Liner Notes (December 26th, 2020)

Happy Holidays

In this week’s newsletter, I share some thoughts about the end of The Mandalorian and the first half of Wonder Woman 1984, and there’s some discussion of the holiday and prepping to finalize my end of the year list before the end of next week. As usual, there’s a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Interview: J.R. of Less Than Jake

During the week of the release of the new Less Than Jake record, Silver Linings, I had the chance to sit down with J.R. to discuss everything that went into the recording process of the new album. The conversation also captured J.R.’s perspective on looking back on his band’s album anniversaries, what he misses most about touring and the venues he’s played at, as well what he draws inspiration from to continue his growth as an artist.

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Liner Notes (December 18th, 2020)

Snowflake

This week’s newsletter has random thoughts on random things and then the usual commentary on music and entertainment I enjoyed this week. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I liked this week, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Interview: Stephanie Ashworth of Something For Kate

Something for Kate

Something For Kate should be held with the highest regard for what makes the city of Melbourne so great, alongside our coffee, world-class research facilities, and richly diverse communities. The trio was formed in Melbourne in 1994, with singer and lead guitarist, Paul Dempsey; drummer Clint Hyndman, and Julian Carroll on bass guitar. After the release of the band’s 1997 debut album, Elsewhere for 8 Minutes, Carroll left the band after recently getting married and relocating to rural Australia. He was then replaced by Toby Ralph, who wasn’t the best fit for Something For Kate. In 1998, Stephanie Ashworth joined the band after the disbandment of the short-lived indie rock band, Sandpit. Upon early recording sessions with the lineup of Dempsey, Hyndman, and Ashworth, Dempsey remarked, “We’ve just been lucky because we’ve got this really natural chemistry between the three of us… We’ve finally got the right combination of people and we’re collaborating the way a band should.” 

To date, Something For Kate has released seven albums. The first album recorded with Ashworth on bass, Beautiful Sharks (1999) reached the top 10 of the ARIA Albums Chart; as did Echolalia (2001) and Leave Your Soul to Science (2012). The Official Fiction (2003) and Desert Lights (2006) sat pretty atop the ARIA Albums Chart. Their first album in eight years, The Modern Medieval; released last month, debuted at #4 on the Albums Chart. I chatted with Stephanie Ashworth on a surprisingly chilly day in Melbourne last week, and it’s a conversation I won’t soon forget. 

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Liner Notes (December 11th, 2020)

This week’s newsletter has thoughts on the new Taylor Swift album and other entertainment I enjoyed this week. I finally saw Tenet and I’ve been watching a whole lot of holiday content. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Respire – ‘Black Line’ Track-by-Track Break Down

Respire

I’ll always contend that the most exciting part of consuming music is discovering something new – an artist or band or record that just completely enraptures you – like you found the world’s greatest secret and can’t wait to share it with anyone and everyone. That’s Respire – the Toronto sextet that’s turning heavy music on its head. The band’s new record, Black Line, is 41 minutes of pummeling drums, jazzy time signatures, and swelling horns. It’s exhilarating blackened screamo with the ethos of Broken Social Scene – Respire burns down the boundaries of what extreme music can be. Below, the band walks us through their impactful new record track-by-track.

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Liner Notes (December 4th, 2020)

Is it too early to start singing holiday tunes? It’s December. I can see trees up in people’s windows with lights on already (we’re putting one up tomorrow); I can start annoying my wife by singing “Jingle Bells” every day, right? This week’s newsletter has some thoughts on music and entertainment I liked this week, a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found?here.

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Left Field Messiah – “Fuzz Machine” (Video Premiere)

Left Field Messiah

Today I’m thrilled to share the brand new video from Left Field Messiah called “Fuzz Machine.” Left Field Messiah is comprised of lead vocalist Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat), Jeremy Ruzumna (Fitz and the Tantrums) and Erik Janson (Wildling) who have come together to create some great, energetic, genre-blending tunes. The band had this to say about this latest single:

Fuzz Machine was the third song we wrote for the record. It was also the song that inspired our band name because of the chaos and freedom we felt while working on it. It was a late night in the studio after finishing work on our second song when Jeremy started playing a nylon string guitar sample on his keyboard. We began laying down parts with odds and ends around the studio—a banjitar, harmonica, and then we frenetically recorded the intro vocals, which led to Steve grabbing a handheld mic and recording his vocals with the studio speakers on full blast. It felt raw, it felt right, and it helped the three of us to see through the haze of some toxic relationships we were in.”

Left Field Messiah will be releasing their debut full-length LP called In Praise of Bombast on February 12, 2021.

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2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Gift

For the past few years, I’ve put together a little gift guide in December full of things that I think make great gifts and are a lot of fun to give or receive for the holidays. Everything on the list is something I’ve used and enjoyed and recommend. I have recommendations posts for software, headphones, and miscellaneous stuff around the house, so the things on this list will be more focused on stuff not included in those posts and geared toward things I’ve come across in the past year or so and think would make good gifts.

I used my Amazon affiliate link when the product showed up there, which gives our website a slight percentage back if you make a purchase and therefore helps fund our continued existence.

If you’d like to get me a gift, becoming a supporting member or gifting another user a supporting membership for a year would mean the world to me. And, if you’re looking for something in just about any price range with a www.janewhitemovie.com or AbsolutePunk.net logo on it, check our merch shop.

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Liner Notes (November 27th, 2020)

Thanksgiving

Happy day after Thanksgiving. This week’s post-food-indulgence has thoughts on the upcoming strange holiday season, thoughts on the new celebrity and TikTok culture that I know absolutely nothing about because I’m old, and some thoughts on music and entertainment I enjoyed this week. The holiday movie watching has begun. You’ve been warned. As always, there’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved this week, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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An Update on the Rest of 2020

www.janewhitemovie.com

As I wrote about in October, this was a very weird year to be running an independent, online, business. I just wanted to take a few moments to be upfront about a couple of changes that I’m going to be making for the rest of this year. In the online ad world, the last part of the year is usually one of the best for online advertising. It tracks along with the holidays and consumer spending and advertisers wanting to convince shoppers to buy their gadgets and gizmos. Now, digital advertising has been a mess for virtually everyone this year, but there’s a small hope we can make up some of that lost revenue with a terrific final quarter. So, I’m going to let the company that handles all of our display ads run a few different advertisements on the website for the next month.

Honestly? They’re probably going to be annoying as hell. They’ve promised to keep everything frequency capped so that users only see one of the annoying ads one time per session, but there’s no nice way to spin the fact that these kinds of advertisements suck for the user experience. I know it, you know it, but it’s me throwing everything at the wall as we end the year in an attempt to salvage what, in many ways, has been a lost year. I want to be forthright about it, so everyone knows what is coming. And, to let you know you can remove all ads on the website by becoming a member. (These ads will only run for a few months, and we have a monthly option for just $3 a month. Remove all ads, get dark mode, live the good life.)

I don’t know what 2021 will hold, but I plan to continue to keep everyone updated as we journey into this uncharted territory together. I hope everyone is staying safe and doing well. The contributors and I have begun preparing for our end of the year feature, which we hope to run, like always, in early January.

Liner Notes (November 20th, 2020)

I hope everyone had a good week this week. We’re back with another newsletter looking at music and entertainment I enjoyed this week. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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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.

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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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