Liner Notes (April 27th, 2024)


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A Few Things

  • Whew, it’s been a while! The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. There have been many family commitments on the weekends, and then two weeks ago, I was out of town on a business trip. It was the first time I’d traveled since the pandemic year, and the trip down and back from Mexico City was filled with every example of why I dislike traveling. Canceled flights, airline chaos, the dreaded SSSS on my boarding pass. It felt like a calamity of errors each way, leading to 12+ hours of travel on both days. Let’s say I’m not a fan. There’s a reason I like working behind a computer in the comfort of my home office. But, I’m back, and the calendar looks much clearer from here on out. So, I hope to get back into a regular weekend writing routine. But, enough about me; there’s a whole lot to cover.
  • Apple has started allowing game emulators on iOS. The first one I’ve seen is Delta, and it’s pretty wild that it works as well as it does. I downloaded some nostalgia-as-fuck games, tossed them in the Files app, loaded them into Delta, and was playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 on my fricking iPhone. Wild, wild stuff.
  • I’ve written many times over the last couple of years about FRND CRCL and their most recent pop-punk gem. But I just have to call out this t-shirt. Could there be anything more me? The Friends parody? It’s perfect. Also, the album still rules.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • The most significant release of the last couple of weeks is, obviously, the new Taylor Swift album. After some time with it, my thoughts are starting to solidify a bit. It’s good, but it absolutely suffers from its length and overall sameness to a lot of the songs. Too many never quite elevate and instead feel stuck in first gear. In a fun twist of fate it’s not unlike what I thought The 1975 were suffering through for a couple albums. The lack of an editor who can say: let’s take the best batch of songs and hone in on them, workshop them, and make them incredible. Less can be more, and in an era where the biggest music star on the planet is already verging on overexposure, a scalpel was desperately needed on this project as a whole. He says as the album breaks all kinds of records, has seven billion vinyl variants printing money, and is sure to be the best-selling album of the year. And there’s a handful of super solid songs here. “But Daddy I Love Him,” “Down Bad,” and “Imgonnagetyouback” are all standouts for me. The Starting Line reference in “The Black Dog” is an all-timer. The smile on my face hearing that for the first time could have powered a small town with the electricity pouring out of me.
  • Cold Years’ new album A Different Life came out this week, and they completed an absolute scorcher of a three-album run. Truly one for the ages. They’re doing the whole Gaslight Anthem meets Green Day punk thing as well as anyone in music. This should dominate playlists as the weather starts turning to the summer months. Highly recommended.
  • I cannot praise Florrie’s upcoming album, The Lost Ones, enough. It is a pitch-perfect pop album. The most recent single, “Kissing in the Cold,” gives a really good feel for where the album is headed. Now, if she would just have a vinyl option that’s not over $60 shipped to the States, that would be excellent.
  • The new Mariana’s Trench single is a welcome return to form. I didn’t dislike their latest album but when they’re stretching their pop meets theatrical muscles is where the band shines. This is their sweet spot.
  • Thursday’s new single was a welcome surprise. As one of my longtime favorite bands seeing them not miss a beat is incredible. And the best part is that I love how this sounds. I’m a huge No Devolución fan, and this sounds like a natural evolution of where the band was heading. More please?
  • I’m a big fan of the new SeeYouSpaceCowboy album. It’s an incredible gym (or working out your feelings while cleaning dishes) album. Walks between the metal/rock path with just enough of a pop-tinge to it. And something like “Sister with a Gun” even has an almost Panic! at the Disco like cadence to it.
  • The new ERRA album, Cure, gives me big Cove-era Saosin vibes in the best way. The acoustic Dayseeker album, Replica, is a nice highlight for Rory Rodriguez’s powerful vocals. And I enjoyed my first listen of Owen’s The Falls of Sioux. That one feels like an early morning/late night album where I’ll really sink into it one of these days.
  • Kate Pruitt’s album Mantras is a few weeks old now, but I loved Craig Manning’s review of it. I think he captures the magic in this one. This feels like one of those albums you’d put on for a friend get-together, and multiple people would ask, “Hey, who is this?” – it has that universal appeal quality.
  • Manchester Orchestra’s live version of Cope, expectantly, rules. I’m a Cope defender (and adore Hope), but this sounds so much better it’s not even funny. Full, beefy, and Andy sounds incredible.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 29 different artists, 39 different albums, and 384 different tracks (424 scrobbles). Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Monkey Man was good, and a solid directorial debut, but also felt a little long and meandering in parts. Some good action scenes though.
  • Season two of Tokyo Vice was unreal good. Maybe the most enthralled I’ve been with a season of TV in a while.
  • We’re almost half way through Three Body Problem and I’m enjoying it so far. Having just read the book, it’s a little glaring where the changes have been, and I’m not sure how I feel about that as a whole. It’s an intriguing story that translates better to TV than I expected.
  • I finished Wager and thought it was harrowing and gripping. Then I moved on to Stephen King’s Later, which I plowed through and found to be quite entertaining but one of the lesser King novels. Obviously written to be a throwback pulp paperback, but it was still a lot of fun to read. Then I read Trust, which I had higher hopes for based on reviews. It was undeniably good, well-written, and interestingly written, but I found some of it to be a bit of a slog. I couldn’t find myself sinking into the story or feeling compelled to pick it up. Not bad, but it didn’t live up to the review hype I had in my head after waiting months on the Library waitlist.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • While my last few weeks have been busy, Hannah’s now heading on a little trip with her mom, aunt, and cousin this week. So, I’ll have the house to myself. I’m not even sure what to do with myself. I have a few projects for Chorus I want to work on, so maybe I’ll be able to find some time to tackle those.

Ten Songs

Here are ten songs that I listened to and loved this week. Some may be new, some may be old, but they all found their way into my life during the past seven days.

  1. ManDancing – Malachi
  2. Katie Pruitt – White Lies, White Jesus and You
  3. SeeYouSpaceCowboy – Sister with a Gun
  4. Taylor Swift – The Black Dog
  5. Marianas Trench – A Normal Life
  6. Florrie – Kissing in the Cold
  7. Dayseeker – Crying While Your Dancing
  8. Maggie Rogers – It was Coming All Along
  9. ERRA – Rumor of Light
  10. Thursday – Application for Release from the Dream

This playlist is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Community Watch

The trending and popular threads in our community this week include:

The most liked post in our forums last week was this one by phaynes12 in the “Taylor Swift – The Tortured Poets Department (April 19, 2024)” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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