Liner Notes (May 13th, 2023)


This week’s newsletter has early impressions of the new Japanese House album, thoughts on a really good week of new pop-punk and pop-punk adjacent music, and a love letter to summer. There’s also a playlist of ten songs worth your time, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • I’d love to see add the ability to add notes to songs and albums in your collection. It would be awesome to have personal annotations (and to set them public or private) to songs and albums over time. I picture it as something like a comment/timeline stream. You could add new thoughts, and it would be like a personal music diary. I wish I could go back and see comments I made about Blink-182’s Enema of the State the week it came out and then be able to add new thoughts as I age. I know that website is rarely updated, but I still feel like there’s so much untapped potential there.
  • I thought this piece in the New Yorker about AI and if it could become the new McKinsey was quite good. This part stood out to me: “Today, we find ourselves in a situation in which technology has become conflated with capitalism, which has in turn become conflated with the very notion of progress. If you try to criticize capitalism, you are accused of opposing both technology and progress. But what does progress even mean, if it doesn’t include better lives for people who work? What is the point of greater efficiency, if the money being saved isn’t going anywhere except into shareholders’ bank accounts? We should all strive to be Luddites, because we should all be more concerned with economic justice than with increasing the private accumulation of capital. We need to be able to criticize harmful uses of technology—and those include uses that benefit shareholders over workers—without being described as opponents of technology.”


Like The Gaslight Anthem, Frank Turner, The Menzingers, or similar artists?

Then you should definitely check out E.R.I.E., a band out of Albany, NY who recently released their new album, Suburban Mayhem, on Mint 400 records. The lead single is “Bad Man’s World,” and if you like what you hear, you can pick up the album on vinyl, CD, or stream it on all digital platforms.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • This week saw the release of the new album from Hot Mulligan. It’s one of my favorites of the year so far. Just a perfect summer anthem album. Nods to pop-punk/emo albums of the past but a fresh veneer. Highly recommended.
  • I’m enjoying the new EP from Girlfriends. I like their spin on the new wave of pop-punk. I’ll always be a sucker for that sound, and I like their take on it. It’s starting to warm up around here, and that always corresponds with me pulling out all the pop-punk albums. I spent much of my week listening to Valencia, Hit the Lights, Bigwig, and Go Radio. It’s just a genre that makes me think about summer, sunny days, and getting lost in the bounce of the headphone haze. Happydaze also released a new EP this week, and they also do a nice spin on pop-punk. They use a little more synth and beats in their songs, but this is nice to combine with their last EP and their string of singles to put together a fun run of songs.
  • The new Japanese House album has been one of my most anticipated of the year. I’m not sure if there’s an embargo on reviews, so I’ll say that I am in no way disappointed in this one. It will take a lot of time to see how it stacks up against the previous release because that’s one of my favorite albums of the past few years, but this has some incredible songs on it. One of which will be released as a single next week, and I expect it to turn some heads.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 59 different artists, 88 different albums, and 750 different tracks (868 scrobbles). Damn, that has to be one of my most prolific listening weeks in a while. My most-played artist was Goldfinger, and my most-played album was Go Radio’s Close the Distance. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • My hopes for Dungeons and Dragons were that it could be a Jumanji like flick. Something silly but ultimately fun. Uhh … I’m legit shocked at the high ratings this got. I found it insipidly stupid.
  • Thankfully my search for something silly, but fun, was fulfilled in the Super Mario Bros. movie. I doubt I’ll ever return to it, but I thought it was passible entertainment for an evening.
  • The second season of Perry Mason was great; I really hope they get a third. And now we’re watching Shrinking and so far enjoying that as well.

Random and Personal Stuff

Going for a nice long walk this morning and then grabbing a beer and turkey club, just hit that perfect summer weekend spot.* It’s currently in the mid-80s here, and I have to say, I’m delighted summer has finally arrived. Waking up to the sun shining through the windows has put me in a better mood.

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. Hot Mulligan – Cock Party 2 (Better Than the First)
  2. Valencia – Que Sera Sera
  3. Girlfriends – Talk!
  4. Lagwagon – Violins
  5. Go Radio – Go to Hell
  6. Happydaze – Faded
  7. Hit the Lights – Summer Bones
  8. Audio Karate – Nintendo 89
  9. Goldfinger – Get Up
  10. Strung Out – Scarecrow

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 Victor Eremita in the “General Politics Discussion (X)” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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