Liner Notes (June 5th, 2022)


This week’s newsletter has early first impressions of the new The Dangerous Summer album, some thoughts on other music I listened to over the past week, and my usual rundown of entertainment commentary. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • This week’s newsletter is coming to you late because Hannah’s birthday is on Monday, so we had a weekend full of family obligations. And trying to fit in various familial responsibilities with writing is less than ideal. But, as the weekend is coming to an end, I’m trying to steal a few hours to put something together.
  • My new computer, which I wrote about forever ago when I ordered it, is finally getting somewhat close to maybe, hopefully, shipping. I’ve ordered some new peripherals, and my new mouse and keyboard have arrived (black version of Apple’s Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard with Touch ID). I also ordered a new desk mat, which is a different material than my current (getting very gross) version. I’m unsure how I’ll like it, so, the jury will remain out on that for a while. I also have been doing a lot of spring cleaning to get my current machine ready for migration. Cleaning up old files, removing old apps, and other little things like that. Hopefully, only a month away now from being able to do the whole transition and having a whole new workstation.
  • While pulling my listening stats for this very newsletter, I noticed that this week I surpassed my entire listening numbers for all of last year. And last year was already by far the stand-out year in my whole history. It’s cool to see, and the result of 1) actually making an effort to scrobble everything I listen to, and 2) actually listening to more music on regular basis.
  • I found this cool Alfred workflow this week that connects (and disconnects) your AirPods. I used it throughout the week, and it worked great. This, plus a workflow to quickly toggle DND, have been nice little additions. Now, I can’t wait until my Focus state from my phone can actually synch with my Mac. And I’m looking forward to seeing what gets announced next week at WWDC. I’d love to see more customization and Shortcut integration on iOS. (My quick wishlist: Faster menus from Shortcuts launching on the home screen, more frequent Widget updates, better-integrated icon changing capabilities.)

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • I plan to write more about this album in the next few weeks, but I want to share a few first impressions of the upcoming The Dangerous Summer album. My immediate thoughts are that it continues down the line of what the band were doing on their last album and most recent EP. It’s very in line with that sound and style. It’s also not as immediately knocking me on my ass like Mother Nature did. That album single-handedly won me back over as a fan, and this one doesn’t have that same electricity to it right off the bat. This feels more like an album that will grow on me with subsequent listens. I’m also torn because the advance is 128kbps which takes a whole lot of the “punch” out of the songs. So, I don’t want to listen to it too many times in this format and have my opinion solidify before I hear it in good quality. Early favorites include “Sideways” and “Polarity.” “Someday” has a lyric that I could see being hotly debated — I rewound it about ten times trying to figure out if it’s what I thought it was. And … I’m pretty sure it is. The entire album seems to fly by in the 37-minute runtime, and I look forward to giving this many listens over the next few months. I hope to have more thoughts to share as I sit with it a little, hopefully after hearing it in a quality that doesn’t sound like it’s been crushed between marshmallows.
  • I has one listen of the new Post Malone album so far, and there are definitely some pop tracks I could see being everywhere this summer, but as a whole, it’s not really the kind of thing I see myself spending much time with.
  • I returned to Charli Adams’s latest, Bullseye, a lot last week. It became my end of the day listen while I was putting dishes away and doing various chores.
  • The 1975 have begun teasing their new album, so I think I’ll start diving back through their catalog again. It’s been a while since I’ve heard a few of their albums, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they hold up. This week it was the self-titled album, which I still associate with moving downtown almost ten years ago. That album dominated that summer and winter.
  • The weather’s being ridiculous around here. A couple of days of gorgeous sun, followed by three days of downpour. When it was pretending to be summer for a few days, I worked in Hellogoodbye’s Would It Kill You? into the daily rotation. One of my all-time favorite warm weather albums.
  • MUNA’s cover of Britney Spears’ “Sometimes” is delightful. Just enough of their spin on the song to make it their own.
  • Betty Who’s new single “Blow Out My Candle” didn’t grab me as a massive lead single for a new era, but it’s since grown on me as I listened to it a couple of more times throughout the weekend.
  • Panic! at the Disco’s return single is fascinating to me because it also doesn’t scream “lead single” to me. It does scream Elvis Costello. It’s not immediate in that “oh, that’s going to be everywhere” sense, but I also don’t hate it. It’s interesting. And that’s probably a good sign. It’s something not just standard paint by numbers Panic!, and it does get me curious to see where the entire album is going. That quite a few songs are collaborations with Butch Walker, obviously, also has my attention.
  • Next up to hopefully check out before the weekend is over is the new one from Valleyheart, and then I want to give the deluxe version of the While She Sleeps album a spin as well. Looking at next week’s forecast, maybe it’ll stay nice enough for me to break out some Mariana’s Trench. I haven’t gone through their albums in a while.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 21 different artists, 41 different albums, and 290 different tracks (381 scrobbles). My most played artist was Pennywise, and my most played album was the upcoming The Dangerous Summer album, Coming Home. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • We’ll finish the first part of the fourth season of Stranger Things tonight. I’ve been avoiding spoilers or talk about the season until we finish it, but I’ve loved it so far. I love these characters, love this world, and as I wrote about when the show first debuted: it’s so very much exactly my shit. The vibe, soundtrack, story, everything is just right in my wheelhouse. Season four is no different. (Slight spoilers to follow.) I’ve never liked stories when the characters get split up, or the superhero loses their powers; those are always my least favorite beats. And season four has both of these things playing out at the same time. I’m also pretty sure I figured out who the “bad guy” is extremely early. But, none of this has derailed the stupid smile I have on my face every single night when we hit play and the music kicks in. I’m cherishing every moment we have with this special show before it wraps up, and I could see it being one I return to on a regular basis in the future. And, yes, the end of episode four was fantastic, and I’m not sure I can think of a better encapsulation on the screen of the power of music. I can’t wait to wrap up this first part tonight; only a few more hours to go.
  • Every episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has been fantastic, and I loved this interview with Ethan Peck (Spock) on growing into the iconic role.
  • Our current late-night show has been starting Abbott Elementary. We’ve only watched four episodes so far, but it’s been a friendly, enjoyable half-hour sitcom in the mockumentary style. Some good jokes and interesting characters, and I’m looking forward to seeing more.
  • I’m saving Obi Wan thoughts until after I’ve watched the third (and probably fourth) episode. Next week.
  • The Bo Burnham: The Inside Outtakes special is obviously not as good as the original, with it being obvious why these are the outtakes, but there are still a few good gems, and I think it’s worth watching. Inside remains one of my favorite pieces of art, period, I’ve experienced in the past few years.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Hannah started her new job this week, and it’s been bittersweet to return to a condo where most of the day it’s just the cats and me. It’s something I know well, having worked from home my entire adult life, but it will take some getting used to. Hmm, well, seeing as its her birthday tomorrow and I haven’t wrapped her gifts yet, I should probably go do that before the evening gets away from me.

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. While She Sleeps – Eye to Eye
  2. Betty Who – Blow Out My Candle
  3. MUNA – Sometimes
  4. Nightly – The Movies
  5. This Wild Life – History (Kevin’s Version)
  6. Bo Burnham – Five Years
  7. Charli Adams – Didn’t Make It
  8. The Japanese House – You Seemed So Happy
  9. Hellogoodbye – Finding Something to Do
  10. Paramore – Hello Cold World

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 Kiana in the “Accountability in Music” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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