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

Back to ...

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.

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

Back to ...

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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Liner Notes (June 12th, 2020)

Zen

In this week’s newsletter, I share very early thoughts on the new albums from The Lawrence Arms and Ruston Kelly, talk a little about current and future website projects, and go through my regular media diet rundown from the past week. And, as always, there’s a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed this week as well. 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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Back to 2006 (Re-Ranking the Best of Lists)

Back to ...

Last week I started the process of re-looking through the AbsolutePunk.net, and my personal, best-of lists from the early years. I began with one of my favorite years in my musical memory, 2005. It’s a year filled with nostalgia, pop-punk royalty, and stacked top to bottom with albums virtually anyone that grew up in this music scene consider classics. But here’s the thing about nostalgia, not all of it’s soaked in sunshine. Part of looking back means doing it with the clearer eyes of today; what you know now has to impact what you see. And that means it won’t always be fun because the light of the present can see into the shadows of the past.

What I remember most about AbsolutePunk in 2006 was that it felt like a shift in the music scene was underway, and it happened quickly. From the pop-punk goodness of 2005, the music that paints our 2006 list has a darker tinge to it. Blink-182 are no more, and +44 carries with its pop-rock an undercurrent of bitterness. New Found Glory shed their pop-punk identity in Coming Home for a sound that immediately divides the fan base, and one they’ve never returned to. Bands begin to experiment a little more with their sound and stretch outward. The Format shift with Dog Problems, My Chemical Romance goes all out in The Black Parade, The Early November aim for glory with a triple-disc concept album, and we see various expansions from Underoath, AFI, and Moneen. And, on top of all of that, we have debut full-lengths from Saosin and Manchester Orchestra. Two bands that will feature in our lives for years to come.

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Interview: Mike Henneberger

Mike Henneberger

Recently I was able to have a phone conversation with author Mike Henneberger before he released his new memoir, Rock Bottom at the Renaissance. I previewed this book in the form of a review a few weeks ago, and it was enlightening to hear firsthand Mike’s take on what I had read in his memoir. We discussed other bands that have had an influence on him over the years, everything that went into writing his book, and the creation of his new company called Berger Media. The book is available to purchase everywhere starting today, and more details can be found at his official website.

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Liner Notes (June 5th, 2020)

street

Some weeks feel like years. This was one of them. In this week’s newsletter, I look at music and entertainment I enjoyed last week, share a playlist of ten songs I liked, and all the other usual stuff. 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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Back to 2005 (Re-Ranking the Best of Lists)

Back to 2005

Last week I was able to recreate and re-add all of the AbsolutePunk.net end of the year lists into our database from 2005 onward. This hit of nostalgia was paired with me shaking my head at not only the outcome of the staff lists but trying to figure out just what I was thinking on my lists as well. For the next few weeks, I’d like to deconstruct some of these lists and add some of the context and memories I have from this era of the music scene. And this week, I’m starting with what could arguably be one of the most significant years in our little emo-pop-punk world: 2005. 2005 was absolutely stacked with albums that have gone on to be regarded as scene classics. Albums that I still listen to and albums that helped define the music scene for years to come.

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Pride Merch Available for a Limited Time

www.janewhitemovie.com Pride Merch

Like last year, in celebration of Pride Month, I have put the “pride” version of the www.janewhitemovie.com merch into our store for the month of June. This year sees the addition of stickers, buttons, and magnets featuring the logo as well. I will be donating all of the proceeds from all merchandise sold in June to various charities at the end of the month.

If you’re curious about materials and sizing: this is a good starter on shirts, and this is good for fit.

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Liner Notes (May 29th, 2020)

Sky

This week’s newsletter has my early first impressions of Phoebe Bridgers’s new album,?Punisher. You’ll also find more thoughts on all of the best of lists that hit the website this week and my plans for their future, and my usual commentary on music and entertainment I enjoyed this week. And, of course, there’s a playlist of ten songs I liked as well. 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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Canvas Prints Make Good Wall Decorations

Hayley Williams

Over the weekend, I shared a photo of one of the walls in our home on Instagram. The photo is of the large wall in our living room area adorned with three large canvas prints of some of my favorite musicians. I first did this when I moved downtown in August of 2012, and I shared some of the photos and process back on AbsolutePunk.net and my old Tumblr (remember Tumblr?). After all of the questions and comments on the social media posts, I realized I didn’t have a good article to link people to that answered the basics any longer. Plus, phone cameras have come a long way since 2012.

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Liner Notes (May 22nd, 2020)

More Love Less Fear

It’s a 1975 album release day, so let’s talk about that. In this week’s newsletter, you’ll find my thoughts on their new album and some random thoughts on other music and entertainment I consumed this week. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved this week, 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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Building www.janewhitemovie.com 3.0 – The Design Process

design

It’s been a little over a week since I launched the new version of www.janewhitemovie.com and I’ve been pretty blown away by the positive response. I think it may be the best reaction to a redesign of any website I’ve ever built. For fun, I pulled out a bunch of the initial sketches I made during the process, as well as some of the various other designs I played around with before actually building the website. I thought some might find the entire process interesting.

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Interview: The Ghost Inside

The Ghost Inside

On June 5th, The Ghost Inside will triumphantly return with their self-titled fifth album – an eleven track journey featuring the heaviest and most poignant work of the band’s illustrious career. It’s the Los Angeles band’s first release in nearly six years and it’s a record that almost never existed as the path towards The Ghost Inside was littered with tragedy, pain, and self-doubt. On the morning of November 19, 2015, the band’s tour bus collided head on with a tractor trailer while headed west to Mesa, Arizona on U.S. Highway 180. The drivers of both vehicles, Greg Hoke and Steven Cunningham, lost their lives in the accident, while vocalist Jonathan Vigil, bassist Jim Riley, guitarists Zach Johnson and Chris Davis, and drummer Andrew Tkaczyk suffered life-changing injuries (Tkaczyk lost one of his legs following an initial ten-day coma). After facing a lengthy recovery period, the band took time to get into the right head space to figure out if they wanted to continue as The Ghost Inside. Realizing that this tragedy is the precise moment to put their inspirational lyrics to the test, the quintet returned to a sold-out performance last summer at Los Angeles’ The Shrine, promising new music soon. That moment is now and I was fortunate enough to speak with Andrew about the record, the moving visual for their first single “Aftermath,” and creating the record the band was always meant to make.

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Liner Notes (May 15th, 2020)

Liner Notes

I’m writing this week’s newsletter on not much sleep, but that doesn’t mean I’m short on opinions. In this week’s issue you’ll find thoughts on music and entertainment I enjoyed this week and a playlist of ten songs I loved. 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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