Liner Notes (August 13th, 2023)


This week’s newsletter breaks down some thoughts on music, entertainment, apps, and other stuff I checked out over the past week. As always, there’s a playlist of ten songs worth your time, and 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.

A Few Things

  • I realized yesterday that I hadn’t written up a “state of the website” post in a while. I used to do those yearly to recap where things stood with the website. So, I sat down with some spreadsheets and took a look at everything. Nothing surprised me, it’s basically what I already knew, but I did waffle a little bit with how transparent to be about the whole thing. Ultimately, I decided there was no real reason not to be completely upfront about what’s working, what’s not working, and how I see things going forward. The basic version is that the online ad industry sucks and continues declining, which is why you see more creators recently turning to subscription/supporter models. And it’s why if you like this newsletter and Chorus, please consider becoming a member. In my best PBS voice: because of the support of readers like you, I can keep the website online and dedicate my time each week to keeping it updated and writing.
  • I am not sure how much overlap there is between this website and the ATP podcast, but one of the hosts, Casey Liss, released his new app Call Sheet last week. The pitch is simple: what if IMDB didn’t suck? And it excels at being exactly that. Ever sit on the couch and wonder who that actor you saw in the TV show is? Instead of suffering through the nightmare that is the IMDB app (or website), let this be the first app you open so you can get your answer and get back to the show. I’ve long been a user so that I can keep tabs on what I watch (for this newsletter, for end-of-the-year lists, and just because I’m me), and that’s usually my go-to for needing to find out this kind of information. They have a “check-in” option for when you start watching something. I start that, and then it puts a Live Activity on the lock screen for the duration of the program. When I need to look something up, I can tap that, and it’ll open up the episode/movie I’m watching. Then I can scroll to the Actors section and find the actor I’m looking for. The actor page then has everything I’ve ever seen that person in at the very top. That whole flow, and my watching history, makes it super convenient to jog my memory quickly. I see Call Sheet as more of a deep dive app that I’ll use to get information about a show or movie; basically, it is a complete replacement for where IMDB used to fit in when someone would ask, “what was that movie that had so in so in it?” Never been happier to kick an app off my phone (ok, deleting Twitter felt good too). Call Sheet is a great, fast-loading, easy-to-use app that does what it says it does with no superfluous crap.
  • There’s a particular genre of article that I am a massive sucker for, and this article about secret family recipes that were actually just out of the box basics is right in my sweet spot.


The long-awaited debut full-length, Hyperfocused, from Chicago pop-punkers Wilmette is out now. The new album, produced by Seth Henderson (State Champs, Knuckle Puck), is the follow-up to their 2020 self-titled EP and is available on all streaming platforms.

Check out the lead single, and title track, “Hyperfocused.” Purchase vinyl, merch, and music on their webstore.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • I’m not sure if it’s just me, but it’s been a few weeks that have felt pretty slow for new music that’s grabbed me. I saw some commentary in the Olivia Rodrigo thread talking about the year as a whole being relatively quiet, and this little summer lull has really stuck out to me. This week I enjoyed the return of The Hives and their fun rock album that has a handful of great “that would fit on a road trip playlist” songs. And then I also had a positive reaction to this Best Frenz album from members of Sir Sly and Joywave. It is exactly what I expected this collaboration to sound like. And then the new Joshua Radin EP is a fun little reminder that he’s still capable of summer night mood magic. The Turnstile remixes are great, but I don’t know how often I’ll remember to return to them (give me the I Think You Should Leave song!), and the new Sigrid single is awesome.
  • The rest of my week was fleshed out with a lot of reoccurring characters. A bunch of Midtown, a lot of Acceptance, some Pennywise, some mewithoutYou. And I hadn’t listened to Limp in a long time and rediscovered those late 90s pop-punk gems.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 80 different artists, 115 different albums, and 553 different tracks (656 scrobbles). My most played artist was Pennywise and Midtown’s Save the World, Lose the Girl was my most played album. Here is my Top 9 from last week (yes, by the end of the week I doubled down on the make it all blue theme), and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • No Hard Feelings felt like a movie out of genre you just don’t really see made much anymore — the low-stakes sex comedy. It felt very much in the same vein as stuff like Risky Business or The Girl Next Door. Jennifer Lawerence has great comedic timing, and I found myself laughing out loud multiple times. 3/5 stars.
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is probably the prettiest movie I’ve ever seen. Multiple scenes that left my jaw on the floor. Some of the early Gwen scenes, with the watercolor background dripping down the screen, were things I’d hang as art in my home. I loved the entire thing. It’s difficult to judge it as a complete work because it’s only the first half of the movie, but I couldn’t have been happier sitting there wrapped in a blanket of so many of my favorite things. The first film is one of my favorites of the past ten years, and I already know this will be one I will return to multiple times in the future. A true work of art. 4.5/5 stars.
  • After some excellent (but intense and very much of a certain kind) shows over the past few weeks (Silo, Hijack, Jack Ryan), we picked School Spirits as our next nightly watch. The first three episodes have been solid. A nice little teenage mystery with a supernatural theme. I’m invested in where the story’s going.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • It’s looking like it’ll break a hundred degrees over the next few days, so, uh, that should be fun.

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. The Hives – Countdown to Shutdown
  2. Best Frenz – Flatline
  3. Turnstyle – Mystery (Remix)
  4. Junction 18 – June and the Ocean
  5. Sigrid – The Hype
  6. Dashboard Confessional – Ghost of a Good Thing
  7. Midtown – Let Go
  8. Pennywise – Living For Today
  9. Slick Shoes – No More Words
  10. Bad Religion – Athiest Peace

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 cherrywaves in the “Accountability in Music” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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