Liner Notes (October 16th, 2022)

Ferris Wheel

This week’s newsletter has my thoughts on the Blink-182 reunion, first impressions of new music out this week (1975, Betty Who, Ten Foot Pole), and some early impressions of the new Carly Rae Jepsen. There’s also 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

  • Well, that sure was a fun week. On Tuesday, Blink-182 announced their reunion with Tom DeLonge, announced a massive worldwide tour and released a new song and video on Friday. Let’s take these one by one. First, the announcement was what I had heard and been hinting at for a while. From what I’ve heard, while this has been talked about for a while, and pieces were being moved around, it wasn’t until the last two weeks that everything came together, all the contracts were signed, and the deal was sealed. I’ve heard the band has been writing together for a while. For a while, they were getting together, all three, every week. Hit it hard for about 6-weeks to get what they have so far, and now they are getting together a couple of times a week to write and track. They’ll usually put an idea down at Travis’s studio and then retreat to their own studios to track their respective parts. Travis is producing. They currently have 6-7 songs that are about 90% of the way done. “Edging” was written in the middle of these sessions. The album is not yet done. I’ve also heard that the goal is to make a “great Blink-182 album,” and while they want it to sound modern, they also are trying specifically not to make it sound like AVA or +44. Now, the tour. It’s apparently selling way better than even the band’s expectations. Personally, I’m extremely happy for Turnstile getting the opening spot here. That band helped reignite my love for music last year, and to see them touring with one of the bands that first got me into music feels like cosmic serendipity. Which makes the tour not coming to Oregon even more disappointing. I’m looking at the possibility of a road trip up to Seattle but trying to schedule all that will take some time. And money. Maybe a second mortgage, the way these prices look right now. So, the tour uses what’s called “Dynamic Pricing.” The basic idea is that a computer tries to decide the price based on demand. The higher the demand, the more people visit the website to buy tickets, the higher the prices. And it leads to some outrageously expensive tickets. The supposed pitch is that the prices going up will keep people from trying to scalp the tickets because it would be cost-prohibitive to buy a whole bunch of seats and re-sell them. My opinion is that artists should opt-in to only allowing re-sell in one marketplace at face value (this is not legal in all states). The business student in me understands the economics of trying to match supply to demand, but when tickets start shooting north of a thousand dollars, I think something’s gone awry. In a week full of great vibes all around, that was one of the only real downers. Besides that, it was fantastic to spend time with so many fans just basking in their love for this band and their excitement for the future. Seeing how much they’ve touched so many people and their impact on so many lives is something to behold. They’re just a special band with a special chemistry that connects with people. And I think that can be seen in the video for “Edging.” There’s a palpable joy in watching the three of these dudes play music together. You can see it on Mark’s face. And the video took the song, which I already liked, and elevated it to the next level for me. I’ve heard this is very much a “single” of the songs currently being worked on. A fun throwback like “All The Small Things” or “First Date.” It’s got that little pop-punk shuffle going on, a pretty damn catchy chorus, and the dual vocals working to blink-perfection. It’s already doing very well on radio, has surpassed two million views on YouTube, and looks to be another hit for the band. I know I’m basically Joey from Friends when it comes to Blink-182. No matter what, I like it! But, I have real anticipation to see what these three can do this time. Travis has been honing his production chops. Tom is coming off his best album in a long time. And Mark’s last couple of years has me very curious about what kind of lyrical content he’ll be tackling. I hope this reunion takes because I do feel like if it doesn’t work this time, the end really is the end. And because of that, I’m going to soak up as much of it as possible and enjoy the ride.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • A massive part of my music playing this week was going back through the Blink-182 catalog. It just felt right with everything going on.
  • The big release of the week, for me at least, was the new album from The 1975. The band made a series of brilliant choices. They hired Jack Antonoff to produce. They cut the cruft and just made a clean, concise album. And they sequenced the songs perfectly. It’s just a perfect flow of hits, ballads, and more hits. Many of us thought they had this in them after their sophomore release. Over the past two releases, they went in some interesting directions and released a bunch of great songs, but they have not felt this locked in in a while. A real, “let’s sit down and make a stone-cold classic, oh, and make it look easy” vibe.
  • And on that note, I think Betty Who dropped her most consistent album yesterday as well. I’ve liked everything she’s done and find her albums to be great summer anthems full of songs everyone would enjoy but not enough people have heard. And this one takes all that and adds in some of her most personal songwriting yet. The only shame is this wasn’t dropped in early summer.
  • Keeping the positive vibes going: Tove Lo released a bounce-back album. I couldn’t get into her last one at all, but this feels like a nice return to form—catchy pop built for dancing.
  • Might as well finish the trilogy of albums I wish came out four months ago with some first impressions of the new Carly Rae Jepsen. It’s great! I was worried after “Beach House,” but I shouldn’t have been. While not quite hitting the highs of Emotion (an album I consider one of the best pop albums of the last decade), it already sits above Dedication for me in my personal ranking. Maybe I’m just in a damn good mood this week, but it was definitely bolstered by having some nice Carly bops.
  • Andrew McMahon’s new single sounds solid. Unsure if that’s going to be on his upcoming album or not, but if it is, that is right in the direction I’m down for him to keep exploring. I am in the mood for a classic Andrew album, something that tugs on the heartstrings.
  • And I’ll end the week’s musical section with a quick plug for the new Ten Foot Pole album. It’s fast skate punk, and the band sounds as tight as ever. Songs like “F Around and Find Out” have me breaking out the air drums over here.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 21 different artists, 32 different albums and 275 different tracks (546 scrobbles). My most played artist of the week was, unsurprisingly, Blink-182. And my most played artist was the new one from The 1975. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Iliza Shlesinger’s new comedy special was pretty funny, and The Redeem Team documentary on Netflix was surprisingly great. 2008 doesn’t feel like it should be as long ago as it is, and that was a little weird. I kept thinking, “wait, I remember watching these games, was it really 14 years ago?”
  • I give the Rings of Power finale a slight downgrade from the rest of the season because they finally leaned a little too far into the fan service. However, by and large, I thought the first season was a delightful success. I genuinely don’t get the hate. It wasn’t just passable; I think it was a good show, and I enjoyed watching it every week.
  • The first season of Chucky gets two creepy doll thumbs up from me. It was a perfect October watch.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • This was written yesterday: Playoff baseball is the most stressful sport. It’s just living and dying on every single pitch. Whereas I find the regular season relaxing and enjoyable to just have on in the background, playoff baseball is the exact opposite. Stress and pain.
  • This was written this morning: I hate baseball.
  • We bought two giant bags of bite-sized Halloween candy today. We get zero trick-or-treaters. Sly smile and a wink.gif
  • My new prescription got put into my new glasses today, so I’ve been trying those out. New prescriptions are always weird because it takes a little time for my eyes to adjust. Combine that with the lenses in these being bigger than what I usually wear, and my brain thinks something is “off” for at least 48 hours.

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. Blink-182 – Edging
  2. The 1975 – Oh Caroline
  3. Andrew McMahon – Skywriting
  4. Nightly – Dirty White Chucks
  5. Ten Foot Pole – Can We Stop Trying to Win?
  6. Betty Who – BIG
  7. Tove Lo – 2 Die 4
  8. Joan – Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend
  9. Cary Brothers – Blend
  10. Koyo – Ten Digits Away

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 razorburn in the “blink-182” thread.

A fitting winner this week.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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