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Jul 1, 2020

A toast to the groom! To the bride! To knowing you'll always regret the sacrifice you made for your sister!

In this updated 2019 episode, Kirk takes a dive into Lin-Manuel Miranda's epic Broadway musical Hamilton, focusing on Renée Elise Goldsberry's first act showstopper, "Satisfied."

Regret tinges an otherwise joyous...

Jun 24, 2020

You don't have to be beautiful, rich, OR cool to appreciate Prince - you just need a little extra time, a pair of ears, and a pulse.

It's finally time to talk about the Purple One on Strong Songs, specifically his 1986 chart-topper "Kiss." How did a song that was originally written for a standard band become so...

Jun 10, 2020

On this Strong Songs mailbag episode, Kirk answers your most pressing questions on subjects ranging from horn transposition, to why audiences have a hard time clapping on 2 and 4, to what the heck that sound is on the bridge to "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic."


  • “Thunderstruck” by...

May 27, 2020

D, A, C, G. Four chords, placed end to end, repeated over and over again.

On this episode, Kirk takes a deep dive into Sufjan Stevens's "Chicago," the centerpiece of his brilliant 2005 album Illinois. It's a towering construction supported by four chords, with building blocks of vibraphones, wurlitzers, strings, and...

May 20, 2020

On this Patreon-funded bonus episode, Kirk is joined by Dallas Taylor, sound designer and host of the fabulous sound-focused podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz.

The two of them talk about what makes a great recording, the ineffable energy of live music, the history of the Roland TR-808 drum machine, album mastering and the...