Liner Notes (September 3rd, 2022)


This week’s newsletter has some thoughts on my first live concert in over two years (Dashboard Confessional and Andrew McMahon), some brief commentary on other music and entertainment I consumed over the past week, and a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • Last night, I went to my first concert in over two years. The Andrew McMahon and Dashboard Confessional tour came to a new outdoor concert venue about 45 minutes from us, and it felt like the perfect way to get back into some live music after the COVID-years. The weather cooperated and dropped below sweltering (aided by perfectly timed shade and some cold beer), and the evening was wonderful. The Juliana Theory opened as the crowd slowly began to arrive, and I thought they put together a pretty solid set. The Love songs were the best received from a crowd I’m unsure knew much from the band. Next up, we had Dashboard just as the sun was starting to set. It had been a long time since I’d seen Chris play live, but I thought he sounded great. He also looks like he has discovered the fountain of youth, so if anyone wants to clue me in on his skin routine, I’d be grateful. His set was extremely heavy on old songs, really leaning into the nostalgia bent, and he had quite a bit of commentary banter throughout the night that touched on this being a tour specifically for all the people that have been with him all these years. And, it was pretty funny to see all of us elder emos in the crowd, many with kids on shoulders, most showing all the telltale signs of middle age. As someone that adores his most recent album and loves Alter the Ending, I could have gone for a few new songs, of course, but I think the crowd was there for the hits and the set list delivered them all the sing-a-long joy they could have hoped for. Andrew took the stage to the darkness of late summer and delivered one of the most cathartic concert-going experiences of my life. There was a release of more emotions than I knew I had inside of me standing there on the lawn watching one of my musical heroes absolutely crush a perfect set. The energy, the emotion, the pitch-perfect control over the crowd. It was one of those magical musical moments where I felt lost in the songs and wholly transported. For those 90-minutes, it was almost possible to forget about the horrors of the past few years, the reason we weren’t going to shows, and the seemingly never-ending string of tragedies and sadness. I felt able to just let go. And, I’m not going to lie, it got to me a little. I felt myself choking back tears as some of my favorite songs, ever, were delivered by one of the best songwriters and showmen of my generation. It was fitting that it was the night before Andrew’s 40th birthday since I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ll turn 40 next year and all the weird emotional bargaining that comes with that milestone. Hearing songs like “Cavanaugh Park” made me think of high school, “I Woke Up in A Car” took me right back to college, and “Dark Blue” made me think of the year I graduated. It was a musical walk through the last 20 years of my life, the ups, the downs, and the songs that played alongside them. It was beautiful.
  • I’ve ranted before about how much I hate the new notification banners on macOS. The change with hidden buttons made them worse in basically every single way. But one of the big ones was that the change made my former automation, where I had a shortcut key that would “click” on a Message notification to expand it for a quick reply, stop working. I loved seeing a notification come in and being able to not move my hands from the keyboard to quickly type a reply without needing to open up the entire messages app. Well, after months of trying a hundred different ways to replicate this, I figured out how to do it in AppleScript. I used Keyboard Maestro so that now Command + ESC will “auto-reply,” Option + ESC will click on any notification banner, and Control + ESC will click the close button on a notification. I find these very helpful in my daily computer use.
  • Random thought: The streaming era has made “gifting” media difficult. My dad’s birthday was in early August, and he recently had a knee replacement, so I thought a great gift would be to get him the new 7-episode Jeter documentary. He loves the Yankees, loves Jeter, and that’s the perfect thing to sit down and watch while recovering from surgery. The only problem is that the documentary is only airing on ESPN+. And trying to give that to someone is highly annoying. In the past, you could hand someone a plastic disc they could play, and you didn’t have to worry about what “apps” their TV had, if it was possible to sign in, if their internet could handle it, you just said, “here, you can now watch this thing I bought you.” Anyway, it was basically the same price to signup for a bundle of Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ as it was for just ESPN+, so I purchased the bundle and set it up under an extra email address I had. Then went over and signed into everything on his TV to show him how it all worked. And, on that note: I also hate smart TV interfaces, and even with all of its flaws the Apple TV is light years beyond that mess.


Baby Got Back Talk ‘s latest single “Season Premiere” is out now on all streaming platforms. AfroPunk says “on their latest, the unfairly catchy “Season Premiere,” the quartet turns to possibly the least pop punk lyrical themes–wisdom and maturity–and in doing so crafts one of their best songs to date.” The song is taken from the band’s upcoming EP, Existential Shred, due out September 9 on Wiretap Records.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • There wasn’t much new stuff I listened to from this week yet. I did check out the new Yungblud album, mainly because Paul Meany (of MUTEMATH) worked on a few songs. It’s another album with a clear inspiration from the early years of pop-punk wrapped in the online teenage culture of today’s aesthetic. I enjoyed a few of the songs in a similar way that I did the new Blackbear, they’re catchy, and they play within a space I’m familiar with and enjoy, but they don’t me at an emotional level.
  • I try not to be mean when writing about music; there’s already enough negativity in the world. But I’m trying to think of a band with a couple of albums I enjoyed that then fell off harder for me than Two Door Cinema Club. I made it four songs into this before needing to turn it off—Bland, like grocery-store-bought-thin-crust pizza.
  • New Found Glory’s Coming Home is coming to vinyl next week. Keep an eye on the Parting Gift Records Instagram account. I’ve been anticipating this one for a long time.
  • I also recently picked up the new pressing of Brandtston’s Hello, Control, which I still think is quite underrated. It always felt just a little early for the sound they were going for, and I’ve always wondered just how much of that follow-up album was recorded.
  • With the end of summer quickly approaching, I’m getting my pop-punk money’s worth. This week had me listening to early Fall Out Boy and that Knockout album. My happy place.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 28 different artists, 44 different albums and 444 different tracks (510 scrobbles). My most listened-to artist was Green Day and the most played album was Fall Out Boy’s Take This To Your Grave. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • I enjoyed Nope. It reminded me in some way of the blockbusters that don’t get made anymore. Something like Signs meets Twister with a big scoop of Twilight Zone vibes.
  • I’ve been a Lord of the Rings fan since probably around 5th grade when I was first exposed to The Hobbit. I’d consider myself a pretty decent-sized fan that’s read the books, knows the lore, and has seen all the films multiple times. Hannah makes my fandom look like an ant from outer space. She loves the LOTR series like I love Star Wars; it’s her warm comfort entertainment. So, we were anxiously waiting for this new Amazon Rings of Power series. It’s the first show in years I remember sitting down the night it aired to ensure we watched it right away. And then we both sat there with stupid grins on our faces the entire time. It gave me a similar feeling as the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds did this year. A feeling of “oh, they’re doing the thing, and they’re doing it well!” And Hannah loved it. We plan to make this an ongoing Friday night watch in the future so we can try and avoid spoilers, but I was highly impressed with what they put together. I would have been okay with something just getting to that Wheel of Time level of ok-ness, but so far, this looks and feels grand. I’m very excited to see where it goes next.
  • We finished A League of Their Own, and everything I’ve written the past few weeks as we made our way through it holds up. Good show, but a little too network-y for my tastes. I wish there was more baseball. And for the life of me, I can’t figure out why the home team is batting first, except to set up the dramatic ending.
  • The first two episodes of She Hulk were alright. The effects feel a little rough, and I’m not sure how this is going to be a series, but I’m in to give it a shot.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Hannah has to work today for the symphony, but the long weekend means we still have a couple more days to hang out a bit. We’re seeing some friends tomorrow for some backyard beers and pizza, and then going over to my mom’s for a BBQ on Monday evening. We’re in the final days of summer now.

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. Jack’s Mannequin – I’m Ready
  2. Dashboard Confessional – Saints and Sailors
  3. Fall Out Boy – Homesick at Space Camp
  4. Yungblud – Tissues
  5. Knockout – Regretta
  6. Brandtson – Parallels
  7. Lauv – Stranger
  8. Rocky Votolato – Becoming Human
  9. Green Day – JAR
  10. Jimmy Eat World – Littlething

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 ChampsMusic in the “Anberlin” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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