Liner Notes (October 18th, 2019)

Welcome to Jimmy Eat World release week. Let us all rejoice. Today’s newsletter has my thoughts on music, some of the entertainment I’ve consumed over the past week, other random tidbits, and a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Four Things

  • Growing up, one memory I have vividly is coming home from school, making a snack, and reading parts of the daily newspaper. Specifically the sports and comic section. I can’t even fathom how many Hot Pockets were consumed while pouring over Calvin and Hobbes or The Far Side. I recently went down a Wikipedia rabbit hole finding out whatever happened to a bunch of the comics I used to read, only to find that most of them ended years ago. I also realized I kinda missed reading comics each day. Thankfully, I found this cool website called ComicRSS that has RSS feeds for a whole bunch of different strips. I added Calvin and Hobbes, FoxTrot, and Get Fuzzy to my feed reader to start. Now, each day, when I’m catching up on the news, I can also read one new comic from each series and add a little levity into my daily routine. I’ve been doing it all week, and it’s brought a smile to my face each morning.
  • I thought this essay by James Blake on mental health was an interesting read and worth the time.
  • I ripped Taylor Swift’s Tiny Desk performance if anyone would like it for their collection.
  • A friend that recently got married said the one piece of advice he had for me was to make sure I had a handkerchief on hand for the big day. He said he wished he had something to wipe his eyes and face with during a few moments, and using the back of one’s sleeve is a little strange. I came across this shop called Fox Hanx, which sells (admittedly a little expensive) very well made limited edition handkerchiefs. I bought a black and red striped one to slide into my inner jacket pocket for the day of the wedding. I’m sure I’ll be even happier with the purchase when I can’t make it through my vows and have water running down my cheeks. These seem like they’d make lovely gifts as well.

In Case You Missed It


The new hardcore band, Chromarama, recently released their new EP Not Dead Yet on Bandcamp and all streaming platforms. They’ve also released a studio/lyric video for the new song “Roam.” The band can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Music Thoughts

  • Today sees the release of Jimmy Eat World’s Surviving and it’s already shot up my list of most listened to albums of the year. Craig Manning reviewed the album this week, and I think he does a great job capturing the feel and mood of this release. This gets my full recommendation. Reading through the forum comments, and it seems like everyone is pretty happy with it as well; I’ve seen very few adverse reactions. There’s just something about a Jimmy Eat World release that feels so comforting to me. Experiencing the new music with other fans, reading comments, going over favorite lines or parts; it’s precisely the kind of thing I build our community for.
  • Manchester Orchestra teamed up with Amazon and producer T Bone Burnett for the new song “Xela.” I am not a huge fan of songs being released via exclusive platforms, even if you can buy it for $1.29, but I do enjoy the song. It’s a slower, brooding track, and it got me in the mood to break back out A Black Mile… this weekend. I may need to do a discography run again soon; it’s been too long.
  • Today also sees the release of the new Refused album. This is one that’s grown on me every time I’ve put it on. I love the palpable anger and energy. It’s become a staple in the gym, and I think it’s a worthy addition to their catalog.
  • The best way I can describe White Reaper’s new album, You Deserve Love, is as a really fun rock ‘n roll record. It’s a catchy, fun, guitar-driven rock album. There’s not much pomp, not much circumstance, but absolutely worth a look if you’re into something like that.
  • The Matt Berninger and Phoebe Bridgers song, “Walking on a String,” doesn’t disappoint. A great combination of two fantastic voices, my only concern is that I don’t know when or where I’ll work this into any kind of regular listening rotation. That’s the problem with one-off singles (and sometimes even EPs), even the ones I love I never build into a playlist because I spend so much time listening to full albums instead.
  • On that same path, Julien Baker’s two-song single “Tokyo” was released to digital outlets last Friday. I hadn’t heard either of these songs before, but listening to them over the weekend with a great glass of red wine hit the spit.
  • I tossed on the Ruston Kelly EP during the first night’s dinner at my bachelor party last week, and it was an immediate hit. Everyone pulled out their phones to make a note or add it to their library.
  • I gave the new Arizona album a listen, but it’s not for me — just felt like a version of this sound that never really went anywhere. The guy can sing, but the songs lacked dynamics to my ears.
  • I saw people saying the new Fickle Friends single, “Amateurs,” was horrible … but I like it. It’s a little bit of a swerve for them, but still quite catchy and enjoyable. I don’t get the extreme hate.
  • Danny Black (of Good Old War) released a new instrumental guitar album today. I gave it a listen while posting news this morning, and it’s got a lot more energy to it than his last. I think this will be a nice coding/writing album to toss on in the future.
  • I’ve only had time to spin the new Audio Karate album once, but I liked almost every song on here. It’s an interesting throwback to the early 2000s for me. Almost like No Motiv, where I feel this sense of nostalgia and remembrance.
  • The new album Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Onward to Zion, feels like it’s going to be a great fall/winter album. It’s a slow burn, but with a lot of exciting soundscapes and textures. It gives me a little Bon Iver-vibes, but it feels a bit more straight forward. It’s good and worth a look if you want to sink into your couch and get lost in the season.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • We couldn’t make it through Stuber and turned it off. Way too long, not very funny, zero respect for the audience, and basically dumb.
  • I really enjoyed Little Monsters. It’s a zombie movie more in line with the Zombieland or _Shaun of the Dead _’s of the world, where there’s a strong amount of humor in the film, and when done right these are up there with my favorite kinds of “Halloween” movies. The movie takes off when Lupita Nyong’ o shows up, and this feels like something I’d watch again when we’re looking for a good, not really scary but trying to set the October mood, kind of movie.
  • I enjoyed the pilot episode of Nancy Drew more than I was expecting. I’m always on the lookout for new silly teenage dramas, and this had just enough of a hook to draw me in. I’ll be watching a few more of these to see where it goes.
  • The pilot of Stumptown was not doing it for me. I’ll give it one more episode, but only because I want to see more shots of Portland. I hope it gets better, I want to like it, but the first episode felt extremely network-TV-formulaic, and I didn’t feel a rooting interest in the characters.
  • I watched the first two episodes of Batwoman, and it feels exactly like I’d expect a CW/Arrowverse show to feel. It’s using the same cliches, same setups, and I guess if you have a model that works, don’t break it? I have not kept up to date on Arrow, Flash, or Supergirl, but I do watch them every once in a while when I can’t come up with anything else to put on. I wanted to give this one a shot because, well, I love anything Batman related. I may give this a few more episodes to see how it all shakes out, and I really wanna see the full Batwoman suit, but when the bar of Titans has been so high, it’s hard to take a step down in super-hero TV quality. I thought the casting was well done so far, and the little nods to Batman-mythos worked for me. The action and suit (so far) are ok but could be better.
  • I continue to be enamored with Titans. The latest episode introducing Superboy and Krypto was another one of those things I never thought I’d see on screen in live-action. I thought they nailed the actor who played Connor, and his demeanor and action scenes were great. Some of the visual graphic work with Krypto was a little silly, but still, I got to see Krypto in action, and I was smiling ear-to-ear.
  • By the end of this weekend, my favorite baseball team may be out of the playoffs. This was the second year in a row where I watched, or at least followed, virtually every single game of the season. It became an escape for me, a way to block out the news or horribleness and just get lost in the game, the routines, the consistency, and the sounds almost every day. Rediscovering my love for baseball has been one of the better things I’ve done for my mental health over the past two years. I’m sad when my team inevitably loses, but I still have loved every moment watching the games and goofing around with other fans in the MLB thread. I’m also thrilled and excited for Nationals’ fans. They deserve this World Series moment, and I’m happy for all of them; Juan Soto is an absolute star. Now basketball is just around the corner!

Random and Personal Stuff

  • The bachelor party last weekend was a whole lot of fun. We went to a town with a bunch of breweries and rented out an Airbnb. The house was pretty incredible, and all the beer we drank and tasted was top notch. I think my favorite brewery of the bunch may have ended up being Crux. They had fantastic beer, and the taco truck out front was great. It was an incredible time with a great group of friends. It was fun, but relaxing at the same time. Everyone did a transcendent job of planning something very me. And I feel very grateful and blessed that I have friends that would take time away from their families, significant others, and kids to spend a weekend with me. We made it out with no injuries, only a few hangovers, but a whole lot of laughs and good times. They even got me to begrudgingly wear the “Bachelor Boy” hat from Parks and Recreation for a few minutes.
  • There’s an issue with my little share album/song feature’s search at the moment that I need to fix. I can still directly link to albums and songs, but for some reason, the Apple Music API is returning an error on my servers even though it resolves and works completely fine here on my local machine. I haven’t been able to track down the bug, but I plan to give it a look next week.
  • The President of the United States continues to do crimes and needs to be impeached.

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. Jimmy Eat World – 555
  2. Refused – I Wanna Watch the World Burn
  3. White Reaper – Saturday
  4. Panther City Riots – Desire
  5. Fickle Friends – Amateurs
  6. Matt Berninger and Phoebe Bridgers – Walking on a String
  7. Danny Black – Porch Pickin’
  8. Julien Baker – Tokyo
  9. Vancouver Sleep Clinic – Bad Dream
  10. Jimmy Eat World – Diamond

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 “Jimmy Eat World – Surviving (October 18, 2019)” thread.

And with that, we’re through another week. I hope everyone has an incredible weekend. We’re finishing up the last parts of wedding planning now, and it’s all about the details and minor logistics. So, wish me luck as we move into the final three-week stretch.

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Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.