Liner Notes (May 6th, 2023)


This week’s newsletter has thoughts on some music I’ve been revisiting, discovering, and enjoying. Plus some other random things and a playlist of ten songs I think are worth your time. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • I found myself doing something kind of funny this week. I realized, as I was looking through some of my stats on, that there were certain artists and albums that were not in my “collection.” Stuff that I had listened to years ago but either wasn’t scrobbling at the time, or it was before the service existed. I then had this strange desire to find some of those albums and listen to them to make sure they got “collected,” almost like Pokémon or something. It just felt weird to have these gaps. Stuff like Lagwagon or Bodyjar were bands I played a lot in the early 2000s but haven’t come back to as much as some of the other bands from that era, and I’ve now been making my way back through their catalogs. There’s also been a few I tracked down that have not aged well. Does anyone remember the band, Wakefield? Basically a blatant Good Charlotte clone. Not much nostalgia in that one for me. It’s been interesting to see which ones I put on and immediately start singing along with and which have me cringing.
  • The Coachella lawyers didn’t like me posting my remastered versions of the Blink-182 sets on my blog. But I kept the write-up there because I did spend a long time on those to make them sound as good as possible. And the final version of the first weekend might just be one of my favorite live performances by the band ever. Hey, on a totally unrelated note, does anyone remember when we used to hide download links in punctuation on AbsolutePunk? That sure was funny.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • As I wrote above, I’ve been making a list of bands and albums I want to revisit and “collect.” One of the bands on this list was a band that were pretty well known in the Southern California area when I was going to college down there. They played a lot of local gigs, opened for a bunch of great tours that passed through, but never really expanded out of that region, and, as far as I knew, completely faded away into obscurity. I went hunting for the early 2000s demos and came up woefully short. But I was shocked to find that the band reunited in 2016 to record an album. I tossed it on, not expecting much, only to be extremely impressed. The band is called Hey Stroker, the album is called One Too Many, and it sounds like it could have been pulled almost directly from the California pop-punk scene in 2003. Fun guitar riffs, delightful melodies, and an energy and aesthetic that you don’t hear much these days. Like a forgotten, hidden gem that would have fit almost perfectly on the Drive-Thru Records roster.
  • The other bands I spent a lot of time diving back into this week were Audio Karate, Lagwagon, Bodyjar, and Anadivine. Every time I listen to Bodyjar’s How It Works I come away thinking that should have found an audience in the States.
  • The new Ed Sheeran album is a nice chill listen. I would call it inoffensive and safe, but I mean that not disparagingly at all. It’s an album that seems perfectly poised to appeal to almost anyone. I get a feeling from reading some of the snarkier music blogs that Ed Sheeran isn’t very “cool” to like in the indie/rock circles, but I find something on almost every one of his albums that appeals to me.
  • Frawley appeared on my Apple Music playlist, and I like what I’ve heard. There’s been a resurgence lately of these just-heart-on-your-sleeve tear-jerker anthems. Are they doing well on TikTok or something? Whatever it is, I’m here for it. I see some lineage from our emo days in this style.
  • I didn’t have time to write last week, so I want to plug the new Dave Hause album now that it’s in stores. If you like anything in the Americana or singer-songwriter genre, this comes highly recommended.
  • The new Josh Ritter album is subdued, but I enjoyed my first listen; I’ll need to spend more time with this one of these late nights.
  • Matt Kerekes’s new solo album plays very much in a space I love; the synth-drenched songs are square in my wheelhouse—just another solid release from a consistently reliable songwriter.
  • The EP from Michigander popped up on my radar. That “Superglue” song sounds like a hit.
  • The deluxe Devil Wears Prada album came out on Friday, expanding on what was already a great release. If you slept on that one last year, it’s worth a look if you like that genre at all.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 50 different artists, 83 different albums, and 672 different tracks (744 scrobbles). My most-played artist was Relient K, and my most-played album was Bodyjar’s How it Works. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • We’re now watching the second season of Perry Mason , and it’s such a combination of things I like that I can’t do anything but praise it. Well done legal thrillers will always work on me. One setback in the early 30s? Yeah, I’m all the way in.
  • I thought Wayne was incredible. It doesn’t look like it will get a second season, and that’s a damn shame.
  • 65 sucked. I’ll see anything Adam Driver is in, and even he couldn’t save this mess.
  • Scream VI was fun. The killers were obvious too early, but all I’m looking for here is a decent, fun, pulpy play on the slasher genre, and this was that—no complaints about spending an evening watching something like this.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • The weather’s been whiplashing here lately. Incredible last weekend and yet kind of dreary today. It’s led to a pretty lazy day at the moment. We went for a nice walk this morning and now are just chilling around the house before probably running a few errands and figuring out what we want to do for dinner. We have family plans tomorrow, and then, I guess the week starts back up again. Already May, already feeling like this year is speeding by again. I’m at least feeling like I’ve been making decent progress on a bunch of my yearly goals.

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. Hey Stroker – All I See
  2. Ed Sheeran – Salt Water
  3. The Devil Wears Prada – Sacrifice (Acoustic)
  4. Millencolin – Black Eye
  5. Anadivine – The Timid Gentlemen
  6. Michigander – Superglue
  7. Bodyjar – Feed It
  8. Dave Hause – Drive It Like It’s Stolen
  9. Frawley – Crying My Eyes Out
  10. Joy Oladokun – You at the Table

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 Blink182Bouncer in the “blink-182” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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