Liner Notes (June 1st, 2024)


The first great pop-punk album of summer 2024 is here. Plus, some other random thoughts on other things. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • I liked this article in the Washington Post that looked at the data behind when people think America was “great.” The answer? It’s not an era; it’s an age: “The good old days when America was “great” aren’t the 1950s. They’re whatever decade you were 11, your parents knew the correct answer to any question, and you’d never heard of war crimes tribunals, microplastics or improvised explosive devices. Or when you were 15 and athletes and musicians still played hard and hadn’t sold out.”
  • All the AI fails from Google have been getting the headlines lately, but the story I think has still been underreported is the fact that Google search kind of sucks now. The core product has been suffering for a while, and the recent leaks show the company has been pretty shady as well. Usually, when that happens, it’s a steep line down. As an owner of a small blog, I’ve seen this reflected in our traffic for years; I stopped even trying to get ranked and don’t pay attention to our search traffic. But every time I Google a recipe and have to handle three fourths of a page of SEO slop, I am reminded of it. It’s too bad that Google and Facebook basically murdered the online ad business, and right now, does either offer much value? Instagram? For me, it’s probably Gmail. However, that only powers my email backend and I use Mimestream as the client. These companies are so big and dominant that it’s hard to see competition even getting a foothold to disrupt them, but damn.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • In this house, summer begins when the first new pop-punk album drops that makes me feel like sunshine is pumping through my veins. This year, it’s officially Super American’s awesome Gangster of Love—just a ridiculously fun, energetic, creative, and all around blast of an album. There’s a lot of classic pop-punk here, but I also love the quirkiness and what feels like a little Relient K and Motion City Soundtrack influence in their style. This is going to absolutely dominate my next few months, and the only complaint I have is the album cover is preventing me from wanting to purchase it on vinyl. (Their previous album is also a lot of fun, but this one is exploring some new things that elevate their sound to the next level.)
  • Happy 25th anniversary to Blink-182’s Enema of the State. No album in history has had a bigger impact on my life.
  • Arrows in Action’s new single “Hello Sunlight” is another solid tune, and Neon Trees are finally giving us new album information next week. Their run of singles has me anticipating this one quite a bit.
  • Ben Platt’s latest didn’t stick with me on first listen the way his last did. It has a nice breezy feel that maybe I’ll come back to one of these summer nights and connect with, but my first listen had me checking how many songs were left multiple times. Not usually a good sign.
  • Days Away’s Mapping an Invisible World is still one of the most underrated albums ever. I listened to it twice this week and still marvel at how modern it sounds. Someone press this to vinyl, please.
  • Super American got me back on a Relient K kick, and every single one of their albums puts a smile on my face.
  • Cassadee Pope’s upcoming “return to pop-punk” album is interesting. She has obvious vocal chops, but the album doesn’t have the hooks I hoped for. The bar for me has been set lately with Pale Waves, Taylor Acorn, and that last Avril Lavigne album, and there’s a lot here to like, but it’s not quite ascending to that next plain for me.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 49 different artists, 73 different albums, and 441 different tracks (558 scrobbles). Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • I put a pause on reading Holly and instead cranked through Mister Magic. Creepy, good storytelling, obvious religious parallels, and a quick read.
  • I really enjoyed No One Will Save You. It won’t be for everyone. I could see the lack of dialogue as a turnoff, but the whole thing was very well done.
  • We have been enjoying genre shifts with our nightly shows, so after Sugar, we went with the pulpy teenage drama of season two of Cruel Summer. It’s silly but also the kind of brain candy that reminds me of watching Thursday night TV back in the day.
  • A bunch of people I follow on Letterboxd were saying good things about Red Rooms, and the reviews were extremely high across the board. That movie fucked with my head in a way not many movies have. Like, my chest hurts, and I feel a visceral uncomfortableness. Whatever we watch tonight needs to be the exact opposite of that. The last movie I remember sticking with me like this was Super Dark Times.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Hannah’s birthday is next week, so we have a bunch of fun things planned with friends and her family. We’re having dinner on Thursday, taking some time off work, and hopefully, she likes the gifts I got her.
  • Also? How is May already over!? We’re closing in on halfway through 2024? How is this possible?

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. Super American – okay. Eat Me Alive.
  2. The Early November – The Empress
  3. Arrows in Action – Hello Sunlight!
  4. Neon Trees – Bad Dreams
  5. Lostboycrow – Chewed Up
  6. Relient K – Forgiven
  7. Hey Violet – Hazy
  8. The Dangerous Summer – Pacific Ocean
  9. DK the Drummer – Good Game
  10. Super American – Who’s Gonna Get Me High?

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 JoshIsMediocre in the “General Politics Discussion (XI)” thread.


Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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