Liner Notes (May 21st, 2022)


This week’s newsletter has first impressions of the new Coheed and Cambria album, other music thoughts from the week, and my regular entertainment rundown. Plus, 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

  • I thought this article with a little look behind the scenes at all the upcoming Star Wars tv shows was fascinating. There’s a whole lot of great information here, and I liked seeing some of the actors from the prequels talking about coming back to the franchise and how they feel about it. I’m very excited for the upcoming Obi-Wan show and feel like, as a whole, Star Wars is in a pretty good place right now. Which is not how I felt after The Rise of Skywalker.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • Most of my week was spent listening to the new album from Coheed and Cambria (due out June 24th). In short, it’s everything I could hope for in a Coheed album in 2022. Earlier this year, I went on a catalog deep dive for the band, so I was all caught up and perfectly primed for this one. It delivers. It’s funny, the first time I saw this band was in a tiny venue the size of a garage, and to see their continued success over the years has been pretty amazing. It’s a band whose music is based around a mythology/science fiction space opera, combined with guitar solos and an unmistakable falsetto. And their latest, the second in the “Vaxis” storyline, dials everything I love about the band up to the max. They sound rejuvenated here. It’s still very much Coheed, but they lean into the melody, and the results are nothing short of stunning. Songs like “A Disappearing Act” sound absolutely massive, with huge pulsating synths, and the entire album combines the accessible with the towering epicness the band is known for. The best endorsement I can make? After two listens, I pre-ordered the vinyl (and two bags of their coffee, because might as well).
  • The other upcoming album I spun like crazy this week is the new one from The Faim. It’s called Talk Talk and has a made-for-summer Walk the Moon meets Panic! with a little Young the Giant thrown in sound. Just perfect put it on at a BBQ and everyone will enjoy themselves songs. Inoffensive pop-rock, sure, but I don’t say that as an insult. The lead singer has one helluva set of pipes and this is just an extremely competent pop-rock album. I expect to keep it in regular rotation throughout the summer.
  • The big new release this week was the latest from Harry Styles. The best way to describe my first impression is that it made me want to lay in the grass, stare at the sky, and drink a bottle of red wine. It’s breezy and feels light. And while it’s undeniably enjoyable, I’m not sure it’s left me with a feeling of needing to hear it. Guess we’ll see how much I reach for it in the next few weeks.
  • The Maine’s “Loved You a Little” is doing well on radio, so it makes sense to drop an acoustic version. Still a good song; I want more.
  • I am unsure how I feel about No Trigger’s new EP. It almost reminds me of Direct Hit a little bit, but in the way that the lyrics all feel a little too tongue in cheek. Not the direction I was expecting the band to go. A solid little punk rock EP, but I’m also left scratching my head a little and wondering if this is what the upcoming full length will be like.
  • Second week and still getting a lot of mileage from the new Sasha Alex Sloan album. It’s been my go-to as the day’s winding down. Perfect cooking dinner music.
  • After a month or so, I think I’ve decided I like Spanish Love Songs’ Brave Faces Etc. more than the original. I think these renditions work better in pulling out the devastating lyrics, and there’s something about the raw emotion that hits more in these arrangements. It’s a set of songs that already left me feeling melancholy, but here it borders on 43 minutes of heartbreak.
  • Thrice returned with a b-side from the Horizons/East era. Good song, interesting chorus choice, but I don’t think I’d put it above anything from their last album.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 28 different artists, 35 different albums, and 302 different tracks (448 scrobbles). My most played artist of the week was Coheed and Cambria, with their upcoming Vaxis II: A Window of the Waking Mind being my most listened to album. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Everything, Everywhere, All At Once lived up to the hype. What an absolute joy of a film that somehow is both bananas weird and had me choking back tears by the end. I can’t wait to see it again.
  • The Northman was a very talented filmmaker making a movie that had me engaged and also ended with me doing the old, “hmm, ok, well, that was a thing I just watched.” Three stars.
  • I am utterly smitten with Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
  • For our “main” show this week, we went with Tokyo Vice, and I’m a little shocked I haven’t seen more people talking about it. We have one more episode to go, but it’s well done, and the unfolding story is told in a way that brings color to all the characters’ lives. The world feels very lived in and real. And it’s another testament to how far having a well-written story will get you. It sounds silly to say, but it seems like an afterthought in so many shows.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Today was one of the most “adult” weekends in a while. Hannah needed to pick up her concert dress after getting alterations done at Nordstrom. So we had to stop by the mall. I sat in the car, and people watched. A mall parking lot is a wild place to people watch. But then we took it to the next level. Our next stop was picking something up from Costco. Now, mind you: I haven’t been out of the city in a while, and I haven’t been inside a place like Costco in at least two years. It was every suburban cliche inside one warehouse. I made it about 10 minutes before I felt like I was going to have a panic attack. Wayyyyyyyyyy too many people. Barely anyone wearing masks. No one watched where they were going, and I almost got run down by multiple carts, at least two kids, and one enthusiastic employee. I used to go to Costco on a pretty regular basis back in the day, maybe every couple of weeks, but my brain is out of shape for handling that kind of people stimulation. Thankfully a post suburban errand lunch (plus a beer), a nice long walk, and then a mid-day nap rounded out the Saturday.

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. Coheed and Cambria – Comatose
  2. The Faim – ERA
  3. Spanish Love Songs – Beach Front Property
  4. Thrice – Dead Wake
  5. The Wrecks – I Love This Part
  6. Sasha Alex Sloan – WTF
  7. Harry Styles – Little Freak
  8. Green Day – Horseshoes and Handgrenades
  9. The Maine – Loved You a Little (Acoustic)
  10. The Black Keys – Wild Child

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 nohandstoholdonto in the “Kendrick Lamar – Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers (May 13th, 2022)” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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