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. 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

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.

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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.