Liner Notes (October 11th, 2019)

In this week’s newsletter, I expand a little more on my Jimmy Eat World thoughts, share some comments on music out this week, and go through my light media diet. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Two Things

  • I am writing most of this newsletter on Thursday this week because I’ll be heading out to some undisclosed location with some friends for my bachelor party this weekend. I still wanted to publish something, but this one may end up being a little lighter than usual. I’m excited about the weekend, but it also got me thinking about the introverted side of me this week. When I am in social settings, I’m pretty good about faking an extroverted personality. I can be outgoing and engaged. However, after these outings, I always need some time, usually quite a bit, to come down and recharge by myself. Back-to-back-to-back social events are still really hard for me and drain me quickly. Even a simple weekend itinerary like: drinks with a friend on Friday night, seeing family Saturday, then dinner with more friends Saturday night, is the kind of thing that sends my battery to zero. This has become much more pronounced for me as I’ve gotten older, to the point where I need a day, at least, where I’m almost entirely off the grid; even sending text messages or responding to friend text chains feels like a lot on those days. I always end up feeling like I’m being a bad friend by taking longer to respond, or not always being up to go do something if it comes on the heels of other big social energy expenditures. This is something I’m preparing myself for as we move even closer to the wedding and all of the social events that are going to be required. I’m trying to keep myself amped up for each one, but also preparing to have some time to recharge in-between. We’re coming close to the final sprint now. Related to this topic, I’ve recommended it before, but the book Quiet by Susan Cain is quite good.
  • I found this photo in the tubs of stuff my mother dropped off for me to look through and it’s such a hilarious snapshot of that time in my life. I’m pretty sure this is around the time I took a semester off from college to work on AbsolutePunk full-time. Just looking at all the CDs on those shelves makes me laugh. Remember CDs? I think those sticky notes on the shelves are designating which ones need to be reviewed, which ones I liked, and which ones were designated to be mailed out to other reviewers. I can’t believe how much mail I was getting back in those days (so much mail that my college revoked my on-campus mailbox).

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • Surprising no one, this week’s listening was absolutely dominated by Jimmy Eat World. And, after a full week with this album, I can confidently say that I love it. It’s got great rock energy (“Criminal Energy,” “Congratulations”), the subtle heartbreaking moments (“Delivery,” “555”), and the kinds of songs that sound like they were written specifically for you and your life right now (“Diamond”). I was talking to another music writer, and they compared it a little to Chase This Light, where after the heavy-hitting Futures and Integrity Blues, the band went for something a little lighter and more energetic. I can see that comparison, but I still think it fits more in the Bleed American with a bit of Invented category for me. To answer the most common questions I’ve received: 1) No, it does not feel like a short album. It feels complete at 37 minutes, and the last song’s giant build-up and release give a nice cap to the listen. Never once while listening have I even thought about length. 2) Yes, there are some classic slow, emotional, Jimmy songs on the album as well. 3) I think “Criminal Energy” and “555” would make great singles and hope the later is released to radio. I could see it having a shot at pop-radio as well. 4) My personal favorite song at the moment remains “Diamond.” I was sitting alone listening to album this weekend and the line, “I cut at least half of my friends, but no one noticed or mentioned, thought at least I’d breathe easy, but then I thought a lot of things: hey new year, hey new you, you left so much low hanging fruit …” hit me like a ton of bricks. Just everything I love about music.
  • This new City and Colour album is perfect for this time of year. I knew I liked it during my first listen, but it’s grown on me even more throughout the week. It’s perfect for this breaking into fall weather. Easily my favorite from Dallas in years.
  • The new Simple Creatures EP is out today and I think it’s a pretty solid collection of songs and worth a listen.
  • If I didn’t know this Green Day song was a Green Day song, I wouldn’t believe you if you told me it was Billie singing. I don’t understand why one of the most recognizable voices in music has been processed to the point of being unrecognizable. The song itself sounds like a b-side from American Hi-Fi’s Hearts on Parade. You put this and “Separation Anxiety” on back-to-back and go, hey I remember this weird post The Hives-ish 2005 glam rock sound, that was a thing … and then go “wait this is Green Day in 2019?” This is shaping up to be a genuinely baffling record, and I haven’t liked either of these tracks. As a song featured in a sporting event as we cut to commercial, I guess it’s sorta catchy? I dunno folks, I dunno.
  • I recommend this new Ruston Kelly EP, Dirt Emo Vol. 1, which has eight fantastic covers of songs I bet most of you will recognize. The “At Your Funeral” and “Dammit” covers are everything I wanted them to be.
  • Refused dropped their new song “Economy of Death” and while it’s not one of my favorites from the new album it’s still an excellent get pumped up song. This album has been part of my recent workout playlist, and it does that job nicely.
  • I haven’t been able to listen to the new album from Chris Farren yet, but I hope to throw that on later today.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • It was a very light media week for us this week. We’ve been trying to finalize a whole bunch of wedding details each evening, so that’s left less time for fun movies and TV.
  • We finished Unbelievable on Netflix, and it was very difficult to watch, very well done, and absolutely heartbreaking and infuriating all at the same time. It’s good, but, damn, it’s a tough one.
  • We’ve watched a couple more episodes of What We Do in the Shadows and it’s fantastic. It’s the perfect October watch.
  • In the moments of downtime before Hannah gets home from work, I’ve started a re-watch of Friday Night Lights. It’s been long enough that I had forgotten how much is packed into this first season. It’s such a great show.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • We are under a month away from the wedding now, and it’s all about the little details and finishing touches on making sure everything is going to go smoothly on the day of. I’m feeling pretty good about it. Only had one last-minute RSVP after we had sent in everything to get printed and finalized the seating chart, so I guess I’ll take that as a win.

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. Nightly – This Time Last Year
  2. Simple Creatures – One Little Lie
  3. The Maine – Tears Won’t Cry
  4. Broken Bells – Good Luck
  5. Ruston Kelly – Dammit
  6. Wilco – Everyone Hides
  7. Allie X – Fresh Laundry
  8. Angels Olsen – New Love Cassette
  9. City and Colour – Living in Lightning
  10. Joshua Radin – Your Light

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 iCarly Rae Jepsen in the “Accountability in Music” thread.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I’ll leave you with a gif of what my weekend’s about to look like.

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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.