It's like the sun is going down on DC
April 3, 2014 6:52 PM   Subscribe

Hrishikesh Hirway hosts and produces Song Exploder, a podcast on the Maximum Fun network. This week's episode featured Jeff Beal, composer for Rome and Blackfish, explaining the process behind the development of the theme songs (and title sequences) for both seasons of Netflix's House of Cards.

Each brief episode of Song Exploder features a musician breaking one of his or her pieces down to its component elements and a discussion of the creative process, finally ending by bringing the whole work back together for a full listen through.

House of Cards Season 1 Theme
House of Cards Season 2 Theme
Supertramp's The Crime of the Century (live in Dublin)

Previous Song Exploders have featured Daedelus (composer of what became known in hip-hop circles as the Accordion Riff -- spoiler: no actual accordion), and the Postal Service.
posted by sparklemotion (9 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Fun fact: I live in one of the "bad" neighborhoods featured in the credits. Yay!

I actually really like the House of Cards title sequence, because, unlike the rest of the show, it more or less captures the entirety of DC in a way that few productions manage to. It's pretty shocking how many film and TV productions profoundly fail to even remotely capture the essence of being in DC. Based on the routes that people took to walk or drive to places, I'm pretty sure that the West Wing's writers never even bothered to look at a map...

Unfortunately, despite what House of Cards would have you believe, we do not have a limitless supply of 24-hour diners and delicious BBQ ribs.

Seriously. Even though it's a complete dystopia, I'd gladly live in the HoC version of DC, as long as I'd be able to indulge in the diners.

posted by schmod at 7:56 PM on April 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

I love song exploder. Just discovered it recently when I was searching through the list of max fun shows. It's definitely the best one, even though I love mbmbam and ross&carrie.

Also, I had no idea the host's name would be spelled like that.
posted by cirrostratus at 8:07 PM on April 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Really though, I just wish there were more episodes. It's still so new that there are too few to really get lost in.
posted by cirrostratus at 8:17 PM on April 3, 2014

In the tags I tried to show some of the examples of how I thought that maybe his name would parse, because he says it so very quickly, and he doesn't credit himself in the show notes.

I honestly thought he was probably the son of a japanese woman and an anglo-saxon man: Rishike Sherway.

I was just very excited that the subject of this episode was a track that I know and really like a lot -just listening to the broken down violins doing the "puppetmaster" theme gets me all stirred up and mad at Kevin Spacey again.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:20 PM on April 3, 2014

Oh, and given that my only exposure to Supertramp before today was "Logical Song" on oldies radio, finding Crime of the Century and realizing that they are actually a pretty good band was also a nice bonus.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:22 PM on April 3, 2014

Yeah, the way he says it I always thought it was something like Rishi K. Sureway. The guy clearly has impeccable taste though, just judging by who he's pulled so far.

The house of cards episode was great, and hopefully hints at some of the variety this show can offer in addition to tearing apart a lot of electronic acts.

I would love to hear him tear apart a loop pedal musician. Someone like a Zoey Keating or a Tyondai Braxton.
posted by cirrostratus at 8:29 PM on April 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

From the interview: "People had been removed from the time-lapse photography used in the titles."

That accounts for my reaction of surreal ghostliness. Too cool.
posted by warm_planet at 8:52 PM on April 3, 2014

Hrishikesh also makes music under the moniker The One AM Radio and I think it's great, dreamy electronic pop music. Here's a track! ("Everything Falls Apart")

posted by raihan_ at 9:17 PM on April 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

I think MF Doom used that accordion riff too.
posted by boilermonster at 11:31 PM on April 29, 2014

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