Liner Notes (March 27th, 2021)


This week’s newsletter has me thinking about life, albums, and what it’s like that a bunch of early scene classics are now coming up on their twenty-year anniversaries. Plus, early thoughts on the new Rise Against album and the regular commentary about the entertainment I consumed over the week. Plus, there’s a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Two Things

  • It’s about 1:30 on Saturday, and I’m writing this after doing the regular weekend things. Errands and groceries completed. Now, just half lounging on the couch and writing a little bit. It’s, for the first time in a while, exceptionally nice outside today. Sun is shining. The temperature just about to creep into the 60s. And our plan is to spend the afternoon and evening in our friends’ backyard. It’s big, and we’re going to order some pizzas and hang out for the first time in a long time. I’ve got a couple of hours before that, so we’ll see just how much of this newsletter I get written before we have to leave. I can feel my mood starting to brighten at the possibility of seeing some friends on a more consistent basis. Even just being able to see some people in a backyard with weather that doesn’t necessitate gloves and a coat has me smiling today. And, in a few short days, baseball is back. I’m as optimistic as I’ve been in a while about things, about life, and that’s a pretty damn good feeling. As I wrote about last week, I’ve been on a pretty massive “rediscover MxPx” kick this month. Falling back in love with the music of my youth and one of the bands that made music something I wanted to dedicate a large part of my life toward. Plus, I think something I never really internalized until now was that a lot of MxPx’s music has an underlying optimism to it; it’s been comforting to binge. And on top of that, I know literally every single lyric on every album. So many albums of the past few years that I adore I can’t say that about. I think a part of that is because while I always had a large music collection, now my collection is virtually infinite. I wonder how the next generation is going to experience music. In a single-driven world, with songs picking up popularity in TikTok or Instagram clips, I know passion and love for music will never die. Dedicated fans, people discovering music in mediums and ways that fit into their digital lives. But I think the “old man yells at cloud” in me hopes that the album form continues as well. My memories are tied to albums like polaroids in time, with albums defining moments in my life in a way where even just seeing the album artwork to something like The Ever Passing Moment brings back sensory imagery. And I think it would be a shame if others didn’t get to experience that.
  • This week also saw the 20th anniversary of Dashboard Confessional’s The Places You Have Come to Fear The Most, and Further Seems Forever’s The Moon is Down, and the 19th of Taking Back Sunday’s Tell All Your Friends, and if that doesn’t make me feel old I don’t know what will. Remember when the music I liked was cool?


Learning Curve have released a video for their new song “Crack a Smile.”

The band are two folks from the Cleveland area that met because their day jobs were next to each other, and that led to them talking about music, and going to shows and writing some music together. This new song is about wrestling with and searching for hope in dark times. It comes from the upcoming debut EP, Centerpiece, due out this spring.

RIYL: Indie pop-rock, power-pop, with just a tinge of pop-punk.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • All Time Low really are on one right now. Another song that’s continuing one of the best hot streaks in music right now. I’m extremely happy for the band but even happier that the songs continue at this high caliber.
  • Manchester Orchestra released another new single. My plan is to not write more about the music until I can write about the album as a whole, however. Because … have, I said that I like albums?
  • The new Rise Against album is better than the single. But it still lacks a bite, an edge, and while the lyrics pack a bit of punch, the music never really feels like it gets to the same level. It’s a perfectly fine rock album, but I keep waiting for it to pick up, for it to elevate, and it instead walks the more of the same road. That said, more of the same from Rise Against is still pretty damn good because they’re a good band with a good message, and they know how to write catchy rock songs. Besides the one on this record that sounds like a Staind song, this should please fans of the band. If you liked the last couple, you’ll like this one. I suppose I just keep hoping for a little more Siren Song kick.
  • This week saw quite a few cool new releases. I think Citizen probably headlines it, but don’t sleep on new releases from The Antlers and Kali Masi as well. There are great new singles from Origami Angel, Beabadoobee, Meet Me @ the Altar, and Direct Hit. I feel like I should go give that Juliana Theory re-worked album a spin as well.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Kim’s Convenience remains a real gem. We’re now well into season two and still loving it.
  • The first two episodes of Servant tricked me into thinking this would be an interesting television show. Instead, it’s dull, predictable, and shockingly boring. But we’re too far in to not at least finish the first season.
  • I’ve been watching episodes of Brockmire on the weekend when I just want to veg on the couch and sink into the cushions, and it’s pretty funny. Baseball announcer trying to reboot his life in a small town? Plus, there’s a whole bunch of seasons to binge through. Good shit.
  • I watched the first two episodes of Beartown not knowing anything about the story besides that it was getting good reviews and was recommended by someone in the forums. Woah, that got dark really fast. I’m interested in the story, and it looks like it’s a tight mini-series. That’s good because I can tell this is about to get very bleak.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • I suppose I should probably wrap this up so I can get ready for the rest of the day. My college roommate just texted and said I should build a “start to summer playlist” for our afternoon backyard hangout. I never know how to build playlists for friends these days. Do you go with just huge nostalgia hits and throw on all the stuff from our high-school days? Or do you try and mix in some new things that you know they’re not listening to but would probably like? Do you aim for some artists that everyone will definitely love but they’ve never heard of? Or do you go with only the well-known popular hits so that people enjoy themselves? Too much pressure. Plus, now that there are little kids around, I have to make sure not to drop that explicit “Monsters” in there unless we want cursing toddlers.
  • I am so far behind on my RSS feeds and Pocket “read later” articles. I feel like I have been out of the loop all week. I need to carve out some time tomorrow to get caught back up on those and finish Dune. Famous goal words to utter before I end up binging three hours of Brockmire, right?

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. Origami Angel – Neutrogena Spektor
  2. MxPx – Middlename (Live)
  3. Citizen – Fight Beat
  4. Direct Hit – Hollow Comfort
  5. Middler Kids – Lost in Los Angeles
  6. Belvedere – Elephant March
  7. All Time Low – Once in a Lifetime
  8. Meet Me @ The Altar – Hit Like a Girl
  9. Harmony Woods – Holding You to You
  10. The Antlers – Wheels Roll Home

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 the rural juror in the “Accountability in Entertainment” thread.

That’s a good post right there.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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