Liner Notes (May 7th, 2022)


This week’s newsletter has thoughts on music I enjoyed (Set Your Goals, POP ETC), new music out this week (Stand Atlantic, Carly Rae Jepsen), and other random musings. Plus, a playlist of ten songs I liked, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

Sigh, another week where everything in the world seems to be tilting between depressing and tragic. Regarding the leaked draft that the Supreme Court will be overturning Roe v Wade, I found a few articles informative. The first was from Adam Sewer in The Atlantic:

American life will now be guided by the arbitrary vicissitudes of conservative cultural identity, gleaned from Fox News, and by the justices’ inclination to shape their own views to conform to that identity. Aided by voting restrictions and partisan gerrymandering, the conservative movement will argue that its most coercive mandates have popular legitimacy, no matter how much of the country opposes them. If politicians are immune to popular majorities, they have no reason to heed them. But Republicans hardly need such advantages to prevail. One of the baffling mysteries of the past five years is why a movement so effective at the work of democracy is so dedicated to ending it.

And the second from Alex Pareene, captures, in many ways, how I’ve viewed the political landscape for most of my life:

The legitimacy crisis is that our institutions are illegitimate. For my entire adult life, beginning with Bush v. Gore, our governing institutions have been avowedly antidemocratic and the left-of-center party has had no answer for that plain fact; no strategy, no plan, except to beg the electorate to give them governing majorities, which they then fail to use to reform the antidemocratic governing institutions. They often have perfectly plausible excuses for why they couldn’t do better. But that commitment to our existing institutions means they can’t credibly claim to have an answer to this moment. “Give us (another) majority and hope Clarence Thomas dies” is a best-case scenario, but not exactly a sales pitch.

I, unfortunately, don’t have much “fun” on my mind this week to share.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • POP ETC announced that they have a new album, finally, coming later this year. I’m a big fan of the first single, and it got me looking back at the rest of their discography. They did a thing for a few years where they were releasing singles, they called the project Infinite Singles, and while I listened to the songs individually a few times, I realized I never really spent a lot of time with them. So I put all of the singles together in the same order as the Japanese only release Half, and then added the rest to the end to create a version of an album I titled Infinite Singles. I gave it some artwork and spent the week listening to it. It made me realize just how much I prefer album-length listening experiences to one-off singles, and how much I appreciate the ability to mess with the metadata and do something like this in Apple’s Music app. It’s vital to my experience with music to have the ability to make slight changes like this, and I hope Apple adds to feature to their other platforms (you can’t do anything at this level on iOS).
  • The weather here in Portland keeps flirting with turning full into spring. And as it’s warming up and the sun is peeking out a little more, I’m finding my tastes move toward pop-punk. That style of music is not only something of a comfort food for me; it’s one that I associate with nice weather, shorts, sunglasses, and t-shirts. This week I spent a lot of time with New Found Glory, especially since I knew my record was coming at the end of the week, and I also had a little nostalgia dive with some Rufio and Scott Sellers’ extremely prolific solo career. And toward the end of the week, I found myself listening to a lot of Set Your Goals. First, I love that first EP and Mutiny!; it really does make me think of driving around with the windows down on some random backroad in the middle of July. And, to my surprise, I found myself coming back to Burning at Both Ends multiple times these past few days. Back when it was released, there was a whole lot of drama around Thomas’s review for the album on our website. I was also going through a phase where I had told myself I wasn’t into pop-punk music anymore. So, honestly, I never really listened to that album. I think I spun it once or twice, checked in on the drama, and decided I needed no part in either. And yet these past couple of days, I’ve been finding myself reaching for it and having a whole lot of fun with it. I think on some level, it reminds me of this lost style of pop-punk that I don’t hear that much anymore, and I miss. Sorry Thomas, but 11 years later, while a lot of that review ended up coming true, I … think I like it.
  • Moving to new releases this week, but staying in that pop-punk realm, we have the new one from Stand Atlantic called f.e.a.r. I thought Pink Elephant was a considerable step up for the band, and they pretty much double down on all of it here. It’s bigger, a little wilder, and I like most of it. Some of it doesn’t quite work for me, and it’s those moments that feel as disjointed as the artwork. But as a whole, I’ve enjoyed my first two listens and expect I’ll be playing it quite a bit over the next few weeks. (It also has made me want a new Tonight Alive album.)
  • Sigrid’s new album came out yesterday as well. Thing big, massive, bombastic pop anthems. Her last album was my favorite album of the year in 2019, and while I don’t think this gets quite to that level, this is still an extremely well-done pop record. The kind of album more people should get into so she can actually tour anywhere close to me. I’m not even asking for stadiums (yet)!
  • Carly Rae Jepsen dropped a new single, and it has a breezy quality to it. It doesn’t scream “single” to me, but it has a nice little vibe.
  • I was listening to Butch Walker’s live album, Leavin’ The Game on Luckie St., this week, and I’m having this thing where I swear the copy I had years ago had a different track listing than the one on streaming services. I can’t find any record of there being any live release with the songs I remember, maybe I had some weird copy that mixed in songs from the Cover Me Badd album, but I remember it flowing so perfectly and now I feel like I’m going a little mad.
  • A couple of quick hits: Super American’s Sup is still super fun, I had completely forgotten about the Jason Cruz and the Howl release from Strung Out’s frontman, and I don’t get the point of the Yellowcard One for the Kids remaster. It … doesn’t sound right.
  • New Found Glory are apparently working on a new acoustic album right now, but if you want your own fun little acoustic release from the songs they put up on YouTube over the past few years, I edited out the talking, and you can find that here.
  • I plan to check out the new Arcade Fire next. I heard good things, and I just haven’t had the time to dive in yet.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 29 different artists, 56 different albums, and 505 different tracks (591 scrobbles). My most listened-to artist was POP ETC, with my playlist version of their Infinite Singles being my most played album. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • For the first fifteen minutes, I thought Uncharted might be a fun little action-adventure. Nope. This movie is so, so, soooooooo stupid. The last 20-30 minutes were one of the more painful movie-watching experiences I’ve had in a while. Just picture me saying “ugggggghhhhhh” and “oh come on” over and over again.
  • Severence is incredible. Practically must-watch TV. Definitely one of the better things I’ve seen in a while.
  • The re-watch of Derry Girls has been delightful, and I’m excited to start season three soon.
  • The latest season of Below Deck is grinding my gears. The chief stew is one of the most unlikable staff members in recent memory.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • I was finally able to add New Found Glory’s Sticks and Stones to my vinyl collection, and I am very happy about it.

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. Sigrid – Thank Me Later
  2. Stand Atlantic – Doomsday
  3. Carly Rae Jepsen – Western Wind
  4. POP ETC – Same Mistake
  5. Cold Years – Britain is Dead
  6. Set Your Goals – To Be Continued…
  7. Pennywise – Rise Up
  8. Super American – RIP Jeff
  9. Let’s Eat Grandma – Hall of Mirrors
  10. Copeland – Coffee

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 Jason Tate in the “Q&A and Chat With Jason Tate” thread.

Me? Again!? Why you shouldn’t have.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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