Sponsor: My Thanks to Doppler

Doppler

My thanks to Doppler for sponsoring the website this week.

Do you still purchase and collect MP3s or FLAC files? Doppler may just be the app you’ve been looking for. It’s a beautifully designed music player for the iPhone, built specifically for people who still buy music and want to import all their music files (MP3, FLAC, etc.) for listening. We know that the best way to support artists is to buy their music, especially at places like Bandcamp, and with Doppler you get a fully featured music player where you can edit metadata, search, create playlists, and scrobble to Last.fm. It’s easy to import music from other apps and you can add music directly from your computer using WiFi or iTunes.

Check it out on the App Store today.

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Liner Notes (November 13th, 2020)

This week’s newsletter has early thoughts on the new Less Than Jake album, high praise for The Queen’s Gambit, and other reflections on music and entertainment I enjoyed this week. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved, and 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.

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Review: Chris Stapleton – Starting Over

Chris Stapleton - Starting Over

Chris Stapleton, it seems, has little interest in being famous. Five years on from the CMA Awards team-up with Justin Timberlake that made Stapleton a superstar, he’s yet to cash in on his A-list status in any of the significant way, barring perhaps playing concerts in bigger rooms. His follow-up to 2015’s Traveller could have been gargantuan. He easily could have called in another favor from Timberlake for a guest feature, and you have to assume that other famous pop stars, country stars, songwriters, and producers were lining up to work with him. Yet, rather than deliver a bid for crossover success, Stapleton dropped a pair of albums that were, essentially, b-side collections. From A Room: Vol. 1 and From A Room: Vol. 2, released roughly six months apart in 2017, were made up of covers and songs that Stapleton had written during his long career as a writer for a Nashville publishing agency. The songs didn’t grapple with Stapleton’s newfound fame, nor did they really push any boundaries in terms of sonics or structure. Instead, both records played like low-stakes almost-demo collections, with spartan production, no notable features, and no-frills production from Dave Cobb, the same guy who’d sat behind the boards for Traveller.

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Who Will Meet Me At The Gates – “Wet Cement” (Song Premiere)

Who Will Meet Me At The Gates

Today I’m pleased to premiere the brand new single from Who Will Meet Me At The Gates, called “Wet Cement.” Who Will Meet Me at the Gates is the latest installment in the ever-expanding universe of The Inevitables. Initially conceived as a soundtrack album and comic book, The Inevitables is evolving into a multilayered, multimedia project that extends into toys, art, and branded collectibles. On October 16th, the first single “Good Grief” dropped from a new five-song acoustic EP, featuring a veritable punk rock supergroup featuring members of Pears, Less Than Jake, The Jeff Rosenstock Band, Big D and the Kids Table, and Westbound Train.

As with the rest of the Inevitables project, the group was not satisfied stopping with music. For the graphic side of the concept, they brought in Portland-based artist Tomo77 to lend a visual experience to the songs. The result is a 6-print series reflecting the impact of the pandemic amid a tumultuous and changing social and racial landscape. Rendered in isolation, Tomo77’s images explore themes of racism, police brutality and a society in the throes of political chaos and disease, entwined with symbolism reminiscent of the middle ages. The art will be made available in a limited run of numbered and embossed prints. 

If you like what you hear, you can stream the album here.

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