Liner Notes (November 16th, 2018)

This week went by insanely fast.

In this week’s roundup, I rank New Found Glory albums, talk a little about my thinking behind rolling out the new ad system, discover some cool new iPad apps, and go through my usual media diet from the past week. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Gang Of Youths – Live at The Forum, Melbourne, Australia

Gang of Youths

Gang Of Youths are Australia’s biggest success story in years. The Sydney-based band formed in 2012 and has enjoyed a steady stream of success, be it selling out larger and larger venues or recipients of critical acclaim. Flash forward to now, when Gang Of Youths had to announce a whopping 21 dates (all sold-out) for their Say Yes To Life Tour, with eight sold-out dates at Melbourne’s iconic Forum Theatre alone. Last year, the band received seven ARIA award nominations for their brilliant #1 album, Go Farther In Lightness. They won four of them (Album Of The Year, Best Group, Best Rock Album, and Producer of The Year – for Gang Of Youths & Adrian Breakspear). They even supported the mighty Foo Fighters for seven nights in the US during the band’s Concrete and Gold Tour last month! So, Gang Of Youths’ Say Yes To Life Tour is a big deal; for the band and their loyal, growing fan-base. It’s an absolute triumph: a homecoming for our dearest indie rock band, and a celebration of positivity and growth.

Boygenius Talk with GQ

Boygenius sat down with GQ:

Bridgers: People will talk endlessly about five white dudes playing shoegaze and how different it is, and like, literally war each other about which one you’re allowed to like and the differences between the two bands, and then women literally play guitar and whisper sometimes and scream sometimes and they’re like, “Same!”

Baker: I hate those articles—this is a pet peeve of mine—like move over X, here’s the new Y. And it’s just like, X didn’t become obsolete because there’s a person doing a similar thing. You also don’t have to be like the new old-thing, you’re just the current you-thing.

‘The Offspring’s ‘Americana’ Rode Resentment And Respectability Politics All The Way To The Top’

Pranav Trewn, writing at Stereogum:

But what the Offspring popularized is a far more noxious strain of punk music, and especially punk ideals. The band did not revolt against systems perpetuating economic inequality or authoritarianism, but instead expressed a middle-class teenage resentment that comes from already getting everything you want at home but still being forced to go to school. “The Kids Aren’t Alright” and “Why Don’t You Get A Job?” depict the struggles of people with implied choices, who ultimately squander opportunities as they burn out. Because Holland keeps the details that led to those “choices” vague, it’s easy to read the characters in these songs as unsympathetic. You focus on the absence of ambition, not on the factors that eroded it in the first place.

Interesting argument.

Review: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – Upside Down Flowers

When Andrew McMahon announced his new LP, Upside Down Flowers, he referred to the album’s producer, Butch Walker, as a “fellow traveler.” That word choice was fitting, because if one word could describe McMahon over the 20 years that have so far encompassed his career, “traveler” is it. McMahon has made a lot of types of records over the years. He’s made emo-flecked piano rock records and sunny pop-punk records. He’s made Americana-influenced road trip records and towering stadium pop records. He’s made records about California and records about New York. He made one of the ultimate records about living young and free, followed by a record about almost dying young. He’s traversed a lot of territory over the course of eight LPs and three very distinct chapters. But he’s never made a record quite like Upside Down Flowers before, a record that is, ostensibly, about a traveler looking back and taking stock of where he’s been so far.

Upside Down Flowers is the most outwardly nostalgic album that McMahon has ever made. He’s written about the past before, but never in such detail or with such a storyteller’s eye. The first song on the album is called “Teenage Rockstars,” and it’s an unabashed tribute to McMahon’s bandmates from the Something Corporate days. The second song is called “Ohio,” and it vividly recounts the drive that transplanted his family from Ohio to the west coast—right down to the band that was playing on the car stereo. Listening to these songs feels like sitting next to McMahon on a couch, flipping through a photo album of old polaroids and hearing him recount the adventures and misadventures depicted in each. It’s a kind of intimacy we haven’t heard from him before.