Liner Notes (January 16th, 2021)

This week’s newsletter has some thoughts on The Starting Line’s streaming performances and the usual commentary on music, movies, and TV shows I’ve been enjoying recently. There’s also 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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Liner Notes (January 8th, 2021)

Cheers

I’m just saying I woulda banned him way earlier. 🤷‍♂️

This week’s newsletter looks at the end of the year feature and shows some of the stats behind the top fifty, plus some thoughts on the Series 6 Apple Watch, and the usual commentary about music, movies, and TV shows. 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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Chorus.fm’s Top 30 Albums of 2020

Best of 2020

Um. So, that was quite a year.

We’ve been publishing some version of our favorite albums of the year since at least 2005, and the past twelve months have been unlike anything I’ve ever been through. It’s a year that will leave an indelible mark on all who experienced it, and I worry it will be years before we will be able to best understand and cope with the collective mass trauma. It was a year of uncertainty, a year of isolation, and a year of reshaping even the little routines that make up our lives. Tasks as simple as a trip to the grocery store are now measured risks, and going outside includes masks and a social construct with those around us to keep a safe distance. And I don’t know about you, but I found it very comforting to have music to turn to this year. It’s been such a constant in my life, and I often found myself reaching for it like a comfort blanket. As a way to regain a shred of normalcy, or as a way to connect with others across the internet as we shared a moment or discussion about a new song.

Before we reflect on the music that was released last year, I wanted to take a quick moment to thank everyone who read this website this year. We all went through this together, and I’m as appreciative as ever for having an outlet to write about things I’m passionate about and share with likeminded readers. Thank you.

Now let’s rank things.

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Liner Notes (January 1st, 2021)

Rainbow

This week’s newsletter looks back at 2020 and the year from hell. I also share some articles I read this week that I found interesting, share thoughts on the music I’ve been checking out that I missed throughout the year, and talk a little about the bad movie I saw (Wonder Woman) and the good movie I saw (Soul). And as always, 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 (December 26th, 2020)

Happy Holidays

In this week’s newsletter, I share some thoughts about the end of The Mandalorian and the first half of Wonder Woman 1984, and there’s some discussion of the holiday and prepping to finalize my end of the year list before the end of next week. As usual, 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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Liner Notes (December 18th, 2020)

Snowflake

This week’s newsletter has random thoughts on random things and then the usual commentary on music and entertainment I enjoyed this week. There’s also 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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Liner Notes (December 11th, 2020)

This week’s newsletter has thoughts on the new Taylor Swift album and other entertainment I enjoyed this week. I finally saw Tenet and I’ve been watching a whole lot of holiday content. 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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Respire – ‘Black Line’ Track-by-Track Break Down

Respire

I’ll always contend that the most exciting part of consuming music is discovering something new – an artist or band or record that just completely enraptures you – like you found the world’s greatest secret and can’t wait to share it with anyone and everyone. That’s Respire – the Toronto sextet that’s turning heavy music on its head. The band’s new record, Black Line, is 41 minutes of pummeling drums, jazzy time signatures, and swelling horns. It’s exhilarating blackened screamo with the ethos of Broken Social Scene – Respire burns down the boundaries of what extreme music can be. Below, the band walks us through their impactful new record track-by-track.

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Liner Notes (December 4th, 2020)

Is it too early to start singing holiday tunes? It’s December. I can see trees up in people’s windows with lights on already (we’re putting one up tomorrow); I can start annoying my wife by singing “Jingle Bells” every day, right? This week’s newsletter has some thoughts on music and entertainment I liked this week, a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Gift

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 software, 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.

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Liner Notes (November 27th, 2020)

Thanksgiving

Happy day after Thanksgiving. This week’s post-food-indulgence has thoughts on the upcoming strange holiday season, thoughts on the new celebrity and TikTok culture that I know absolutely nothing about because I’m old, and some thoughts on music and entertainment I enjoyed this week. The holiday movie watching has begun. You’ve been warned. As always, there’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved this week, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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An Update on the Rest of 2020

Chorus.fm

As I wrote about in October, this was a very weird year to be running an independent, online, business. I just wanted to take a few moments to be upfront about a couple of changes that I’m going to be making for the rest of this year. In the online ad world, the last part of the year is usually one of the best for online advertising. It tracks along with the holidays and consumer spending and advertisers wanting to convince shoppers to buy their gadgets and gizmos. Now, digital advertising has been a mess for virtually everyone this year, but there’s a small hope we can make up some of that lost revenue with a terrific final quarter. So, I’m going to let the company that handles all of our display ads run a few different advertisements on the website for the next month.

Honestly? They’re probably going to be annoying as hell. They’ve promised to keep everything frequency capped so that users only see one of the annoying ads one time per session, but there’s no nice way to spin the fact that these kinds of advertisements suck for the user experience. I know it, you know it, but it’s me throwing everything at the wall as we end the year in an attempt to salvage what, in many ways, has been a lost year. I want to be forthright about it, so everyone knows what is coming. And, to let you know you can remove all ads on the website by becoming a member. (These ads will only run for a few months, and we have a monthly option for just $3 a month. Remove all ads, get dark mode, live the good life.)

I don’t know what 2021 will hold, but I plan to continue to keep everyone updated as we journey into this uncharted territory together. I hope everyone is staying safe and doing well. The contributors and I have begun preparing for our end of the year feature, which we hope to run, like always, in early January.

Liner Notes (November 20th, 2020)

I hope everyone had a good week this week. We’re back with another newsletter looking at music and entertainment I enjoyed this week. 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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Liner Notes (November 13th, 2020)

This week’s newsletter has early thoughts on the new Less Than Jake album, high praise for The Queen’s Gambit, and other reflections on music and entertainment I enjoyed this week. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (November 6th, 2020)

Voted

This week’s newsletter is brought to you by coffee, coffee, more coffee, and the letter B. I share my first thoughts on the new EP from The Dangerous Summer, some thoughts on entertainment consumed last weekend, and a few thoughts on the election. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed last week, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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