Reply All: #39 Reply All Exploder
September 18, 2015 7:46 AM - Subscribe

Reply All hands the airwaves over to Hrishikesh Hirway of the Song Exploder podcast and we are treated to a double feature: First the origin's of the Reply All theme by the mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder, and then Phil Elverum of the Microphones on his song "I Want Wind to Blow"
posted by selenized (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I really like Song Exploder so this was a nice dive into what goes into a theme song. Also all the layers! There are so many layers!

(also: anth-ee-mic? or anth-eh-mic?)
posted by selenized at 7:49 AM on September 18, 2015

I keep having little bits of Song Exploder inserted into my podcasts, and I always like listening to it, but I never actually subscribe. An earlier episode, on The Long Winters' song "The Commander Thinks Aloud", was put into a 99 Percent Invisible episode, and by the time I heard the full song play, I was crying.

The other two theme-song episodes I've heard are equally as good: Jeff Beal on House of Cards and Loren Bouchard on Bob's Burgers. I might have commented myself into actually subscribing to Song Exploder finally.
posted by gladly at 9:34 AM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

The mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder is so mysterious - I am really curious to know if the woman speaking was actually BC! I really love that theme song (it's particularly nice to hear while walking down the street for some reason). I've heard a lot of Song Exploders and the ones about theme songs are particularly interesting. So many layers (and beep boops) go into them.
posted by radioamy at 9:21 PM on September 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

I am not Breakmaster Cylinder
posted by Alex Goldman at 4:56 AM on September 19, 2015 [5 favorites]

Alex, is that a new entry for

(Today I successfully hooked a friend on this podcast - next, the world! Or at least one other friend!)
posted by Gin and Broadband at 6:28 AM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

song exploder seems so song dependent for me. I don't care how a song I've never heard was made. Are fans of the podcast interested in every episode, or only ones for songs they already know?
posted by garlic at 8:57 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Garlic, I generally like hearing creative people talk about something they made that excites them, so Song Exploder is pretty perfect for me. While it's fun hearing someone talk about a song that I like, it's also interesting to hear someone talk about why they love something that I don't care for, so either kind of episode is OK with me.

With that said, though I will basically listen to every episode of Song Exploder (the episodes are so short!), I do sometimes find myself skipping, say, an episode of WTF these days if it's about someone I'm not particularly interested in.

I run a podcast similar to Song Exploder, and I've recently been trying to think if there's a way I can get around the problem (if it is a problem) of people skipping over episodes that aren't by people they know. My intuition is that there are a lot of people who would enjoy the episodes, even if they don't know the artist; but then, given my own preferences, I would think that. (It's particularly a concern for me because many of the people I talk to are regional or obscure acts.)
posted by jwgh at 7:36 AM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've heard a lot of Song Exploders and the ones about theme songs are particularly interesting.

Yeah, the Bob's Burgers one is fantastic. I'm with garlic, though - I've tried listening to a bunch of other episodes, but with a few exceptions (like the Tuneyards one, which is pretty great) I just don't find myself caring. Like the Microphones song featured in the second half of this episode... the guy talked forever about the layers of vocals, and then when it got to the song I could barely hear them. Shrug, move on.
posted by psoas at 5:05 PM on September 21, 2015

psoas - I agree I haven't been as into some of the other eps of Song Exploder. I did love The Postal Service's episode because I really love that album, and when they played the song at the end I heard elements that I'd never heard before! Also the one where they break down music from a video game was particularly interesting because of how the music has to be constructed.
posted by radioamy at 6:33 AM on September 22, 2015

I think I actually groaned out loud in my car when I heard the intro to this episode, because I generally hate "we're doing this totally different thing this week" and "this podcast is a different podcast" episodes. But I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. The first segment was much more interesting to me. I hadn't heard the second song before, and don't really like it, but it was still fun to hear how it was made. I don't plan to subscribe to Song Exploder but I may skim the archives to see if there are any songs I do know that I'd like to hear about.
posted by primethyme at 7:21 AM on September 23, 2015

I am not Breakmaster Cylinder
posted by Alex Goldman at 7:56 AM on September 19 [3 favorites +] [!]

I had suspected you were since back in OTM TL;DR days.

Now that you publicly declare you're not BMC, I'm convinced you are.

(In all seriousness, I love the podcast.)
posted by aught at 1:43 PM on November 4, 2015

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