Liner Notes (July 31st, 2020)

This week’s newsletter shares my favorite pop-punk album of the year so far. Gasp! Pop-punk in 2020? I also go through some thoughts on music and entertainment I enjoyed over the past week, and share a playlist and pizza toppings. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Three Things

  • This week’s article went back to 2013 to look at the state of the music scene and all the albums released that year. This was a strange year because it feels almost like it just happened, yet it was seven years ago and feels distant at the same time.

  • My big project this week (and for the foreseeable next few weeks), is restoring parts of the AbsolutePunk content archive to the website for historical purposes. I wrote about the reasoning behind this here, and I’ve been keeping track of the restored interviews and reviews as they get re-added into the database. There’s so much history here and some classic reviews and moments from the music scene that I think is important to keep documented.

  • Lots of Taylor Swift content on the website this week. I recommend checking out our review, as well as the essayfrom Anna about the whole “indie-music” discourse around the album. There’s also a playlist feature for people who haven’t listened to Taylor Swift in the past and, if you like Folklore, where you could start to look in her catalog for more music of the same vein.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • My most played album this week was the new one from Yours Truly, called Self Care. It’s a pop-punk release in the vein of Stand Atlantic or early Paramore, and it’s a great little summer album. Maybe I didn’t grow out of pop-punk? Maybe it just takes bands doing it right.

  • Motion City Soundtrack dropped a “new” song today. From what I can tell, it looks like this was produced by Mark Hoppus in the 2009–2010 range and was submitted, and rejected, for one of the Twilight soundtracks. The song’s quite good! I like the pacing.

  • The new Andrew McMahon song sounds like paint by numbers Andrew. It’s not bad; it’s just funny how much of the boxes it checks. I chuckled at the first spaceman/astronaut reference and was like, “Yep, that’s an Andrew song!”

  • Those three re-worked Grayscale songs turned out quite well.

  • I haven’t understood the whole Creeper thing so far. I didn’t understand the praise that the first album got, but I plan to go check out their new album when I’m done here to see if it seizes me.

  • My listening this week also moved between that Naked and Famous record, which I like, even if it sort of blends together, and Taylor’s record. I also spent some time with Neon Trees and PVRIS and have nothing but positive thoughts about both. That PVRIS album grabs me every single time I listen to it.

  • I’ve heard good things about this Dizzy album, so I think I’m going to go listen to that next.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Eurovision was too long, but it was also surprisingly fun and exactly what I wanted for a Saturday evening movie. Be it Pitch Perfect, or something like this; I’m always in for a singing competition comedy. And this one, although often very silly, also had some heart.

  • The Rental wasn’t a bad film, it just needed some work. I wasn’t sure what it wanted to be. I never felt a sense of dread or even fear from the film. It’s competently made, but it didn’t do much for me.

  • Made it about 15 minutes into Cats. I was hoping for an “it’s so bad it’s funny to watch and make fun of it” kind of film. Nope. This is a disaster. Abject disaster.

  • The first season of Below Deck: Sailing Yacht was one of the better seasons of the show. Good cast of characters, good drama, and multiple moments that I now get to quote that only Hannah will understand. I can’t wait to drop a “Do you think it’s funny that I’m still breastfed by my mother?” and watch only Hannah laugh.

  • Love Life was basically as pitched. A TV show romantic comedy. Super easy to watch and a pretty good distillation of dating/relationships for the late twenties to early thirty groups. It played it safe, but it was satisfying.

  • The NBA is back. I am not sure how I feel about that. Curious to see how the Trail Blazers do and if they can make a push for the playoffs.

  • I’m about 60% of the way through A Wise Man’s Fear, and it’s as good as the first book, which is to say, I love it. These two books have been my favorites since I started reading each night for pleasure during the pandemic. I’m going to be legitimately sad when I finish it and can’t escape to this world each night.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Hannah’s grandfather passed away last weekend. So that’s been tough on the family. All of the COVID stuff has made everything more difficult as well. Sure would be nice to be able to get together with family to celebrate his life, but it is what it is, I guess.

  • Probably gonna fuck around and put pineapple and jalapeños on the pizza tonight, dunno, we’ll see.

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. Motion City Soundtrack - Crooked Ways

  3. Touche Amore - Limelight

  4. Andrew McMahon - Get On My Wave

  5. Dizzy - Good and Right

  6. Grayscale - What’s On Your Mind

  7. Travis Barker - Forever

  8. The Naked and Famous - Come as You Are

  9. Illuminati Hotties - Free Dumb

  10. Taylor Swift - My Tears Richochet

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 “Taylor Swift - folklore (July 24, 2020)” thread.

Garrett, you finally did the thing.

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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.