Liner Notes (April 3rd, 2022)

This week’s newsletter has thoughts on the 6th anniversary of Chorus, some commentary on music I listened to throughout the week (Taking Back Sunday, Elway, Hit Like a Girl), and a few other articles and things I found interesting this week. As always, 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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A Few Things

  • It’s the start of April, which marks the six-year anniversary of when I started Each year I like to look back and reflect on how things are going, check-in with myself, and take stock of the decision and where we are today. With each passing year, even with the nostalgic reminders, I am confident I made the correct decision in stepping back from the internet “at large” and trying to have a more controlled, smaller, portion of myself that I let be online. The website, and specifically this newsletter, continues to be the creative outlet I need to talk about things that interest me. And the community is of the size and scope that I find manageable. Stats wise: the website now has 22,761 articles posted on it, and the forum has over 4,720,872 posts. There were over 25 million pageviews in the last year, over two million unique visitors, and we’re at our highest number of supporting members, ever. The website has found a nice spot in my life as something that brings me joy, not anxiety, and where I can dedicate a healthy amount of time to it without fear of it taking over. As always, a huge thank you to everyone who reads anything I write, especially those who have become members — it’s because of you that I can keep doing this. And, damn, I can’t believe it’s been six years.
  • Overcast, my favorite podcast player, launched a redesign a few weeks ago. The main changes revolve around being able to set up playlists to help triage and categorize podcasts. So far, I am going with a three playlist setup, where I have an “In Progress” playlist that shows all the episodes I’m currently listening to, and then a “Priority” playlist where it only pulls in the three podcasts I consider “essential” that I want to listen to each week. And then an “All Podcasts” playlist for everything else. This is working well for me at the moment and helps keep things more organized. The customization is excellent, and if I were currently following more shows, I would probably try and segment things even more. My podcast listening has been recently dedicated to the gym and/or cleaning the condo on the weekend. So I’ve been pairing down to the few shows I really want to make sure I don’t miss.
  • I liked this piece on moderating communities from Mike Masnick, and this part specifically stood out to me: “The internet itself is an incredible platform for free speech, and we should be fighting to keep that wider internet open and free from too much regulatory burden and limits. But part of the reason the internet is such an incredible platform is that on the internet, anyone is able to find different communities that they feel are appropriate for them. Or to create their own without first having to get permission. The people who demand that someone else’s community must conform to their standards aren’t supporting “principles of free speech,” they’re demanding others bend to their wills.”
  • I finally decided to buy a new computer. My current main machine is the 5K iMac from 2014. It’s served me well. But after eight years, it’s passed the point where it’ll get new software updates, it’s got some image retention issues, and the latest hardware runs laps around it. It was a great machine and one of my favorite computers I’ve ever owned. But, it’s time to upgrade. Thanks mainly to a friend at Apple allowing me to use their friends and family discount, I’ve decided to get something obscenely overpowered with the goal of it once again lasting me a very long time. That worked well with the iMac, and my day-to-day needs haven’t changed. I like having a desktop to work from and then the iPad as my ‘around the house’ computer. So, I’m going with a Mac Studio, throwing 128GB of RAM and a 4TB drive in it, and picking up the Studio Display as well. That will be more machine than I probably need, but I’ve always liked to err on that side instead of wondering. Of course, it won’t be here until probably June or July, but after eight years with the iMac, I can wait a little longer to get exactly what I want. I’m currently leaning on setting it up as new since I haven’t done that in over a decade, and I want to be more judicious about what software I install. I’m ridiculously excited. By all accounts, this thing is going to scream, which is convenient because my wallet is also screaming. I’ll share more thoughts once it gets here.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • My most listened-to artist last week was Taking Back Sunday. With the announcement of the 20th anniversary of Tell All Your Friends, I realized that I had never actually listened to the remastered version of the album. I’ve been listening to the same mp3s I’ve had since 2002. So, when the new anniversary edition showed up in my inbox, I figured I had to give it a spin. I’m impressed. I think the new master sounds excellent. It gives the songs a fresh shine while keeping the kinetic energy and raw passion intact. It’s the songs that hold up all these years later, though. And it’s a perfect time-capsule album that brings me right back to my freshman year of college. I also went back through some more of the band’s discography, and while TAYF is still “the one” for me, I have grown to enjoy the other albums as well. Some more than others, with Louder Now and Happiness Is probably growing on me the most over time.
  • I also got into the Slick Shoes live album, which for some reason, I had just forgotten to listen to when it came out, and I think it’s a great representation of the band. It’s a killer setlist with some of my all-time favorites, and the band sounds great. Tight, clean, and I like hearing this combination of their catalog with consistent production and energy. I still highly recommend their latest album if you’re into fast, melodic, pop-punk at all.
  • Ok, now onto new music I checked out this week. The new Soccer Mommy album Sometimes, Forever comes out on June 24th, and fans will not be disappointed. It’s an ethereal collection of songs with rich, lush layers. After work this week, I put it on a few times and just laid on the couch, getting lost in the music. It’s a nice progression from the last album, and I think the full-sounding production and instrumentation give it an extra kick.
  • Elway released their new album, The Best of All Possible Worlds, yesterday, and if you’re in the mood for a pop-punk meets rock album this should be on your radar. PUP will be getting a lot of the headlines for this genre over the next few weeks, and rightfully so; that album rules, but don’t sleep on this one, especially as the sun starts to pop out a little more often.
  • Nightly’s new single “Hate My Favorite Band” continues their streak of super consistently solid songs. I don’t think they’ve released anything I don’t like yet.
  • An album that was released last year came to my attention this week, and that’s Hit Like a Girl’s Heart Racer. It’s damn good. I’d put it in that quirky indie-rock category, but with really nice melodies that kind of remind New Found Glory’s Coming Home. Now, the album itself doesn’t have that sound, but the melodies in the first few songs made that album come to mind.
  • Lights’ new one, PEP, didn’t quite grab me on first listen this morning. There were a few things I liked, a few things like “Rent” I really disliked, but I’ll need to come back and give it another listen next week to see how it sits with me.
  • Caracara is still getting a bunch of spins from me. This album feels like something we’d have been gushing over for months back in the AbsolutePunk days. It’s got that it factor to it.
  • I ended my week on a big Saosin kick. Starting with the first EP and then going all the way to the latest album with Anthony. I still have a huge soft spot for that self-titled release. The guitar and drums on that album are just awesome. But lately Along the Shadow has been the one that’s hitting the spot.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 49 different artists and 682 different tracks (813 scrobbles). My most played artist of the week was Taking Back Sunday, with their new 20th-anniversary edition of Tell All Your Friends being my most played album. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • We watched Studio 666 last weekend as a bit of tribute to Taylor Hawkins. It ended up being a totally fun little b-movie. It knows what it is, and it’s pretty silly, but it was also fun, and Dave Grohl is so entirely likable that it works. It gets a little long by the end and could have used some trimming. But I had fun.
  • The opposite of fun is how I’d describe Deep Water. It’s a movie that never explains any character’s motivations, makes weird-ass choices and has a network TV level third act. I want those two hours back.
  • We finished the first season of Atlanta, and that show is just incredible. I loved it. Now we’re onto the second season, and it’s already started off hot. I probably shouldn’t have slept on this so long.

Random and Personal Stuff

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. Autopilot Off – Clockwork
  2. Caracara – Hyacinth
  3. Hit like A Girl – Monsters
  4. Elway – Pangloss
  5. Nightly – Hate My Favorite Band
  6. Saosin – It’s So Simple
  7. Slick Shoes – Joe’s Sick
  8. Taking Back Sunday – Ghost Man on Third
  9. Strung Out – Party in the Hills
  10. John Nolan – Drinking Your Way to Confidence

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 Jason Tate in the “Q&A and Chat With Jason Tate” thread.

Hey, that’s me!

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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