Liner Notes (August 26th, 2023)


This week’s newsletter catches up on the last few weeks in music releases. There’s also a playlist of ten songs worth your time and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had time to sit down and write. I’ve been busy behind the scenes working on some things on the website, plus the usual family errand stuff on the weekends. I recently moved all the “updates” that happen on the website to a new page so that I could keep better track of the “release notes” or “change log” when I update things—a nice running history of major, and minor, updates to the site. I have quite a few things on my list that I want to tackle in the last half of the year, but we’ll see how many I get to.
  • If you’ve visited the website over the past couple of days, you may notice a fun little change to the header on the website. There’s a fun story there that I think is okay to share. A few weeks back, the band and their manager reached out after reading my “state of Chorus” post. They said they had a specific budget and wanted to sponsor the website and asked if we could come up with anything fun and unique to do. I had not done any wrapper/skin for Chorus before, and the album artwork lent itself to a clean implementation. So, I thought this would be a fun way to do something more creative and call attention to the band’s new album. And given the website’s history, I thought it was incredible to work with the band and have their ongoing support. They’ll be sponsoring the website all month, so if you haven’t yet, check out their new album.


MxPx’s new album Find a Way Home is out now! You can hear it on all streaming platforms and order the physical copy at the band’s webstore.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • MxPx’s new album is out now! I’ve spent a lot of time with it over the past month and think it’s a tremendous late-career addition to their catalog. Fun songs, great choruses, and a worthy addition from one of my most-played artists of all time. Discovering Blink-182 and MxPx changed my life; having new music from both this year has been a real highlight and joy.
  • On the other end of the spectrum is Spanish Love Songs telling us there’s No Joy with their excellent, but admittedly dark, new release. As the weather starts to turn, I think the next few months will be where this record shines. It’s their best album yet and a real statement. This and The Menzingers’ new one have been on repeat for the past few weeks for me, and I see them almost as cousins at this point. Similar stylistic choices and general vibe; both great and a perfect shake up, or reimagining of, the band’s classic sound.
  • This was a great week for new albums, so here are some quick hits on other stuff I enjoyed: Patrick Droney reminds me of early John Mayer in the best way. Great little pop-tunes that are perfectly accessible for just about any audience. Are you looking for an early evening album to throw on while preparing dinner? This is it. Nightly’s new album continues where the last left off — breezy synth-drenched drenched pop songs. This is not as good as the debut, but there’s still much to like here. (“My Boys” being the only real misstep.) Zach Bryan is, arguably, the best thing happening in country music right now. And this is a tight collection of 15 songs (plus an intro) that I’d recommend to even someone who doesn’t traditionally think they like country music. The songwriting and emotional weight behind the songs is undeniable. And a song like “Oklahoma Son” is the kind of closer that can knock just about any music fan on their ass.
  • Hot Milk’s full-length was worth the wait. It’s a nice mixture of pop-punk influence and a touch of electronic rock. And that comes on the heels of Bearings’ new album last week that holds the torch high for that early Starting Line pop-punk sound—two perfect additions to the end of summer. Also, keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming Taylor Acorn EP; it’s right in line with all these bands playing with the pop-punk/emo stylings of the early 2000s and putting a fun 2023 spin on it (the “Best of Me” call back made me double take in the best way).
  • I enjoyed my first listen of Morgan Wade ‘s new album yesterday, but it blended together, and I need more time with it. I have similar thoughts on my first spin of Alana Springsteen ‘s latest.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 29 different artists, 35 different albums, and 378 different tracks (473 scrobbles). Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • We watched Suzume last night. Do any movies have better-looking skies than the ones by Makoto Shinkai? My word are they gorgeous. I liked the film, and while it didn’t get to Your Name level, virtually nothing probably ever will. I still would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys Japanese animation even a little.
  • Our main show last week was Class of ’07. I thought it was really well done; however, you should go in expecting this to be a comedic take on this “end of the world/abandoned/survival” premise. It’s not a brooding drama like The Wilds or Yellowjackets, but I think it succeeds in being entertaining and funny. Sign me up for another season.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • The big news this week was Hannah coming down with COVID on Wednesday. It’s a real bummer for timing (well, any COVID infection is not great) because she planned a girls’ trip with friends this weekend. Instead, she’s been spending time in bed recovering. So far, it’s been a relatively mild case. Congestion, some aches, and some drowsiness. I’ve been spending the entire week expecting to wake up one day and test positive, but as of right now, I’m still testing negative. Fingers crossed that continues, but I guess tune in next week to follow the plight of our intrepid blogger.

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. MxPx – Undone
  2. Spanish Love Songs – Marvel
  3. Zach Bryan – Fear and Friday’s
  4. Hot Milk – Breathing Underwater
  5. Nightly – Pink Starburst
  6. Morgan Wade – Losers Look Like Me
  7. Patrick Droney – Shotgun Rider
  8. The Killers – Your Side of Town
  9. Bearings – Slip
  10. Death Cab for Cutie – An Arrow in the Wall

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.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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