"Good Luck, Babe!"

I’ll be shocked if a more perfect pop song than Chappell Roan’s “Good Luck, Babe!” is released this year… maybe this decade. Every detail of the production is purposeful (the camp 80’s sitcom keys in the verses, the tension build in the pre chorus and the way it’s recapitulated/intensified in the bridge, the strings(!!!), the subtle-until-it-isn’t tape warble that could easily read as a nostalgic gimmick, but instead actually serves the emotion of the song) and the melody strains through melancholy towards ecstasy, leaving the tension perfectly unresolved. At the centre of it all is Chappell’s voice, which carries distinct echoes of Kate Bush and Cyndi Lauper but remains her own instrument, a thing of stunning beauty and range over which she has seemingly effortless control.

Three minutes and thirty seven seconds of pure pop bliss. Have a listen .

More on "The Devil—A Life"

PVC: “What did the devil give you?”

NC: “[…]I think the devil gave me a kind of disguise. It was just a way of, I think, ultimately—even though I didn’t really know this at the time—a way of telling… coming to certain realizations about things that were happening in my life, in disguise. So, it was never me… but it was, in the end, very much so and I guess that the devil was allowing me to look at certain things that went on through my life from a point of view of sin by attaching a pair of horns to myself.”

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Caught off guard by the passing of Steve Albini. The sounds he captured on record had a monumental impact on my musical formation in the early 90’s. He made some of my favorite artists sound like themselves, which is about the best thing an engineer/producer can do. May his memory be eternal. 😔

🎲 6 countries. 12 Armies. Surrounded by larger forces on all sides. But I’m feeling pretty good about my chances. #RISK!

My orange armies surrounded on a risk board, with my ruthless oppressor/daughter making a peace sign in the background.

A crooked saint with a crooked halo.

Self-portrait of S. Benjamin Holsteen—The Melancholic himself—with an Aerobie as halo, lovingly placed by his daughter.

Happy Cinqo de Mayo! Viva Mexico!

Margarita fixings...and half of a margarita!

Some Saturday photos 📷

Cherry BlossomsThe Young Man, Cheesin'Spanish Bluebells

It’s cherry blossom season in St Andrews.

Cherry blossoms cover a car park, with cherry blossom trees in the background.

On the Swiftiverse and the Limits of Popular Music as Franchise

This is a great piece by Sinéad O’Sullivan at The New Yorker. O’Sullivan gives name to the phenomenon that has, for me, begun to remove some of the shine from Taylor’s work over the course of the last few years: her records have increasingly come to feel less and less like “albums”, and more like entries in what O’Sullivan calls “a musical franchise”.

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Team Sleep - Ever (Foreign Flag)

This song is still, nearly 20 years on, one hell of a vibe and Chino Moreno is a hell of a singer.

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