Liner Notes (January 27th, 2024)


Another week, another newsletter. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • I’ve begun the process of building my project to move the newsletter from Substack into my own homegrown system. I have a good idea for how I want to do it, leveraging the same code I use to send the forum email notifications and building the publication portion directly into WordPress (goal: check the Newsletter category, publish, and it auto sends), I think I can build a cost-effective solution for sending a few thousand extra emails per month this way. The hard part is finding the time to sit down and write this and all the extra little things I need to build out myself (sign-up form, unsubscribe flow, an actual email template to use). But, the building blocks are being put in place. However, I think the next feature I want to work on is fixing the auto-embed situation in the forum first. Twitter (er, X?) has gone downhill in so many ways, and one of them is that their embed code for posts works extremely poorly now. They often leak memory, so if multiple are on a page, it can crash the browser session. This is most often seen on mobile devices. I want to create a way for there to be a preference for auto embeds so that you can turn off the embeds completely or just on mobile to improve the experience. I want the embeds to then be tappable to load, but we’ll see if I can get that done in the first version. Just getting an option to disable these is step one. It’s pretty annoying since, for years, everything worked just fine, but I simply can’t rely on Twitter to ever fix these issues, and this is my best option before I just pull Twitter completely from being able to embed itself in posts.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • Alkaline Trio released their new album this week, and, in my opinion, it’s top tier Trio. Catchy, awesome riffs, and just top to bottom full of no misses. Easily my favorite since Crimson.
  • A few albums came out last week that I spent quite a bit of time with over the past week; this includes The Odorants’ Love Songs Never Die, which has a nice throwback punk feel to it. It could fit right in with the early 90s bands. Simple harmonies and fun as hell. The Speakeasy also released an album last week, and this one is a little more of your early Gaslight Anthem/Lawerence Arms kind of punk sound. Faster, but built to sing-a-long. The cover of “Johnny B Goode” is a highlight.
  • The Smile’s new album is pretty much exactly what I expected it to be. Good. Interesting. Drags for me a tad in the middle. And it really just makes me want new Radiohead.
  • Ghost Atlas’ Dust of the Human Shape should be right in the wheelhouse for anyone craving that Cove era Saosin sound. There are some great songs on here.
  • Sara Jarosz’s latest, Polaroid Lovers, is a jaunty walk between singer-songwriter and bending a tad into that country twang.
  • Charlotte Sands’ debut full length is finally available everywhere, and I’ve been singing its praises for a few months now. I expect it to see even more play when it starts to warm up a little. It’s absolutely worth checking out.
  • Laura Jane Grace’s new album comes out in early February. The first three songs released from it are a pretty good indication of what it sounds like. It’s good, raw, and the underlying power and talent of Laura’s songwriting is on full display. I still haven’t had any of the solo work hit me as hard as Transgender Dysphoria Blues did, but I’ve found something to enjoy in everything she’s released.
  • The rest of my week was spent with a lot of Gaslight Anthem after listening to Brian break down “45” on a podcast. And there was quite a bit of A Wilhelm Scream tossed in as well.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 33 different artists, 49 different albums, and 440 different tracks (498 scrobbles). Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • I flat out loved Flora and Son. John Carney has a lane, and that lane is films about the power of music. And goddamn does it just work on me. Sing Street is one of my favorite movies in years (and an incredible comfort film), and I can already see this being one I return to again over the years as well. Not quite up to that level, but still great. Highly recommend.
  • We made a miscalculation pairing Beef with The Curse as our two shows to watch over the past week. Both are good, but the double feature of people doing bad things with whatever the hell we want to call Nathan Fielder’s latest cringe-fest has been, hm, interesting. One more episode of The Curse to go. I’m not even sure how the hell I could describe this show to someone if I tried. Unlike anything I’ve seen before.
  • I am keeping my reading streak alive with The Son this week. It’s a sweeping Western that spans multiple generations. It’s well written, but I wonder if I’m enjoying it. I’m about at the 70% mark, and I’m more in the “I want to finish it” state than I am in the “I need to know what happens next.” Pretty good-sized novel, so we’ll see how I feel when I finish it up.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Not much here this week. The weather has been dreary, cold, and wet.

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. Alkaline Trio – Break
  2. The Odorants – As Above So Below
  3. The Speakasy – Johnny B. Goode
  4. Charlotte Sands – Get Over It
  5. Ghost Atlas – Polyphonic Mind
  6. Ruston Kelly – Mending Song (Piano Version)
  7. Sarah Jarosz – Jealous Moon
  8. Militarie Gun – My Friends are Having a Hard Time
  9. Dave Hause – Pretty Good Year
  10. Beckett – Wildfire

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 clockwise in the “Green Day – Saviors (January 19th, 2024)” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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