Liner Notes (October 8th, 2022)


This week’s newsletter leads with my thoughts on what this upcoming week may bring us and then has some thoughts on music I enjoyed this week (Sunsleeper, AFI, Origami Angel). There’s commentary on some entertainment I consumed and a pumpkin patch story. As always, there’s a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • I might as well just lead with it. At some point last week, some quotes from my last two newsletters talking about the Blink-182 reunion and tour were posted to Reddit. That led to 1) some new subscribers (hello, hope you enjoy your stay, I’m Jason, I write about music and things I like), 2) an interesting Reddit thread that reminded me why I have done all I can to shy away from internet notoriety in the past half-decade. Now, I knew the newsletter comments would be seen by some people; that is the point of a newsletter. And I chose my words very carefully. For one, because I genuinely no longer see myself as any kind of “journalist.” I am not trying to break news. Even when I have had a story quite early in the past few years (My Chem, Midtown, Gaslight Anthem), I’ve hinted around it, dropped clues, and kept most talk of it in a newsletter seen by maybe 2-5,000 people on a regular basis. I’ve decided, in each case, that I didn’t want to run it broadly. A complete change from what I would have done in the AbsolutePunk years. In those years, I wanted to break stories. I wanted the internet kudos. I wanted people talking about it, me, the website. But these days, I want none of that. I don’t like people talking about me. I’m delighted (and grateful) with the small audience that I do have, one where I rarely have to worry about context collapse or being pulled into an argument that will eat at me for days on end. And, honestly, I don’t want to ruin a band’s surprise. It’s why I don’t just pour it all out there, give every detail I know, and spill it widely. And in this case, oh boy, did I find out a lot. And it was the breadth of what and where I heard stuff. Labels, managers, booking agents, people at venues, from bands, producers, and people hearing band members talk about it firsthand. It got to the point where I was joking about it being the worst-kept secret in the industry. But it wasn’t until I finally heard hard dates, knew some contracts were signed, and even heard potential announcement dates that I was willing to give massive hints about what was coming and put my reputation on the line with the news. While I definitely don’t like being part of the news, I do still care about my reputation. Not only with the people that read the things I write, because I feel like I have a pretty damn good track record, but because here at 39, I also care about the reputation I have in the industry with these bands I grew up worshiping. As I said, I don’t consider myself anything close to a journalist or unbiased party at this point. I like and honestly take a small bit of pride in being one of the handful of people that the Blink-182 Twitter account follows. The times I’ve talked to Mark, even if it’s him dunking me into oblivion, have been some of my fondest memories while being part of this little musical world. I’m a fan. An obvious giant one. And all of that plays into the calculus of what I say, what I write about, and when I let things out to the wider world. Usually, hoping they stay within the small community we have here and hoping they don’t go far beyond those walls. And honestly, reading through some of the comments on Reddit gave me weird flashbacks and palpable anxiety. Seeing my name, seeing some (somewhat weird) mean things written, and seeing myself be part of something like that again, made me uncomfortable. It’s similar to when Hannah, my wife for those new to this newsletter, asked me a few months back why I had stopped posting records from my collection and little write-ups on Instagram as often as I was. And I thought about it for a while and realized it was unconscious, but I noticed that as I started posting more, I started getting more interactions, the posts were seen by more people, followers went up, and it flipped something in my brain that freaked me out. A part of me was actively worried about my reach or audience growing. As though a few Instagram followers that appreciate cool vinyl would somehow lead to the avalanche of chaos, depression, and unease that painted the last few years of AbsolutePunk for me. It’s probably not healthy for me to think that way, and it probably shows some shit I need to work through and understand better about myself. But it’s there, nonetheless. With that said, I’m embracing that I know more people are reading this newsletter right now than have read the last, hmm, oh, jeez, I’ve been doing some version of this since 2018. I truly appreciate that anyone would want to read something I put out into the world. I’d probably be doing this if I was the only one that ever saw it since writing is a big part of how I think and organize my thoughts, but a big reason is that I also want to share things that move me with people, maybe even get lucky and recommend something that could change someone’s life. So, if you’re new here: check out my favorite album of the year from the band Cold Years, an awesome punk band called Koyo, and one of my favorite pop-punk albums in recent years from KennyHoopla. And I’ll end this screed by saying that I think the next few weeks are going to be a lot of fun for Blink-182 fans. I hope if you’re reading my words here for the first time, you subscribe, stick around, and can share some good vibes with like-minded fans. A love for music, and often a love for a particular crappy punk rock band, is what has brought and tied us together. It’s often easy to lose sight of that connective tissue we share. I have fond memories of spending too many hours online with fans when Blink-182 announced their last “reunion,” and I’m damn excited to make some more.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • I commented in the AFI thread that now that it’s October it’s AFI weather for me, and someone pointed out that I do this every year. I’m nothing if not consistent. This week saw the early mornings feeling very crisp and fall-like, so I got myself into an AFI, Alkaline Trio, and Tiger Army run. Every time I listen to Sing the Sorrow or Decemberunderground I am reminded just how much I love both of those albums (and how badly I need them to be re-pressed to vinyl). And while I like all their later albums, I think Burials is climbing up my list. It had also been maybe over a decade since I’d listened to The Art of Drowning and Black Sails in the Sunset. The Alkaline Trio run was also a lot of fun to revisit. My Shame is True is aging well. October usually sees me working through bands like this during the day, and then the more soft and atmospheric stuff taking over my nights.
  • On to new music from this week! First up, the new album from Sunsleeper is perfectly timed for autumn. It’s alternative rock, maybe a little shoegaze, but with a lot of melody. This gets a big recommendation from me this week; I think a lot of people are going to really be into this.
  • The new Charlie Puth is something I think I would have been more into a few months ago in the summer heat. Some interesting songs here, some that feel like they should have been left on the cutting room floor, but a pretty well-executed pop album.
  • I haven’t had time to listen to the new ones from St. Lucia and Broken Bells, but they’re next up on my list.
  • Origami Angel released a second surprise EP. And this one went in the complete opposite direction as the last. Aggressive, fast, and quick little hardcore songs. Is there anything this band can’t do?
  • A fan purchased, and put up for download, an official-sounding copy of The 1975’s performance with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. I’ve had a bootleg of this for a long time, but I grabbed the files when I saw this go up. It sounds way better. I don’t know if the band is ever going to release this officially, but they should.
  • The rest of my week had me jumping between some stuff I hadn’t listened to in a long time: Limbeck, checking out Ghost Atlas on a recommendation from some readers last week (it’s good! Sounds like Cove-era Saosin), and checking out the Joshua Radin albums I had never heard. I really liked his first few, then I kind of fell away from that style of music for a while, but I decided to listen to his new album one evening and found myself enjoying it, so I’ve been going back through the others I had missed. I’d say they’re more hits than miss, some get a little too adult contemporary for my taste, but the new one is a winner.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 27 different artists, 55 different albums, and 499 different tracks (581 scrobbles). My most played artist of the week was AFI with Decemberunderground 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

  • I wanted Bodies Bodies Bodies to be either funnier or scarier. It was good, I wanted great, and so I ended up feeling a little meh about it.
  • She-Hulk is a lot of fun when the titular character is not on screen. The computer graphics are horrendous. It takes me out of the scene every single time. I want to like this show. I really do. I’m a huge Tatiana Maslany fan. But every time She-Hulk shows up, I think I’m watching a re-run of Reboot. That joke is for the ’90s kids.
  • Rings of Power has become a Friday staple for us, and I am sad there’s only one more episode. I don’t want to wait.
  • Our new weekly show is Chucky. It’s October; got to get in the mood, right? I saw this got good reviews last year, but it didn’t feel suitable to watch in the middle of the summer, so we held off on it. I think we have three more episodes to go now, but I kind of love it. It’s ridiculous. But the acerbic dark humor mixed with the Halloween season vibes is absolutely working on me.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • My sister wanted to go to the pumpkin patch today. We tagged along. Getting some pumpkins in 80-degree weather doesn’t have the same Instagram-worthy fall season aesthetic my basic ass was hoping for. Instead, I got an expensive beer, bought the $5 pumpkin labeled a “goth pumpkin,” and got sunburnt. #inspo

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. Sunsleeper – Porch Light
  2. Koyo – Call It Off
  3. Ghost Atlas – Vertigo
  4. AFI – A Deep Slow Panic
  5. Alkaline Trio – We’ve Had Enough
  6. Origami Angel – JUDGE
  7. Joshua Radin – Fewer Ghosts
  8. Ralph – Tommy
  9. Blink-182 – I Miss You
  10. Coheed and Cambria – Welcome Home

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.

That tracks.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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