Sunday Scaries [5.31.20]

Good morning…I guess?

Things are awful right now. Things have always been awful, but they’ve reached a boiling point. I’m delusional optimistic enough to dream about a future where we can abolish the police and put an stop to the seemingly endless murders of black Americans, but it’s not incumbent upon those same black folks whose lives are at risk to fix it. It’s on us—the people with the privilege to walk through life in relative safety. If you have the means this week, please donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund in support of the protesters. I know that this small act made me feel slightly less helpless in the face of tragedy. It is, by definition, the least I could do. I stand in solidarity with the protesters across the nation and will use my voice and my wallet whenever possible to aid in the fight.

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image source: @arianagrande on instagram

Ariana Grande posted the above image on Friday, a list of the names of a fraction of the black lives that have been lost just in recent memory. I have spent so much of the past week crying and thinking of them, and thinking of all of the people who, as a result of police brutality, live in constant fear. I can’t believe not murdering people on the basis of race is a political statement rather than a universal moral belief.

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burlington, vt

*This post was written (and purchases made) prior to the murder of George Floyd by white supremacist police officer Derek Chauvin, which I feel bears noting because thinking about anything other than how to make change right now feels frivolous. Posting on social media is NOT the same thing as activism, but using a social platform and not discussing this feels wildly tone-deaf. This pointless little blog has always been a place where I can vent about things ranging from laughably stupid to deadly serious, and I’m so lucky to have a space to do so. I will never take this freedom for granted.

    1. Bookshop posted a list of anti-racist reading material and I can’t wait to check out some of these titles.
    2. I have officially gone insane and reorganized my refrigerator no fewer than 5 times during quarantine. The Home Edit dropped their fridge & freezer line last week, so you KNOW I snagged some drawers. I was literally inside my fridge with a measuring tape–should I seek treatment?
    3. Just started listening to Jessica Simpson’s Open Book and I started crying halfway through the prologue. I was never a huge JS fan, but I love memoirs and I’m so inspired by her bravery in telling her story. Even within the opening pages, she confronts so many issues that a lot of women never feel empowered enough to admit to or talk about. I’m listening via the Libby app; I cannot stress enough how important it is to support libraries.
    4. I am exclusively wearing t-shirt dresses these days. I used to love this dress, but I’m still not sure that we can support Everlane again, so I bought this one to try out.
    5. I keep seeing these as a promoted ad, and I definitely won’t get one for a while since outside is cancelled, but it seems like a great idea for when society reopens. Perfect for travel!
    6. I bought these for my bedroom and I could not be more pleased with the purchase.
    7. I caved and got a new laptop. Mine has been faithfully serving me for over 7 years, and it was just time. I justified the purchase because I’m going to start taking classes again (apparently one Master’s degree wasn’t enough…) although the *second* I completed the purchase of the new computer, my current one miraculously started functioning well again…Apple is Big Brother.
    8. Pretty sure I need to stop being suckered in by celebrity home goods lines, but these bowls are the best things I own and I want to eat dinner out of them every night.
    9. After decades of playing editions from the 1980s, I finally upgraded to a new Trivial Pursuit. I did win the first game by a hair, if you’re wondering.
    10. All of my song challenge playlists are done. End of an era.
      1. challenge 1: songs
      2. challenge 2: more songs
      3. challenge 3: even more songs
    11. Bonus Content: Punch Up the Jam did an episode about the greatest song of all time.

Rest in Power, and here’s hoping that by this time next week, we see some fucking justice.

-c

 

Shout Out Sunday 11.17.19

**This is last week’s post that I managed to never publish. Travel back in time to November 10th as you read this.**

Hello, hello (hola!) I’m pretty sure I just outed myself as extremely old by making a 15-year-old U2 reference, but there’s no shame in my Dad-joke game. We’ll get right to it this week, then!

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  1. I recently started a tutoring job at a local community college and I just have to say how inspired and hopeful it makes me about the future. I went to a predominantly white university in suburban Massachusetts, so my college experience was wildly different than the population I’m working with. The students who come to the tutoring center are so kind and motivated to succeed—getting to know them and be a tiny part of their stories makes me better and is the highlight of my week.
  2. This is old news at this point, but Jeannie Gaffigan was on WTF with Marc Maron and her interview was fascinating. I can’t wait to check out her book!
  3. Elizabeth Warren released a Medicare for All plan and we simply must stan. Without getting too personal, I recently had a huge bomb dropped on me re: my employer-provided health insurance, so this issue both ideologically and personally affects me. The healthcare system in this country is so broken (my therapist certainly agrees!), so two of the Democratic frontrunners running on unequivocal M4A platforms is hugely important.
  4. On that note, I can’t stop laughing at this tweet.
  5. Speaking of Twitter, Hunter Harris is the best person on there.
  6. Sunnyside on NBC is such an amazing show, but of course, as is typical of smart comedies, didn’t get its due. Networks taking away all my favorite shows—that’s Cancel Culture.
  7. Winter has officially come to Boston (the forecast says snow on Tuesday), so it’s time to revisit my favorite coats: the Everlane ReNew Long Puffer and the ReNew Lightweight Puffer. And, I have to admit, I bought a peacoat at Target and I’ve been wearing it every day.
  8. I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately, but I’ve been revisiting a ton of ’90s alternative rock, and I will absolutely give myself vocal nodes singing along to Celebrity Skin. Truly one of the best and most iconic albums of all time. I stan the legend Courtney Love!
  9. I got the new iPhone in the mint-green color and honestly, it’s ruining my life. I was so suspicious of FaceID but I have to admit…it’s really convenient?? Also, the screen is bigger than on my last phone, so it makes doing the NYTimes Crossword easier and that is truly my only priority in life.
  10. I’m going to New Orleans next month! I’ve been once, in 2016 right after my wedding, but this time I want to do it right! What should I do while I’m there?
  11. *very local reference* The Red Lentil in Watertown is incredible. Bostonians, flock!
  12. And most importantly, tomorrow is Veteran’s Day, and while I am personally vehemently anti-war and military spending, one thing we absolutely should and must spend government money on is taking care of veterans and their families. And, tbh, all vulnerable populations. Not doing so is, frankly, un-American!

Au revoir, mes enfants!

Shout Out Sunday 9.15.19

Good morning! Going to be a short and (sort of) repetitive one, since I’m rushing out the door to tutor. P.S. Yeah, I’m an English tutor! If you’re local to the Boston/Providence area email me at chelsea.e.harper@gmail.com to set up a sliding-scale lesson! Beyond that, here’s my week in review!

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source: netflix. watch just keep livin’? and i’m gonna die alone and i feel fine!
  1. Saw Jen Kirkman (again) on Friday night and she was amazing, per usual. Catch her on tour!
  2. I went to a polo match yesterday and it was SO. MUCH. FUN. You’d think polo would be really hard to follow but it’s actually really accessible and interesting! We got to even go behind the scenes and meet the horses since my friend Annie is an amazing horse girl and has mad connections. Going to Newport Polo was so laid-back…next time we’ll definitely have to tailgate! I’m actually thinking about maybe taking a riding lesson at Fairfield Farm…can you believe I used to be afraid of horses?
  3. I am on an eternal quest to find cute pajama sets, and these are looking mighty fine to me. Leopard print forever.
  4. It’s sweater szn, baby! Yes, yes, and yes!
  5. Girlfriend Collective is ALL 15% off right now, and I managed to score additional discounts with code WINGIT. I hope it still works for y’all! I got the Topanga Bra & High-Rise Leggings in Daybreak.
  6. Treated myself to a few Everlane goodies: this shirt, this shirt, and these jeans are Choose What You Pay!
  7. Re: the fashion posts above, I’m really trying to sort through all of my clothes and purge, purge purge! In a perfect world, you should only have to KonMari once, but I think a refresh every few years is warranted. I’m learning important lessons about impulsivity and purchasing. Remember how I bought myself these Docs? Yeah…they gave me a blister about the size of a quarter. Will be returning, if possible. Sometimes you try to incorporate something into your style that just doesn’t fit…
  8. And last but not least, it’s my best friend’s birthday today! SHOUT OUT SARAH.

Until next week!

Shout Out Sunday 9.8.19

Good morning, star shines! I have to dash off to tutor, so we’ll get right into it today!

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image via rolling stone
  1. The Highwomen album is out! Praise!
  2. There’s a bunch of really cute stuff on sale at Baublebar right now! I snagged this necklace and this set of earrings.
  3. You know I’m buying this amazing book. And this one, of course. Should I start posting book reviews again?
  4. Scrunchies are back, baby! What does it all mean? That scene from Sex and the City (referenced in the article) has been ringing in my ears for the better part of 20 years, but I absolutely love how scrunchies look.
  5. Someone PLEASE get me these boots. Also, Everlane has a new bra out? Must have it.
  6. Just discovered these bags and I’m obsessed. Best part? They’re vegan.
  7. Would you ever get a lash lift? I have short, stubby eyelashes and I literally cannot put on falsies—I wore them once, at my wedding, and someone else applied them. I absolutely love the look—I go big on mascara every day. I’ve wanted to get extensions for ages but this seems like a good in-between? My mother got me some Lash Boost (I assume she got a good deal because holy mother of expensive!), so I’ll start using that before I get into salon treatments.
  8. I’m thinking of checking out this tattoo shop for my next piece. Now to decide what to get…too many ideas, too little available skin!
  9. Started watching The Bisexual on Hulu and I’m really liking it! Apparently 6-episode series from the UK are my entire jam. I’m glad it’s calling attention to biphobia which is fucking
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  10. You absolutely must watch this Highwomen live performance. You simply must!

See you next week!

 

Shout Out Sunday 9.1.19

I’ve been the worst at putting these up lately, so this week’s is going to be AWESOME. JAM-PACKED with goodies. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

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cue mitski’s “me and my husband”
  1. Lana Del Rey’s new album is out and it’s called Norman Fucking Rockwell!!! I can’t even handle that. I’ve been on the Lana Del Train since the very beginning so I’m sure this will be on repeat aaaallll week. P.S. She covered Sublime’s “Doin’ Time.”
  2. Sucré put out a new video for “Truth or Dare” !!!!!
  3. Have you ever heard of Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria? My therapist told me about it earlier this week, and it was like a punch in the gut how much it spoke to me and what I’ve been going through these godforsaken 28 years.
  4. I have these in gold and I just ordered them in silver because they are the greatest earrings ever made. Try the code SUMMERBLUES for 20% off (not sure how long it’s good for so go go go!)
  5. I’m reading Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion (on my Kindle via Libby, obvi) and really enjoying it thus far! Don’t trust anyone who says you can’t judge a book by its super-cool looking cover.
  6. Have you been listening to Throwing Shade Presents: GROCERIES?! That’s right! A podcast about grocery stores! It’s on Stitcher Premium and they’re having a subscription sale with the code LABORDAY right now, so you know what to do.
  7. I read Little Fires Everywhere and loved it, so as the Celeste Ng completist I am, I’m reading Everything I Never Told You next.
  8. Justin Baldoni did a TED talk about redefining masculinity and it’s incredible.
  9. Did I mention that I’m trying out these reusable makeup-remover pads? The ones I got are sold out but the adorable grapefruit ones are still available. My goal is to use these for makeup removal only, and to snag some reusable rounds for toner/micellar water.
  10. I’m trying to be a little bit better about doing laundry…it’s my least favorite chore. But especially as I’m transitioning towards more sustainable clothing purchases (hello, Everlane!), I want my things to last me years. Jolie Kerr, of Ask A Clean Person fame, recommends mesh laundry bags—who am I to question an expert?
  11. Also, I bought these. Please don’t judge me.

 

Shout Out Sunday 8.25.19

I wrote this an age ago so we’ll get right to it!

  1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng lived up to the hype and then some. It’s incredible.
  2. I cannot even explain to you how much I want this bag.
  3. So I treated myself to this bag.
  4. My husband and I have been watching Cheers on Netflix and it’s such a fun throwback!
  5. I got to see Rob Delaney perform a couple of weeks ago and it was sublime!
  6. I was desperate to get into another series after reading the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, so I started reading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. The best part is that I’m reading it on my Kindle for free using the Libby app!
  7. This jumpsuit has been in my cart for months. Should I cave and get it?
  8. My Grove Collaborative box accidentally shipped this month even though I didn’t need anything (my notification must have gone to spam). Within a day, customer service responded to me, refunded the entire order, and asked me to donate the items rather than return them. Is it any wonder I love this company? I was able to give a bunch of toiletry items to a friend who’s moving in a couple of weeks.
  9. What did you think of Whitney Cummings’ newest special?
  10. I can’t find the exact one I have, but this is my favorite lipstick.

Until…tomorrow!

Shout Out Sunday 6.30.19

[Sorry this is late!]

Happy Sunday! Hopefully you have a short week coming up (mine’s only 3 days!) Since I’m already a day late I figure I’ll get right to it with no preamble!!

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  1. Nicole Cliffe wrote a celeb profile and it was of…ALANIS MORISSETTE. The exact crux of all of my interests. It’s a must read–check it out in SELF.
  2. ADHD diagnoses are a gendered issue. I finally got medication for it (at almost 28-years-old) and I can already feel my life changing. This old episode of Stuff Mom Never Told You does a great job of talking about this massive problem.
  3. This profile of my favorite internet person slaps.
  4. I purchased the shoes.
  5. Nutrition science is a sham!
  6. Why is halloumi not a thing in the US? In England I ate it about 1,000 times in three weeks. A truly perfect food.
  7. I am HYPE for the 4th of July, but mostly because of the various “salads” (potato, macaroni, etc). This macaroni salad recipe looks bomb.
  8. This skirt rules. I can’t decide which color to get!
  9. I bought a weighted blanket and I’m so excited to try it. Of course I bought the pink.
  10. Punch Up the Jam did “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn and now I CAN’T STOP LISTENING TO IT!
  11. Finally started watching Big Little Lies season 2 and HOLY CRAP MERYL STREEP. The performance of a lifetime.

Until next week!

-chels

Why do I want to buy expensive sneakers?

Here’s the tea: I never wear sneakers. I have a few really cute pairs that run the gamut from Converse, to athletic Reeboks, to slide-on TOMS, to throwback ’80s high-tops (Call Me By Your Name-style), but I never, ever put them on my feet for any reason. Well, there are a couple of reasons. One is that I work in a business-casual office, so sneakers aren’t really appropriate for daily dress. Second, I hate socks. They are an ugly item of clothing and don’t try to convince me otherwise! The third reason is that I’m a damn coward who refuses to incorporate sneakers into her more polished looks.

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*”love my way” by the psychedelic furs plays*

I feel like dresses with sneakers has been canon for a while, but I always feel terribly frumpy when I try it. Also, I have monster feet (size 10, baby), so where a normal human woman would look adorable with her lil’ Barbie feet in a pair of Stan Smiths, I look like either a clown or a pro basketball player.

So why, since I do not even wear the sneakers I already have, do I want to buy an expensive-ass pair of sneakers right now?

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“comfort that comes naturally”

I’m a goddamn sucker for marketing, that’s why. Allbirds has been trying to weasel its way into my life for years—the occasional postcard in the mail, sponsored posts on favorite blogs. My favorite journalist/Twitter person Amanda Mull just put out a piece about them for The Atlantic. But now Everlane has introduced a sneaker. Everlane, the brand I love so dearly, whose judgment I trust in all things.

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I mean, at least the Allbirds shoes are cute. The Everlane kicks look like nurse shoes, like orthopedics. And yet, I look at them convincing myself—These could be cute on. They come in pink, Chelsea. Ugly things are cute in fashion—don’t you remember the entire ’90s? (For reference, see the Wild Fable section of Target or Urban Outfitters in general)

At $95 and $98, respectively, the price point is, in my opinion, reasonable. Having worked in off-price retail, I know that sneakers are expensive af, and you pay for quality. Both of these shoes are sustainably made, which is something every one of us should consider as we purchase clothing. The fashion industry is one of the most environmentally destructive forces on earth, and we should celebrate transparent companies whose mission is to reduce waste.

So I’m not deterred by the price or the product—I’m deterred by me, the person who, for so long, has wanted to get into sneakers but keeps failing. The person who wears sandals in 55 degree weather because it’s so much easier than sitting down and lacing up shoes. But in the back of my mind, I hear the warnings: Wear sensible shoes, girl. You’re young now, but if you don’t take care of your feet while you’re young, you’ll have a whole host of back problems later on. You may need to see a chiropractor or—gasp!—a podiatrist. Can I become the type of person who prioritizes function over fashion, sensibility over style?

I’ll inevitably end up with both of these shoes. I know myself. I’ve been so good about not spending money this year that I can justify the price points. I guess I’ll let you know how my sneaker odyssey goes. Maybe 28 will be the year I finally start taking care of my barking dogs.

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Shout Out Sunday 1.6.19

So, I mentioned last week that I was thinking of changing the title of the feature. I’m still playing around, but we’ll go with “Shout Out Sunday” for now.

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  1. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season two is sensational, but Amy Sherman-Palladino really likes to leave us on unsatisfying cliffhangers, doesn’t she?
  2. Everlane just added some amazing new styles! The button-fly jeans are everything.
  3. The No-Spend Month has been going…okay. I’ve definitely spent way less than I normally would, but I just went to Target and kind of blew it. But there were penguin-shaped catnip toys on clearance for like, $1! How can I not get that for Della? I may need to get her these, because how freaking cute are they? I mean, I also bought a Hearth & Hand wall shelf (I can’t find the link!), because self-control is hard, guys. And it matches my bathroom! When my spending freeze is over, I’m for sure getting this cactus.
  4. I just discovered this kiddo shop on Amazon and my ovaries are practically jumping out of my body.
  5. The Marie Kondo show is out! I KonMari’d years ago, but it’s so nice seeing other people catch on to what is truly the best organizational system you’ll ever try. Nothing else works. Clutter and “organized chaos” are not cute. It’s not “artsy” to be bogged down by possessions. Especially if you have a family, it’s so essential and time-saving to have a clean, organized space. Doing KonMari has literally improved my mental health and sense of peace. Try it!
  6. I’ve probably pimped this before, but this is my all-time favorite “natural” nail polish.

Short one this week. But isn’t that what self-care’s all about? Knowing your limits. See you next week!

Brand Crush: Reformation

So, to those in the know about sustainable fashion, Reformation is hardly news. But I don’t like to promote things that I haven’t actually tried, so I waited until now to write about them (their sale section is bananas good right now). They’re transparent, ethical, and oh, did I mention their clothes are sexy AF? They even have a list of sustainable washing practices on their site, though ya girl is way to much of a compulsive germaphobe to not wash after every wear (I’m just now starting to let pieces like my denim pinafore—similar here—have a second life before I toss it in the wash). I’ve heard of the jeans in the freezer thing, but I’m not emotionally ready to go there.

I am trying to do better in all aspects of my life, and one huge goal for 2019 is to significantly reduce my carbon footprint. The holiday season comes with a lot of waste (my husband and I barely fill up a trash bag a week normally and lately it’s been bursting at the seams by trash day). Reformation is on board—not only do they do their best to reduce waste and emissions in production, but they arm the consumer with the knowledge to prolong the life of their clothes and reduce additional waste. Rad.

So here’s the result of my lusty perusal of their site, some cool collabs, and my very few complaints about the label overall.

Goods

I think we all know I stan a jumpsuit. Meet Georgia, Cassidy, Mayer, Carolina, and Molly.

They call me ranch, ’cause I be dressin’. Meet Alma, Nicola, Zelda, and Josephine.

Their denim game is on point.

THEY MAKE WEDDING DRESSES. I’m literally so mad that I wasn’t really hip to Reformation when I got married, because I 100% would have gotten my dress here. Their prices are insanely reasonable and their stock is gorgeous. I’m torn between Rosey and Milan for which one I’d have worn, but heaven knows I’d have had to duct tape my tits into place.

Collabs

Girlfriend Collective. You heard correctly—Girlfriend Collective! Only my favorite activewear brand is available at Reformation, in some colors that aren’t up on the GC site!

La Ligne. La Ligne is a NYC womenswear brand that makes the most gorgeous clothes. These sweaters are goals.

Patagonia. Patagonia isn’t exactly my jam, but as far as I’m aware, they make super high-quality outside clothes. Is outside clothes a term? Clothes that you’d wear if you went hiking. NGL, though, I could eff with this white puffer jacket.

Marissa A. Freakin’ Ross. Marissa A. Ross, author of Wine, All the Time. and Wine Editor at Bon Appétit, collab’d with Reformation to do sustainable wine pairings. This situation is my brand.

Gripes

Price. Everything is so goddamn expensive. Of course I’m willing to pay more for sustainable fashion. Duh! But $218 on a jumpsuit, no matter how gorgeous, is just not my lifestyle right now. If it goes on sale for $35, like this jumpsuit I snagged, then we can talk. Sustainable fashion is kind of a Catch-22—it’s more labor-intensive to make, since the clothes have to be environmentally and ethically produced, so the only thing that would make the price go down is demand #econ101. But the average person is more easily enticed by Fashion Nova* prices (no shade, Cardi) and can’t justify more expensive clothing into their budgets. I’m trying to do what I can (sticking to brands like Everlane and Girlfriend), but rewiring your brain to a minimalist mindset (a smaller wardrobe with much higher quality clothes) is tough—we live in a capitalist hell-state that actively discourages this.

Sizing. Reformation’s sizing inclusivity is…not great. They only go up to a size 12, which, based on actual research, is smaller than what the average American woman wears. To quote the holy book, Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible, which yes, I have read cover-to-cover…well, actually, I can’t find the quotation, but it is from this text that I learned that the average American woman actually wears a 14 petite (which is what my gorgeous grandmother wears and she hates herself for it! Body positivity might be a scam, but we all need to do better.) Just because this brand is great for me (I’m currently an 8 at my heaviest ever) doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge how wack it is that retailers aren’t realistic about women’s bodies.

Busted. This is just a personal one because I have awful boobs reminiscent of the wacky arm-flailing inflatable tube man in front of a car dealership. I love the low-cut look (although Miley’s outfit during her first SNL performance last week made me want to start stress-smoking**), but my breasts are just not amenable to this look without prayer and duct tape (or, constant adjusting that makes me look like I’m fondling myself). This actually falls into the sizing category, to some degree—for a size 0 model with double-As and photo shoot resources, this look is amazing. Also, side note—having worked on several photo shoots, we basically perform witchcraft to get garments to look good; things are taped, tucked, pinned, tied, and clipped. So, even though the clothes are fresh as hell, the mere silhouette implies exclusivity for the (almost every) woman that can’t pull certain looks off.

So, overall, I’d give Reformation a B+. A+ for serving looks, A+ for sustainability, but SEE ME after class for inclusivity. Reformation, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

*Confession—prior to Cardi B announcing her “bollection,” I had never heard of Fashion Nova before. Apparently it’s a huge thing? I’ve been doing my damndest not to shop fast fashion (praying that J.Crew & Madewell don’t count), so I’m actually kind of proud of myself for not knowing. Not gonna lie, though, I really want that yellow suit she wore on Carpool Karaoke.

**I know Miley is problematic, but she has never looked more beautiful than she does now. Hearing her talk about Liam saving the animals when their Malibu house burned down made me full-on ugly cry. Also, her ass got Sean Ono Lennon on the SNL stage, something he deserves as a brilliant musician and songwriter.