Liner Notes (December 4th, 2021)

This week’s newsletter has me revisiting some polar opposite discographies (Strung Out, Simple Plan) as well as looking at some new music I enjoyed this week (Hippo Campus, The Options, Hastings). And, as always, I look at some entertainment I’ve been consuming and share a playlist of ten songs I liked last week. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

A Few Things

  • Last Sunday, I finally finished and published my piece on the Now Playing Raspberry Pi project I’ve written about a few times in this newsletter. I documented the entire process and included a bunch of links and resources, hopefully making it relatively easy to follow. I also posted a handful of photos of the final project, and I posted up all the server-side code on Github for those interested. I’ve been pretty blown away by all of the positive feedback, and I’ve seen my post linked in a bunch of blogs and YouTube channels I read and watch regularly. That’s always cool. It was a really fun weekend project, and I’m delighted with how it all turned out. As someone that appreciates a nice minimal desk, I find joy every time I look down and see this little device next to my monitor—also, thanks to everyone that read or shared the article and all the kind words.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • The new Josh Ramsay single (lead singer of Marianas Trench) has one helluva massive hook. Not surprising, but my word is that an earworm. The new 5 Seconds of Summer song is a nice little ditty as well, not my favorite from them, but enjoyable.

  • My week was pretty much dominated by going on a massive Strung Out kick. This is a band that once I start spinning one record, I soon find myself playing every single record of theirs … on repeat. They’re far and away one of my favorite punk bands and I love the diversity of their albums while always knowing you’ll get some great guitars and Jason’s unmistakable vocals. This time through I found myself drawn to Exile in Oblivion and, kind of surprising to me because it was always a little lower on my list, but Agents of the Underground. My most spun album ended up being Black Out the Sky, probably because I was also listening to that later at night. I just love this band, love the energy and aggression, and their albums always find a way to put me in a good mood.

  • And, going in a completely different direction … I also ended up on a Simple Plan discography run. I have no idea what sparked this, but I ended up listening to one of their songs, and suddenly, I’d listened to their last two albums and enjoyed them more than I remembered. They’re safe and mostly predictable, but there’s a lot of just simple fun pop-rock here that I think just lets me turn off my brain and tap my toes. I’m going to continue the walk backward since I don’t think I’ve heard their first two albums in maybe ten years. I remember when this band got super popular being the annoying asshole that had to tell everyone, “I liked Reset better.”

  • One of my favorite finds of the week is a band called The Options. It’s an acoustic duo with a new EP full of acoustic punk. It’s quite good, and we need more acoustic punk in the world. It’s a genre that almost always works on me.

  • The acoustic punk sent me down a few other paths this week; first, I ended up going back to some of the songs on the Punk Goes Acoustic compilations, and that had me needing to play the Starting Line acoustic EP multiple times (holds up), and finally giving The Ataris’ acoustic album a spin that I somehow had just never listened to. I also tried the Unwritten Law acoustic album, but something was just not grabbing me for some reason. I’ll have to try again.

  • As for new music, the new Hippo Campus album comes out in February, and I was unsure through the first three songs how I felt about it. But then it takes off and tracks 5–10 are as good if not better than anything they’ve done before. They do this quirky pop thing that sometimes gives me Hellogoodbye vibes, but in a really fun way. This is one to keep an eye on.

  • Next, I can recommend the new EP from Hastings. It’s synth-based pop music, but this kid has a real knack for a hook. The first time I heard “Blank Me,” I was smiling by the chorus and thinking, “yep, that’ll play.” Joan also put out two EPs, hi and bye, that work in a similar space, and if you’re into this genre at all, it’s definitely worth a look.

  • And, finally, the Underoath livestream is only available for a replay for another 12 hours or something, but if you like this band at all … get it. It’s one of the better livestream performances I’ve seen, and they play their new album front to back. And, no joke, the new album is incredible.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 49 different artists and 482 different tracks (547 scrobbles). My most listened to artist of the week was Strung Out, with the Black Out the Sky EP topping the album list. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or Last.fm.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Love Hard on Netflix is about as cliche of a holiday romantic comedy as you can be. But, after wanting to shut it off in the first 15 minutes, powering through, ended up sort of working on me. Or maybe the beer just made it a little more tolerable. Not good, but I’d call it a passible holiday romcom.

  • Spencer is a masterful performance from Kristen Stewart wrapped in a movie that I’m not quite sure about. Part of it feels like a psychological horror film, part of it plods along, but then there are moments of pure beauty and emotion. The costumes and soundtrack are incredible.

  • We’ve started a re-watch of Home for Christmas, which is definitely one of my favorite holiday tv shows ever. If you’ve never seen it, it comes highly recommended.

  • I thought the second half of Masters of the Universe: Revelation was a slight step down from the first. Still good, still a lot of fun, but just not quite up to the same level as the first batch of episodes.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Hannah got her wisdom teeth out yesterday, so we’re just taking it easy today. Going to run a few errands and probably keep it pretty low key for the weekend. Probably binge some TV while she eats soft foods and gets jealous about my food choices.

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 Options - Take the Blame

  2. 5 Seconds of Summer - 2011

  3. Hippo Campus - Semi Pro

  4. Josh Ramsay - Lady Mine

  5. Hastings - Blank Me

  6. Joan - Not Over You

  7. Frank Turner - There She Is

  8. Benjamin Gibbard & Tycho - Only Love

  9. Fickle Friends - My Favourite Day

  10. The Ataris - In This Diary (Acoustic)

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 sophos34 in the “General Politics Discussion IX” 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 (November 27th, 2021)

This week’s newsletter looks at the upcoming holiday season and some of the music I find myself throwing on during this time of year. This week, it was a relatively slow music week, but that led me to return to some music I haven’t spun in a while (Mutemath, Academy Is…, Butch Walker). Also, if anyone has some favorite holiday tunes/albums they’d like to recommend, please toss those my way. As always, there’s a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

A Few Things

  • I’m sitting on the couch feeling very full at the moment. Full of food, for sure, but also full of happiness. Thursday was Thanksgiving, and we spent it over at my mom’s with my sister and her boyfriend. And then yesterday, we spent the day setting up the Christmas tree, decorating the condo, and wrapping presents. This is one of my favorite times of the year. Going from our wedding anniversary to Thanksgiving to Christmas is just a stretch that always makes me happy. We don’t usually decorate this early, but since the tree arrived (finally) and we had all the stuff already out and even a bunch of presents ordered, we felt like having everything set up for the entire month of December would be fun. I might make that a tradition because it is nice to see the holiday decorations up and around the house, and everything feels very festive. It was also the first year where plugging back in the WeMo plug to the tree lights kept everything exactly as I set it up last year. All the automations and HomeKit integrations were saved, and I didn’t have to do the “reset” dance to make things work again. Felt a little like seeing a unicorn.

  • I’m currently very behind in all my podcasts because of the holiday. It meant I didn’t get to the gym as often as usual, and the gym is prime podcast listening time. But, I did binge the hell out of the first few episodes of the Always Sunny Podcast and found myself laughing almost as hard as I do at the show. If you like Always Sunny at all, it’s worth a listen. The premise is they watch an episode and talk about what they remember from it, but, predictably, it almost always quickly goes off-topic.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • There wasn’t a whole lot of new music out this week, so I spent most of my time going back through a few favorites. The most played artist ended up being Mutemath. I went back through their entire catalog, specifically the first two albums, and man, those really are great albums. Armistice is one of those albums that feels as fresh today as the day I first heard it. I also really liked what Paul was doing on the latest EP; I hope he keeps making music.

  • The MxPx Christmas song tradition is one I’ve looked forward to every year. And this year’s entry, “Hold Your Tongue and Say Apple,” is a nice addition to the collection. I add the song each year to the Punk Rawk Christmas album and was listening to the entire thing through the week. It got me in the mood for some more festive music (pairs well with the Bad Religion holiday album), and I still love “Christmas Day” and think it holds up there as one of the songs that just makes me feel like December is here.

  • I usually throw on one of my holiday playlists when looking for holiday music; however, sometimes I think it’s better to listen to a whole album from someone to keep the same vibe instead of jumping around or possibly repeating songs, just by different artists. I enjoyed the Rob Thomas’ holiday album, which led me to revisit his last solo album. I remember liking it, but it not really grabbing me when it first came out. This week, it did a lot more for me. Some very solid tunes, and you can hear the Butch Walker influence in quite a few of these songs.

  • In a similar vein, the Matt Nathanson holiday album is also quite lovely. A little more traditional but still a worthwhile addition to your playlists. While I enjoy all my pop and punk holiday tunes, I’ve found it’s nice to have a few of the “this will appeal to anyone” albums in my pocket as well. This is a nice one to put on and then as the day transitions into night, and then move into the Brian Fallon and Manchester Orchestra holiday albums.

  • I also returned to Japanese House this week, and that full-length really might be one of my absolute favorite releases of the past few years. Just brilliant stuff. I also dived back through the Academy Is… catalog, which was a nice little nostalgia hit. And then I started cherry-picking a few Butch Walker albums to return to, which is always just a nice comfort listen for me. Any time, any season, it’s an easy go-to.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 59 different artists and 433 different tracks (485 scrobbles). Mutemath was the clear number one, with Armistice and the self-titled each getting multiple listens. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or Last.fm.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • It has been a reoccurring theme of this newsletter to talk about how I think the Venom movie is ridiculous and silly in the best way. The first film was one of the most fun times I’ve had watching a movie and Hannah and I continue to make jokes from that movie to each other. It’s absurd and campy in the best way. I was anticipating Let There Be Carnage and hoping for a similar feeling. We poured a couple of glasses of wine, sat down, and then spent 90 minutes with a ridiculous smile on our faces. It’s Tom Hardy in a buddy cop movie with himself, and it was delightful. I had a blast. Yes, it’s stupid. No, it’s not “good.” But it’s fun as hell, and Tom Hardy is a treasure.

  • 8-Bit Christmas was a fun little holiday movie. It’s not great, but it’s not bad, and it’s relatively heartwarming and a nice way to spend an evening. I bet the book, which I had been meaning to read, would have really been in my wheelhouse.

  • Shang Chi is a Marvel movie. It’s one of the better ones, but it’s also hard to divorce that from the overarching sameness that these movies have. Similar beats, similar aesthetic, but almost always competently made. Did I enjoy it? Yep. But did I find joy in it? Not really.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Not much in this category this week; I wrote about all the personal/holiday stuff at the top. I’m just enjoying the long weekend and having very little responsibility at the moment. Sitting by the fire, writing on the couch is a pretty great way to spend a lazy Saturday morning.

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. Jimmy Eat World - 555

  2. MxPx - Hold Your Tongue and Say Apple

  3. Mutemath - Control

  4. Rob Thomas - One Less Day (Dying Young)

  5. The Academy Is … - Coppertone

  6. Butch Walker - Ludlow Expectations

  7. The Japanese House - We Talk All the Time

  8. Matt Nathanson - Snow

  9. Mutemath - No Response

  10. Fickle Friends - Yeah Yeah Yeah

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 Garrett in the “Q&A and Chat With Jason Tate” thread.

I hope everyone has a great rest of their weekend.

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 (November 20th, 2021)

This week’s newsletter looks at new music I checked out this week (Adele, Jimmy Eat World, Bad Suns, New Found Glory) as well as some old favorites (Jimmy Eat World, Brian Fallon, Days Away), and then I talk a little about how much I love Edgar Wright. Jimmy Eat World and Edgar Wright praise … could this be anymore of a Jason-themed newsletter?

This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

A Few Things

  • I’m writing this newsletter much later than usual this week. On most Saturday’s I sit down with a cup of coffee and start writing early in the day. However, this week Hannah and I decided to grab some coffee and go for a walk through the city. This led to us wandering around on 23rd, grabbing a drink, and wandering through some shops. It was a great way to spend the day, but it meant I couldn’t sit down to write until much later in the day. For me, this newsletter has always been my outlet to write about music and things I think when I’m in the right mindset to do so. I try not to force it but let it be something that comes naturally. So, I apologize when there’s a little less structure to when and how this gets sent out.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • Jimmy Eat World put up the Phoenix Sessions for both Clarity and Futures on all streaming platforms. Now, I wrote about both of these when they were doing the livestreams in this newsletter and about how much I loved them, and they made me feel so delighted during the middle of the pandemic. And, I’ve written probably tens of thousands of words over my lifetime praising this band. But, getting these on streaming platforms once again gives me a reason to praise them. I’ll start with Clarity. I think this recording adds gravitas to Jim’s voice that the original doesn’t have. He is more self-assured, his vocals more mature, and it shows. Now, I don’t think I can say I like a live performance more than the original, but I do believe this comes exceptionally close to feeling like a recording of the album in a more modern context; the outcome is spectacular and grand. Next, we have Futures. This is an album that I’ve long considered in my top five of all time. Days where I flirt with thinking it’s my favorite album - ever. I know every note as well as I know any album in my life. I also have nothing but praise for this new session. I think that the video version was even more impactful on me because it was like seeing a concert of one of my favorite albums, and that experience late at night with a cold beer was magical. But listening to this version now still fills me with joy. The songs are that good, and something like “Drugs or Me” really stands out in this setting. Anyway, long story short, yeah, I love these, yeah, I’m going to keep playing the hell out of them. And yeah, I want another set of these from the band. Specifically, I need a version of Damage. I want to hear a version of that album recorded like this. Look, I will throw so much money at the band to make this happen … please?

  • Now, onto the biggest album of the week, and probably the biggest release of the year. Adele. I’ve had time to spin the album twice in total. My thoughts are complicated. I think it suffers from some sequencing issues because outside of “Easy on Me,” it takes a while for the album to get going. “My Little Love” I find extremely hard to get through. However, after that first three-song run, it settles in and soars. There are some incredible vocal performances and some compelling songs here. “To Be Loved” deserves the praise it’s getting, and I think that’s the real big standout for me. I also really love that “Oh My God” and “Can I Get It” stretch. I don’t think the album plays it too safe, but it definitely leans into the “give the people what they want” category. Adele is Adele, and no one can do it like her, so let her cook. I’m looking forward to spending more time with this one to see how it fits into the rest of her catalog for me. It feels wholly suited for winter and wholly suited to be the kind of album everyone is listening to … the crossover appeal is unlike anything I’ve really ever seen. From teenagers to parents, to some punk ass dude like myself … she’s an artist with an “it factor” quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I’m curious to see the numbers this moves over the next few weeks.

  • My MxPx fix was their new live album, and listening to their acoustic release during dinner one night. I’ve been putting on softer music while we eat in the kitchen, and we’ve been being very deliberate lately to sit down and have (phone-free) dinner with each other each night that we can. I also like judging Hannah’s reaction to specific albums and bands. She’s a fan of acoustic MxPx!

  • I am tempted to call the new Bad Suns album a return to form. I really could never find a way into the last album; it felt like it stalled out for me and just never got itself into my rotation. The new album feels like they’ve re-found their footing at what they’re really good at. They make great little pop-synth songs, and when they lean into that, they’re at their best. The new album still has a few places where I wish they embraced that a little more and really went for it, but this is much more in line with what I personally am looking for in this band. Solid.

  • I did a little run through Brian Fallon’s solo albums this week, and Night Divine really is perfect for this time of year, and it pairs really well with Local Honey. Great albums for having a nice glass of red wine and listening to by the fire with the lights down low.

  • The new New Found Glory Christmas album felt a little funny to be listening to before we’ve gotten past Thanksgiving, but I found it an enjoyable listen. I’m in a weird spot with this band; I wish their studio albums would lean into this sound, but then when listening to these songs a few times had me thinking, “hmm, wish this was a little more pop-punk.” Maybe I can just never be happy? Anyway, I need to listen again before I decide where I’d rank it in my pop-punk holiday listing (Relient K probably can’t ever be topped), but I did enjoy it and will throw it on when we decorate the tree to see what Hannah thinks. See if it gets “can be on our holiday party playlist” approval or not.

  • You know what’s an excellent album? Days Away’s Mapping an Invisible World. Underrated, sonically astounding, and just a damn good album.

  • Gregor Barnett’s new solo album is kind of exactly what I thought it would be. It leans into what he does best in The Menzingers. I was kind of selfishly hoping for a few heartbreaking tearjerkers, and I don’t think those are here, but there’s some very good songwriting and a whole lot to love.

  • I have only spun the new Laureline album once so far, but I enjoyed it.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 35 different artists and 441 different tracks (498 scrobbles). Jimmy Eat World were the top streamed band this week, having the Phoenix Sessions released digitally sent me on a discog dive, while my most played album of the week was Red (Taylors Version) with the sheer length of that album meaning one play just beat out multiple listens to the Jimmy releases. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or Last.fm.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • I am a massive Edgar Wright fan. Anytime he releases a new movie, I’m in faster than virtually any other director. I just love his eye for cinema and motion and style. I was a tad worried about some of the tepid reviews I had seen for Last Night in Soho, but after watching it last night, I had nothing to worry about. It’s not my favorite from him, but it’s still a damn good movie: fun, stylish, committed, and multiple “wow” moments. The editing for the dance scene in the club had me giddy as a child. The third act gets a little shaky, but when it ended, my first thought was, “damn, yeah, I really liked that.” And there’s not much more I can want in a movie than that. I probably would toss it lower in a ranking of his movies, but even my least favorite Edgar Wright movie is better than just about every other movie. This will be one we’ll watch again in the future, and now I just want to watch all of his films again.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • We ordered a (fake) Christmas tree this year. It getting here has been an ordeal, and I don’t even want to re-live it to write about it. I will just say Balsam Hill has had atrocious customer service. They flat out lied to my wife multiple times in this process, including telling her they would refund a portion of our purchase because it went on sale before our order had ever even been delivered. Turns out: Nope! Anyway, I’m excited to decorate the tree after Thanksgiving and put up holiday decorations. So, I’m not letting that horrible experience ruin the fun that’s to come.

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. Jimmy Eat World - Night Drive

  2. Laureline - Everything Ends Up Ending

  3. Craig’s Brother - All the Way

  4. Patrick Stump - Time to Spidey Save the Day

  5. Jimmy Eat World - For Me This is Heaven

  6. Brian Fallon - Open All Night

  7. Gregor Barnett - Don’t Go Throwing Roses in My Grave

  8. Snarls - I’ll Follow Up

  9. Spanish Love Songs - I Miss You

  10. Adele - To Be Loved

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 Chase Tremaine in the “Albums in Stores - Nov. 19th, 2021” 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 (November 14th, 2021)

This week’s newsletter looks at new music out this week (Taylor Swift, Walk the Moon) as well as looking at some revisits (Dashboard Confessional, Relient K) and some thoughts about trying to sort of, kind of, remember what it was like to do things before the global pandemic. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

A Few Things

  • I spent the morning trying to get my Christmas list in order and then do some shopping for the family and feeling pretty good about the progress made so far. Now I have to find out why the fake tree we ordered has been marked by FedEx as “on vehicle for delivery” for an entire week because I’d like something I can put all these presents under. I still need to find some stocking stuffers and probably one or two more items, but the bulk feels pretty complete. Hannah has gone on a decoration buying spree. I see boxes upon boxes of garnishes and wreaths and ornaments sitting in the kitchen right now … soooooooo, I have a feeling we may be going a little overboard this December.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • The obvious big release this year is Taylor Swift’s new version of Red. Red is an album I’ve always enjoyed, but 1989was the one that got me and helped me become a big fan. So, I don’t have a huge connection to this album the way some people do. That said, I’m kind of adoring this and all the new songs. The obvious standout is the new 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” which was already a songwriting masterclass. It’s interesting because I read some of the criticisms from longtime fans on why they find these versions inferior, and I actually get it. There are some albums that I’ve played so many times, and heard specifically in one way, that any change - even a new master of the album, or hell in some cases I’ve been listening to some mp3 rip I made in 2002 and hearing a different version of those songs feels “weird.” So I get it. Those are the albums you know deep in your bones, and any minor tweak feels off. But that’s never been the case for me with Red, and something is refreshing to these new versions that works for me. I don’t think I’ll have any problem swapping these in my rotation, and I’ve been enjoying listening to this over the past few days. And, my word is that ten-minute rendition of “All Too Well” everything I’d built it up into my head to be.

  • My discography dive this week was going back through every Relient K album, some of them multiple times. First, what a fun band. Quirky and enjoyable and the kind of albums that make me smile. I still think Collapsible Lung is the only one that doesn’t quite work for me, but every other album is just full of gems.

  • The other discography listen I went on this week was with Dashboard Confessional. It started with the new single that absolutely knocked me on my ass. It’s classic Dashboard in all the best ways. I cannot wait for this album now; if it’s anything like this, I will be exceptionally happy. After playing the hell out of the single, I went back through all his albums, including the re-worked versions. I like the new recording of Dusk and Summer, but it helps that it was the one I never quite got into in the same as the others. And, I vastly prefer the original acoustic version of Altar the Ending. But man, there’s something about a fall day listening to Dashboard that just feels … right? Or maybe just feels very me. I’ve spent so many hours with these songs, so many nights with them in my headphones, and they just crawl through my bloodstream like a warm comfort. After being pretty letdown with his last release, it feels nice to be genuinely excited for the new album.

  • MxPx dropped a live album yesterday, and it’s fantastic. MxPx’s At the Show was the first album I ever remember owning, and there’s something about their live releases that work for me in a way that many others don’t. First, they sound incredible, and their songs all translate so well live. Second, there’s just palpable energy. It also doesn’t hurt that my first concert was an MxPx show and I feel teleported back to that magical night. If you’re a fan of this band at all, even if you don’t historically like live albums, I’d highly recommend giving this a try.

  • I’ve only spun the new Walk the Moon album once so far, but it was a pretty enjoyable and harmless listen. I don’t know if it grabbed me as having a huge “wow” moment, but it is a catchy album with some nice hooks—a little generic. I’ll give it another listen in a few days and see how it shakes out.

  • Aaron Sprinkle’s new EP combines some of his latest singles with some new songs, and it’s always a pleasure to hear anything he’s worked on. He remains one of the most underrated producers and songwriters out there right now. A big part of me would kind of kill to hear him work on an Andrew McMahon album.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 22 different artists and 402 different tracks (484 scrobbles). My most listened-to artist was Relient K after spending a lot of time re-listening to their entire catalog, with Dashboard coming in second. My most played album was the new Red (Taylor’s Version), just beating out Five Score and Seven Years Ago due to its lengthy tracklisting. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or Last.fm.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • It was a hectic week here, and each night Hannah and I ended up spending a lot of time having some drinks and just talking. We find ourselves often in a routine of just throwing something on to watch, and this week with all the crazy shit going on, we wanted to make sure we were intentional with our time for each other. So, this led to many nights with us just throwing on an old episode of Friends and being swept up in the comfort of it all.

  • The one thing we did watch was the new James Bond movie. I’ve been anticipating this for so, so long. It’s not perfect by any means, but I did enjoy the hell out of it. It hit the spot for what I wanted it to be. As of now, I’d rank it my third favorite Craig-era Bond. First remains Casino Royale, and I really wish they’d been able to capture and replicate what made that movie great a few more times. Number two would be Skyfall, which is damn good even though it has a few minor flaws that keep it under Casino for me. And then this would notch in here at number three. Probably the best way possible to end the Craig era, and thankfully it helped wash some of the stench of Spectre away. (I hated that movie.) I’m happy with it, and watching it in November just feels right to me. Some of my earliest memories are of going over my grandparents and getting to pick out a Bond movie on VHS to watch with them or of laying on the couch in my parent’s house during Thanksgiving week when all the films would be playing on repeat on cable television. They’ve been connected in my head with this time of year for most of my life and have been an “event” I’ve always looked forward to.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • This week was my second wedding anniversary. It’s been a tumultuous two years. We went back to the venue where we got married for dinner. It was the first time I’d eaten inside at a restaurant since the pandemic started. It was an interesting feeling and experience. That slight feeling of normalcy did feel great, though. That’s something I think I want to make sure to bring back into my life, trying to do some more things that feel closer to the normal we knew just a few years ago. Today, Saturday, we went and ate outside at one of my favorite taco places and had a beer … I checked into Swarm and hadn’t been there since March of 2020. I don’t think I even really knew how much I had missed little things like that these past few years. How many things had been taken away, and I just kind of let them fade from my memory because thinking about what we used to do on Saturdays made me sad, and I knew I couldn’t do anything about it. And now, as we slowly move back out into the world in very small ways, those memories are coming back, and I’m reflecting on just how much we lost.

  • My mom got her booster today. I hate shots, and I’m already looking to when I’ll be able to get one.

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. MxPx - Cold and All Alone

  2. Aaron Sprinkle - Everything

  3. Walk the Moon - Don’t Make Me

  4. Dashboard Confessional - Here’s to Moving On

  5. MxPx - For Always

  6. Relient K - Look On Up

  7. Hot Water Music - Killing Time

  8. Bad Suns - Wishing Fountains

  9. Dashboard Confessional - Rooftops and Invitations

  10. Taylor Swift - All Too Well (10 Minute Version)

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 Sean Murphy in the “Jimmy Eat World” 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 (November 6th, 2021)

This week looks at new music out this week (Webbed Wing, Stand Atlantic, Brian Fallon) and music I listened to through the rest of the week (New Found Glory, Descendents). There are also some thoughts on entertainment I’ve been enjoying and/or suffering through. As always, there’s a playlist of ten songs I liked, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

A Few Things

  • This was one of those weeks where I didn’t have time for anything. All of my feeds have triple-digit unread counts, I barely opened Twitter even at night (well, that’s a positive, I guess), and I didn’t even have much time to keep the website updated. I went on a considerable news posting spree this morning to clear out the queues, but, damn, yeah, it was just one of those weeks where I felt unable to get ahead of anything at all. I like being busy; I’m not a fan of feeling over-busy. Very much looking forward to a weekend to reset and get the ground back under my feet.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • It’s always a good sign when a new album drops, and I end up playing it multiple times on a Friday. This week, that would be Webbed Wing’s What’s So Fucking Funny? It’s almost got a slight grunge feel to it, but it really hit the spot on a cold fall walk through the city last night.

  • Stand Atlantic’s new single is going with a little more aggressive sound. I’m into it. I wouldn’t mind seeing an entire album like this; it kind of reminds me a little of Tonight Alive. Speaking of, we haven’t heard from that band in what feels like ages.

  • New Green Day single is … fine? A little standard, but not bad.

  • Snail Mail’s new album came out yesterday, and I’ve written about it quite a bit over the past few weeks, so I don’t have much new to share in that regard. It’s good!

  • SeeYouSpaceCowboy’s new one is also out now. Drew’s a big fan; I’m a fan. It’s a screamy yelly album for when you’re in a screamy yelly mood.

  • It feels like forever since Greyhaven’s last album. They announced a new one this week and dropped a new single. Pretty pretty good, and I’m looking forward to hearing more.

  • Brian Fallon’s new album of classic hymns is quite interesting. These are songs I’ve heard versions of hundreds of times over my life, and I think his take on them is authentic and very Brian. It’s not a release I think I’ll return to often throughout the year, but I definitely see it being in my holiday rotation—a late December night album. And, you could do a lot worse than playing “Nearer, My God, to Thee” at my funeral one day.

  • New Simple Plan single is nice. Not really breaking any new ground, but for what it is? Yeah, sounds like a good Simple Plan song, and that’s already better than the last few lead singles they’ve had.

  • This week had me diving into a few other artist discographies. The big one was going through almost all of the New Found Glory albums. I say almost because I couldn’t finish Resurrection. I tried. I really did. But that album just grates on me. I did, however, make it through Forever and Ever X Infinity for the first time since its release. Those two albums are far and away my least favorite in their catalog. I can easily find something I love in all the others. The new EP gives me hope for their next release, and I hope they record with someone like Will Pugh again. Someone that understands how to bring out their melodic side. It was funny to hear the self-titled album again; that album reminds me of my senior year of high school as much as basically any other. I also spent a lot of time in the Bad Religion and Descendents catalogs this week. Two bands that need no introduction, but what stuck out to me was how fresh something like Milo Goes to College still sounds. There are some albums that when I listen to them, I think, “loved it then, love it now, gonna love it in 20 years” - and that’s one of them. Next week I’ve been itching to go back through the entire Relient K catalog. I think I’ll start with the self-titled and see if I can’t transport myself back to … I guess it would be sophomore or junior year of high school? It must have been junior because I remember driving myself to a Christian bookstore to buy that annoying ass CD case.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 33 different artists and 486 different tracks (506 scrobbles). My most played artist of the week was New Found Glory after doing a run-through (most of) their discography. After playing it three times yesterday, my most played album was the new Webbed Wing album, What’s So Fucking Funny?. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or Last.fm.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • We watched Halloween Kills on Halloween, and I absolutely hated it. Just a complete and utter garbage fire of a film. There is not enough pumpkin beer and candy in the world to fuzz my brain enough to enjoy one iota of this movie.

  • Netflix’s The Harder They Fall is a highly stylized, and unfortunately heavy-handed, western. The cast is absolutely stacked with actors I love, and they carry the scenes with aplomb. But the script and runtime do this no favors. Every scene felt like there were five or six shots leading up to a few little speeches, some action, a cut, and then five more shots leading up to the next one. I wanted to really get into this but left it disappointed.

  • Slasher is trash. But after being so let down with Halloween Kills we needed some kind of trashy slasher fix. So, we binged the third season. It’s fine and not breaking any ground, and at least it washed some of the taste of Kills out of my mouth.

  • I’ve been waiting for a live-action rendition of Y: The Last Man for what feels like half my life at this point. The graphic novel is one of my favorite things, and I walked into the new television show with some trepidation. It’s not perfect, but I am enjoying it through the first four episodes. It’s not exactly the story I remember, but that’s just made me want to go back and revisit the comic series. However, there’s enough of what I remember falling in love with all those years ago that it’s working for me. I do hope it gets picked up somewhere for a second season; I think it’s earned it.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Not much here this week. Hannah got the new Animal Crossing expansion pack stuff and has been playing that this morning. I’ve been in the office writing, catching up on everything, and listening to music. I am just trying to relax a little bit. We’re already moving fast in November and need to start making holiday plans. I swear, this year has felt like it’s moved at warp speed.

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. Stand Atlantic - Molotov [Ok]

  2. Webbed Wing - Jesus’s Age

  3. Snail Mail - Forever (Sailing)

  4. SeeYouSpaceCowboy - Life as a Soap Opera Plot, 26 Years Running

  5. Greyhaven - All Candy

  6. Brian Fallon - Nearer, My God, To Thee

  7. Descendents - Myage

  8. Simple Plan - The Antidote

  9. The War on Drugs - Harmonia’s Dream

  10. Sigrid - Home to You (This Christmas)

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 Sean Murphy in the “2021 NFL Season Thread” 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.

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