Liner Notes (July 10th, 2020)

Ferris Wheel

This week’s newsletter looks at music and entertainment I enjoyed this week. This was a good week for singles, and I’m all about that new PVRIS album. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found?here.

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Back to 2010 (Re-Ranking the Best of Lists)

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2010, huh?

Specific year markers, like decade transitions, always seem to get to me. They put in black and white the passage of time in an even block. I both can’t believe and am not shocked that it’s been ten years since 2010. It feels both impossible and obvious at the same time. I browse through AbsolutePunk’s best-of list from the year and see it filled with albums that would define the next decade in music. Records that would be so influential that they would help shape the musical landscape for years to come. And I see albums from bands that were a part of the fabric of AbsolutePunk, like The Graduate and Valencia, that would soon disband and fade into the memory of forum posters alone.

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Liner Notes (July 3rd, 2020)

fireworks

I hope everyone had a decent week this week. Hard to say “great” with everything that is going on in the world right now, so I’m setting the bar at “decent.” This week’s newsletter looks at the music and entertainment I enjoyed last week and includes a playlist of ten songs I think are worth your time. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Back to 2009 (Re-Ranking the Best of Lists)

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2009 was a sneaky great year for music.

If you had asked me right before I looked at the AbsolutePunk list from 2009, I wouldn’t have remembered how stacked it was. Unlike 2008, I didn’t have an album in mind that I just knew defined the year and would go on to represent the better part of the next decade in my life. Now, looking over this staff compiled list, I’m reminded just how incredible a year 2009 was for our music scene. And I’m reminded that when a band or album started to get some buzz in our forums, it felt like an unstoppable wave of hype. 2009 had two of the most “get on that hype train” albums from this era that I can remember: Manchester Orchestra’s Mean Everything to Nothing and The Dangerous Summer’s Reach for the Sun. With Manchester Orchestra, we had already heard their debut full-length, and the early rumors were they were going all out with their follow-up, and it had the rumblings of an instant classic. The Dangerous Summer had released an EP and was just brimming with potential; combining the AP.net tried and true formula of incredibly relatable lyrics with just the right amount of hooks and guitars. A true “your next favorite band” contender.

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Liner Notes (June 26th, 2020)

Cheers

I get it, the weeks are blending, and you were just reading a newsletter from me last Friday, but it’s here again. Round and round we go. This week’s newsletter has thoughts on music, entertainment, and other stuff on my mind. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found?here.

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Back to 2008 (Re-Ranking the Best of Lists)

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This week’s jaunt in the Tardis takes us back to 2008. A bittersweet year that I looked upon with so much hope, and in retrospect, have so much regret and disappointment. The watchword for 2008 is change. Our country elects its first black President upon this message, and it’s echoed in my journey as well. Change. Hope. Personal changes, professional changes, societal changes, and musical changes. All wrapped with a belief and hope that we are progressing forward and moving toward something better. And before long, all of this culminates in a massive economic recession not long after I have decided to sell AbsolutePunk to Buzznet.

But first, the staff list.

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Liner Notes (June 19th, 2020)

Spidey-Protest

In this week’s newsletter, I look at the music, movies, tv shows, and books I enjoyed this week while also sharing some articles and other things I found interesting. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I liked and a shocking admission about tonight’s pizza toppings. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found?here.

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Back to 2007 (Re-Ranking the Best of Lists)

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Ah, 2007, an album ranking year that I don’t think will get the worst of Reddit angry with me, but a year that feels transitional in our music scene. While 2005 felt like a pop-punk apex, and 2006 felt like bands exploring new sounds and taking big swings, I look back on 2007 and see the shifts that started the year before playing out in significant ways. A music scene that now has spread and is straddling pop, punk, alternative, hardcore, and everything in between at a rapid pace. Reading over the AbsolutePunk.net staff list from 2007 shows me a shift not just in the taste of the staff and community underway, but the beginning of a changing of the guard in just what kind of music was extremely popular within the music scene itself.

On the pop-punk side, you see the genre start to morph. We’re just about to begin the neon-phase, and bands like Four Year Strong and The Wonder Years are gaining in popularity. Bands from the previous era are trying to find out where they fit in. The Starting Line release Direction and have a surefire hit in “Island” that never finds its footing with the mainstream, and the band will go on hiatus not long after. Yellowcard returns with Paper Walls, which I called a redemption, and one of the better pop-punk albums released in years, but it also never quite catches on, and the band will also go on their hiatus within a year. The Academy Is… take a shot with Santi, and while loved by a few die-hards, it seemed to pause any momentum they had. Motion City Soundtrack leans into the melody with Even If It Kills You, and I will never understand the community backlash to that album. To this day, I’m still angry it wasn’t better received at the time, and while I love a lot of what came next, I could never shake that it felt like a regression. The kings of the old guard, Fall Out Boy, show they’re not ready to give up the crown when they put out Infinity on High. A band at the peak of their powers let me “leak” a track on our website, we get featured on MTV, and the group continues their tradition of being extremely polarizing within the scene while having a knack for keeping their sound updated and fresh enough to continue to see mainstream success. A trick they’ll deploy for years to come.

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