Song Exploder: The Long Winters - The Commander Thinks Aloud
February 5, 2015 8:42 AM - Subscribe

Obviously this is one of the best episodes of this podcast because it's just John Roderick expounding extemporaneously in his eloquent way. But the bit about the drummer's recording technique taught me something about music recording that I had never really even considered before. Amazong.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:43 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

That was pretty remarkable as an episode. If anything, I wish the host would offer up an unedited version of the live gig, since I imagine it went on for an hour or so of talking and I'd love to hear more about it.

The funny thing is I can play this song on piano because I bugged John about it and instead of giving me the sheet music for it, he sent along short videos he'd recorded for another friend to learn. I was taking piano at the time and it took me about six months to play the simple loop he repeats throughout the song, and I realized I'll never be much of a musician because I had trouble holding the timing on a slow, repetitive song like this.

The whole bit about the guest drummer coming in and how he was able to record five versions of his tracks with fills split into each take was so insane and incredible that it took my breath away. I have tried playing a friend's drum kit before and failed miserably (see above where I have no timing). To imagine someone can maintain a weird beat perfectly timed for five minutes, then do it four more times, and then on top of that remember where they did a fill on one track vs. the next is totally bonkers. I didn't think musicians could possibly keep that many things in their brains at once.

I heard from someone that was at the live show and they said it was really good and people were crying at several points when they talked the shuttle disaster in depth. I missed the event due to a wedding, but now I really want to hear the whole live show somehow.
posted by mathowie at 11:16 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I don't normally follow this podcast, but I 'm a big Roderick fan and I love this song. Thank you!
posted by entropicamericana at 12:58 PM on February 5, 2015

Goddammit, I just started listening to this and I've already got something in my eye.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:00 PM on February 5, 2015

one of the best episodes of this podcast

The best, full stop. This episode was so fantastic. I think part of that is because some of the other music featured in past episodes hasn't had much of a narrative behind it, but this one is entirely grounded in narrative.

For me, personally, this one was extremely moving, not only because I have really strong feelings about astronauts and space exploration, but also because a distant but dearly loved family member of mine was widowed in one of the aviation accidents Roderick mentioned. So now this song is not only about Columbia for me, but also about that, and it may be one of the saddest and most beautiful things I've ever heard.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:57 PM on February 6, 2015

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