MxPx Share Live “Secret Weapon”

MxPx

MxPx will be doing another Between This World and the Next show on June 4th. Today they’ve shared a performance of “Secret Weapon” to set the stage and whet the appetite. You can find more information and tickets at their website.

Also, if you’re looking for more MxPx content, after I appeared on the Long Live the Music podcast to talk about the band, Mike Herrera himself went on for a follow-up episode. It’s definitely worth your time.

Oh, and I hear more new music from the band may be just around the corner.

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Interview: Missy Dabice of Mannequin Pussy

Mannequin Pussy

Like many artists this past year, 2020 was a challenging one for Mannequin Pussy. Just a few months removed from releasing Patience – their first record for Epitaph Records – the world was shut down by COVID-19. After discovering that creating new music in a socially distant type of way wasn’t working, the Philadelphia-based trio booked time at Will Yip’s Studio 4 to spark some creativity. What emerged was the Perfect EP – a five-track collection that showcases the best of Mannequin Pussy’s sound while also displaying a tenderness within. From the booming passion of “Control” and “To Lose You” to the abrasive thrash of the title track and “Pigs is Pigs,” Mannequin Pussy continues to evolve their style in incredibly special and diverse ways. Below, guitarist/vocalist Missy Dabice and I discuss being creative during a global pandemic, working with Yip, and “Drunk II” (of course).

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Liner Notes (May 30th, 2021)

Surf

Hello, hello, hello. Happy Jason is Fully Vaccinated Day to all who celebrate.

This week’s newsletter shares thoughts on the new Apple TV remote, the Friends reunion special, the new Sigrid single, and much more. You’ll also find a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed 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.

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How Fuse and ‘Girl’s Not Grey’ Sparked A Fire Inside Me

AFI

Remember Fuse Network? Before the channel was nothing but reruns of Sister, Sister and The Parkers, it was a haven for alternative kids. Dedicated to playing the newest and best in rock music, it was rose above other so-called music networks. It was true 24/7 music programming during a time when MTV and VH1 switched to reality TV. And back in the mid-2000s, I was obsessed with it. I’d watch Fuse every day just to see what bands they played. Programs like Comp’d and Steven’s Untitled Rock Show introduced me to My Chemical Romance, Dir En Grey, The Academy Is…, and Every Time I Die. But only one Fuse memory sticks out vividly in my head: watching AFI’s “Girl’s Not Grey” for the first time.

I had no idea who or what AFI was. My friends didn’t listen to them. I didn’t hear them on the radio. But when I saw that video, it grabbed me. It was strange, yet mesmerizing. The band performing under a red sky surrounded by cherry blossoms, the uncanny girl guided by a strange bunny creature, Davey Havok screaming while covered in black tar. It was like walking through a surreal dream. Unlike anything I’d seen before. And the song was catchy too. From that moment on AFI was my band.

I couldn’t get the video out of my head. I waited hours for it to download so I could watch it every day until I knew every scene by heart. But it wasn’t enough. I needed to know everything about AFI. I spent hours online learning about them, listening to their music, memorizing their lyrics, playing Sing the Sorrow daily, and even downloading their catalog from Limewire. (Hey, I was a broke high school student). Soon, printed pictures of Davey filled my locker. My notebooks were covered with poorly drawn versions of their logo. I told anyone who would listen about this amazing new band. I was obsessed.

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Interview: Tyler Posey and Mike Henneberger

Tyler Posey and Mike Henneberger

This past week, I was fortunate enough to re-connect with author Mike Henneberger who wrote Rock Bottom at the Renaissance: An Emo Kid’s Journey Through Falling In and Out of Love In and With New York City. Mike Henneberger chose veteran actor/musician Tyler Posey to record the audiobook, that has recently been released. In this interview, Mike, Tyler and I discuss the importance of working consistently on our mental health, the process Tyler went through for recording this audiobook and what made this project different than being on screen, and also how Mike has been constantly promoting his memoir in hopes that others will benefit from his story.

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Liner Notes (May 22nd, 2021)

BBQ

Hello, weekend!

This week’s newsletter looks at the new album from Olivia Rodrigo and why I think it has such massive potential and crossover appeal to all generations of music fans. Then I share some thoughts on the new Twenty One Pilots and a re-found love of skate punk. Of course, there are also some thoughts on entertainment and a playlist of ten songs I loved this week. 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.

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Interview: Jesse Barnett of Trade Wind

Trade Winds

Recently I was able to connect with lead vocalist of Trade Wind, Jesse Barnett, before his band’s release of their new album called The Day We Got What We Deserved. The album comes out this Friday via Other People Records and we discussed everything that went into the new record. I asked Jesse about Trade Wind’s strengths, what they draw on for inspiration, and what stood out most looking back on these writing sessions.

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Liner Notes (May 8th, 2021)

Beach

I hope everyone had a good week this week. Today I sit on the couch and write up some thoughts on the music, movies, and TV shows I spent some time with over the past week. As always, there’s a playlist of ten songs I liked, 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.

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Interview: January Jane and Matt Pinfield

January Jane

Recently I was able to schedule a Zoom interview with BMG’s newly signed pop rock band from New York City, called January Jane. The band is comprised of vocalist Pat Via, guitarist Mitch Mitchell, and keyboardist Peter Scialla. This great new band was discovered by music scene legend, Matt Pinfield, and in this interview I learned how January Jane got started and the crazy circumstances that led to Pinfield working closely with the band. I asked January Jane about their strengths as artists, their songwriting process, and how they would describe their live show. The band released a new music video today for their single ”Versions of You” off of their upcoming EP Your Drug, that will be released everywhere music is sold this summer. Read our full conversation where I describe January Jane as being one hit song away from being at the tip of everyone’s tongue.

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Interview: Tanner Merritt

Tanner Merritt

A lot has changed since I caught up with O’Brother last year. For one, touring again is a possibility for the band – over 105 million Americans have been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, which brings the country closer to post-pandemic normal. For vocalist Tanner Merritt, he has written a ton of new solo material due to monumental personal loss. Last year, O’Brother was riding high: They had released their long-awaited fourth album, You and I, to unanimous praise and incredible sales for a newly independent band. 

The album relished space and classical guitars while intentionally leaving vague lyrics to listeners’ imaginations. As beautiful as You and I is, there was a dark undercurrent beneath the track “What We’ve Lost.” A kind of follow-up to Endless Light’s “Black Hole,” Merritt needed an outlet to write about his father, Cyrus’s decade-long fight with Alzheimer’s disease. Then COVID hit, and Merritt spent most of the year in total isolation alongside his mother, watching his father’s condition worsen until he passed away on November 4, 2020, two days after his 63rd birthday. 

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Liner Notes (May 1st, 2021)

Beer

Lots of fun things to write about this week. Lots of music, including my thoughts on Manchester Orchestra, Origami Angel, While She Sleeps, and a new find that dominated my music listening all week. Plus, a few articles and thoughts about other random stuff. As always, there’s also a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed 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.

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Liner Notes (April 24th, 2021)

Sunflower

This week’s newsletter is the first from my newly half-vaxxed self. It looks at the music and entertainment I’ve been enjoying over the past couple of weeks and has a playlist of ten songs I’ve been enjoying as well. 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.

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We Were Both Young When I First Saw You: A Closer Look at ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’

Can a re-recorded version of a beloved album recapture the magic of the original? Taylor Swift is betting on the answer being “Yes” as she embarks on a journey to remake her first six albums. First up? 2008’s Fearless, the breakthrough LP that netted Taylor some of her biggest hits, won her a Grammy trophy for Album of the Year (the first of three, so far), and made her a generational pop music superstar.

Chorus.fm contributors Craig Manning, Anna Acosta, and Garrett Lemons took a closer look at the project, revisiting the original Fearless and exploring the various ways that the new Fearless (Taylor’s Version) stacks up.

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