Web Appreciation – Song Exploder

Podcast blows up a song each episode so the musicians can dissect the parts and provide insight into their influences and creative processes.

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Song Exploder Twitter AvatarSong Exploder (2014 – Present) is a one-man podcast, where a different musician talks about a specific song. It singles out different tracks and songwriters — drummer, guitarist, bassist, singer, etc. — share their thoughts about creating it.

The podcast 99% Invisible (2010 – Present) introduced to Song Exploder, both part of Radiotopia,  It shared Episode 28: The Long Winters, which is fascinating and got me hooked. “The Commander Thinks Aloud” is a good place to start, because the Long Winters’ songwriter is an excellent storyteller. He talked about the subject of the song, including his experience flying, hearing about the space shuttle disaster, and imagining impending doom. He also speaks eloquently about the different instrumental parts and their progression in the music.

Looking back in the archives, I found songs from other good bands, like Blonde Redhead and the Album Leaf. Older episodes play the full song first, but it’s nice that they’re at the end of the episode now. Recently, Song Exploder covered a new song from HEALTH (whom I’ve written about here) and introduced me to bands I haven’t listened to, like American Football. The website has a lot of links and visuals you can’t get in a podcast, so I recommend both.

Check out more Web Appreciation posts and e-mail me suggestions for other sites to cover. And if you value Write to Remember, consider buying my music.

Web Appreciation – A.V. Club's HateSong

“In HateSong, we ask our favorite musicians, writers, comedians, actors, and so forth to expound on the one song they hate most in the world.” – A.V. Club

avclub-logoI really enjoy The Onion, and A.V. Club had its own section in the paper version. Since their electronic versions are completely different websites, my viewership of A.V. Club dropped off almost completely.  That is, until I saw A.V. Club articles that The Onion was sharing on Facebook.  The one that caught my attention was “Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins on why he hates U2’s ‘Discothèque'”. I was curious about how it could be so bad and clicked to read the article.

But then I saw “Comedian Jon Daly on why he hates Green Day’s “American Idiot”.  Yes —  I was so disappointed in that whole album! Even though I had not heard of Jon Daly, we must have been on the same page.  Not completely, though.  The article is funny and he makes great points.  He was also into punk earlier, so Dookie was much more significant to me than him.  My issue with American Idiot was that the way it was like a re-branding effort to appeal to youngsters.  I would have liked to hear the music and the band members mature.  Unfortunately, the kids have more disposable income and are a more appealing audience.

Regardless, I’m looking forward to going back into the HateSong archives for more gems.  What’s your favorite HateSong post?