Impeccably written pop songs full of massive hooks and perfect backyard sing-a-long anthems. The kind of fantastic band hardly anyone knows exists yet. But I can almost guarantee multiple friends over the next few months will ask me, “Who is this?” when they hear it.
The new Matchbox Twenty album is a summer night album through and through for name so far. Sitting on the couch listening to it while the sunset felt like the ideal listening experience. It’s inoffensive adult contemporary pop, but I don’t say that disparagingly.
The rest of my week was spent listening to a lot of Lucky Boys Confusion, Jason Isbell, and Ghost Atlas. Very much a summer day, summer night, and gym playlist week for me.
The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 63 different artists, 94 different albums, and 737 different tracks (818 scrobbles). My most-played artist of the week was Lucky Boys Confusion and the most-played album was FRND CRCL’s Suburban Dictionary. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or Last.fm.
I found AIR to be a completely breezy, fun, and engaging film. Absolutely no more, or less, than what it needed to be.
John Wick 4 was good. It was also too long. Loved the fight choreography, and Donnie Yen is still my favorite person to watch move in martial arts. He’s just so smooth and captivates me every time I see him on screen.
Random and Personal Stuff
We are now at the “I can smell a soft hint of body odor float over the train” stage of this trip. And a few people continually pace the aisles in their Hawaiian shirts. I suppose that’s my cue to spend some time staring blankly out the window while listening to music. Only a few more hours now until we are back in Portland. I’m expecting two needy cats and hopefully, some food that includes some green vegetables. Fun weekend. I’m ready to be home.
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.
Matchbox Twenty - Rebels
Arrows in Action - Wide Eyes
Your Broken Hero - Red Light Kisser
Mr Ms & the Infusions - Mistakes of Our Fathers
The Devil Wears Prada - Broken (Acoustic)
The Home Team - Right Thorugh Me
Lucky Boys Confusion - Broken
The Movielife - Scary
Slick Shoes - Under It
Action/Adventure - Autopilot
This playlist is available on Spotify and Apple Music.
The trending and popular threads in our community this week include:
The most liked post in our forums last week was this one by williamryankey in the “Yellowcard” thread.
LOL. That tracks for the second week in a row.
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