Liner Notes (March 20th, 2021)

MxPx

This week’s newsletter has my thoughts on Zack Snyder’s Justice League and some lengthy commentary about finding joy in music again through a deep dive of MxPx’s catalog over the past week. I ponder why I sort of stopped listening to pop-punk music and what it’s like to pass another birthday in the middle of a pandemic. But there’s a finish line in sight. And, as always, there’s a playlist of ten songs I liked this week, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Interview: Cameron Walker of Twin XL

Twin XL

This past week I was able to chat with Cameron Walker (vocalist/guitarist) of the alternative rock band Twin XL. We discussed how he and the band has stayed active during the pandemic, their process for writing songs lately, and what he and his bandmates’ are most looking forward to once he’s able to tour again. Twin XL has steadily been releasing new music this year, and they look forward to what the future holds for them.

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Liner Notes (March 13th, 2021)

Skate

This week’s newsletter looks at music and entertainment I liked this week and has some extra commentary on a few other things I discovered over the past seven days. As always, there’s also a playlist of ten songs I think are worth your time, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Interview: Adult Mom

Adult Mom

It’s been quite a long journey for Stevie Knipe to release their third album, Driver. After calling out royalty discrepancies and other issues with former label Tiny Engines and being granted the release from their contract, a pandemic shut down our world and further delayed the release of the album. But armed with a new perspective and a new label in Epitaph Records along with the support system of their partner (and drummer) Olivia Battell and guitarist Allegra Eidinger, Knipe is ready to unleash Driver to the masses – a record that elevates Adult Mom’s knack for infectious and poignant indie-rock to new levels. Here, Knipe and I discuss Driver’s sonic diversity, being a non-binary role model, and our favorite show Grey’s Anatomy.

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Liner Notes (March 6th, 2021)

Palm Springs

This week’s newsletter has thoughts on the new releases from Electric Century and The Spill Canvas and my usual commentary about movies and other entertainment I consumed over the past week. And, of course, there’s a playlist of ten songs I liked this week, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Interview: Ben Walsh of Tigers Jaw

Tigers Jaw

Tigers Jaw’s new album I Won’t Care How You Remember Me serves as a re-introduction to the Scranton, PA band. For starters, guitarist Colin Gorman and drummer Teddy Roberts were made permanent members, solidifying the band as a quartet once again. But the biggest wrinkle was including Gorman and Roberts in the songwriting mix with original members Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins – fostering a more lively and collaborative setting for the record and resulting in Tigers Jaw’s most ambitious and personal album in their discography. Tracks like “Can’t Wait Forever” and “Lemon Mouth” showcase the new writing dynamic while the title track serves as an all-time highlight – a song that uses its slow build and Andy Hull guest vocals to set the tone of the record. “I think having a group dialogue about each song, and what ideas we had to make each one special and have a distinctive place on the record, was super beneficial to creating something that sounds fresh but still feels authentically like Tigers Jaw” says Walsh. Below, we discussed working with Will Yip, how the Andy Hull collaboration came about, and I Won’t Care How You Remember Me’s writing process.

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Yo Kinky – ‘Self-Titled’ EP Track-by-Track Breakdown

Yo Kinky

Recently I was able to get a hold of a brand new pop-duo called Yo Kinky to provide a track-by-track breakdown on their self-titled EP. Yo Kinky is a Queens, New York, post-pop duo that layers seductive patter lyrics over shimmering angular guitars and drum machines. Following the premiere of their first single on the Tower Records site in November and positive coverage from several outlets, Yo Kinky is already forging a name for themselves among the disillusioned and hopeful.

Tom Unish and Laura Wight met at the start of 2020, bonded over shared musical interests, and immediately started working together on songs. Over the course of the pandemic, they recorded and produced their self-titled debut EP out today. These songs touch upon themes such as truth, adaptability, love, and anticipation as Wight’s bright vocals are delivered with a conversational precision calling to mind acts like X, Sleaford Mods, and Blondie. I’d recommend checking out this artist if you’re a fan of similar acts such as Metric and Le Tigre.

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Liner Notes (February 27th, 2021)

comic books

Hello weekend readers.

This week’s newsletter has early thoughts on Julien Baker’s new album, thoughts on various articles I read last week and enjoyed, and other random musings about music, entertainment, and life that have been running around in my head the past week. As always, there’s a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Hanalei – “Steep Ravine” (Song Premiere)

Hanalei

Hanalei will be releasing his fourth LP Black Snow on March 12th via AF Records. While AF is known as a punk label, Hanalei is of decidedly different stock – if you like the folkier side of The Weakerthans or Kevin Devine you’ve got an idea of what to expect from Hanalei. This is never better exemplified than on “Steep Ravine,” the seventh track from Black Snow that we’re premiering today.

Brian had this to say about the song:

[It] draws parallels between the loss of love and the loss of the environment. A female narrator residing in the barren and nearly lifeless western fringes of Marin County, CA is crippled by grief and nostalgia. Memories of rain, redwoods, owls, and a deceased lover paint the monochromatic landscape in every shade of gone.

Stream it below.

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Liner Notes (February 20th, 2021)

Mars

I hope everyone had a good week.

This week’s newsletter has some thoughts on the current state of technology and how I feel about it all as I get older. Then I share thoughts on the Manchester Orchestra video performance and new single, plus some other commentary on music I enjoyed this week. And there’s the usual entertainment thoughts and a playlist of ten songs I think are worth your time. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Big Loser – “Post-Almost-Overdose” and “I Love You (Billie Eilish)” (Acoustic) (Video Premiere)

big loser

Big Loser put out one of the most underrated albums of last year, Love You, Barely Living. Mixing punk and Americana a la The Menzingers or The Gaslight Anthem, Big Loser catalogued struggles with addiction and relationships coming to an end. But through it all Love You, Barely Living is positively anthemic. The band is getting ready to press the album to vinyl for the first time, nearly a full year after its release. To celebrate, we’re proud to premiere an acoustic session by frontman Chase Spruiell in which he performs “Post-Almost-Overdose” and a performance of Billie Eilish’s “I Love You” acoustic. Stripped down, “Post-Almost-Overdose” takes on a whole new level of melancholy, while his take on “I Love You” retains the haunting atmosphere of the original.

Check those out below, and if you like what you hear, pre-order Love You, Barely Living on vinyl..

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Manchester Orchestra Is the Best Band in the World

Manchester Orchestra

There’s that beep. There’s that panning over Asheville, North Carolina. The Manchester Orchestra logo. It’s all so familiar – we’ve seen the trailer for this film. We are subsequently cast to Echo Mountain Recording Studios, NC, where the band recorded their greatest album to date, A Black Mile to the Surface. We’re not here for an anniversary show, nor are we here upon release of the album. No, it’s been four years since Andy Hull (vocals, guitar, producer, all-around legend), Robert McDowell (guitar, keyboards, vocals, producer, engineer, all-around legend), Andy Prince (bass, another all-around legend) and Tim Very (drums, legend) released their fifth album into the world.

We are here – over 6.5 thousand people watching this live stream at 8 pm EST/12 pm AEST – watching an exceedingly special performance of Black Mile played in its entirety right from our living rooms. In a statement, Hull shared that the band was excited to share this concert, for free, to everybody: “This album and your reception to it has exceeded our expectations, and we felt this the best way to thank you all for supporting our music.” This presentation invited speculation: after all, Andy did say that this would be more than a concert. It’s also the beginning. Of what, exactly?  

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Liner Notes (February 13th, 2021)

Snow Fox

It’s a snow day here in Portland.

This week’s newsletter has my thoughts on Big Sur, thoughts on Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity performance, thoughts on music I listened to this week, a few articles I found interesting this week and have been on my mind, and some random thoughts on entertainment and other musings. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Most Anticipated of 2021

Last month we shared our favorite albums of 2020, and as we’re ramping into 2021 it’s a good 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.

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Liner Notes (February 6th, 2021)

Flowers

This week’s newsletter is pretty music heavy with thoughts on the new releases from Hayley Williams, The Night Game, Pale Waves, and discovering Matt Maeson. There’s also my usual commentary about the entertainment I consumed last week, a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed, 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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