This week’s newsletter has thoughts on music out this week, first impressions of the new album from Hot Mulligan, and some other music finds from the week. Plus, a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.
A Few Things
I am now one week out from 40. Hm. I don’t know how I feel about this. It’s starting to creep up in the weirdest way, and all the mid-life crisis cliches are bouncing around in my head. Getting older, reflecting on youth, thinking about choices made, decisions, and paths untraveled. I’ll have some family commitments next weekend, so I’m unsure if I’ll have time to sit down and write this newsletter. Good chance this is the last one I write before I pass this strange milestone. One thing I’ve been thinking about lately is that this is one of the first birthdays I can fully remember my parents having – I remember my mom and dad turning forty.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but Underoath and Spiritbox do not need to take a tour with a known massive giant piece of human garbage. Tours are not forced on bands. It’s a choice. And in my opinion, as someone that’s been physically threatened by the headliner multiple times, it’s a huge mistake. And I think differently about both bands because of this choice—free advice: Drop off, apologize, and do literally anything else. No amount of money is worth the reputation hit or having this stench stuck to you going forward.
When I moved downtown over eleven years ago now, I decided to get rid of most of my CD collection. I had too many CDs to even know what to do with them, and they were sitting in multiple giant plastic bins, taking up space. I didn’t have a way to play them, and I never liked the look of trying to display the plastic cases. One of the funny insights I had this week while buying more vinyl records (lol) was that I was basically recreating my CD collection with vinyl. Purchasing records (sometimes for ridiculous prices) that I wanted to own, specifically, to display and have as part of my “collection.” In my defense, I do like how records look on shelves far more than I do CD cases, but it is kind of funny.
The Thrice podcast about The Artist in the Ambulance has been excellent so far. Both episodes contained details I had never heard before, and listening to the band talk about this album and the revisited version has been awesome.
In Case You Missed It
Let’s start with the music released this week. Death Cab for Cutie released an acoustic version of their latest album, Asphalt Meadows, and I think the new renditions do the songs justice. It’s no secret to anyone reading this newsletter that Asphalt was the most I’d liked a Death Cab album in quite a while, and so I’m already primed for these songs to shine, and hearing them in this stripped-down setting gives them a lovely lazy Saturday morning feel to them.
The new Manchester Orchestra EP is an undeniably gorgeous collection of songs. At only six songs and 25 minutes, I am unsure how often I’ll return to it, but it’s a lush and fulfilling listen. After two albums and an EP that all play in a similar sonic space, I’m itching for the band to mix it up a little more. There’s an energy that they play with live that I don’t think they’ve entirely captured on a record in a while. And, if rumors are true (they’re true), there’s a Jimmy Eat World and Manchester Orchestra tour in our future, so maybe that’ll spark a fire for the next full-length.
Two listens of the new Miley Cyrus album have me thinking that while I like it, it didn’t grab me as her previous one did. Her last was addictive and had me coming back for basically an entire summer. I’m not sure this will have the same power.
Hot Mulligan’s new album comes out in May, and they dropped a new single this week. The entire album is, in my opinion, the band taking a giant leap forward and putting together just about as good of a pop-punk album as one can in 2023. This thing is going to be on constant rotation throughout the next few months. It’s energetic and fun.
Lost Stars showed up on my Apple Music playlist last week, and it wasn’t long before it was obvious this is precisely my shit. Starting with “Hoodie,” a single that feels like it could be pulled from the Relient K playbook, to “The Blacklist” and its perfect mix of Nashville meets the 80s, these guys are playing in the exact musical space my brain loves.
I’m always looking for a specific kind of band that works well in the gym. It’s easy to go the hardcore route, but I also like something a little more melodic yet still full of loud energy. Stuff like Dayseeker or Caskets does well for me. And the latest Caskets single (“By the Sound”) has me hoping we get another album from them sooner rather than later.
This week also saw new releases from Meet Me @ the Altar and Story of the Year, both of which are worth checking out.
I’m still obsessed with the upcoming Dave Hause album.
The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 68 different artists, 95 different albums, and 565 different tracks (697 scrobbles). My most listened-to artist was Lost Stars and my most played album was Hot Mulligan’s upcoming release, Why Would I Watch. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or Last.fm.
Missing’s gimmick didn’t work as well for me as it did with Searching. The movie felt more like a decent Netflix mini-series, but as a film, I was kind of bored.
Our new weekly show is to join the rest of the world and watch The Last of Us. We’re not big “week-to-week” watchers since we like to have one episode of a show to watch each night and, over a week or two, finish a season of something. So, with this being almost done, we felt we could start it now and not be that far behind after the season finale airs. It’s been good so far. Episode three was a highlight. I’m looking forward to watching the rest.
Random and Personal Stuff
Does anyone else have a hard time returning food if it’s not a massive mistake at a restaurant? A local pub near me has two chicken sandwiches on their menu. One is a fried chicken sandwich with honey mustard and pickles, and it is one of my favorite sandwiches. The other is a grilled chicken with bacon, cheese, and avocado. Also a good sandwich. Earlier this week we went out to dinner, and I ordered the fried chicken version. The grilled chicken one arrived. And I realized … I really hate returning food. I feel bad saying anything, feel bad wasting a perfectly good sandwich that I do like and have no problem eating, even if I was craving something else. I have friends (and family) that think I’m weird about this and if I’m paying for something should just be nice and kind about mentioning it’s not what I ordered. But I’m apparently very bad at this. Anyway, my bacon avocado sandwich was tasty. Still kinda craving that fried chicken one though.
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.
Lost Stars - Hoodie
Caskets - Lost in Echos
Hot Mulligan - Shhhh! Golf is On
Death Cab for Cutie - Rand McNally (Acoustic)
Manchester Orchestra - Letting Go
Miley Cyrus - Handstand
Meet Me @ the Altar - A Few Tomorrows
Taylor Acorn - Certified Depressant
Story of the Year - Afterglow
The Menzingers - Bad Actors
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 Serh in the “I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson (Netflix)” thread.
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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.