Features

Liner Notes (February 14th, 2020)

Another week has come and gone. In this week’s newsletter, I do the same as every week: go through the music and entertainment I consumed over the last week and make bad jokes. You’ll find early thoughts on New Found Glory, Soccer Mommy, and my love for season three of Mr. Robot. Plus, a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed this week, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Most Anticipated of 2020

most-anticipated-2020

Last month we shared our favorite albums of 2019, and now that 2020 is upon us, it’s time to look at what we’re anticipating throughout the year. What records do we think we’re going to fall in love with over the next few months? What albums can we just not wait to hear? A bunch of contributors have written up blurbs about the albums and artists we’re most excited about, and we’d love to hear what’s on your most anticipated list as well.

Liner Notes (February 7th, 2020)

This week has thoughts on new music from Hayley Williams, Green Day, and much more. There’s also my usual media diet rundown, which includes my high praise for Atypical, and a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed this week. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (January 31st, 2020)

This week’s newsletter has my first impressions of the new album from Brian Fallon, the results of trying some new apps and rearranging my home screen, and my regular media diet rundown. Plus, there’s a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed this week, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Interview: Caroline of Your Smith

Your Smith

This past month, I was able to sit down with Caroline Smith (of Your Smith) and talk about everything that went into her great new EP, Wild Wild Woman. In this interview we chatted about the lessons she learned from touring with road veterans K. Flay and X Ambassadors, how she typically composes her material, and key artists she has listened to over the years that have been essential in her development as an artist. Caroline is currently wrapping up the final dates of her US headlining tour.

Interview: Zach Lupetin of Dustbowl Revival

Dustbowl Revival

Recently, I was able to sit down with Zach Lupetin (vocals, guitar) of Dustbowl Revival to discuss the band’s seventh studio album, Is It You, Is It Me, available everywhere this Friday, January 31st. We chatted about the band’s upcoming headlining tour in support of the new record, the stylistic changes that went into the new album, and artists that he admires in today’s music scene. I feel that the band grew a ton on this latest album, and I’d recommend Dustbowl Revival for fans of Lake Street Dive, Galactic, and other American-roots rock bands.

Liner Notes (January 24th, 2020)

This week’s newsletter has my thoughts on new music from Hayley Williams, All Time Low, and a tremendous new pop-punk band not many have heard of. I also share my favorite app discovery in a while and my usual media diet rundown. Then, there’s a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed this week, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (January 17th, 2020)

This week’s newsletter looks at new music from The 1975, Green Day, and Fickle Friends. There’s also my usual media diet rundown and a playlist of ten songs that I enjoyed this week. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Ranking the Re-Rankings of the Rankings

If there’s one thing we like doing on this website, it’s ranking things. We like ranking things so much it’s become a meme in the forums for just how often it happens in threads. From albums to food, to the new sub-genre of brackets, ranking has become a core part of our little culture. It’s also part of what we do on a pretty regular basis here on the editorial side of things. We’ve got our yearly most anticipated lists and the mid and end of the year “best-of lists.” Back in the days of AbsolutePunk, we scored these lists using a basic scale that I think Thomas Nassiff originally came up with. When there were 30+ staff members all contributing, it worked pretty well to give a basic structure to what albums were the most popular amongst staff members. I never really gave much thought to it, and it’s been passed down and continued to be used by different contributors that help put together all of the various lists here on the website. Last week I got the itch to re-think this process.

Liner Notes (January 10th, 2020)

This week’s newsletter goes navel-gazing at our best of 2019 lists, looks at some new music I enjoyed this week and goes through my regular media diet rundown. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I liked, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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This article is available exclusively to supporters of our website. Join now for as little as $3 per month and get access to exclusive content and a variety of perks. Plus, you'll be helping an independent publisher. Learn more here.

Chorus.fm’s Top 25 Albums of 2019

It’s easy for end-of-decade years to become an afterthought in terms of the music they produce. Most music publications dropped their “best albums of the decade” features in early October. At Chorus.fm, we held off until December 9th. Still, when you spend months of the year reflecting on past years, and on the albums you loved from throughout a whole decade, the music from the year you’re currently living in can get overlooked, forgotten, or short-changed on listening time.

I suppose we were guilty of that sin ourselves, as our “albums of the decade” list ultimately lacked a single entry from 2019. Call it anti-recency bias, or maybe just an occupational hazard of having to start planning and compiling these lists months before any readers actually lay eyes on them. But therein lies the beauty of still being able to revert to old routines: to end the year with a proper tribute to everything it had to offer on its own.

And 2019 certainly had plenty of riches to offer, from old favorite bands delivering some of their sturdiest albums in years, to one of the strongest slates of debut talent I can remember getting in a single 365-day timeframe. Taking in the scope of a decade and all the music it gave us is a fulfilling experience; it’s certainly something I invested a lot of time in this year. But there’s also something wonderful about being past that now, and about being able to take things day by day again: week by week, release day by release day, album by album. Making lists is fun, but listening and discovering will always be the greatest parts of being a music fan. Here’s to the 25 albums that we discovered, listened to, and loved most in 2019. [CM]

Liner Notes (January 3rd, 2020)

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2020. In this week’s newsletter, I share my start of the year routines and resolutions, share some fun party games we played on New Year’s Eve, talk about what music I’m anticipating this year, and go through my usual music and media diet rundown. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed this week, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (December 27th, 2019)

The last few weeks of the year are always a little strange in the music industry and online, everyone is basically in hibernation. This week’s newsletter is a recap of my holiday week so far and has some recommendations, a few brief music thoughts, and my weekly media diet rundown. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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This article is available exclusively to supporters of our website. Join now for as little as $3 per month and get access to exclusive content and a variety of perks. Plus, you'll be helping an independent publisher. Learn more here.

Interview: Michael Barrios

Michael Barrios

Michael Barrios is in his San Diego bedroom, sitting by the window. His long-time partner, Daisy is beside him. Above her head are polaroid pictures tracing their four-year-long relationship. All of Barrios’ musical equipment is scattered across the floor, including his newest synth pad. There’s a disco ball above the bed. He’s a softly spoken, passionate man, and it’s been two years since his last interview.

It’s been three and a half years since the release of Barrios’ debut album under the No Hope Kids moniker, Our Time Apart. Next year will see the unconventional young artist make his return. With this upcoming release, he’s changing the name – although, he hasn’t gained much hope. Planning this currently unnamed new project (there are some cool album titles in play), returning to being in a long-distance relationship, and juggling full-time jobs with it all hasn’t been easy. But you can count on those experiences popping up throughout the album.

Liner Notes (December 20th, 2019)

In this week’s newsletter I share my first impressions on The Rise of Skywalker; I guess this is a Star Wars newsletter now. I also share a few things around the internet I found interesting this week and go through my usual weekly media diet rundown. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Since we have the holidays coming up, I’m making this post free for all here on the website. If you’d like this newsletter delivered to your inbox each week (it’s free and available to everyone), you can sign up here.

The Podcast Worm: Binge Mode

If you’re a podcast listener who is also a fan of Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, or Star Wars, maybe you’ve already heard of Binge Mode. And trust me, The Ringer doesn’t particularly need any help in the podcast promotion department. However, there’s just something about Binge Mode that compelled me to write about it. With The Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian bringing fans plenty of things to discuss in the land of Star Wars, it felt like a good time to bring up the podcast.

Liner Notes (December 13th, 2019)

In this week’s newsletter, I look at some of the holiday songs released this week, offer first thoughts on the new Brian Fallon song and Harry Styles album, and dive into my weekly media diet rundown. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved this week, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

If you’d like this newsletter delivered to your inbox each week (it’s free and available to everyone), you can sign up here.

This article is available exclusively to supporters of our website. Join now for as little as $3 per month and get access to exclusive content and a variety of perks. Plus, you'll be helping an independent publisher. Learn more here.

2019 Holiday Gift Guide

For the past few years, I’ve put together a little gift guide in December full of things that I think make great gifts and are a lot of fun to give or receive for the holidays. Everything on the list is something I’ve used and enjoyed and recommend. I have recommendations posts for movies, tv shows, books, software, podcasts, headphones, and miscellaneous stuff around the house, so the things on this list will be more focused on stuff not included in those posts and geared toward things I’ve come across in the past year or so and think would make good gifts.

I used my Amazon affiliate link when the product showed up there, which gives our website a slight percentage back if you make a purchase and therefore helps fund our continued existence.

If you’d like to get me a gift, becoming a supporting member or gifting another user a supporting membership for a year would mean the world to me. And, if you’re looking for something in just about any price range with a Chorus.fm or AbsolutePunk.net logo on it, check our merch shop.