Liner Notes (September 4th, 2021)


This week’s newsletter is not allowed to review the new album from Thrice, so instead, I hint at first impressions. I also talk a little about my rediscovering my enjoyment of stats, more love for Turnstile, and some other thoughts on music I listened to this week. And, of course, there’s some commentary on the entertainment I consumed 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

  • Later today, my younger cousin is getting married, so we’re going to see how much of this newsletter I can crank through before I have to get ready and head out. There’s a holiday on Monday, so if I am unable to finish, I figure I can always write more tomorrow as well and delay sending this out by a day. The fun thing is, by the time you’re reading this, you’ll know which one happened. This wedding is the first that really has me looking at the ‘ol hourglass of time. Every other wedding I’ve been to has been peers, friends, or when I was younger, older family members. This is the first one where I see someone I have watched grow up, someone I remember being born, get married. It is one of those events that makes you sit back and remember just how fast time can go by. I am extremely happy for the couple and am looking forward to getting dressed up for the first time in like two years. I wish COVID were less of a thing right now, but I think we’re all just trying to figure out how to move forward the best we can. So, vax and mask it is for the time being.
  • Anyone that follows this newsletter, or my website, over the past however many years, knows I like tracking things. Be it movies, TV shows, or even little things like water consumption; I like having the stats and data behind all of these things to look back on. For something like movies, I just like knowing what I’ve seen and what I thought of it, and with all that the Apple Watch and the Health app can track, I like being able to look at all this historical data and look for trends. I dunno, tracking things is a brain comfort to me. In that vein, I’ve long used to follow my music listening habits. According to the website, I’ve been doing it since 2005. However, around 2009 I reset my stats. In hindsight, that’s something I wish I hadn’t done. I think what happened is that I went away for a weekend and by accident left an album playing on my computer with the volume low, so it screwed up all my play counts. I also just didn’t really care about this sort of stuff back then. Alas, but it would be really cool to have that. Since 2009, it’s been spotty what I’ve actually been able to “scrobble.” For a few years, I just didn’t use the service consistently, and then there wasn’t a great way to use it on the iPhone and/or I didn’t have it configured with iTunes/Apple Music on my computer. The most consistent data is probably from the years of Rdio when it was just built right into the system. (Damn, I miss Rdio.) Lately, I’ve been much more diligent in making sure my listens are being tracked by using Soor on iOS and Neptunes on the desktop. I will try and use that data to better steer what I write about in this newsletter. I’ll be including a weekly Top 9 on Instagram story with an album cover collage of the top albums I listened to over the previous week. It’s a new way I want to experiment with promoting music I enjoy and this very newsletter. (Side note: If I were running Apple Music, adding features like this to really dive into the stats behind music listening would be the second feature I would add to the app. The first would be creating an album release feed that would show new releases and let you filter by genre, by what’s in your library already, by what’s in your friends’ libraries, by song and/or album, and highlight algorithmic recommendations. One of these days, I should just spec out my ideal music service; I have many opinions.)

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • Turnstile continues to dominate my stereo. As I tweeted randomly after a few beers last night, “Turnstile are the kind of band that will change a kids life. Get them into music in a way they weren’t before and make them see it differently forever after. The rest of the Discourse is whatever to me, but that single fact is everything.” That really is how I feel about this band and album; it’s special and reminds me why I love music. When so many other things in the world make me unhappy these days, this little slice of musical heaven lifts my spirits. It’s just that simple: I love the album, and it makes me happy.
  • Of the new releases from Friday, I think many people will enjoy the new Jail Socks album. It’s a pop-punk meets emo sort of sound, but I’d put it more in that early Vagrant part of the genre instead of the bouncy or pizza obsessed group. They could have opened a Midtown and Early November show in 2004.
  • While the rest of the musical world was discussing two new hip-hop albums released over the past week from Big Artists, I just decided to check out on those. I have no real interest in engaging in the chatter, and neither of the artists make me happy to listen to; I’d be listening just to partake in the “cultural moment.” And really, I don’t have a whole lot of interest in that. At some point, I’ll probably be curious enough to listen, but I don’t see much of a reason to seek out something I know will just make me feel … weird? icky? defeated? I dunno. Everyone has their own story and history and connection with different artists, and I think, above all, it’s important that you listen to yourself and what you’re feeling. How and what art you consume is a personal choice, and navigating those feelings is part of being a critic and consumer. With all that said, I did get in a hip-hop mood for a stretch this week, and I absolutely love the new album from Isiah Rashad.
  • I need to thread this needle. Thrice’s new album is under review embargo until a couple of days before it comes out. So, I’ll have to save my lengthier thoughts until the newsletter after it’s released. Now, how do I give my first impressions while making sure not to walk into any review category? Hmm. The album has a slow heaviness to it, more of a thickness to the songs. I like it and need to spend more time with it to flesh out my feelings. I think what I really need to do, is do a deep dive back through the band’s catalog to be able to put the album into context with their discography. My very first impression was, “hmm, this is not the same vibe they had on their previous two,” and I want to see how that holds up after another week or two. I’m sorry for the vagueness, but I do want to respect the review embargo while also offering a minor glimpse into my current thinking. More thoughts soon, I promise.
  • The new New Found Glory EP is a solid little EP. I couldn’t get into their last album at all and found it a big step down from Makes Me Sick. This walks the line between those two albums a little more, and I think Will Pugh’s influence shines through. I’d love to see that collaboration continue.
  • I got back into that latest Angel Du$t album for a bit this week, and also spun the hell out of the new Every Time I Die at almost every single gym visit. (See last week’s newsletter for lengthier thoughts.) I continue to enjoy the new ones from Halsey and Chvrches, and also enjoyed the latest albums from Higher Power (hard rock/punk) and KA (hip-hop).

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 50 different artists and 248 different tracks. Turnstile’s Glow On was far and way the most played. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • We watched Coda last night, and Coda is exactly what I expected it to be. It was a very well-made, very well acted, heartwarming film. It did precisely what it set out to do and got the exact emotions it was trying to pull from me—nothing more, but also nothing less. In the end, I’d recommend it to just about anyone.
  • I respect the feeling of originality that emanated from The White Lotus. It felt completely unlike anything else on TV right now. It is the perfect kind of small mini-series that tells a story, tells it well, and leaves you at just the perfect time.
  • It was all the way back in January of 2019 that I wrote about the movie Blindspotting. I loved it. Now, there’s a TV show that uses the same world and some overlapping characters to tell a new story. It’s delightful. It’s grounded in fantastic performances, but it’s the little artistic flourishes, the dramatic moments mixed within the humor that makes it work so well. We’re only four episodes in, but I can highly recommend the film, and the TV show, at this point.
  • Yeah, we’re rewatching the Harley Quinn cartoon. Still maybe the best “superhero” content released in the last five years? I love this show so much.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Nothing much for this section this week. It’s about time to start getting ready for the wedding. I used the wedding as an excuse to buy myself some new dress shoes (which I really don’t ever need and hopefully will last a lifetime?) and some new sunglasses. Gonna go get fancy.

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. Turnstile – Dance Off
  2. Charli XCX – Good Ones
  3. Jail Socks – Caving In
  4. Florrie – Human
  5. Joan – Something Special
  6. Angel Du$t – Bang My Drum
  7. Isaiah Rashad – RIP Young
  8. New Found Glory – Puzzles
  9. Higher Power – Lost in Static
  10. Great Good Fine Ok – So Far So Good

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 sophos34 in the “General Politics Discussion IX” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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