Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Do You Hear What I Hear?

If you ever wanted to know the whole story behind a treasured song, the Song Exploder podcast will be your favorite musical discovery.

For nearly two years, this podcast has been asking musicians - from The Postal Service to Ghostface Killah - to tell the story behind making a single song. The interview sessions turn into a platform for these creators to give in-depth explanations of lyrics and the thought process for using certain instruments. Every time I listen to an episode, I marvel at the genius behind the idea for this podcast.

The most recent episode highlights one of my favorite things of 2015 - the music used in the opening credits for the show, Transparent. 

Composer Dustin O'Halloran, created the theme music for the show. On the podcast he discusses how he wanted the simple plunky piano tune to give off a nostalgic feeling, which is exactly the effect it has on me, especially when the music is paired with the visuals of old home movie footage.

I love the show as a whole, but those initial moments in the credits is by far my favorite thing about Transparent. I know that sounds a little crazy, but it has been awhile since a show had such a compelling opening.

The credits for this show isn't about showing off the faces of the cast in awkward poses (as seen in many other shows), the Transparent credits seem like a mini movie. I want to know more about the people in those clips, especially the 60s beauty queen with the big hair and sequined dress. It's funny how much the pangs of nostalgia hit you during this intro, as if the clips in the credits are moments captured of our own family memories. We insert ourselves into the familiarity of these scenes.

I love to play and listen to music, but I don't think I will ever have a talent for writing songs. Song Exploder, really makes you realize how complex putting a song together actually can be. There is a lot of thought that goes into every single second.

Between this podcast and watching Love & Mercy (the movie about Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys), this week has been all about the magic and madness behind the creative geniuses who work tirelessly to make the stuff that we simply kick back and enjoy.

You can subscribe to the Song Exploder podcast through iTunes or just check out each episode on their website.

Plus, as a good tie in, the new season of Transparent has premiered on Amazon. I've only got the first ep. under my belt and while I loved it as a whole, the ending left me with lots of curious thoughts. It was wildly inventive, so much so, that I'm not sure I even wholly understood it. But that's the best kind of entertainment - anything that makes you think things you may never have thought before and leaves you wanting more. It was intriguing and I can't wait to see how it all ties into the rest of the season.

Hope you all are digging the show and podcast as well.

Until next time.

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