Features

Interview: Vinnie Caruana

Vinnie Caruana

This past week, I was able to chat with I Am the Avalanche and The Movielife frontman, Vinnie Caruana, about his upcoming solo tour and new record Aging Frontman. The record will be released October 4th via Know Hope Records and pre-orders are currently live. In this interview, Vinnie shared his passion for songwriting and how he continues to motivate himself as an artist.

Liner Notes (August 9th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter contains thoughts on new music from Bon Iver, Colleen Green’s Dude Ranch covers, Shredders, and more. Plus, there’s my usual media diet rundown, a playlist of ten songs I loved this week, and my PSA to make sure your surge protectors are working and healthy. 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.

This article is available exclusively to supporters of our website. Join now for as little as $3 per month and get access to exclusive content and a variety of perks. Plus, you'll be helping an independent publisher. Learn more here.

My Yearly Pitch for Becoming a Supporting Member

Each August I do an evaluation of how this website’s running, how our traffic numbers are doing, and what kind of revenue we’re bringing in from advertising, merch, and from our supporting members. It’s not the most fun part of running this website, but it’s one of the necessities to make sure we’re still on the right track and to assess the website’s viability for the upcoming year. I use this time to figure out what kind of freelance work I’ll need to schedule out for the rest of the year, as well as what projects I can focus on during the last quarter.

Based on these calculations, I am exactly 90 supporters short of this website hitting my goal for the year.

That means if 90 more people sign-up to any tier of the supporter membership by the end of this year, I’ll be sitting right where I want to be and it’ll be a massive weight off my shoulders. My plan, if I can hit these numbers, is for my next big project to be a rethinking of the homepage. I have wireframed a refreshing of the main website’s design, and that’s what I’d like to tackle next.

So, this is my yearly pitch to everyone that reads this website: if you like reading the news and content during the week, like reading the newsletter each Friday, and/or like reading or participating in our community, please consider becoming a supporting member. Every tier gives you the same perks: no ads on the website, dark mode, extra features in the forums, and it basically comes down to about seven cents a day.

Thank you to everyone that reads this website every day and for helping to make it what it is. I try not to post about this sort of stuff all that often, but once a year I like to try and update everyone on where we’re at and how everything is currently working out.

Liner Notes (August 2nd, 2019)

This week’s newsletter has first impressions on the new Strung Out album, thoughts about new music out this week, and my weekly media roundup of movies and TV I enjoyed last week. 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.

This article is available exclusively to supporters of our website. Join now for as little as $3 per month and get access to exclusive content and a variety of perks. Plus, you'll be helping an independent publisher. Learn more here.

Jonathan Hickman’s ‘House of X’ Begins a New X-Men Chapter

My mileage varies when it comes to X-Men comics. As a Marvel Unlimited subscriber, I’ve always intended to dive into them from the beginning, but I decided to do that with Spider-Man first, and it’s been a slow process, to say the least. With so much history, there’s always something to read. That makes it hard to know where to begin, too, unless you do go back to the very beginning.

Jonathan Hickman’s House of X is a new chapter for the X-Men, so if you’ve been looking for a jumping-on point, you can start here. Just go into it knowing that this first issue is a lot to take in. Charles Xavier has a plan for mutantkind, and it’s forming epically.

Track List: July – Poptimism

Welcome back to Track List, your monthly dose of 30 songs aimed to match the time of year, sequenced into a playlist for you to vibe out to however you see fit. Hopefully some names will be familiar, and hopefully some will give you a new discography to dive into. Drop me a line with some of your seasonal favorites and check back every month for a new playlist.

You can find the playlist on Spotify and Apple Music and read more about the selections below.

Liner Notes (July 26th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter has thoughts on new songs from Blink-182 and The 1975, early impressions of The Faim’s new album, and some random thoughts about other music I’ve been enjoying this week. Then there’s my weekly media diet rundown which including a spoiler-filled rant about the new Veronica Mars. I was frustrated. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved this week and a little recap about the current health of this very website. 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.

This article is available exclusively to supporters of our website. Join now for as little as $3 per month and get access to exclusive content and a variety of perks. Plus, you'll be helping an independent publisher. Learn more here.

Sun Cycles – “Bang Bang” (Video Premiere)

Sun Cycles, the solo project of Jessica Hottman of The Hottman Sisters, released her latest single “Bang Bang” last week. Today we’re excited to premiere the track’s video. “Bang Bang” is, if you’ll excuse the pun, something of a banger, and I think fans of artists like Betty Who or Halsey would find a lot to love in the indie pop song. Hottman describes the song as:

A song about falling fast in love. It tells the tale of how we often play youthful games, in an attempt to ignore how we really feel. The bridge of the song is that moment when we let go and dive headfirst into those feelings we have, which are often inescapable anyway.

Liner Notes (July 19th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter contains first impressions on the new Noah Gundersen album, lengthier thoughts on the new album from Sum 41, some brief views on the new album from Oso Oso, and random commentary about a bunch more music. There’s also my weekly media diet rundown, a playlist of ten songs I loved this week, and news and forum recaps. 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.

This article is available exclusively to supporters of our website. Join now for as little as $3 per month and get access to exclusive content and a variety of perks. Plus, you'll be helping an independent publisher. Learn more here.

Liner Notes (July 15th, 2019)

Well, this one ended up being quite long.

In this week’s newsletter, I share some thoughts on new music from Frank Turner, Shura, Good Riddance, Sum 41, and quite a bit more. I share a love letter to Stranger Things and go through the rest of my media diet from the past week. There’s a playlist of ten songs I loved, some thoughts about Lil Wayne and Blink-182 and the drama of last night, and some random thoughts about what I worked on (and failed at) on the website this week. Plus, I share a couple of iPhone wallpapers I like. 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.

This article is available exclusively to supporters of our website. Join now for as little as $3 per month and get access to exclusive content and a variety of perks. Plus, you'll be helping an independent publisher. Learn more here.

Interview: Sean McCall of twentythreenineteen

twentythreenineteen

Philly indie rockers  twentythreenineteen just released their debut full-length on Know Hope Records. It’d be easy to call XXIIIXIX an emo album, but that’d sell the band short. They pull from pop, electronic, and even ambient as much as they do emo and emo-adjacent music, and it makes for one of the genre’s most creative and refreshing albums in a long time. I recently had the pleasure of speaking to bandleader Sean McCall about the writing of the record, which is currently available for streaming and purchase.

The Podcast Worm: Inside Star Wars

I started The Podcast Worm with the intention of keeping it up regularly. The first one went live around 9 months ago now, so clearly, that didn’t happen. However, much like Halloween Unmasked, Inside Star Wars was a podcast that really caught my attention.

Mark Ramsey is the host, who has teamed up with Wondery for multiple series that dive into certain movies like Jaws and Psycho. I haven’t listened to those just yet (but I have plans to). With Inside Star Wars, I was able to learn things about the cast that I didn’t know before.

Liner Notes (July 5th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter is brought to you by fireworks and scared pets.

In this week’s newsletter, I write about the new music sharing pages I created, talk a little about the Taylor Swift/masters thing, share some thoughts on new music out this week, and go through my usual media diet rundown. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved this week. 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.

This article is available exclusively to supporters of our website. Join now for as little as $3 per month and get access to exclusive content and a variety of perks. Plus, you'll be helping an independent publisher. Learn more here.

The Best Albums of 2019 (So Far)

The Best of 2019 - So Far

It’s crazy to think another mid-year list is in the books – the first six months of 2019 have flown by. Thankfully, there has been plenty of music for us to discuss, debate, love, and share. Once again, the Chorus.fm is an unique list – a diverse one that beautifully shows off the collective, eclectic taste of our staff and contributors. So without further ado here is our favorite twenty albums of 2019 thus far – we’re excited to see what the next six months have to offer.

Note: You can share your own lists in the forums and clicking the artist name and album title will take you to the album’s streaming page featuring quick links for all streaming services.

A Simple Streaming Music Sharing Page for Chorus

The music streaming service revolution has been one of the biggest, and most exciting, developments to the music and technology world in my lifetime. We went from driving to a store to buy music, often without ever hearing it beforehand, to having countless hours of music in our pockets with virtually no limits to what we could discover and listen to with the mere press of a button.

As someone that runs a music website, and now a weekly newsletter, that often includes recommendations about new music, I’ve long struggled with just how to share those recommendations with the most people. On this website, I often link to the YouTube video in the post itself for instant listening and then will link to Apple Music and Spotify when appropriate (or if the song isn’t on YouTube yet) since those are the two biggest streaming platforms. I like those short URLS that a lot of labels and PR people are using these days that aggregate all of the streaming platforms into one place for easy sharing; however, what I really wanted was something that I had a little more control over. What if I use a service like this and then it goes under, and all my links die? All of a sudden hours of meticulously linking music recommendations on this website or my newsletter could end up having dead links. So, after coming across the excellent Song.Link service and their API, I decided I would be best served in creating something for myself. That way I could easily create a place to share a song or album, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the URL going away in a few years or it not being updated as streaming services come and go.

The end result is a page that includes links to all the big streaming services, as well as a YouTube video for quick streaming if it exists, and links to purchase the music as well. For example:

Interview: Tanya Batt of BATTS

BATTS

Tanya Batt is many things. First off, she’s a proud Gecko mum. Then, she’s a musician, an actress, she nannies, and she even works in a theatre. You wouldn’t know it by glancing at our table in the busy Melbourne café, The Hub, but Tanya Batt – who performs under the musical moniker BATTS – played a show in a packed Hamer Hall just a week earlier. Hamer Hall is one of Melbourne’s most beautiful venues, a room Tanya never thought she’d play in. Following a string of concerts as a special guest for Sharon Van Etten (“Sharon is the best. She watched my sets from the side of the stage”), Friday night saw Batt end her album launch shows with a special hometown performance.

Liner Notes (June 28th, 2019)

This week’s newsletter is brought to you with a massive craving for pizza.

In this week’s newsletter, I share a new fun productivity tip I started using this week, talk a little about the current project I’m working on, and share thoughts on music, movies, and TV shows I enjoyed this week. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved and a rant about political debates. 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.

This article is available exclusively to supporters of our website. Join now for as little as $3 per month and get access to exclusive content and a variety of perks. Plus, you'll be helping an independent publisher. Learn more here.