Liner Notes (February 26th, 2022)


This week’s newsletter has me revisiting Coheed and Cambria’s discography, sharing some thoughts on music out this week (Gang of Youths, Avril, Mom Jeans) and exploring some of the other media I consumed. As always, there’s a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed, 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

  • A stressful week this week as Russia invaded Ukraine, leading to increased tensions … everywhere. Fuck war. My thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine right now.
  • This morning, I interviewed one of the bands that will be opening for [REDACTED 🙄] on some of their reunion dates later this year. It’s been a while since I’ve done a band interview, but this is a special reunion that means a lot to me because of my history with the band for something like twenty years now. It was a whole lot of fun to chat on Zoom with the band and reminisce a little bit while talking about the future and this new opportunity. The announcement and interview should be coming in March, so keep your eyes open for that one. (And no, this isn’t even the reunion tour I was hinting at last week. I’m telling you: fun stuff is coming this year!)


Lost Like Lions have released their new song “Back to Life.” It’s now on all streaming platforms, and it’s the first track off the band’s upcoming EP, Fear of Letting Go, which will be out this spring. The band is from Buffalo, NY, and you can follow them on Instagram.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • Midway through the week, I got on a big Coheed and Cambria kick. This is a band I’ve liked since 2002 and saw with like 15 people when The Second Stage Turbine Blade came out, but I need to be in the right mood for their albums. They’re such an epic prog-rock band, but they work best for me when I’m craving their specific brand of rock. And this week, I was really in the mood for exactly their sound. It’d been a while since I’d revisited their entire catalog, and I hadn’t spent a whole lot of time with their last album, The Unheavenly Creatures. I got back into that one in a big way since the grand and over-the-top stuff is what I was looking for. On my re-listen, I also found myself gravitating toward Year of the Black Rainbow and The Afterman: Deluxe Edition as well. Honestly, I like practically all of their albums, with the exception of The Color Before the Sun just not working for me. And, pretty good timing to get back into the band since they have a new album coming soon, and the latest single released is damn good. I suppose at some point I should go super nerd and read the whole story behind all of these albums and the entire Amory Wars concept, but for the moment, I’m just enjoying another exploration through the music.
  • Dashboard Confessional’s new one came out yesterday, and I’ve written quite a bit about it already, so I’ll just quickly pause to say: I’ve been obsessed with it for a while, and now you can find out why. I think it’s an instant classic that reflects “us,” those that grew up in this scene, here, now, at this age and time—highly recommended.
  • The album I hadn’t heard yet that knocked me on my ass yesterday was the new one from Gang of Youths. In a different time and place in musical history, this is the biggest band in the world, and Angel in Realtime. is the kind of album that propels them into the stratosphere. I’m not sure where they fit into the modern music landscape, but this album is an absolute powerhouse. Incredible vocals, extremely lush and full production, and the kind of album where you’ll want to have the liner notes handy while experiencing. Songs like “You in Everything” and “Brothers” are the kind of tracks that feel like career achievements and they’re just casually mixed in with all these other incredible songs. This one is going to be in rotation for a while.
  • Avril Lavigne also dropped her latest yesterday, and I walked away from it pretty impressed. There are some really solid pop-punk songs here, and it does a decent job of marrying her style with some of the more “modern” expectations of a pop-punk album produced by John Feldmann and Travis Barker. On a macro level, I liked Miley Cyrus’s version of this kind of album and sound a whole lot more on Plastic Hearts, but there’s enough here that I’ll probably return to it a few more times as the weather starts to warm up. The song with Mark Hoppus is an obvious highlight.
  • I only had time to spin the new Early Eyes album once, but there’s enough that caught my attention that I’ll come back to that again next week. The new Mom Jeans album also released yesterday, and if you’re looking for a band and album that has a nice throwback pop-punk or maybe early Jimmy Eat World feel, this should be on your radar. I’ve been playing it for a few months now and am eagerly waiting for the summer to put it into regular rotation.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 32 different artists and 481 different tracks (608 scrobbles). My most listened-to artist was Coheed and Cambria, and my most listened-to album was The Unheavenly Creatures. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • I didn’t think I’d enjoy West Side Story as much as I did, but in the end, Spielberg knocked that one out of the park. I should probably just stop worrying he’s going to let me down again (looking at you Indiana Jones 4), because if you can make this work and look this good? Impressive impressive impressive. Some great music and dance numbers that looked fantastic, and Hannah liked it so much that when we stopped by the record store this morning, she bought the soundtrack on vinyl. (Yes, I’m clearly wearing off on her.)
  • I’m admittedly a PTA die-hard, and something like Licorice Pizza is the kind of film that fits right in my wheelhouse, so it’s no real surprise that it ultimately worked for me, and I loved it.
  • After finishing Reacher and Peacemaker (written about in detail last week, but both very good), we decided to finish up the second half of Lupin on Netflix. It’s better than the network TV version of this kind of show, but it still feels a little too predictable or cheesy for me to elevate it much higher. We’ve got one more left, and while it’s pretty fun, I still prefer Sherlock.
  • The second season of the new Saved by the Bell is really good! I was as shocked as anyone that the first season ended up working at all, but they then took all those good parts and tightened it up even more here for the second season. Addressing the pandemic in the first episode was handled well and actually made me contemplate how traumatic these last few years were on high-school kids. And so far, the entire season has been delightful, funny, and, again, I’m just impressed. I watched the original when I was in elementary and middle school and then revisited them in college with a new lens, and ohh boy was that rough, so to see the series re-conceptualized in this way has been refreshing and a fun way to end the evening each night.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Hannah is playing violin in a wedding today, so after a nice long walk (in the still too cold weather) this morning, I’ve just been kind of chilling here at home. Listening to music, working on this newsletter, and trying to decide what I want to order from our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner tonight. Saturdays have become my favorite day of the week. The lack of commitment, the ability to just kind of be, has been highly refreshing.
  • With all the news in the world this week, I posted even less on social media than usual. But I did share some thoughts on The Dangerous Summer and the power of music turning around a frustrating week, and had to share off the new Dashboard record. I’m thrilled with that black and red variant.

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. Dashboard Confessional – Southbound and Sinking
  2. Gang of Youths – You in Everything
  3. Avril Lavigne – All I Wanted
  4. Mom Jeans – What’s Up?
  5. Coheed and Cambria – The Liars Club
  6. Glacier Veins – Embers
  7. Comeback Kid – No Easy Way Out
  8. Early Eyes – Big Sigh
  9. Lights & Motion – The World I Remember
  10. William Ryan Key – Heavens

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 Henry in the “General Politics Discussion IX” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Sign up for a free weekly newsletter full of thoughts on music, entertainment, technology, and other cool stuff. Your email address stays completely private.