Liner Notes (January 28th, 2023)

This week’s newsletter looks at things I’ve been listening to over the past two weeks and some random thoughts on entertainment. You know, the usual newsletter stuff. And there’s 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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A Few Things

  • I sat down for an interview with the Human Pursuits newsletter and talked about the early days of the music scene, what I’ve been up to lately, and a bunch of other fun topics.
  • This is a clever Shortcut that turns on or off rotation lock based on what app you’ve opened (good to combine with custom volume settings).
  • This article where they used AI to create stills for a movie that never existed pretty much blew my mind.
  • The writing was on the wall for Space Karen to finally kill third-party apps for Twitter, and with that, my usage of the platform is now practically non-existent. I see the tweets posted in our forums, but that’s it. It was bittersweet deleting Tweetbot from my phone, which had to have been one of my most used apps of all time, and a home screen staple for years. It’s been replaced by Ivory, which I am still loving, and Mastodon as a whole has just felt like a better place to hang out in general. The real test will be to see what happens during baseball season, but every day I see more and more people migrate over, and my feed feels very “alive.” This link should let anyone signup to, one of the bigger instances.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • Fall Out Boy announced their new album and released two new singles since I last wrote a newsletter. Both are damn good. I talked with the team behind the creation of the first music video to get a little insight into the creation process. (My question about who came up with the idea for the easter eggs on the spine of the books got vetoed by the record label. They clearly hate fun.) Getting new Paramore and Fall Out Boy within the next couple of months will be a fun way to start the new year.
  • This week saw the release of a new album from Ava Max. It’s a pure pop album in the vein of Lady Gaga, Dua Lipa, and the like. Catchy and fun. I could see this in heavy summer rotation.
  • The new White Reaper album is a great rock and roll album. Maybe a little 70’s rock meets punk vibe? Full of energy with some great choruses.
  • NVM, a band that continues to fly under the radar, also dropped a new EP yesterday. Some good heavy moments and another showcase of the band’s songwriting chops.
  • Green Day’s 25th-anniversary edition of Nimrod is a behemoth of an album with over 50 songs. The original is my favorite or second favorite Green Day album (I flop between this and Warning), and I’m still making my way through the demos and live tracks. It’s the kind of thing that I don’t think I’ll come back to often, but I’m happy it exists. The demos especially are a fun glimpse back on this era of the band.
  • I am still working through a bunch of people’s “best of 2022” lists to check out the music they recommended. I’m currently going through Craig’s list (heh), and I’m enjoying the Ingrid Andress album Good Person. It walks a pop/country-adjacent line and has some tremendous emotional vocal moments mixed with some clever lyrics and wordplay. I’m a fan. I also checked out the Zach Bryan album, which is more traditional country, and there’s a lot I like here. It’s just overstuffed. Craig’s comment in his blog post about putting it on shuffle actually makes a lot of sense. Which is not how I like to listen to music, I’m very much an album person, but I could see how that would work with something like this. (I’d still prefer a tight 12-13 song album.)
  • The rest of my week was spent listening to some old gems (No Motiv, Gob, Home Grown, Mutemath), and I saw someone mention Sam Russo in the forums, which had me breaking out his latest again this morning. If you like acoustic/Americana in the vein of Frank Turner or The Menzingers, it’s perfect lazy Saturday morning music.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 33 different artists, 58 different albums, and 585 different tracks (643 scrobbles). Mutemath were my top artist of the week, just edging out The Ataris, and Ingrid Andress’ latest and No Motiv’s Diagram for Healing were tied as my most played album. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • The Novice was an interesting, and undoubtedly well-made movie, but it left me unsure what it was trying to say. The pitfalls of obsession are bad but somewhat good? It didn’t work on the same level as something like Whiplash for me.
  • Confess Fletch seemed to come and go without much fanfare, and it’s too bad because I want more of these movies! And I want more movies like this in general. It was delightful. Charming. And the kind of film I don’t see much of these days but miss terribly. I feel like there were movies like this being made all the time in my childhood, and they remind me of Friday evenings, popcorn, and sitting on the couch with my parents.
  • Players was the new fake documentary series from the team behind the criminally underrated and incredible American Vandal. This doesn’t quite get up to that level, but it is still remarkably well done and has a shocking amount of heart. I don’t follow gamers or play League of Legends at all, but I found myself invested in these fake characters and the storyline.
  • That 90s Show’s laugh track sure was a blast from the past. The show was … I guess fine? … I don’t really have an opinion either way on it. I didn’t hate it, didn’t love it, and it seemed to be a completely fine way to end the evening
  • I think the reviews hyped The Barbarian up a little too much for me. Totally solid movie, with some good creepy moments, and a pretty good “twist.” Just not quite the jaw-dropper the reviews I read had led me to believe.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • We’re being pretty lazy around the house this morning. We’re going to the Blazer game this evening, which should be fun, and it’ll be the first indoor sporting event I’ve been to in years.

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. White Reaper – Fog Machine
  2. Green Day – Alison (Demo)
  3. Arctic Monkeys – I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am
  4. Bad Religion – American Jesus
  5. Ingrid Andress – How Honest Do You Want Me to Be?
  6. Mutemath – Monument
  7. No Motiv – Give Me Strength
  8. Sam Russo – The Window
  9. NVM – Pain of Glass
  10. Ava Max – Ghost

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 Randall Mentzos in the “NFL Gameday: Wildcard” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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