This week’s newsletter has some thoughts on the When We Were Young festival cancelation yesterday and early thoughts on new music out last week (Taylor Swift, Pinkshift, Young the Giant). There’s also a playlist of ten songs I think are worth your time, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.
If you’d like this newsletter delivered to your inbox each week (it’s free and available to everyone), you can sign up here.
A Few Things
- A little later newsletter delivery this week. Yesterday ended up having a few extra errands tossed in, which pushed back my usual writing window. Thankfully, I finished everything I needed to do today, and the next thing on my list: watching the Yankees crash out of the playoffs, can happen while I write. There was a lot of great music released this week, but before we get to that, I have two quick thoughts on the When We Were Young festival. Yesterday they had to cancel the festival’s first day because of high winds. It absolutely sucks for everyone that had tickets to just that day, and I know it caused many problems for people, but I think it was the right move. Safety needs to come first and needing to cancel to ensure no one gets hurt was the right call. I also thought it was pretty cool to see so many bands do what they could to put together some local DIY shows for fans. Watching people come together, watching people sharing information online, all of that reminded me of one reason I fell in love with this music scene in the first place. It felt inclusive and a place for like-minded people to help each other out, to always be that hand that picked someone up from the pit, handed a stranger a bottle of water, and looked out for one another. And a music scene where the bands cared about their fans, wanted to do right by them, had compassion, and made you feel like everyone was in this together. It was cool to see. And I’m glad today seems to be going well, and everyone seems to be having a good time.
- This TapeNotes podcast with The 1975 is incredible. I highly recommend it to fans of the band and their new album. It goes into great detail about the process, from demos to completion, and it’s the kind of podcast in my head I always wanted to do. But the time, and funding, never matched up to make it happen. So, I’m so glad something like this exists because the results are fascinating.
- One of my projects yesterday was trying to regain control of my Twitter and Instagram feeds. Over the past decade or whatever, they’ve become so filled up with random things I’ve followed at one point or another, and it has led to unruly chaos. I needed to try and take back some control of both. I started with Twitter and did a massive audit of who I was following. I ended up unfollowing many people and instead moving them into specific lists. Opening up Twitter to see a vast feed of politics-related posts needed to change, and I think having that as something I can check into when I am in the right headspace is better. And in the future, I need to be far more judicious about when I click that follow button and be more willing to unfollow or mute people. I also cleaned out the Instagram follow list by removing a bunch of celebrities and brands I wasn’t finding any real value in following. Now, it’s back to being primarily cats, baseball, and desk setup photos. I highly recommend doing a social media audit at least once a year. These silly feeds are what we make them (until the algorithm takes over), and making sure you’re getting value out of them at all, makes sense if we’re going to give them our attention.
In Case You Missed It
- Review: Taylor Swift – Red
- Review: The 1975 – Being Funny In a Foreign Language
- The 1975 on TapeNotes Podcast
- Hawthorne Heights – “Dandelions”
- MxPx Cover “Unstoppable”
- PVRIS Sign With Hopeless Records
- Matt Skiba Talks Future with Vulture
- Circa Survive Go on Hiatus
- Tyson Ritter’s New Band Announces Debut Album
- Bayside Announce New Tour
- Saosin Press’ Translating the Name’
- Blink-182’s’ Edging’ Has Best Start on Rock Radio in 8 Years
- Taylor Swift Releases 7 More New Songs
- Jimmy Eat World – “Place Your Debts” Video
- Albums in Stores – Oct. 21st, 2022
- This week was a massive one for the music industry, given that the biggest artist in the world released what will almost assuredly be the biggest album of the year. But first, I want to give a special recommendation for the new Pinkshift album. It’s called Love Me Forever and I’d call it a pop-punk album in the same vein as Paramore’s Brand New Eyes, maybe with a bit more grunge influence and undeniable electricity. These days there are two buckets of music that I am almost immediately drawn to. The first is something with an 80’s synth vibe (Bleachers, Night Game, 1975, Nightly). The second is this aggressive pop-punk that makes me feel like I did when I was 16 (Turnstile, Yours Truly, Stand Atlantic, Pinkshift). This is the kind of album I want to tell as many people as I can about and implore them to toss on the next time they’re complaining about music not hitting the same as when they were younger—having a shitty day at work? Try this in your headphones for half an hour. Spend some time with just you and the music. It almost immediately makes me feel better.
- OK, let’s talk about the new Taylor Swift. One of the things that’s bugged me about the music cycle of the past few years is how quickly everything gets judged, ranked, scored, and put into little buckets almost immediately upon release. It gets declared the best or the worst, becomes a meme or dunk fest, and is thrown into 260 character takedowns or glow-ups before anyone’s had time to hear the fourth song’s chorus more than twice. In a world where the instant reaction is the currency, it’s spent like we have a printing press attached to our Twitter fingers. I find well-thought-out first impressions fun and interesting, but too often, I find them so surface-level that they feel almost predetermined. I know this is very old man yells at cloud, and I am so ridiculously not where the mainstream is on this. The general public wants that YouTube reaction video up yesterday with a hard opinion one way or the other cut into nice bite-sized sound bites. I want the lengthy dive from the super fan that can put everything into context after listen number fifteen. The first five listens of an album from an artist I’m anticipating are just the warm-up to even understanding this new musical world. Like being blindfolded in a dark room, I’m still grasping around for the walls to see the dimensions of the space I’m in during those first few listens. And while I’m feeling ranty, I wish Jack Antonoff would produce an album under a pseudonym once so we could be spared any of that discourse. I usually think two things about virtually every negative comment I read about Jack. The first is blame. When an artist creates a great song or album, they almost always get the credit. But when someone doesn’t like a song, so often, that gets blamed on externalities. No one has ever gotten so little credit when someone likes something and too much credit when someone hates something as a record producer. Not only does it strip the autonomy from the artist and their choices in the creation of their art, but it reduces the entire process to some single point. It bugs me. And it bugs me because I think Jack’s work on Midnights and the latest 1975 album was fucking awesome. First, they’re sonically very different, but he uses his skill to get to the essence of a song and coaches some incredible performances out of both artists. Where Midnights falters most is in a few clunky lyrics and coming after two albums that very much knew exactly what they were. Midnights has less conviction in that area. Vacillating between the great (“Lavender Haze”) and the probably should have been cut (“Vigilante Shit”) leaves us with an album that’s undeniably good, but also one that feels cold at times. Whereas Folklore and Evermore wrap me in the warmth of their confidence of statement, Midnights gives me chills when it’s great and makes the hairs cringe on the back of my neck when it’s not. Or, maybe I’ve only listened to it six times so far, and I’ll completely change my mind in a few months. That’s one of the best parts of being a music fan! Spending that time with the music and seeing where it all plays out. Getting a little too drunk and playing the album alone on your bedroom floor. Going for a walk with just you and the headphones on a crisp fall morning. Once it’s become a part of your life and you’ve started to develop a relationship with the songs, you discover how you really feel. Or, maybe I’ll keep being the weirdo that thinks this way as I fade further into middle age — such is the prophesied cycle.
- The new Carly Rae Jepsen continues to grow on me. I still think it slots in right behind EMOTION, but has a bunch of powerhouse pop anthems.
- I only had time to spin the new Tegan and Sara once so far, but I enjoyed it and hope to return to it next week.
- I’ve had the new Young the Giant album for what feels like months at this point. It’s now finally out in full for everyone to enjoy. I think it’s a sweeping masterwork from the band punctuated with Sameer Gadhia’s honey-tipped vocals. This will remain in heavy rotation all winter long.
- PVRIS dropped two new singles and announced they signed to Hopeless Records. I have loved everything they’ve done so far and still think Use Me is downright close to flawless. The kind of album that catching just the right luck should have catapulted them to superstardom. I’m still a little bummed it didn’t. I hope the label change gives them another shot with a label that actually cares to try and promote their music. Lynn deserves it.
The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 27 different artists, 42 different albums, and 420 different tracks (650 scrobbles). My most played artist was Green Day, and Taylor Swift’s new album Midnights was my most played album. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or Last.fm.
- I hated Do Revenge. It felt like tonal whiplash over the b-sides of all the movies it was trying to emulate.
- The first season of Welcome to Wrexham was so well done and comes highly recommended. Why do we care about sports? This show probably answers that the best I’ve ever seen.
- Since it’s October we’ve been trying to stay in the creepy mode and The Shining Girls has been our evening show of choice. We’re about half way through right now and it’s checked all the right boxes for me. We’ll see how it ends up, but it’s been a damn good early fall watch so far.
Random and Personal Stuff
- I enjoyed this article detailing why the phrase “quiet quitting” is not only a bad way to describe what that actually is, but also why so many workers feel taken advantage of in the first place. That last part being key to understanding the employee/employer relationship.
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.
- Pinkshift – Nothing (In My Head)
- Taylor Swift – Anti-Hero
- Carly Rae Jepsen – Talking to Yourself
- Alvvays – Easy on Your Own?
- Young the Giant – My Way
- Jim Legxacy – DJ
- Tegan and Sara – All I Wanted
- MxPx – Unstoppable
- PVRIS – Animal
- Pinkshift – Cinderella
The trending and popular threads in our community this week include:
- NFL Gameday Week 7
- Your Controversial Food Opinions
- 1980s in Songs
- Bamboozle 2023
- Ellie Goulding- Higher Than Heaven (February 3,2023)
- Tour Prediction and Speculation Thread
- Men’s Soccer (Football) Thread
- Video Games : Game Harder JFG Edition
- Wrestling Thread 7: FTR Baldhausen
The most liked post in our forums last week was this one by Ferrari333SP in the “General Politics Discussion (X)” thread.
Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.