Features

Liner Notes (September 13th, 2019)

Let’s get ready for action.

This week’s newsletter has my first thoughts on the upcoming album from Blink-182. I also have some opinions on other new music released recently, including MUNA, Fall Out Boy, Green Day, and Charli XCX. I also have a few brief thoughts on preparing for trips, a couple of thoughts on the Apple event, and I go through my usual media diet rundown from the week. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed 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.

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: Wolfjay

Wolfjay

Melbourne-based indie artist, Wolfjay is exhausted. The night before our meeting at Shortstop Donuts – one of artist and producer Jack Alexander’s beloved spots for coffee and a snack – they played at the inner-city venue, The Gasometer Hotel. It was one of those shows where, early on, everything seemed doomed. Luckily, the night turned out to be a success, mostly thanks to the decision of booking friends, dream-pop band Tamara And The Dreams and desert rock group Beau Lightning as support acts. Without music and Melbourne and Adelaide music scenes, respectively, blossoming friendships with Tamara or Eli of Beau Lightning wouldn’t exist.

Wolfjay is a difficult one to pin down. Listening to their latest EP, Together, out now on Sleep Well Records, they swing from laidback indie to jubilant pop in just three tracks. Teaming up with co-producer Hayden Jeffery once more, Wolfjay delivers a tantalizing cover of Julien Baker’s “Go Home.” Like many of our readers, “Go Home” turned into their go-to comfort song. It’s one of those moments that wasn’t supposed to happen. Wolfjay’s music, too diverse for genre boundaries, is “serious music for people who don’t take themselves too seriously,” softly and warmly spoken, their aim is to create art of cathartic release while acknowledging that “I’m on the same page as you.”

Liner Notes (September 6th, 2019)

I’m currently headed out to a friend’s wedding, but I love you all so much that I wrote throughout the week to bring you this week’s newsletter on time and full of goodies. This week’s newsletter includes my first impressions on the new album from The Menzingers, some thoughts on the new Blink-182 single, as well as my usual rundown of other music and entertainment habits from the last week. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed 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.

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.

Liner Notes (August 30th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter looks at some of the new music out this week and dives into my weekly media diet of mostly comic books and comic book related movies. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I liked this week, and a few new apps I discovered and have been playing around with. 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.

Liner Notes (August 23rd, 2019)

This week’s newsletter looks at new music from The 1975 and Taylor Swift, as well as offering some first impressions on the upcoming album from Tiger Army. There’s also some thoughts on a few other records, as well as my weekly media diet rundown, 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.

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.

Convenient, Trash – “Lylas House” (Song Premiere)

Convenient, Trash

Pooch, the sophomore LP by Convenient, Trash, has only been out a little over a year, but the Lansing, MI, indie rock troupe are already back with a new single, which we’re excited to premiere for you today. “Lylas House” is the lead single from the band’s upcoming N*VY BLUE, due out September 6th via We’re Trying Records. It’s a good taste of the album – catchy enough to sing along to, but unpolished enough to still feel raw.

It’s the kind of song that would be all over those “best songs of the emo revival” lists half a decade ago. If that sounds appealing to you, be sure to preorder N*VY BLUE, and stream the song below.

Western Settings – “Another Year” (Song Premiere)

Western Settings

Today I’m excited to bring you the premiere of Western Settings’ new song, “Another Year.”

For those unfamiliar with the band, they are an incredible punk rock band from San Diego, California, and this second single is a strong representation of the band: solid punk rock with ear-candy hooks.

Lead singer and bassist, Ricky Schmidt, is as endearing as ever on the song, and the dual-guitar attack from Dylan Wolters and Will Castro allows the track to soar to new heights. If you’re into punk music, this band is one to watch as the year unfolds.

The song is available for streaming below, and the album is available for pre-order now on Bandcamp. It will be released on September 6th.

Track List: August – Sunkissed

Welcome back to Track List, your monthly dose of 30 songs aimed to match the time of year, sequenced into a playlist for you to vibe out to however you see fit. Hopefully some names will be familiar, and hopefully some will give you a new discography to dive into. Drop me a line with some of your seasonal favorites and check back every month for a new playlist.

You can find the playlist on Spotify and Apple Music and read more about the selections below.

Liner Notes (August 16th, 2019)

This was a fun one.

In this week’s newsletter, I offer first impressions on new albums from The Early November, Somos, Grayscale, and Refused. There are also some comments on a bunch of other music, my weekly media diet rundown, and the usual random other thoughts. And, we close out with a playlist of ten songs I loved this week. (If Somos were out on streaming services right now, I’d probably have led with “Iron Heel.”) 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.

Interview: Kevin Tully of Telethon

telethon

“Where does my brain wander, and where does it party?” asks Kevin Tully of Telethon on “How Long Do I Let It Go For?,” the lead single from his band’s latest record Hard Pop. I caught up with Tully recently to figure out exactly where his brain wandered in the writing of Hard Pop. Our conversation ranged from the scrapped concept record that became Hard Pop, to the miseries of working in fast food. Check out the interview below while you listen along to Hard Pop, which is out now on Take This to Heart Records.

Interview: Vinnie Caruana

Vinnie Caruana

This past week, I was able to chat with I Am the Avalanche and The Movielife frontman, Vinnie Caruana, about his upcoming solo tour and new record Aging Frontman. The record will be released October 4th via Know Hope Records and pre-orders are currently live. In this interview, Vinnie shared his passion for songwriting and how he continues to motivate himself as an artist.

Liner Notes (August 9th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter contains thoughts on new music from Bon Iver, Colleen Green’s Dude Ranch covers, Shredders, and more. Plus, there’s my usual media diet rundown, a playlist of ten songs I loved this week, and my PSA to make sure your surge protectors are working and healthy. 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.

My Yearly Pitch for Becoming a Supporting Member

Each August I do an evaluation of how this website’s running, how our traffic numbers are doing, and what kind of revenue we’re bringing in from advertising, merch, and from our supporting members. It’s not the most fun part of running this website, but it’s one of the necessities to make sure we’re still on the right track and to assess the website’s viability for the upcoming year. I use this time to figure out what kind of freelance work I’ll need to schedule out for the rest of the year, as well as what projects I can focus on during the last quarter.

Based on these calculations, I am exactly 90 supporters short of this website hitting my goal for the year.

That means if 90 more people sign-up to any tier of the supporter membership by the end of this year, I’ll be sitting right where I want to be and it’ll be a massive weight off my shoulders. My plan, if I can hit these numbers, is for my next big project to be a rethinking of the homepage. I have wireframed a refreshing of the main website’s design, and that’s what I’d like to tackle next.

So, this is my yearly pitch to everyone that reads this website: if you like reading the news and content during the week, like reading the newsletter each Friday, and/or like reading or participating in our community, please consider becoming a supporting member. Every tier gives you the same perks: no ads on the website, dark mode, extra features in the forums, and it basically comes down to about seven cents a day.

Thank you to everyone that reads this website every day and for helping to make it what it is. I try not to post about this sort of stuff all that often, but once a year I like to try and update everyone on where we’re at and how everything is currently working out.

Liner Notes (August 2nd, 2019)

This week’s newsletter has first impressions on the new Strung Out album, thoughts about new music out this week, and my weekly media roundup of movies and TV I enjoyed last 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.

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.

Jonathan Hickman’s ‘House of X’ Begins a New X-Men Chapter

My mileage varies when it comes to X-Men comics. As a Marvel Unlimited subscriber, I’ve always intended to dive into them from the beginning, but I decided to do that with Spider-Man first, and it’s been a slow process, to say the least. With so much history, there’s always something to read. That makes it hard to know where to begin, too, unless you do go back to the very beginning.

Jonathan Hickman’s House of X is a new chapter for the X-Men, so if you’ve been looking for a jumping-on point, you can start here. Just go into it knowing that this first issue is a lot to take in. Charles Xavier has a plan for mutantkind, and it’s forming epically.

Track List: July – Poptimism

Welcome back to Track List, your monthly dose of 30 songs aimed to match the time of year, sequenced into a playlist for you to vibe out to however you see fit. Hopefully some names will be familiar, and hopefully some will give you a new discography to dive into. Drop me a line with some of your seasonal favorites and check back every month for a new playlist.

You can find the playlist on Spotify and Apple Music and read more about the selections below.

Liner Notes (July 26th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter has thoughts on new songs from Blink-182 and The 1975, early impressions of The Faim’s new album, and some random thoughts about other music I’ve been enjoying this week. Then there’s my weekly media diet rundown which including a spoiler-filled rant about the new Veronica Mars. I was frustrated. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved this week and a little recap about the current health of this very website. 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.

Sun Cycles – “Bang Bang” (Video Premiere)

Sun Cycles, the solo project of Jessica Hottman of The Hottman Sisters, released her latest single “Bang Bang” last week. Today we’re excited to premiere the track’s video. “Bang Bang” is, if you’ll excuse the pun, something of a banger, and I think fans of artists like Betty Who or Halsey would find a lot to love in the indie pop song. Hottman describes the song as:

A song about falling fast in love. It tells the tale of how we often play youthful games, in an attempt to ignore how we really feel. The bridge of the song is that moment when we let go and dive headfirst into those feelings we have, which are often inescapable anyway.