Liner Notes (November 22nd, 2019)

Even the Sand is Made of Seashells

This week’s newsletter looks predominately at some new singles released this week, goes through my weekly media diet, and then there’s a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Three Things

  • There’s currently a sale going on at our merch shop. It looks like it’ll last until next Wednesday, so if you’ve wanted to pick up any Chorus or AbsolutePunk merch, now would be a great time to do it.

  • This week was all about getting back in the saddle and getting caught up on work and life. We’ve gotten all our wedding stuff unpacked and put away. Early lead for my favorite gift might be the new water carbonator. Not only does it free up so much room in our fridge to not have a billion cans of soda water, but I feel better not spending so much money on aluminum cans each week. I’ve also been a huge fan of all the new kitchen utensils. We threw out all our old, falling apart, plastic spatulas and serving spoons and replaced them with new ones from GIR. I love these products. Re-organizing the kitchen has meant I keep opening up the wrong drawers out of muscle memory, and I feel self-conscious about using any of the new dishes because I’m afraid I’m going to break them.

  • Our contributor “best of the decade” list project is going well. I think the list is pretty much complete, and now everyone is writing blurbs. I got my six written this week and feel pretty good about them. It was a lot of fun to revisit the albums I wrote about (which I guess I’ll keep secret for now to not ruin any list surprise) and re-evaluate them.

In Case You Missed It


Out of Service have released their new album, Burden, to all streaming services. The record is a three-act concept record about suffering from depression (Threshold, Sleep, Ash), deciding to get help (Stories, Chemicals, Burden), and learning to live with your mental illness (Trauma, Uneasy, Tomorrow). Burden was mixed by Nathan Hussey (All Get Out) and mastered at Vu Du Studios by Frank Mitaritonna. It is a synthesis of the band’s raw emotional energy and indie sensibilities. The first single, “Stories,” features Madeline Finn (Envoi) who blends her soaring vocals to amplify the emotive energy of the song.

Music Thoughts

  • I listened to the new Coldplay album this morning while posting news. I’m not sure how I feel about the first disc at all. It almost feels like self-parody at times, but then there are parts I enjoyed. I’m conflicted. I haven’t gotten into the second half yet, but plan to listen to that later today.

  • The acoustic version of Noah Gundersen’s “Lose You” is a reminder of the power of just a voice and a guitar. That sure is an emotional punch to the gut.

  • A Day to Remember released the new song “Resentment” today and I’m into this a whole lot more than I was expecting. It has the A Day to Remember touch mixed with a little more of a radio rock sound. That synth and verse melody is very appealing. I don’t listen to a whole lot of music in this genre, but I find this catchy and a little reminiscent of the days when I was all in on Finch’s What it is To Burn. I’m interested in hearing more.

  • Somehow The Japanese House keeps getting better. I love the new song “Chewing Cotton Wool” and am already chomping at the bit for a new EP or, dare I dream?, a new album. There’s a good chance Good at Falling ends up as my favorite album of the year, and these new tracks have me believing she’s going to top it in short order.

  • I’ve been aching for new Florrie music for what seems like years now. The new song “Unstable” is quite different than the previous dance-pop numbers, but still a very good, very emotionally resonate track. I hope we get an album worth of material because all these one-off singles end up getting lost in my collection.

  • The new video for “Frail State of Mind” by The 1975 does a great job of artistically representing the song. Every time I hear this track, I find something else in it I missed before. It doesn’t sound like something that should be played on late night shows, or even be a single. It’s not the kind of song that I see converting new listeners into fans, but at the same time, I’m oddly drawn to it. I’m desperately trying not to overplay anything from this album until I can hear the entire thing, though.

  • I was surprised by the new HAIM song “Hallelujah.” It’s not what I was expecting when I first hit play, but I like it.

  • Kevin Devine’s cover album of Nevermind is now up on all streaming services. I remember listening to it when it was first released a while back but haven’t gone back to it. I plan to give it a shot later today and see how the new masters sound.

  • I’m missing what everyone else is seeing in Creeper. I’ve tried. I tried their last album multiple times, I tried the new single, and they do nothing for me. That high note in the chorus is caustic to my ears.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • I like Jillian Bell, and I liked Brittany Runs a Marathon. I tried not to think too hard about it and just enjoy it, and it worked for me as a fun rom-com like movie.

  • I guess it’s time to get into the holiday spirit. We gave Netflix’s Let it Snow a shot last night, and it’s exactly what you expect it to be. For a no stakes, just sit back and enjoy something that feels like a Hallmark movie for teenagers, it worked well enough.

  • I’m up to episode 12 of Doom Patrol, and I still cannot believe this show works. They’ve just wholly embraced the weird, leaned all the way in, and I’m enthralled by it. It’s so strange and yet funny and endearing. I can’t get enough of it.

  • We are so close to getting Nightwing in Titans, and the wait is killing me. I’m not sure how I feel about the second season as a whole at the moment. It’s felt a little too scattershot at times, with too many flashback episodes or episodes that aren’t progressing our main plot. But, on the other hand, I’ve also loved so many of the episodes and pieces in the episodes that I can’t really call filler.

  • We finished Looking for Alaska, and it was pretty good. It was, predictably, sad, but it was a good teenage mini-series that I never felt quite got to the level of great.

  • I can’t get enough of The Mandalorian. I love the western vibe, the pulpy feel, and I will protect Baby Yoda with my life. It’s a show that fills me with joy and lets my imagination run wild. I’ve spent so much of my life deep in the world of Star Wars. Be it through the movies, or the books and TV shows, and this show, so far, has everything I like best about that world.

  • We’re still watching The Morning Show but I’m not sure I feel good about it. Last week’s episode was a tough one to get through. I was just … bored.

  • I am one episode behind in Watchmen after the wedding week and haven’t had time to get caught up yet. I’m still enjoying the hell out of it so far.

  • Now that the wedding is behind us, we have quite a few movies on our backlog that I’m excited to get to over the next few weeks. Having some time at the end of the evening to watch a film and not go over wedding details will be nice.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Now that the week after the wedding is over and I’ve been back into the swing of regular life for a week, I’m starting to get my energy and routines back in order. The first couple of days back at the gym were pretty rough. I felt extremely lethargic. That said, I’m very happy with the new gloves I bought to protect my hands from calluses. I went through two cheaper pairs of similar gloves from Amazon over the past year, and these, so far, seem much more durable.

  • I’ve begun writing thank you notes for the wedding gifts. Since I have horrible handwriting but write very fast, and Hannah has good handwriting but said she takes too long to think of what to write, I’m currently doing most of the writing by typing everything up, and then she’s going to come and handwrite the cards themselves. We’ll see how this process goes.

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. POP ETC - Enough

  2. The Japanese House - Chewing Cotton Wool

  3. Noah Gundersen - Lose You (Acoustic)

  4. Florrie - Unstable

  5. Phoebe Bridgers - Georgia Lees

  6. Haim - Hallelujah

  7. Soccer Mommy - Yellow is the Color of Her Eyes

  8. Kevin Devine - Lithium

  9. A Day to Remember - Resentment

  10. Slick Shoes - East on Tracks (Live)

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 thesoftskeleton in the “The 1975 - Notes on a Conditional Form (Feb 21, 2020)” thread.

Now I get to take our cat to the vet for her yearly checkup, and then we’re gonna go grab happy hour somewhere and pick a good movie to watch tonight. Next week’s going to be family-full again with Thanksgiving at the end of it, so I guess I have to start gearing up for that. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Thank you for reading.

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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.