Liner Notes (February 3rd, 2024)


The first newsletter of February is here. Some thoughts on music, entertainment, and other random stuff. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • Last weekend, I had some time to work on fixing embeds on the website. I rolled out a new feature for our forum where members can pick whether they want to have automatic embeds. And there’s an option to disable them on mobile devices. With the feature on, which I now highly recommend on mobile, you can still tap/click to view an embed in a post, but they don’t load automatically. With this feature on and ads disabled, the forum is extremely fast. I’ve had it on (for mobile) all week and have noticed a massive difference. I have two other, relatively minor, projects to work on next, and then the big one: moving this newsletter completely off Substack.
  • A few years ago I bought a bunch of these NFC tags when the iPhone introduced the feature. I never found a great use for them, but I liked playing around with the feature and how it integrated into Shortcuts. This week, I finally found a fun use for one. I put one in the bedroom closet, and now, when I wake up and go to get dressed, I can set my phone on it. The automation will wake up my scale, turn on the kitchen light for coffee making, and turn on my office and desk lights and set them to the correct brightness and temperature: minor things, but a collection of events I do every single morning.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • This week had me on a fun New Found Glory kick at the gym. Their faster pop-punk albums are perfect gym music and the two podcast episodes breaking down their biggest hits inspired the discog dive. I still haven’t been able to get into their latest full-length, but the EP on the deluxe version is fantastic. I’ve also really come around on Radiosurgery and that entire album has found a resurgent life for me these past couple of years. Resurrection is still easily at the bottom for me, but Makes Me Sick and the live release are a blast to revisit.
  • Paramore’s cover of “Burning Down the House” is awesome. Just a perfect spin on the song with Paramore’s After Laughter flair and Hayley knocking the vocals way out of the park. It’s up there with my favorite vocal performances from her, for sure.
  • The Young Hearts’ new album, Somewhere Through the Night, came out in late December during the holiday music lull, so I never actually wrote about it here in the newsletter—time to rectify that. If you like bands like The Gaslight Anthem, The Menzingers, and Cold Years, but with a little more pop-punk flavor thrown on top, this is absolutely worth checking out. I can see this getting a lot of play this upcoming spring and summer.
  • Dave Hause re-worked a bunch of old Loved Ones songs to fit more in with his solo singer-songwriter sound, and the outcome is pretty great. They were great songs before, and they’re also great songs in this format.
  • I didn’t spend enough time last year with Noah Kahan’s album, Stick Season. I knew it blew up, but I couldn’t find the right mood for it to latch onto me. It turns out cold January nights work a lot better. There are a few places where I get Andy from Manchester Orchestra vibes with the vocals, and the songs pack an emotional punch in the gray doldrums of late winter.
  • Emily Wolfe’s The Blowback is one I flat-out missed last year but caught on someone’s end-of-the-year list and added to my listen list playlist. An alternative sound a little reminiscent of, maybe, Bully, but melodic and some awesome one-liner lyrics.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 34 different artists, 55 different albums, and 559 different tracks (594 scrobbles). Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Well, the end of The Curse sure was fucking something! I have no words. I do not know how to write about that show. Did I like it? I think so!? Was it good? I also, think so!? Do I have any idea what the hell happened in that final episode? NOPE! Nathan Fielder is unlike anyone else in entertainment, that is the only thing I am sure of.
  • Beef was good. It’s not the best to pair with The Curse, but it’s definitely good. It was also a wild final episode, but one I think handled the story well and gave a relatively satisfying conclusion. I’m glad we watched it and thought the two main actors deserved all the accolades they received.
  • After those two shows, we needed something in a completely different vein. Enter The Sex Lives of College Girls. A tonal 180, but a delightful reprieve. I’ll always be a sucker for this exact kind of show. There are a few times in the first season where Hannah and I talked about how the characters acted were a little too “best case scenario” for how you’d want two people to handle a dramatic incident or disagreement, but it’s still a joy.
  • I am currently reading Why We Love Baseball and flat out loving it. If you like baseball at all, I highly recommend it. I’ve had just a stupid smile on my face every single night when I pick it up.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Big day over here today. Went for a nice crisp walk this morning, came home, got some errands done around the house, and then had a plumber come over to help fix a very clogged drain. Tell me you’re a little over a month away from being 41 without telling me your age.
  • Today, I learned my passport is expired, and there’s no renewal appointment available for over a month. Whoops.

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. Paramore – Burning Down the House
  2. The Young Hearts – Famous Last Words
  3. Emily wolfe – Dead End Luck
  4. Noah Kahan – Paul Revere
  5. Dave Hause – Pretty Good Year
  6. Alkaline Trio – Hot for Preacher
  7. New Found Glory – Anthem for the Unwanted (Live)
  8. MxPx – Doing Time (Live)
  9. The Horrible Crowes – Ladykiller
  10. Rocky Votolato – Glory (Broken Dove)

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

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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