Features

Liner Notes (April 19th, 2019)

A quick reminder that we’ve got a new merch shop full of Chorus.fm and AbsolutePunk.net merch.

This week seemed to fly by at hyper-speed. In this week’s newsletter I run down the music I enjoyed this week and share a playlist of ten songs I loved, then I go through my usual media diet of movies, TV shows, and books (it was heavy on one TV show this week). The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Drew’s Untitled Review Roundup – Vol. 1

A few weeks ago I got burnt out. Good-to-great records have been releasing at such a rapid pace (never a bad thing!) and I wouldn’t be able to write a quote-unquote traditional review for every single one. It overwhelmed me to the point of an incredibly paralyzing writer’s block. Then the idea hit me. It’s not an original one as round-ups have existed since the dawn of blogging, but every week or two weeks I’ll do these roundups where I write 1-2 paragraphs about 3-6 albums that’ve released over the past few weeks. I’ll still do the occasional “longer” form of reviews, but primarily I just want to write something about an album I really enjoy without feeling like I have to write 400-500 words every time. So with that out of the way and a hat tip to Steven, welcome to Drew’s Untitled Review Roundup (or DURR). Thank you.

Interview: Tom Lanyon of Ceres

Ceres

Three years ago, when I reviewed Ceres’ sophomore album Drag It Down on You, I said “Tom Lanyon sounds pissed.” But that isn’t the case on We Are a Team. Lanyon sounds happy. Hell, the first line of the record is “I’m gonna get happy.”

That isn’t the case when talking to him, either. He’s quick to laugh, quick to joke, and seemingly eternally grateful to be able to make music that connects with people. I got the chance to talk to Tom about the band’s upcoming We Are a Team, out next week.

Liner Notes (April 12th, 2019)

Sorry for this being a little later than usual, but I had a late lunch with friends and just now finished getting it all written.

In this week’s newsletter, I write about creating the new Chorus.fm shop and review my order of three t-shirts that arrived this afternoon. I share some thoughts on music, TV, movies, and books I enjoyed this week, and share a playlist of ten songs I loved. The supporter Q&A post can be found 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.

Introducing the Chorus.fm Shop

Chorus.fm Merch

One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a very long time is put together a merch store of some kind. I wanted to do this going back to the AbsolutePunk.net days but could never get the support needed to do it. I’ve played around with a few different options over the past three years, but when I saw Less Than Jake post up their Threadless shop last week, that was the kick-in-the-ass to make this a priority. I had a lot of fun putting this together last week, and I think it’s a good first step with a bunch of simple and classic designs. If you want to browse for yourself, you can check out our Threadless shop right here.

You’ll find the Chorus.fm logo in various designs, like a full color centered logo that looks great on darker clothing, the logo on the left breast, the logo in a monochrome white (centered, and breast), and a monochrome black logo (centered, and breast). All of the shirts come in various t-shirt weights and colors (I’m partial to the tri-blend). And there’s tanks, sweatshirts, hoodies, and longsleeve shirts as well for men, women, and kids. And there’s also various products like mugs, stickers, bags, and pillows available as well.

Along with the Chorus.fm merch, I’ve also finally realized my AP.net merchandise dream by putting the classic AP.net heart logo on merch as well. There’s the left breast version, a version with the logo and text that sat at the top of the website for years, and a fun “music mends broken hearts” shirt for if you want to remember the slogan that 16 year old me thought was amazing. These come in all the same colors and clothing options as the Chorus.fm logo.

I also tossed the Encore logo on some shirts as well, and the AP.net heart logo is available on other items like stickers, mugs, pillows, and things like that.

Take a look around, and if you see something you like, please grab it. I don’t make much per sale, but the little bit that I do will go right into keeping this website and community running. And when it shows up, please send me some photos so I can see it all out in the wild. I can’t wait for the first story of two people meeting in the wild in our little website’s shirts and giving a knowing nod.

All of the merchandise is digitally printed and processed via Threadless. They have product and sizing information on each product page and a 100% happiness guarantee (if you’re curious about the brand of t-shirts printed on, you can find that information here). If there’s an issue with your order you can email them and they’ll make sure it gets taken care of. I’ve ordered a couple of things off Threadless in the past and was happy with the quality. As I said, I love their tri-blend shirts. I even ordered three of these over the weekend. (Yes, I’m going to be the guy wearing shirts with both of my website’s logos on them.) I plan to add other designs and products to the shop in the future, and if you ever have an idea for a product or design, let me know!

Track List: April – Breezy Days & Stretching Legs

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 (April 5th, 2019)

Another week is in the books.

This website turned three years old on Monday and as a thank you to everyone I’ve made this edition of my weekly newsletter free. You’ll find some thoughts on music I listened to this week, my weekly media diet roundup, and some news on the new Chorus.fm shop that will be launching early next week. There’s also a playlist full of ten songs I loved this week. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

The Third Anniversary of Chorus.fm

Today marks the official third anniversary of launching this website.

This year was another great one for the community. There were quite a few new features added to the website, and we saw good growth in pretty much every metric that matters to me. One of my goals for the year was to start writing a whole lot more, and that morphed into a weekly newsletter that is now regularly over 1,500 words a week. I didn’t podcast nearly as much as I wanted to, but the episodes we did release I’m really proud of. My goals for 2019 are to try and figure out a way to make regular podcasting a thing I can do again, continue my weekly Liner Notes, add some new features to the forums that have been on my to-do list for a while now, and start re-thinking what a redesign of the main website could look like and what it would take to write that code and implement it.

I’m able to do these things because of the support of so many of you. I can’t thank those of you have become supporting members of the website enough. That this number, specifically, keeps increasing is why I know I can keep doing this website for another year. It’s because of your support that this website can exist and I can work on it each day. If you’re not a supporting member yet but enjoy visiting and reading, I’d love if you’d think about signing up. We’re getting so very close to this being the only job I have to have, and I’m getting excited thinking about the possibility of diving into a significant code re-write and re-design and not having to worry about needing to stop and take a freelance job in the middle.

I always find it fun to look back on the past year and evaluate everything that has taken place, over the past twelve months we’ve seen:

  • 3,684 new articles posted on the main site. (13,086 total)
  • 1,912,545 words have been published all time.1
  • 802,906 new forum posts were made. (2,700,066 total)
  • 11,381 new registered accounts. (93,338 total)
  • 1,367,965 likes given out since last April.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone that visits this website each day. It’s been an incredible journey from AbsolutePunk.net to Chorus.fm and beyond. I feel extremely lucky that I get to do something I love and care about each day and it’s a true pleasure to be able to talk about music, pop-culture, entertainment, and technology with so many of you.


  1. 1,053,621 written by me.

DC Comics Celebrates Batman’s 80th Anniversary

DC Comics hosted a Batman panel at WonderCon on Friday, March 29th to celebrate the character turning 80. The panel was moderated by Sam Humphries, and the panelists included Greg Capullo, Peter Tomasi, Joëlle Jones, Becky Cloonan, Scott Snyder, and Tom King. They shared their experiences with the character and even had a couple of big announcements.

The first announcement was the changing of the Detective Comics logo. The second was a new comic from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Batman: Last Knight on Earth. The panel gave attendees a sneak peek at some of Capullo’s artwork on the title and its safe to say that I’m excited for this one. While I’m not entirely caught up on the work that the two have done since New 52, I’ve seen enough to know that I’m in for the long haul with both creators.

Liner Notes (March 29th, 2019)

I can’t believe it’s the end of March already.

In this week’s newsletter, I share some early thoughts on the new Bad Religion album and go through some of the albums and songs out this week that I enjoyed. I also go through my usual media diet and share a playlist of ten songs I loved this week. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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The Maine (Encore Episode 161)

Encore 161

On this week’s episode of Encore I am joined by Pat and Garrett of The Maine. We talk about the band’s upcoming album, You Are Ok, and dive into working with Matt Squire, talking about a few songs on the album, and exploring the band’s progression over the years. We also talk about growing up in this music scene and how it’s changed from the early days of AbsolutePunk.net, and we end with a discussion of redefining success and being independent. This was a whole lot of fun and I think everyone will really enjoy it.

Liner Notes (March 22nd, 2019)

It’s a lot harder to write when basketball games are going on.

In this week’s roundup, I look at the music I listened to and enjoyed last week, go through my usual thoughts on entertainment, and share a playlist of ten songs I loved. The supporter Q&A post can be found 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.

Nightmarathons – “Reset” (Song Premiere)

Pittsburgh punks Nightmarathons are releasing their debut LP Missing Parts on March 29th through A-F Records. Today we’re excited to bring you the latest single from the album, called “Reset.” It’s one of my favorite songs on the album and Chris Feigh said described it as follows:

Reset is about a denial then dread of our transformation with age and what we’ve become with a longing for the past, wanting to go back.

Liner Notes (March 16th, 2019)

It’s with a heavy heart that I write this week’s newsletter. The news out of New Zealand is absolutely heartbreaking, and I can’t stop thinking about the direction our world is going in. So much hate and anger cheered on by the worst people. My thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy.

My birthday is on Monday (gah, I’m getting older) so I’ve decided to make this edition free for everyone to read this week. A little celebratory gift, from me to you. If you like it, please think about becoming a supporting member of the website, the support from readers makes up the lion’s share of my income, and it’s how I get to keep running this website, and writing things like this, each week.

This week’s newsletter contains first impressions on upcoming albums from The Maine and Charly Bliss, as well as thoughts on other music I listened to this week. It has my usual media diet rundown from the past week, ten songs I loved, and a list of music I sent my sister when she asked about stuff to check out after not paying attention to new music for a few years. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Downhaul – “Notched” (Song Premiere)

Downhaul will be releasing their debut full length album, Before You Fall Asleep, on March 29th via Refresh Records. Today we’re excited to premiere the album’s latest single, the nostalgic “Notched.” Vocalist/guitarist Gordon Phillips had the following to say about the song:

“Notched” was actually the first song we had for this album. Musically, it represents a pretty significant departure from the rest of the album — probably because it is the oldest of the songs. I wrote about 90% of the lyrics for this song while sitting at the merch table during a show at Skylark Social Club after seeing a person who had the exact same nose shape as a person who once meant a great deal to me. Memories flooded back all at once.

Even though it’s a bit different from the other songs on Before You Fall Asleep, “Notched” is one of my favorites on the album and it’s sure to appeal to fans of indie rock heavyweights like The Weakerthans or The Hotelier. Check out the song below, and if you like it, be sure to preorder the record.

Liner Notes (March 8th, 2019)

Another week down.

In this week’s roundup I share my thoughts on new music out this week, and what I’ve been listening to (Maren Morris, Sigrid, The Get Up Kids), and go through the various movies and TV shows I watched this week (Aquaman, If Beale Street Could Talk, Shoplifters). There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved this week and a recap of various website improvements I made this week. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Track List: March – Holding Onto Winter

While it may scratch more than one itch in terms of article and discussion content, it’s probably safe to say that the vast majority of us found Chorus.fm through a mutual love for music. Whether it’s listening to the classics that once mended your broken heart, or spotlighting new additions to soundtrack your growth — if you’re reading this, you’re probably the type of person that prioritizes a set of rumbling speakers before you even put on your seatbelt. You might also be the person that makes a night out of giving an anticipated new album a dedicated front-to-back listen — not daring to skip the three month old first single, of course. And hell, if you’re anything like me, you probably base what you choose to listen to on your surroundings. How long am I going to stand on this treadmill browsing my library before I eventually land on Yellowcard again, you ask? On average, maybe about 6 minutes. In any of those cases, and so many more, this feature is for you.

Welcome to the monthly Track List. Each month I’ll be handpicking 30 songs that I think match that time of year, and sequencing them 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. Some may even show up on more than one list! The goal is solely to capture the essence of that season, and marry it to some tunes to we can all enjoy. 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.

Cuzco – “Old Dog” (Song Premiere)

Charlotte, NC, math rock band Cuzco will be releasing their debut LP, Sketchbook, on April 19th through Refresh Records. Today we’re excited to bring you the album’s first single, the six-and-a-half minute “Old Dog.” It twists and segues through bursts of horns and twinkling riffs that would make Toe. or TTNG proud with a bit of Clever Girl inspired jazz flavor. Check out “Old Dog” below, and if you like the song, be sure to preorder Sketchbook.

Liner Notes (March 1st, 2019)

Oh, hi March.

This week’s roundup looks at what I worked on around the website this week, goes through my thoughts on music (including Marianas Trench, Japanese House, and the new Carly Rae Jepsen songs), and has my usual media diet from the last week. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved this week, and the supporter Q&A post can be found 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.