This week’s newsletter is brought to you by my two-day schtick of using sarcastic Taylor Swift gifs around the website.
In this week’s newsletter I reminisce on the 20 year anniversary of Blink–182’s Enema of the State, talk a bit more about The Dangerous Summer and everyone’s reactions to hearing the new songs, and share the three bands I’ll buy anything from before hearing a note of music. Then I go through my usual music, movies, and TV rundown of stuff I enjoyed this week. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I liked this week and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.
The Dangerous Summer started selling their new album on tour this week and sent out all the pre-orders early, so that was cool. It also meant the album would inevitably leak. Which it did. This led to one of the more fun “first listen” threads on the website in a while with a whole bunch of fans listening to the album for the first time and talking about it in the album thread. The producer of the album, Samuel Pura, ended up joining the website and doing a little Q&A about recording the album, the process, the techniques used, and the thinking behind most of the songs. It’s sincere, really insightful, and an excellent read.
I added a new feature in the forums for supporting members this week: linked custom user titles. If you’d like you can now link your user title (the text under your username) to anywhere you want. It’s great for plugging your blog, podcast, Twitter handle, Bandcamp, or anything you’d like. (The impetus for finally doing this feature was that I wanted to be able to promote this very newsletter.)
Blink–182’s Enema of the State turns twenty tomorrow (Saturday, June 1st). It’s in that place where it feels like forever since that album came out and yet so many of my memories around it feel fresh. I was in high-school and already obsessed with the band. I’d played Dude Ranch and Cheshire Cat to death but this band had not quite taken off with my peers yet. They still felt like “mine.” I was starting to play around with the internet and making friends in the Blink–182 online community that would end up defining so much of my life, so I had heard some early demos, a few leaked tracks shared on AIM between die-hards, but I had not heard the entire album until release day itself. (That alone is hilarious to think about these days.) If memory serves about this specific release, my mom picked the album up for me while I was at school because I begged her so I wouldn’t have to wait. My love for this collection of songs was immediate. This was such an early stage of the internet that I knew very little about the album. I’d read no reviews, no hype, no comments from people that got the record earlier in the day and were already talking about it and giving their “takes”… it was just me alone in my room with my first spin. It was everything I wanted it to be, and it didn’t leave my Discman for months.
This album defined my year (probably multiple) in a way that not many albums have. It was a jolt of energy into my adolescence. I think back on that time fondly because I didn’t care about any reviews of the album. I didn’t care what critics thought, let alone anyone else. My friends were into nu-metal while I was discovering pop-punk, and then punk, and I didn’t care what anyone thought when I said: “Blink–182 is my favorite band.” It’s been only twenty years, but it feels like a lifetime ago because of how we experience new music (or, really, new anything) now. It comes so fast on Twitter or Instagram or even in my forums. I experienced this album through nights in my room listening and doodling “Blink–182” into the pages of my notebook while thinking about life, love, and what the future could be. The love for the album was immediate, but it was fostered over all those nights listening to it on repeat, pouring over the liner notes and artwork, alone. And then as summer hit it became the soundtrack to when most of us my age first started learning to drive. We’d end up jumping in the car to go nowhere, but we’d turn this up, and that was enough to begin our journey.
This album has defined so much of who I was, who I became, and even what I do for a living today. Long live crappy punk rock.
contra11mundum posed a fun game/question in the forums earlier this week asking, “Without thinking about it too much, who are your top 3 active bands who you know that when they release a new album it will be extremely likely that you love it?” My answer at the time:
Jimmy Eat World
Runner Ups: Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Brian Fallon, A Wilhelm Scream
This is a fun question to think about, and what I ended up realizing is that I have a pure trust in more artists than I would have initially thought. And, at this point, those top three are guaranteed I'll order their record without hearing a single note.
Threadless is doing a free shipping for orders over $45 thing right now, so if you’re looking to grab some Chorus.fm or AbsolutePunk.net merch, now’s a great time to do it.
In Case You Missed It
Today sees the release of Isaiah Dominguez’s new single “Used to Be.” The song comes from the upcoming album, Holy Ghost, due out June 28th via Evergreen Noise Records. The song is now available on Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play.
It’s been a long time since I’ve found myself craving an alternative rock album, but that’s what The Dangerous Summer did to me this week. I could barely find the want to play anything else. I’d try, and I’d think about how I wanted to be listening to this instead. So I played it a lot this week. A lot a lot. A probably annoyingly unhealthy amount. It was worth it. After all these plays I think this album is one of those special few that when it connects, it connects in a big way. This will be one of the soundtracks to this summer, and I readily encourage everyone to get on board. It’s an achievement of a record.
Tyler Lyle, the lead singer of The Midnight (who I’ve written a lot about recently), released his new solo album The Floating Years last week. It’s more of a folk/singer-songwriter kind of thing, but he does that genre well. If you like that kinda sound, it’s worth a look.
That new White Reaper single, “Might Be Right,” is a whole lot of fun. Kind of gives me an American Hi-Fi vibe in a few places, specifically the chorus. Got me to play their last album again a few times this week.
The new album from Pronoun, I’ll Show You Stronger, comes highly recommended. A great late night, early morning, kind of album.
I listened to about half of the new Thomas Rhett album this morning while posting news. Sometimes I’m in the mood for some pop-country, and this is alright for what it is. There’s a lot of filler; the lyrics don’t even border on sappy, they fly right into the full corn syrup pot. But, for a sunny morning? There’s some good choruses and a few fun tracks here.
Laleh was born in Iran but moved to Sweden at a young age, and her new album, Vänta!, is out today. Most of the songs are not in English, but they’re still extremely well produced, catchy, pop music. I’ve found that the language barrier allows me to listen to something like this while I’m doing more mentally exhausting work. Google Translate says “det här albumet slår” means “this album slaps,” and the cool kids tell me that’s a good thing.
I’d never listened to The Band Camino before so gave their two new songs a chance now that they’ve signed a big record deal. They sound pretty good, but it wasn’t anything that screamed “next big thing” to me. I’ll keep an eye out for the full-length.
That new Petrol Girls album is a brash punk rock album that I’m going to add into my gym playlist.
POP ETC’s new single “All the Wrong Places” reminds me, yet again, that I think this is one of the best bands doing this genre right now and it seems hardly anyone knows about them. If you like catchy indie-rock, you’ll love this band.
Next up on my list to listen to are those two new Sufjan Stevens songs and I’ve heard good things about that Kishi Bashi record.
I absolutely adored Booksmart. The easy review is that it feels like a modern Superbad, but I don’t think that does the film justice for what it captures, shows, and just how well it does it. This will be a film I return to multiple times in the future. Great soundtrack, hilarious, and great directorial debut from Olivia Wilde.
I liked Us but had it hyped up in my head way too much after Get Out. Get Out knocked me on my ass as a movie while Us was a solid, good, thriller that I figured out way too early.
Captain Marvel was a nice MCU movie. It’s not the best, it’s nowhere near the worst, but it was a fun, entertaining, superhero action movie. I enjoyed it and thought Brie Larson was great.
A lot has been written recently about Fleabag, and I’m not going to be able to do it justice in a little blurb here. However, after flying through both seasons this week, I can say that all the praise is wholly warranted. It’s a fantastic show that uses wit, heart, drama, and pain to tell a truly must watch story. I laughed. I cried. I want to watch it again already.
We’re now about halfway through season two of The Bold Type, still enjoying the hell out of it, so I’ve got nothing new to share there. We’re going to give Younger a shot once we finish this season so we can wait until all of season three has aired before we dive into that.
It’s hard to find time to watch stuff on my own during sports seasons because when Hannah is working late, there’s usually a game or two on I can throw on to pass the time while doing some errands around the house. However, with Hannah doing some extra work with the opera this month (and being out of town a few weekends) it did give me time to finally finish the first season of Supergirl. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the show. I’ve heard it gets even better, so I hope I’ll be able to find the time to keep watching.
Random and Personal Stuff
We did engagement photos last Friday and once I got over being awkward, I think they went well. I like our photographer, so that helps. She was great at telling me what to do and how to stand, and I’m hoping that will translate into some cool photos. We’ve seen one, and it’s a classic “omghannahlooksfuckingincredible!!”… and I look … fine. And that’s the bar I’m trying to hit here: don’t fuck it up and just look normal enough that you don’t ruin anything.
I think almost all my groomspeople gifts have been ordered now. I have one last thing I want to try and find, but I’m happy with the range of stuff I found, and it kind of has a theme. I’ll share more when everything shows up, but I tried to stay away from anything too cliché while still being useful, fun, and a little cliché. At the very least, I’d like to get all these gifts.
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.
POP ETC - All the Wrong Places
White Reaper - Might Be Right
Tyler Lye - Baby Blue
Pronoun - Run
Petrol Girls - Big Mouth
Florrie - Borderline
Thomas Rhett - Don’t Stop Drivin’
Laleh - Tack Förlåt
Sufjan Stevens - Love Yourself
La Bouquet - You Only Need Me When You’re Blue
The trending and popular threads in our community this week include:
The most liked post in our forums last week was this one by Samuel Pura in the “The Dangerous Summer - Mother Nature (June 14th, 2019)” thread.
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.
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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.