Liner Notes (September 30th, 2023)


This week’s newsletter has early thoughts on Taking Back Sunday, Sum 41, and other music and entertainment I checked out this week. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • Hannah getting the new iPhone 15 Pro meant we needed to reevaluate the dock situation in our bedroom due to the USB-C addition. After looking at all the options, I decided on the Nomad Stand in white. It matches the white bed frame nicely, and I’m a massive fan of MagSafe and the new Standby mode in iOS 17. The screen shutting off entirely at night, but using the camera to sense movement and show the clock in a deep red is an excellent feature. I like having the ability to see a clock during the night but don’t like extra light in the bedroom. Putting a thin layer of Alien Tape on the bottom helps keep the dock from moving. Big fan all around.
  • I’ve been spending my evenings writing what will become the review for Blink-182’s One More Time…, and it’s currently very much in “essay state” more than “review state.” It’s drifting into being about my relationship to music, and specifically this band’s music, throughout the years. And it’s important to me that I get this right. I feel like, after all these years, I need something online that walks through those feelings and tries to capture why the band means something to so many people. I guess we shall see if it resonates.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • Taking Back Sunday’s 152 is the best argument for mixing up who you work with and trying an outside-of-the-box producer I’ve seen in a long time. The result is the band’s best album in twenty years. Seriously, I’m obsessed. It’s just a front-to-back great rock album. Zero misses. They sound rejuvenated and inspired, and the album sounds incredible. Fresh. Modern. Punchy. From the standout “Keep Going” to the ballad “I Am The Only One Who Knows You,” I’m genuinely blown away. I had it on this morning while I was sitting here writing and doing some housekeeping, and I noticed Hannah dancing on the couch a few times, and when “Juice 2 Me” came on, she looked over and said, “Who is this? It’s really good.” Yep, yep, it is. It’s really good.
  • The new Sum 41 single is a nice little pop-punk track. It didn’t blow me away, but it did get me interested in seeing how they pull off this double album. And it got me revisiting their debut and bringing back memories of a burned copy of that CD because I couldn’t find it in the States for the longest time.
  • I wrote about it a few months back, but here’s your reminder to check out Koyo’s new album if you’re into any of that early 2000s punk. The Movieline meets A Wilhelm Scream through and through.
  • Anxious continues to be a band to watch with their new single “Down Down.”
  • Dessa’s new album, Bury the Lede, adds a pop sheen to her always fun lyrical dances. She can turn a phrase in a verse like few can, selling it completely. I like this direction and sound for her, it really showcases her versatility.
  • Ed Sheeran’s latest seems to fit its name well and be a nice little autumn album—Inoffensive, but also nothing that wows either.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 25 different artists, 33 different albums, and 343 different tracks (459 scrobbles). Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Bottoms was enjoyable but didn’t feel like a film I’d return to again. Some funny lines and a unique third act.
  • Blue Beetle felt like a decent WB TV show version of a superhero movie. I liked the lead, and it was a fun watch last night, but I haven’t seen any (live-action) superhero movie since The Batman that I’d feel compelled to re-watch.
  • Mrs. Davis was good but not quite up to Lindelof’s last few shows. It was definitely weird and tackled some interesting themes.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Hannah is running the Portland 1/2 marathon tomorrow. She’s been training for the last twelve weeks and is in the final stretch now. I’ll be cheering from the sidelines and providing post-race beer. That’s one thing I did not inherit from my mother: her love of long-distance running. But Hannah wanted a goal for the summer, and even though she (used to) hate running, she set her sights on this. Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly.

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. Koyo – Life’s a Pill
  2. Dessa – Decoy
  3. Ed Sheeran – Plastic Bag
  4. Taking Back Sunday – Amphetamine Smiles
  5. Sum 41 – Landmines
  6. Thrice – The Long Defeat
  7. Anxious – Down, Down
  8. Green Day – Longview (Live at Woodstock)
  9. Meet Me @ the Altar – Take Me Away
  10. Motion City Soundtrack – Bad Idea

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 imthegrimace in the “General Politics Discussion (X)” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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