I hope everyone had a good week.
This week’s newsletter has some thoughts on the current state of technology and how I feel about it all as I get older. Then I share thoughts on the Manchester Orchestra video performance and new single, plus some other commentary on music I enjoyed this week. And there’s the usual entertainment thoughts and a playlist of ten songs I think are worth your time. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.
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- I was listening to the most recent episode of the Accidental Tech Podcast, and I thought the discussion about Clubhouse and how the first part of the internet was built by introverts and a lot of the more recent internet developments are more extroverted (YouTube and Instagram stars, and now Clubhouse) was interesting. And it made me think a lot about how I grew up in such the perfect time for my skillset or what I was most interested in. I still crave the written word and being able to talk to people online in a forum environment that allows for more back and forth. My vision for something like that is our forums, but it’s also very antiquated. I’m fine with that. As long as there are enough people that still think like me, that’s great. And the pressures of anything larger are just not how I’m built these days. As I watch what gets popular these days, the personalities, the video clips, YouTube, Reels, I see a world that’s so different from what I grew up with, but it makes me appreciate our little place on the internet all that more. It feels like a reprieve. I was drawn to the internet in the early days because I felt so much of the mainstream world was full of things I didn’t quite “get.” It felt great to have a place with others where everything felt more my speed. And now everything is online, and it’s as mainstream as apple pie. I often feel overwhelmed by it all. Maybe it’s all just a younger person’s game, but I don’t think I would have had the same career if I was born with the internet of today. I also wonder if I’d have the same love for technology and gadgets if they were ubiquitous through my entire life versus something I saw as new and cutting edge as we raced through early computers, the early internet, and early mobile devices. I don’t know why this has all been on my mind lately, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it when I scroll through YouTube or see lists of the latest huge celebrities that I don’t recognize. It’s all a cliche, but the whole growing up thing does happen so fast. I guess I just feel grateful and incredibly lucky for the timing of how it all worked out.
- Hannah got me a Brumate for Valentine’s Day, and I must say it’s pretty great. It has this little puck that you freeze and then slide a 12oz can into the main sleeve. The drink stays extremely cold; the outside is easy to grasp and isn’t cold to the touch. I’ve been trying it out over the past week, and it makes me feel a little like a dad with a koozie, but it works exactly as advertised. I look forward to this whole virus thing being behind us, or at least it being a little warmer so we can do some more outside hangs with friends. This would be perfect for an outdoor barbecue.
In Case You Missed It
- Manchester Orchestra Is the Best Band in the World
- Big Loser – “Post-Almost-Overdose” and “I Love You (Billie Eilish)” (Acoustic) (Video Premiere)
- Manchester Orchestra Announce New Album
- Dessa – “Bombs Away” Video
- Meet Me @ The Altar – “Garden” (Acoustic) Video
- Justin Courtney Pierre – “Footsteps”
- Senses Fail – “Lush Rimbaugh”
- Glassjaw’ Coloring Book’ EP Arrives on Vinyl
- Adam Lohrbach of Home Grown Shares Acoustic Videos
- Hayley Williams Ready for Next Paramore Album
- Albums in Stores – Feb. 19th, 2021
- Last weekend, I watched the Manchester Orchestra video performance of A Black Mile to the Surface and adored it. It’s so well done, and they sound so damn good. I often forget how much I love this band when I think about my “favorites,” but then I go on a binge of their discography and remember. They’re one of the best we have for sure. This week they released their new single, “Bedhead,” and announced new album pre-orders. The lead single is incredible, showing a nice evolution of sound and the classic Andy lyrical gems. They really are at the top of their game right now. I wasn’t sure what version to pre-order, but Hannah reminded me that I’ve never been disappointed when I’ve picked up the “special” release of a record (uh, well, except one time). So I went with the hardcover version. The art is incredible, and I think it’s worth it to support such a great band. Of course, I didn’t spend nearly as much as some people in the Manchester Orchestra thread did going all-in on every variant. So, yeah, I’m quite here for Manchester Orchestra season.
- I gave the new Nothing, Nowhere. album a spin and found it interesting. There are so many little things that seem directly pulled from early 2000’s pop-punk and emo, but with the obvious modern hip-hop influence as well. At the same time, it didn’t quite flow right for me, and I had to skip a couple of songs that weren’t doing it for me. I should go read what our community is saying about this.
- The new Icon for Hire has some great songs and a bunch that do nothing for me. It doesn’t seem like something I’ll be coming back to much, but there are some nice rock songs on there that I could see myself throwing on a workout mix. I was thinking while listening, “this sounds like something Tooth & Nail would have released back in the day,” and then I went and read all about the drama with that label. So, I was half right. (It’s better than the new The Pretty Reckless album, which I could just not get into at all.)
- I definitely recommend the new John the Ghost album if you haven’t listened to it yet. It’s the lead singer of The Maine’s solo project, and if you’ve liked the past few albums from them, this should be right in your wheelhouse. Songs like “Y” and “Drive” remind me of Lovely, Little, Lonely.
- I’ve seen a lot of talk about City Mouth over the past week, and so I decided I should check out that last release. Man, what a throwback sound. The first couple of songs made me feel like that whole Motion City/Hellogoodbye era. I don’t often listen to stuff like this these days, but I can see why it resonates with those nostalgic for that kind of sound.
- And, like the past few weeks, Pale Waves, Sir Sly, and The Night Game all stayed in the rotation this week. Sir Sly got the coveted, “hey, who is this?” ask from my wife. Always a good sign.
- We watched Another Round last weekend, and I enjoyed it. It was a nice mix of heartwarming, funny, and reflective.
- Look, if you’ve read this newsletter for any amount of time, you know I am entirely in on certain kinds of movies. So the “groundhog day” meets “teenage rom-com” thing was 100% going to be something that works on me. And it did. The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is charming, well crafted, and the kind of film that is low stakes but exactly the entertaining escape I wanted it to be.
- We’ve watched the first three episodes of The Bureau, and I’m curious to see where the story goes. It’s a tad slow to get started, but it’s piqued my interest.
- About halfway through Dune so far, and I’m loving it. After finishing up this newsletter, my plan is to go plop my ass down on the couch by the fire and read some more of that.
Random and Personal Stuff
- Not much more on my mind this week. I’m ready for the weather to start warming up. And yet, I’m not ready for March, which will signify my birthday, and around then is when I remember us going into hardcore lockdown mode. We thought at the time that it would be a month or so, and then we could all get together to celebrate my 37th birthday … now I’m coming up on 38. In many ways, it’s just a lost year. Hmm. I should probably develop a goal for this year since it’ll also be 20 years since I graduated high-school. (lol, what?) Maybe this year will be the year I start eating healthier foods. That’s been a goal I’ve had for a while, and now that I’ve got my workout routine going well, I feel good about how much water I consume daily; maybe it’s time to stop eating like a teenager? Maybe?
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.
- John the Ghost – Drive
- Wild Pink – The Shining But Tropical
- HAIM – Now I’m In It
- Dessa – Bombs Away
- The Hold Steady – Family Farm
- Nothing, Nowhere – Lights (4444)
- City Mouth – Sanity for Summer
- Olafur Arnalds – Epilogue
- Teen Daze – Glacial Lake
- Big Loser – Blisters
The trending and popular threads in our community this week include:
- Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God (April 30, 2021)
- 2021 MLB Season
- Director Poll: Favorite Wes Anderson Film
- Cruella (Craig Gillespie, May 28, 2021)
- Weekly Poll: Favorite The Offspring Album
- General Politics Discussion VIII
- Tour Prediction and Speculation Thread
- Pokemon GO (mobile)
The most liked post in our forums last week was this one by EntryLevelDave in the “General Politics Discussion VIII” thread.
Hah, Dave, you’re lucky I liked your post or I woulda won.
Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.