Liner Notes (September 18th, 2020)

I never thought I’d be excited that it’s raining.

This week’s newsletter has some thoughts on music and entertainment I enjoyed this week, some thoughts on iOS 14, and a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Three Things

  • This week’s article was all about heading back to 2002 and reliving the first summer back from college and then my sophomore year. It’s the year of Tell All Your Friends, and our music scene starting to blow up in the mainstream. This was a fun year to reflect on; everything seemed so much easier. This article also really brought out the “oh god, I can’t believe it’s been 18 years.”

  • Today we’re premiering the new video from Broken Glowsticks on the website. This is the new side project from AJ Perdomo of The Dangerous Summer and comes highly recommended by me. AJ’s been in rare form lately where it seems like everything he’s cranking out is gold. I still spin Mother Nature regularly, and all these new songs are right up there in quality.

  • This week saw the release of iOS 14. The prominent headlining feature is “widgets” and being able to mix up the home screen in all kinds of new ways. I’ve been playing around with a few things this week and messing up my muscle memory for where apps are in the process. It will take a while to get used to the new normal and feel out how I want to use the device and where to put things. As a whole, I like a lot of the changes. I use a lot of Shortcuts, especially from widgets, and while I really like that you don’t get thrown into the Shortcuts app to run them, that the alerts now come from the top of the screen, and with a much slower animation, really bugs me. The phones are so big these days, trying to get a finger up to the top of the screen one-handed just isn’t very easy. I’m going to need a few more weeks of using the phone on a regular basis before I know exactly how I want to set up out all my screens, but at the moment, I’ve got it set up like this. I’m going to play around with it some more today; I want to stack those widgets on the main page to be something else I can swipe to when the day is over, and I don’t need to see my task manager or calendar anymore—lots of fun new combos to obsess over.

Sponsor

Teenage Badass is a music-centric comedy revolving around the fictional rock band Stylo and the Murder Dogs. It was released today for rent or purchase.

Set in 2006, we follow Brad (Mcabe Gregg), a teenage drummer who dreams of making it big in a rock band. Brad and his single-mother Rae (Julie Ann Emery) struggle to get by as Brad refuses to give up. On a fluke, Brad joins a new band fronted by singer/songwriter Kirk Stylo. They land a shot to play on a local news show. With the town buzzing from their performance, Brad’s dreams inch closer when they’re asked to record with Jordan (Kevin Corrigan), a legendary local producer. Just as everything seems to be falling into place, a series of chaotic events threaten everything.

Also, keep an eye out for cameos from Jimmy Eat World’s Jim Adkins and The Maine’s Pat Kirch.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • My favorite release today is the new album from Yours Truly. While the band name makes me think I’m talking about myself every time I type it, the music reminds me of being 17 and in love with pop-punk again. Between this and Stand Atlantic, I haven’t listened to pop-punk this consistently since cargo shorts were cool.

  • Movements and Knuckle Puck both released new albums today, I wasn’t feeling the early Movement singles, but maybe they’ll work better as a full album?

  • I’m still spinning the new Acceptance album at least a couple times each week, and they dropped the ballad “Bend the Light” today. This is one of my favorites from the album.

  • New singles from Sir Sly and Nightly are definitely worth your time.

  • Most of my listening this week was spent with Cold Years, PVRIS, Acceptance, and Slick Shoes.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • We enjoyed Unpregnant. I’m also now officially on team give Betty Who more acting roles. Her cameo was shockingly good.

  • TV-wise, we finished the first season of Doom Patrol (my second time seeing it), and now we can finally watch season two. I’m very excited. Ted Lasso continues to be an absolute delight of a show and a jolt of joy.

  • I read The Girl from Widow Hills, which was alright but forgettable. And now, I’m about halfway through The Undoing Project, which is fascinating. It’s about the duo that helped popularize heuristics, cognitive biases, and pull back how we think, rationalize, predict, and make all kinds of mental decisions (and errors). It’s excellent.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • I’ve never been more excited to wake up to rain. It’s still smokey, and I haven’t seen blue sky all week, but the rain is a very welcome sign.

  • I have been getting multiple spam “your social security number is blah blah blah” calls all week. I’ve been using Verizon’s Call Filter app to send them directly to voice mail, but seeing four or five spam voice mails each day is off the rails.

  • 46 days.

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. Yours Truly - Together

  2. Broken Glowsticks - Dancing on My Own

  3. Acceptance - Bend the Light

  4. Sir Sly - Material Boy

  5. Nightly - The Car

  6. PUP - Rot

  7. Cold Years - Too Far Gone

  8. Rise Against - Broken Dreams, Inc.

  9. The Killers - Dying Breed

  10. LANY - Cowboy in LA

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 cherrywaves in the “Accountability in Music” thread.

Thank you for subscribing to the Liner Notes email newsletter. If you’re not a supporting member, please consider becoming one. For just $3 a month or $25 a year, you can help keep this newsletter, website, and community running. It’s only because of the support of members like you that we can continue to exist. If you like the newsletter, please feel free to tell others about it, share portions on social media, or forward it along.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

Liner Notes (September 11th, 2020)

I’ve been writing this newsletter every week, missing none, since at least July of 2018. Today when I sat down to write, I found myself staring at a blinking cursor and trying to find the motivation to make my fingers make words on the black screen. I did my best. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Four Things

  • I apologize in advance, but this is probably going to be a shorter newsletter than usual. I’m writing this from a sepia soaked city where the eerie yellow and dust-colored sky hangs over the entire town. The fires that are raging over the west coast have our entire home smelling like a campfire, friends outside the city are all on alert for evacuation orders, and while, currently, we are not in any level of the evacuation zones, we’re starting to make plans if things change. We’re safe at the moment and have plans for if things shift, but with everything else going on in 2020, there’s an emotional fraying on the nerves. I will say I’m happy I bought an air purifier a year or so ago (vital with two cats and seasonal allergies); it’s helped reduce the smell in the condo and at least offers a little peace of mind. (This article is also worth bookmarking about creating your an air purifier from a box fan and filter.) All in all, things are bizarre on top of an already extremely weird and challenging year.

  • Today is September 11th, and in a coincidence, my weekly article ended up being all about the year 2001 this week and has some of my memories of that fateful day nineteen years ago. This article was a cathartic one to write; it helped me put together some thoughts on the end of high school and the start of college, and look at all the music that came out that year and how much it impacted me. It was one of the most formative years of my life, and that correlation with the music has been something I’ve thought a lot about over the past years.

  • My scene history restoration project is basically complete. I brought back something like 500–700 old articles, reviews, and interviews. I also made a slight date tweak on the website this week to better display when things were posted.

  • I usually do a yearly pitch in September to try and convince people to become supporting members of the website. I pushed it back to October this year because it felt weird to talk about with all the protests and other important things fighting for attention. However, if you’re not a supporting member yet, and you like reading the website, my weekly articles, and/or this newsletter, I’d love it if you gave our program a look. During these uncertain times, my anxiety about everything is on a whole different level, and trying to run a self-contained business alone during all this … is honestly … scary.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • I highly recommend watching Mark Hoppus’s Twitch stream from yesterday. He watched the untitled album documentary for MTV and offered commentary. It’s fascinating and full of great stories and interesting tidbits of information—so many odd things in the documentary that feel like they’re from a completely different era. People were lining up to buy CDs. All the MTV promo and all the money spent on this record. Off-color jokes no one could get away with these days. I have a lot of fun memories of this era as well. I remember when, I think it was Chris Georggin, reached out to me, right before they announced the new album artwork. They were putting the smiley face logo around different places without actually revealing what it was yet. We put the logo on our website up in the right corner for a while. It felt really cool to be part of the album launch in that way. I’m going to listen to this album when I’m done here; I need a pick me up.

  • I spent most of the week listening to Cold Years’ new album Paradise. I recommended it last week, but after another week with it, I’m moving it up into the highly recommended category. It’s got that whole Gaslight Anthem vibe going on with some great songwriting. The energy and lyrical combo are right in my wheelhouse.

  • I also listened to many things on my 2001 playlist (which annoyingly got all out of order on Apple Music for some reason?). I went into a catalog dive for The Ataris. (They feel like a lost band from the 2000s.) After that dalliance, I went back into my Yours Truly, Stand Atlantic, Sonder Bombs, and Slick Shoes rotation. It’s been a really great pop-punk comfort food cycle.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Bill & Ted: Face the Music was fun. It wasn’t great, but it was a delightful way to spend an evening. I loved the two daughters. Brigette Lundy-Paine is one of my favorite parts of Atypical, and they were fantastic doing a little Keanu.

  • I watched the animated Superman: Man of Tomorrow last Saturday. It’s kind of a reboot for the animated films and a good take on the Superman origin story. Some good action scenes, worth a watch if you’re Supes fan.

  • Hannah and I both liked Dating Amber.

  • The Dune trailer has me extremely excited. It makes me want to read the book again. (You’re not seeing me in a theatre for a damn long time, however.)

  • I read Not the Girl You Marry; it’s The Bold Type meets How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. All the rom-com cliches are present. Then I started Catch–22.

  • Hannah’s watching the first season of Doom Patrol with me, it’s just as incredible the second time through. We’re also still working our way through Doctor Who; I really liked the 2016 Christmas episode. And last week’s Ted Lassowas fantastic. Basically, all I want to do is rewatch the entire season right now and not leave the couch for the whole weekend.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Not a whole lot to share in this section this week. After trying multiple brands, Hannah finally got some masks that she likes and fit her. They’re the Nordstrom ones, so if anyone is still struggling to find something that is comfortable and fits well, that might be a good place to look. I’m still very pleased with my Proper Cloth mask as my daily wear. If you had read this exact paragraph to me eight months ago, I would have looked at you like your brain was running out of your ears. That’s just where we are now. Hanging masks by the door on the coatrack. sigh

  • This is a useful resource for finding out all you need to know about voting in your state. Registration, how to help, things like that. Vote.org is another. Make sure you’re registered; make sure you have a plan to vote. 53 days.

  • I’ve spent more time than I care to admit playing around at Poolside.fm.

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. Cold Years - Night Like This

  2. Slick Shoes - The Worlds Were Mine

  3. Kiiara - Numb

  4. Mxmtoon - Ok On Your Own

  5. The Knocks & MUNA - Bodies

  6. Oakman - Naufrage

  7. Cold Years - Too Far Gone

  8. Bad Religion - Lose Your Head

  9. Laces - Worship

  10. MUNA - It’s Gonna Be Okay, Baby

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 mad in the “Accountability in Music” thread.

Thank you for subscribing to the Liner Notes email newsletter. If you’re not a supporting member, please consider becoming one. For just $3 a month or $25 a year, you can help keep this newsletter, website, and community running. It’s only because of the support of members like you that we can continue to exist. If you like the newsletter, please feel free to tell others about it, share portions on social media, or forward it along.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

Liner Notes (September 4th, 2020)

First impressions of the new Acceptance album, more impressions of the new Slick Shoes album, and all sorts of heaping praise for Ted Lasso. All that, and more, in this week’s newsletter. Plus, as always, a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed this week. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Five Things

  • This week’s article was all about heading back to 2000. It was a simpler time. I was 17 and a junior in high school. It’s the year of The Ever Passing MomentThe Mark, Tom, and Travis Show, and New Found Glory’s self-titled album showing me the shape of pop-punk to come.

  • I also put together a feature this week that includes a bunch of screenshots I’ve been able to compile of all the AbsolutePunk versions from about 1999 through 2016. I wanted to have a place to keep this part of my history, and it’s a real trip to scroll back through the years. I will say, every time I post something like this, and I see social media comments saying something like “bring it back!” or “it was better!” I get this ping of annoyance. If I “brought back” AbsolutePunk it would look and act, exactly like Chorus does right now, because that’s the kind of website I want to run.

  • On that note, I’ve pretty much completed my project of bringing back the reviews and interviews I could find from the old days. It’s a pretty extensive collection. I have a few stragglers, and some reviewers have been sending me stuff they’ve discovered from their collections as well. My next step is to bring back some ‘historical’ news stories, but I need to find the time when I can do this and be able to edit the comment thread dates. I don’t want the news to appear as “new” for a bunch of these. I also need to remember to disable the automatic Twitter posting; a few old stories went out to Twitter by accident. Oops.

  • I ripped Stand Atlantic’s Juice WRLD cover if anyone wants it for their collection.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • I keep relearning the same lessons again and again. I’ve written before about how I don’t like hearing too much of an album before hearing the entire thing in full because it throws off that cohesive listening experience. Well, I didn’t listen to past me and played the latest Acceptance EP many times before hearing the full album, Wild, Free, and it took me most of the week for it to not feel weird. Having songs I’d already heard placed at the start of the album made me want to get to the new stuff faster, and then having the other songs mixed in with the other six kept throwing me off completely. This is a completely asinine problem to have, but it made the first two or three spins of the album feel off to me. It was hard to sink into the music and the album as a whole because I’m an idiot who overplayed the EP. After a while, I got used to the sequencing and became more familiar with the new music and let it work with the stuff I’d already heard. (For their part, they picked four songs for the EP that are very indicative of the kind of music found on the full length.) If Phantoms was a youthful anthem, and I mean this with praise, Wild, Free, is the grown-up with kids and a mortgage. It feels exactly, almost eerily, like what someone my age would put on and listen to. It’s a big, stadium rock, sounding album that is not unlike the latest album from The Killers. Big choruses, mostly in the mid-tempo, with, and again, I say this with praise, a huge “put this on while driving to get groceries for the family” vibe. The early highlight for me is “Bend the Light” — a massive ballad right in the album’s heart. I’m also really drawn to “June 1985,” and the line in the chorus that reads something like, “here’s to the friends that we left better / here’s to the now or the never / here’s where you and I say goodbye.” The lyrics on the album are often in this somber, sometimes wistful, melancholy of broken romance. Not in the youthful tales of broken harts and teenage angst but of the kind of emotional breakage that comes with age. Because my listens to this album were timed with watching Ted Lasso on TV each night (see below), I found myself thinking there are so many themes and portions of this album that would actively work to soundtrack scenes in that show. I’ve been drawn to the half of the album I hadn’t heard before, which is to be expected, and I hope over the next few weeks to find myself able to experience the album as a whole more than in these two halves. But, on the top line, it’s the kind of record that feels so very much me and of my lot in life. I don’t have kids, but if I did, it’s the kind of record I’d probably be putting on Sunday morning while I made pancakes and eggs before mowing the lawn. The type of record my hypothetical teenagers would mock in the same way I scoffed at the U2 or Bruce Springsteen albums in my early youth. This album is giving me an existential crisis. But enough about my brain melting as I reconcile the passing of years. If you haven’t listened to the first five songs yet, my recommendation is to wait to hear the whole thing. Let yourself be swept up in the melody and full experience. And let this album be the next I see in one of Jason Snell’s screenshots.

  • I shared some early first impressions on Slick Shoes’ new album last week, but now that I’ve had an entire week with this record, I have a few more thoughts. I think it’s their best record, and I cannot believe how many times I’ve listened to it this week (eight times). Fast-paced pop-punk with guitar riffs galore. A sound that I thought was in my rearview mirror, a sound I didn’t think would appeal to me at the ripe old age of 37. I was wrong. It’s so good. The melodies, the choruses, the drumming. The stretch from “Held by Hope” through “2008” is one of my favorite runs of music I’ve heard this year; a burning musical ball of energy. The album drops on September 25th and comes highly recommended.

  • Fickle Friends’ new single continues their trend of being remarkably consistent.

  • The Dangerous Summer is mixing it up with a little piano ballad for their latest. I’m into it. I think it would fit great in the middle of an album. Between these previous two songs and their last fantastic full-length, it’s an excellent time to be a TDS fan.

  • Phoebe Bridgers’s Red Rocks performance was incredible. I definitely recommend finding an hour to grab a couple of drinks and play this on the big screen.

  • I continue to spin the new Stand Atlantic and Yours Truly albums at least once a week. These two records have been the most consistent pop-punk listening I’ve done in years.

  • If you like The Gaslight Anthem, Against Me!, and The Menzingers, you should be checking out Cold Years’ new album Paradise today. Trust me.

  • Next up, I plan to spin the new record from Barely Civil.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • We started Ted Lasso this week, and I have nothing but massive praise to heap upon this show. It’s a shot of optimism and joy that made me feel something other than dread about the world every second it was on. It’d like to bottle that feeling and drink it. We’ve already watched all the available episodes, and I cannot wait to watch the new one tonight. I didn’t think this show would work, and yet it’s become exactly what I needed right now—highly recommended.

  • We finished Teenage Bounty Hunters, which also gets two thumbs up. I liked the twist ending, and Netflix better give this a second season or we riot.

  • Next up, we’re giving Control Z a shot. We’ve watched two so far, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m cautiously interested.

  • We finished up season, sorry, “series,” nine of Doctor Who. My feelings haven’t changed on this one. (Least favorite Doctor, least favorite companion.) So, I’m excited about a new companion in the next batch.

  • Last weekend, we watched Feel the Beat on Netflix, and it was basically exactly what it looks like. Netflix is churning out these feel-good Disney-like films with more consistency now. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

  • I did not, however, enjoy Peninsula. I was a massive fan of the first Train to Busan film and was highly anticipating this one. It sucked. What an utterly boring zombie movie.

  • Needing a zombie fix after that bust of a movie, I started reading World War Z this week. I think I have a chapter left. How it’s broken up into this oral history format makes it easy to pop in and read a little at a time, but without a consistent cast of characters throughout, I’ve found myself zoning out a little as well.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Operation: Be Healthier During a Pandemic continues to churn along. I’m feeling much, much better about myself over the past couple of weeks, and feel on the right path again.

  • I don’t have much else to share this week. I plan to watch some baseball and get offline for a bit after I finish up here. All the news is giving me that little itchy feeling in the back of my head that only makes me angrier.

  • Make sure you’re registered to vote. Now’s the time to check and make sure everything is all good, and you have a plan for November. (Unless you’re planning to vote for the fascist racist sexist narcissistic man child.)

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. Yours Truly - Funeral Home

  2. Cold Years - Northern Blues

  3. PVRIS - Good to Be Alive

  4. Hot Milk - Candy Coated Lie$

  5. Dagny - It’s Only a Heartbreak

  6. Fickle Friends - What a Time

  7. Bad Religion - Faith Alone 2020

  8. Wander - Your Love

  9. The Dangerous Summer - Come Down

  10. Dashboard Confessional - Remember to Breathe

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 mad in the “Accountability in Music” thread.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Go watch Ted Lasso.

Thank you for subscribing to the Liner Notes email newsletter. If you’re not a supporting member, please consider becoming one. For just $3 a month or $25 a year, you can help keep this newsletter, website, and community running. It’s only because of the support of members like you that we can continue to exist. If you like the newsletter, please feel free to tell others about it, share portions on social media, or forward it along.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

Liner Notes (August 28th, 2020)

This week’s newsletter looks at my two favorite albums this week: Ruston Kelly and PVRIS, and shares some early thoughts on the new Slick Shoes album. There’s also commentary on other music I like this week and the entertainment I consumed. Plus, as always, a playlist of ten songs I liked and all that jazz. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Two Things

  • This week’s featured article about heading back to 1999 and seeing where I was at musically when Blink–182 released Enema of the State. I talk about my history with the album, why I think it resonated with so many, and share my first concert experience (MxPx!). There’s also a playlist of music I enjoyed in 1999 and a couple of screenshots of the earliest versions of AbsolutePunk I could find. I was 16 and “blogging,” and it was bad. I’ve enjoyed hearing from so many people who had similar experiences with music and growing up and how many people have been liking these articles. It’s been very motivational to continue writing them. The next few are going to be interesting.

  • I’ve continued my project of bringing back many old AbsolutePunk reviews into our database. We’ve got piles of them back now. I have a few more reviews, and then a few more interviews, and then I’m going to bring back a few more news articles that I think are important for the scene history. After this, I’ll be working on a few more coding and website enhancement projects.


Sponsor

The new version of Albums has been released in the iOS App Store. Albums is an app built for those who like to listen to their music as albums, as a whole, and comes with a variety of great new features. The app’s been redesigned and now pulls in more production credits, lets you sort your collection based on record label, producer, and various other categories. It also has a new Insights feature to highlight album anniversaries or remind you of albums you loved in high school. And, there’s a new Stats feature that gives you more information about your listening habits. Albums also supports Last.fm scrobbling.


In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • Some great releases out today. First, I highly recommend the new Ruston Kelly album. I’ve described it as a country artist inspired by emo music in the past, and I think that still sits pretty well. Check out Craig’s review if you need more convincing. I think this is going to be the kind of thing that connects with a lot of people.

  • Second highly recommended album of the day is the new one from PVRIS. I love this album. Based on the number of plays alone, it’s going to feature very high on my end of the year list. A perfect combination of catchy and weighty, unique and accessible. It’s an absolute home run of an album.

  • I still haven’t heard the full new Acceptance album, but the new song “Wildfires” was released today and I’m into it.

  • I have, however, heard the new Slick Shoes album. I’ve only had time to spin it once so far (well, I’m listening to it right now for the second time as I write this), and it pairs so well with these throwback articles I’ve been writing. It reminds me of being in high school and walking between classes with my headphones on. My red Slick Shoes t-shirt drawing questions from friends, “like the Goonies?” and my fingers air drumming like a fool. It’s fast, riff-heavy, and fits perfectly in the band’s discography. I’m really drawn to the instruments on first listen, the drumming and guitars stand out as instant highlights (even in 160kbps). I even get a little Strung Out vibes a few times. Every time I think I’m done with pop-punk, they pull me back in.

  • Not sure how much I am supposed to say about the new The Sonder Bombs album yet. Hmm, so, I’ll say … if you haven’t listened to their last one yet you should check that out so you can be on the bandwagon with me when I start talking about how much I adore their upcoming one. More news on this, I think, is coming shortly, so I’m holding out until I know what I’m allowed to talk about.

  • I’ve still been spinning the new Stand Atlantic and Yours Truly albums every couple of days. I never thought I’d spend another summer with pop-punk taking up such a large part of my stereo, but here we are—37 and bouncing like a pogo stick.

  • I’m going to give the new Dua Lipa remix album a listen next. I’ve never been a big “remix album” kinda guy, but I’ll give it a shot.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Let’s talk about The Batman trailer. Mystery/detective vibes? Check. Good shots of Robert Pattinson in the costume? Check. Does the costume look good? Hell yes. Does he sound good? Hell yes. Does it look awesome? Yes, yes it does. I was already a thousand percent in on Patman, but this tossed it into one of my most anticipated of next year by a long shot. No clue if you’ll ever get me back in a movie theatre, but hot-Bruce-Wayne-damn if I’m not overly excited about this one. (Sidebar: Tim in the forums is an asshole and pointed out this is the first Batman younger than me. Robert was born in ’86. I was born in ’83. Thanks. I hate it.)

  • We’ve got one more episode left in Netflix’s Teenage Bounty Hunters and I already know I’m going to miss the hell out of this show. I like the relationship between the twins, and it’s an escape show that I find to be a real joy to watch. It gives me the same kind of vibes as stuff like Veronica Mars, fun, witty, but with heart.

  • We’ve been pairing an episode of TBH with an episode of Doctor Who each night. Yap, we’re back on that train after having fallen off for a little while. We’re just about done with season nine. While still not my favorite Doctor or companion, this show always brings me a warm comforting happiness. This season was pretty hit or miss, but I’m enjoying it. It’s bringing me back to memories of when Hannah and I first got together, and we would binge the early David Tenant and Matt Smith episodes down in Arizona while eating Thai food and getting day drunk.

  • Netflix’s film, Work It, is precisely what you expect it to be. The algorithm said, “make a movie like Bring it On and Pitch Perfect” and the suits complied. It was fun and the kind of movie that worked perfectly to watch with my sister when she came over for a dinner and movie night—no complaints from anyone involved, just a fun way to spend an hour or so.

  • I wanted Sputnik to be a little creepier but in the end was impressed that there are still sci-fi movies that feel original and unique. I often wonder if I’ve seen or read virtually every rendition of this genre, but this film showed that not to be the case.

  • I mixed up my reading genres a bit this week. I started with Bob Iger’s autobiography. Reading about his history and work with ABC through Disney was pretty fascinating. It felt honest if a bit reserved at times. I enjoyed the anecdotes about his time and friendship with Steve Jobs the most. The stories of buying Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm were all worth the time. All of the talk about innovating and trying to stay a step ahead of technology mixed with a commentary on the media industry was also pretty interesting. Years ago, I thought I wanted to be a high-powered CEO. I thought I had ambitions for that kind of job, that kind of clout, that kind of power. Now I laugh at stupid younger Jason. It’s not that I don’t have ambitions and goals for success, but the idea of being in that kind of business world, with those kinds of people, having to make nice with people like Robert Murdoch? Blech.

  • I followed up the non-fiction with Red, White and Royal Blue and enjoyed a brief period of reading about a fictional political world that didn’t make me want to rip my hair out. I have nothing but nice things to say about this book. It’s charming, fun, and like reading a romantic comedy full of people I’d like to hang out with. Basic premise: Son of the first woman President falls in love with the Prince of England. It’s a real joy of a novel full of love, romance, sex, and laughter. Perfect summer read.

  • Tangent: Whoever is running Goodreads, the app and website, really needs to be taking a page from what Letterboxd is doing. Goodreads could be, should be, so much better and yet looks like it was made in 2009 and hasn’t been updated since. Psst, anyone know anyone at Amazon? Can I come help fix it?

Random and Personal Stuff

  • It was a wholly depressing week in the world. Wildfires, hurricanes, more police violence, more people trying to justify police violence for any reason they can come up with, 17-year old white racists shooting people, people trying to justify white racists shooting people, the President pretending a pandemic hasn’t killed almost 200,000 people in this country, the President acting like everything going on right now is a vision of “Joe Biden’s America” and that we can’t tell it’s literally happening right now. Over the past week, more people died from COVID–19 than died on 9/11. A competent government could have stopped this. Most of them around the world did. How do we mourn for something on this scale? How do we even wrap our heads around it? I don’t think people do. I think once the numbers become this large, it just becomes “that COVID thing,” and it gets compartmentalized away and blocked out. Like war or famine, it becomes a lived with experience instead of the shocking reality at the front of our brains and shaping every decision we make. I can’t handle another four years of this maniac in office. He’s terrible for the economy, he’s terrible for the country, he has no clue what he’s doing, and his narcissism is responsible for more division and divisiveness and pure hate than anyone in my lifetime. I don’t think this fascist-paste goes back in the tube. Sigh. Joe Biden was not my first pick. He wasn’t my tenth pick. I’ve written thousands of words about that in the past (and daily in the political thread). But we’ve got two months to do what we can to get him elected. The work doesn’t end then, but it would be a step to quell the swell.

  • I want to call it a day right now, order up a pizza, and watch the injury-cursed Yankees play two baseball games back to back that will probably upset me. I’m not in the mood to do much else today. Ready for the weekend, needing a break from the internet for a little while.

  • It’s nice to know that I have the tools to turn my health meter back up when I want to. As I’ve written about in the past few months, quarantine got me into some bad habits—especially the first month or so. I’m back in the right direction and feeling good about it. Hannah and I both pushing each other to keep the good habits is also one of those little things that goes such a long way in wanting to stick to the goals and markers you’ve set for yourself. (MyNetDiary and Fitbod continue to be the apps I use and recommend for tracking calories and creating workouts no matter the equipment you have available to you.)

  • Treating myself to a new water bottle after I tracked water intake for over a year also let me “upgrade” from 16 to 32 ounces. I wondered if it would mean I’d drink more water because I’d have to fill it up less often throughout the day and be getting double the amount, or if I’d drink less because I knew I only needed to drink two full bottles before I hit my “goal” for the day. So far, I’ve consumed a whole lot more. I still fill it up when it’s empty and therefore end up drinking more water just because it’s bigger. Interesting.

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. Ruston Kelly - Mid-Morning Lament

  2. PVRIS - Wish You Well

  3. The Inevitables - Ft Lauderdale

  4. Acceptance - Wildfires

  5. Slick Shoes - Visitors

  6. Josh Ritter - Haunt

  7. Augustana - Okay

  8. The Killers - Fire in Bone

  9. PVRIS - January Rain

  10. Ruston Kelly - Under the Sun

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 williamryankey in the “Ben Harper, Former Yellowcard Guitarist, on New Podcast” thread.

Oh, hey Ryan. For what it’s worth, I remember getting a phone call from Ben the day he was kicked out of Yellowcard. I was just getting out of a college class and sat in the parking lot talking to him. My recollection of that conversation is very similar to what Ryan describes in his post.

Thank you for subscribing to the Liner Notes email newsletter. If you’re not a supporting member, please consider becoming one. For just $3 a month or $25 a year, you can help keep this newsletter, website, and community running. It’s only because of the support of members like you that we can continue to exist. If you like the newsletter, please feel free to tell others about it, share portions on social media, or forward it along.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

Liner Notes (August 21st, 2020)

Lots of good music out this week. This week’s newsletter shares my thoughts on music and entertainment I enjoyed this week and has a playlist of ten songs worth checking out. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Three Things

  • This week, I started a new feature I’m calling “My Nostalgia.” The idea is to go all the way back and detail my entire musical journey. I want to explore the albums that got me into music, and the history of AbsolutePunk, up to 2005. (I’ve already done 2005 to present via the “Back to” series and all my best-of lists/this newsletter.) This week’s article looks at 1998, when I was 15, and I first discovered Blink–182 and MxPx. There’s even a (hilariously grainy) video still of when I got Cheshire Cat for Christmas. I also put together a playlist on Spotify and Apple Music from the music of that era.

  • I am still really enjoying the Jim Adkins podcast. Almost all of the guests are right in my wheelhouse of people I want to hear from.

  • I’ve added quite a few more reviews back into our database. This project is still churning along. I think I have about 150 more to go. To go along with this, I made a slight change to the tag pages to better draw attention to older reviews if we have more than five in the system for an artist. The tag pages are finally becoming what I’ve always wanted: a one-stop collection of everything we have about an artist that’s easy to sort and find what you’re looking for.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • A lot of new music out today. The Killers released, easily, their best album in a long time. Maybe their best in at least the last decade? It walks between being a colossal stadium album and a breezy long open road album. I could barely get through their previous album, so this was a pleasant surprise.

  • Bright Eyes still sounds like Bright Eyes. Not sure why I expected anything besides something that makes me think I’m in college sitting in the dorm getting real deep into my feels. It’s good. I missed lyrics like this, little things where he strings together phrases and prose into tight, clever passages.

  • Nightly finally announced a full length. It immediately jumps onto my anticipated list. This will be one to keep an eye on toward the end of the year.

  • The Night Game released another new single. The production and layers in this song are ridiculous. There’s got to be at least a hundred things going on in this one and a nice big chorus. I want to hear this damn album as a whole. It’s hard to find an emotional connection to one-off songs—it me, the album defender, logging on again.

  • New Carly Rae Jepsen is a fun little song. Still not on streaming services though, which is a little weird; however, the video is a joy.

  • Only had time to spin the new Bully album once so far, but I liked it.

  • Next up I’ll be checking Blaqk Audio and Cut Copy. Then reading through our Albums in Stores Today comments because it looks like there’s a whole lot of other stuff I should be checking out as well.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • The first movie in the time of COVID–19 I’ve seen is .. drumroll … Host. And it was good! It was the exact right length, got in, did what it needed to do, freaked my shit, and then knew when it was time to call it a day. It’s basically quarantine Paranormal Activity over Zoom. But it worked.

  • The Old Guard on Netflix feels like it would have been a great mini-series. It tried to do too much world-building for a film, but not enough character development, and it ended up being good, but feeling disjointed. A mini-series would have let us get to know all the characters a little more, give it more of a serial/comic-book vibe, but probably can’t get Charlize in that case. I didn’t love it, but I’d watch a sequel.

  • Magic Camp felt like a Disney movie of a different generation. Sort of like a cute little family movie night affair starring (in the past version) Jack Black that I woulda watched in my youth. It was heartwarming enough to be a nice evening watch. Apparently, it was filmed in 2017, which makes every scene with Jeffrey Tambor tough. This would never have worked in theaters, but as a Disney+ film, it’s fine.

  • This week’s TV show was Teenage Bounty Hunters. And yes, this is absolutely my shit. It kind of feels like an R-rated version of all the weekly serialized shows I loved as a kid: a little Veronica Mars, a little 90210, a little Alias. The sisters crack me up, and it’s been a nice change of pace to watch something with a bit more levity each night.

  • After an episode of TBH, we’re re-watching Pen15 to get ready for the upcoming season. This is easily one of my favorite shows of the past few years. It’s impossible to get through an episode without pausing and having a ten-plus minute discussion with Hannah about something the episode reminds us of. Last night we got into a debate over screen names (long live Twenty8FootFall), which led to us finding her LiveJournal online from 2004. Oddly, she doesn’t want me to revive all of these artifacts on Chorus for posterity. Frankly, I don’t get why not.

  • I finished The Hunting Party, a perfect summer/beach read mystery. Then I read The Slow Regard of Silent Things, which I enjoyed, even though it’s entirely (intentionally) weird and very different. It was a fast enough read that all the complaints I read online afterward didn’t really bother me. (My word is every online fanbase out of their mind once they reach a certain critical mass. Yeesh.) Next, I read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, and I’ve got about a half-hour left in it. It’s basically a fictional Serial but with a high-school senior trying to solve a murder mystery plaguing her town. It’s decent, but I’ve read this same story multiple times done better.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • The past week was much better health-wise. I cut out a lot of snacking and, mentally, felt more tapped back into making this a priority. After hitting my water drinking goals for over a year, I treated myself to a new water bottle. This is the kind of thing you do at 37 apparently. It’s very exciting, lots of drama. I’m very cool.

  • We haven’t decided what pizza we’re doing tonight, but we have decided to try a salad we’ve got our eye on instead of garlic knots. This has big, “Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don’t know, I don’t know if we’ll have enough time” energy to it, doesn’t it?

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. The Killers - Caution

  2. The Night Game - I Feel Like Dancing

  3. Nightly - Summer

  4. Coheed & Cambria - Jessie’s Girl 2

  5. Stand Atlantic - Eviligo

  6. Blink–182 - Untitled

  7. Bully - Every Tradition

  8. Bright Eyes - Hot Car in the Sun

  9. This Wild Life - Coffee for Your Head

  10. Taylor Swift - The Lakes

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 St. Nate in the “General Politics Discussion VII” thread.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Now I have to go see what is going on with Twitter embeds in the forums. Looks like Twitter broke something, again.

Thank you for subscribing to the Liner Notes email newsletter. If you’re not a supporting member, please consider becoming one. For just $3 a month or $25 a year, you can help keep this newsletter, website, and community running. It’s only because of the support of members like you that we can continue to exist. If you like the newsletter, please feel free to tell others about it, share portions on social media, or forward it along.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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