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maybe this thing was a masterpiece

3 min

no it probably wasn't

maybe this thing was a masterpiece

I’ve been wanting to try out the substack audio feature, so there’s a little bit of an experiment if you click play above. And by “experiment,” I mean “7ish minutes of me talking about the Jersey Shore.” I like audio for chattier stuff like this, so depending on how it goes, I might do more. If you listened and enjoyed it, let me know!

On to the actual newsletter…

I have officially finished binging Every Single Album: Taylor Swift, a sub-podcast of the Ringer Dish podcast analyzing the combination of business and music genius shaping, you know, every single Taylor Swift album. And that means that I’m ready to commit to the multiple hours I need to all of her music in chronological order (I’ve tried this before but got distracted somewhere in the middle of Speak Now). It also means that I’m going to be mentioning this podcast any moment that I can, so it would be wise for anyone I have a conversation with to try and avoid making any kind of reference to anything that gives me an opening to talk about Taylor Swift.

But you opened up this newsletter, where I’m allowed to prompt myself with whatever I want, and I was already very excited about the fact that Taylor Swift announced that her next album rerecording is going to be Red. That’s the album that finally convinced me to get over my own issues and admit to myself that I liked Taylor Swift’s music. And while it’s not the album I revisit the most (I am still a reputation stan), I am very excited for the suggestion that this rerecording is going to have the 10+ minute long version of All Too Well. And also that the label has an “explicit” label on it, which I’m very much hoping means that the line “maybe this thing was a masterpiece/ til you tore it all up” finally becomes “maybe this thing was a masterpiece / til you fucked it all up” as I truly believe it is meant to be.

I think the Every Single Album podcast is such a great companion to following the rerecording project because the hosts, Nora Princiotti and Nathan Hubbard, are equally fascinated by both the creative and business elements that go into the making of such a long string of successful albums that cross multiple genres. And for Swift, the rerecording project itself is a combination of expressing both creative and financial control over the master recordings, shaped by decades working in the industry. It gets frustrating sometimes to enter celebrity discourse where the whole issue of the masters gets boiled down to just a snide sort of, “Well, she’s just doing it for the money,” because like, yeah? That’s kind of the point? But for me at least, that’s the angle that makes it all interesting because of how it shapes the choices Swift makes in recreating albums that are so informed by her own self, and that are so beloved by a fanbase she’s also worked hard to cultivate. And that’s what the Every Single Album podcast excels at exploring, even when it’s not explicitly discussing the rerecordings.

Some Shameless Plugs

an april + may reading recap: Over on my channel, I entered (very belatedly) into the Shadow and Bones show discourse with my thoughts on how the show is very accurate to the books, even when it isn’t faithful. Also, a book that helped me get out of some reading doldrums.

We Upgraded Our Microscope... Again!: Journey to the Microcosmos celebrated its 2 year anniversary this week! And it just so happened to coincide with the week we talked about our latest microscope upgrade, which includes fluorescence microscopy! (That exclamation point understates my excitement over finding out that we can now make microbes glow pretty colors.)

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