Liner Notes (May 18th, 2024)


Buckle up—we have a lot to discuss this week. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • One of the recent member-only episodes of the ATP podcast was all about “computer origin stories” or “first computer memories.” I’m roughly the same age as Casey and Marco and their core memories and histories mirrored mine quite a bit. And hearing them talk about their origin stories had me thinking about mine. My first memory of seeing a computer was in first grade when there was a computer in the elementary school library. Maybe an Apple IIGS? It was too long ago and I don’t know for sure. But a found family film makes it pretty clear I spent time with it. (Cool haircut first grade Jason.) I remember playing games like Carmen Sandiego. However, it wasn’t until middle school that my memories of using a computer start to solidify. I can remember vividly the computer labs at Twality Middle School. This is where I can remember my obsession beginning. At some point my parents bought a home computer for “the family.” It was a PC running DOS and Windows 3.1. Look, I’m very clearly old. I’m 41 and remember typing book reports on a typewriter before that computer. And this is when my obsession went into overdrive. I liked playing video games, what kid didn’t?, but I loved trying to figure out how all the software worked. I wanted to learn all the tips and tricks. I wanted to know how the system worked. Which meant I broke that computer. A lot. A lot a lot. I re-installed Windows on that thing from floppy disks more times than I can count. And this was where I first started playing around with Qbasic and did my first “programming.” My first memory of seeing the “internet” was at OMSI. My mom used to take my cousin and me there during summer vacation, and they had a computer lab. I remember downloading Simpsons WAV files and Dark Forces cheat codes, so this would have had to be around 1995, and I would have been around 14. At some point, breaking the family computer became a thing my parents got sick of, and my grandparents helped them purchase my own. Windows 95 and having my computer is where the already probably unhealthy technology obsession went supersonic. And this would be when I started playing around with HTML for the first time and soon after would begin writing what would turn into AbsolutePunk. That’s, best I can remember, my computing origin story. High school was primarily spent tinkering with PCs, installing various Linux distros, and using Windows throughout college. It wouldn’t be until around 2010 that I bought my first Mac. But, that’s probably a story for another time.
  • Anadivine was one of the hidden gems of the early 2000s scene, and they released a new 2024 remix/remaster of their album, Zoo. It sounds great, and even if you never checked them out back in the day, it holds up all these years later. Also, if any labels read this and are interested in doing a limited vinyl pressing of the album, I can put you in contact with the band. Just let me know.
  • Aaron Mook, a contributor to AbsolutePunk and Chorus, has launched a GoFundMe to raise emergency medical funds for his cat. Please take a look if you’re able.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • Lot’s of music to catch up on! Origami Angel released a new single, and it rules. I’m absolutely ready for a new Gami album. Their last don’tcallitanalbum/mixtape/EP was such an awesome step for the band that I can’t wait to see what they do next.
  • One of the benefits of trying to remove myself from spending time on social media platforms has been that I’ve been able to avoid “the discourse” on many, many things. But some of the stuff I saw bleed into my world around the recent Dua Lipa album was making me feel like someone was shoving needles into my brain. All the “flop” nonsense aside, I’ve been enjoying the album. Not quite to the level of Future Nostalgia, but that’s a damn high bar, so I’m super satisfied with just an excellent pop album.
  • Kacy Hill’s new album, Bug, is another fantastic summer album. This one has a little more of a breezy feel to it compared to the straight-up pop from Dua, but it still feels so poised for these burgeoning summer days. I was sitting on the balcony the other evening with this in my headphones as the sunset, and it was one of those “yeah, perfect album, perfect moment” kind of nights.
  • The new Knocked Loose album is an early front-runner for my favorite hardcore album of the year. Brutal, loud, and a pummeling 28 minutes.
  • The new Lost Stars EP has a lot to like. They’re still one of the most underrated pop-rock bands out there right now. Those boys can write a hook.
  • I’m going to need a Taylor Acorn album soon, please. We’re just collecting banger single after banger single at this point. The people are ready for an album! (At least we’re finally getting that Florrie album, and it’s everything I could have hoped for.)
  • Adam reviewed the new Maggie Rogers album and I can echo his “highly recommended” take. I love this version of her sound and have returned to it quite a bit since its release.
  • The new One Step Closer album is, in my opinion, the best thing the band has done yet. It’s a remarkable level-up that takes their songwriting in some interesting new directions. They’ve always walked a little closer to the punk/hardcore side of pop-punk, but they have such a knack for choruses that really letting them shine here was absolutely the right choice. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. Now I’m just kicking myself for not picking up that pink cover variant while I had the chance.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 20 different artists, 43 different albums, and 426 different tracks (426 scrobbles). Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Hannah and I had a lot of fun with The Gentlemen. A nice change of pace from what we had been watching and a charming season of television that felt very Guy Ritchie. Now we’ve started Sugar and are a couple of episodes in. Enjoyable so far.
  • Hannah is playing a concert tonight, so I plan to finish this newsletter so I can binge some more X-Men’ 97. I’ve only seen the first three episodes but I am 100% in on this. It’s everything I could have hoped for and this meme is pretty damn accurate. The rare show that makes me feel like a kid again without pandering.
  • The Idea of You is the kind of movie I wish we got two or three times a year. We don’t get enough well put together, fun to watch, romantic comedies. Enjoyed my time with this one.
  • I finished reading Fourth Wing and can absolutely see why it’s been a hit. I then started reading Stephen King’s Holly and I’m struggling with it. Holly, as a character, I’ve loved from King’s previous novels but all the Covid and Trump references in this keep pulling me out of it. I may have to bail and go to something else and try and come back later if I want to keep my reading momentum going through the summer. Bummer.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • I shared some thoughts on summer albums and memories of driving around to them on Instagram. That first Boys Like Girls album reminds me of backroads and windows down just about as much as any can.

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. One Step Closer – Esruc
  2. Taylor Acorn – High Horse
  3. Grayscale – MUM II
  4. The Band Camino – Nostalgia
  5. Dua Lipa – These Walls
  6. Origami Angel – Fruit Wine
  7. Only Twin – Pool Day
  8. Kacy Hill – Damn
  9. ManDancing – Dori Chantel
  10. Lost Stars – I Think I Love You Lately

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 David87 in the “General Politics Discussion (XI)” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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