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Breakmaster Cylinder - Reply All

Episode description

Four years ago, on November 24, 2014, the first episode of the podcast Reply All came out. It’s a podcast about the internet hosted by Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt. And since then, they’ve put out 131 episodes. The show has gotten over 100 million downloads so far. Robert Downey Jr. is going to star in a movie based on one of their episodes. And from the debut, it’s been one of my favorite podcasts. A while back, in 2015, I did a special edition of Song Exploder for Reply All, about their theme song by Breakmaster Cylinder. I’d hear the guys talk about the Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder in the show’s credits, but I didn’t really know who or what that was. And I wanted to find out more. So in honor of the four year anniversary of Reply All’s launch, I’m putting out this special crossover episode for the first time here on Song Exploder.

songexploder.net/reply-all

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Death Cab for Cutie released Kintsugi, their 8th album, on March 31, 2015. The song El Dorado, like other songs on the record, was written in the wake of the divorce between the band's lead singer Ben Gibbard and …

Sylvan Esso - Coffee

July 8th, 2015

11:32

Sylvan Esso has two members, Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, who met while they were both working on other projects. Amelia asked Nick to do a remix of a song by the band she was in at the time, and when that remix was …

U2 - Cedarwood Road

June 30th, 2015

14:50

10 Cedarwood Road is the address of Bono’s childhood home in Dublin. For the U2 song "Cedarwood Road," Bono looked back to his life there as a …

Will Butler - Anna

June 22nd, 2015

11:59

Will Butler is a member of the band Arcade Fire, and he co-wrote the score for the film Her, which earned him an Oscar nomination. In March 2015, he …

Ramin Djawadi - Game of Thrones

June 11th, 2015

10:37

Game of Thrones premiered on HBO in April 2011 and became the most watched show in HBO's history. The main title theme was written by Emmy-nominated composer Ramin Djawadi. In this episode, he'll break down the …

Brian Tyler - Avengers: Age of Ultron

May 29th, 2015

8:11

The title card for Avengers: Age of Ultron comes up twelve minutes into the movie. Against a black background, the Avengers logo takes up almost the entire screen. You might expect a triumphant, heroic piece of music, …

tUnE-yArDs - Water Fountain

May 18th, 2015

14:06

In this episode, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs breaks down "Water Fountain." It's a song that draws inspiration from the politics of drought and …

John Lunn - Downton Abbey

May 6th, 2015

7:07

The British TV show Downton Abbey is the most popular drama in PBS history, with over 10 million viewers per episode, and more Emmy nominations than …

My Morning Jacket - Spring (Among the Living)

April 23rd, 2015

13:08

Jim James is the lead singer of the Grammy-nominated band My Morning Jacket. Since starting in 1998, they've put out six albums, and in this episode, Jim breaks down the song Spring (Among The Living), from their …

Toro y Moi - Half Dome

April 14th, 2015

10:37

Over the past five years, Chaz Bundick, aka Toro y Moi, has made music that's spanned a range of genres and styles. On his newest album, What For?, he shifted styles again. In this episode, Chaz explains why. He'll …

RJD2 - Games You Can Win (feat. Kenna)

April 1st, 2015

13:31

RJD2 has been making music since 2002. His song "A Beautiful Mine" was turned into the opening credits music for Mad Men. He's a producer and …

How to Dress Well - Pour Cyril

March 25th, 2015

13:29

In an interview with Belgian filmmakers the Dardenne brothers, talking about the kinds of stories they tell, Luc Dardenne says, "Human suffering; that interests us very much." It also interests Tom Krell, a songwriter …

White Hinterland - Ring the Bell

March 13th, 2015

14:01

Casey Dienel is a producer, singer, and songwriter who goes by the name White Hinterland. In this episode, she'll break down her song Ring the Bell. To make it, she had to break out of her comfort zone of working alone …

Warpaint - Love Is to Die

March 3rd, 2015

13:33

In 2013, Warpaint starting working on their sophomore album. They retreated away from their home in Los Angeles to the nearby desert oasis of Joshua Tree, California. There, they wrote the song "Love Is to Die," and it …

Jeremy Zuckerman - The Legend of Korra

February 20th, 2015

13:05

In 2005, Nickelodeon premiered an animated series called Avatar: The Last Airbender, about a young boy and his friends who have to keep peace and balance in the world. It combined fantasy and martial arts, and ran for …

Alexandre Desplat - The Imitation Game

February 9th, 2015

12:04

The Imitation Game is a biographical film about Alan Turing, a mathematician who pioneered computer science and helped the British government break Nazi codes, but was then later prosecuted by the British government for …

The Long Winters - The Commander Thinks Aloud

January 30th, 2015

19:35

On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart while reentering the earth's atmosphere. John Roderick, singer and songwriter of The Long …

Blonde Redhead - Penultimo

January 19th, 2015

12:12

The band Blonde Redhead formed in 1993. Twenty-one years later, in 2014, the trio released their 9th album, and in this episode, they deconstruct …

Ghostface Killah - The Battlefield

January 7th, 2015

16:29

In November 2014, Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan released his 11th album, called 36 Seasons. A lot of people worked on it: soul band The …

The National - Sea of Love

December 22nd, 2014

16:37

The National formed in 1999. They've released six albums, and have been nominated for a grammy. Their music is everywhere from Game of Thrones, to Bob's Burgers, to Barack Obama's presidential campaign. In 2013 they …

Tycho - Awake

December 8th, 2014

11:40

Tycho is the project of designer-turned-musician Scott Hansen, along with guitarist Zac Brown and drummer Rory O'Connor. For this episode, which was recorded in front of a live audience in San Francisco, Scott breaks …

Stars - No One Is Lost

November 26th, 2014

11:47

Stars is a band from Toronto, who have been making music together since 2000. Their seventh album was released in October 2014. For this episode, I spoke to several members of the band: singer Amy Millan over the phone, …

The Books - Smells Like Content

November 12th, 2014

15:51

Before The Books broke up, they released four albums that combined composed music and found sounds. In this episode, Nick Zammuto explains how he crafted the song Smells Like Content, off of their 2005 album Lost and …

Julia Holter - Horns Surrounding Me

October 29th, 2014

13:27

Julia Holter studied composition, and in the song Horns Surrounding Me, she arranges not only acoustic and electronic instruments, but also layers of …

Valley Lodge - Go

October 15th, 2014

13:03

Dave Hill is a comedian and host of his own podcast which, like Song Exploder, is on the Maximum Fun network. He's also the frontman of the band Valley Lodge. In this episode, Dave will deconstruct the Valley Lodge song …

RAC - Let Go (feat. Kele & MNDR)

October 1st, 2014

14:20

Andre Allen Anjos is better known as RAC, a musician who first found success by remixing other people's songs. His remixes for artists like Lana Del Rey have gotten millions of plays online. In 2013, RAC released …

The Thermals - No Culture Icons

September 18th, 2014

13:40

The Thermals originally began as Hutch Harris's solo recording project. He sang and played all the instruments on the 2003 Thermals record More Parts …

Anamanaguchi - Prom Night

September 2nd, 2014

13:04

In addition to guitars, drums, and bass, the band Anamanaguchi makes their music with the 8-bit sounds that were built into Nintendo video game …

Spoon - Inside Out

August 19th, 2014

16:35

Spoon was formed in 1993 by singer Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno. They've released eight albums, including their most recent record, They Want My …

Brian Reitzell - Watch Dogs

August 6th, 2014

17:06

In May 2014, the video game company Ubisoft released Watch Dogs, about a vigilante hacker in Chicago in the near future. Here's how the game is described on their website: "You play as Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker …

Open Mike Eagle - Dark Comedy Morning Show (feat. Toy Light)

July 15th, 2014

11:06

In this episode, rapper Open Mike Eagle talks about making the song Dark Comedy Morning Show, along with the track's producer, Walker Ashby, aka Toy Light. Mike breaks down how Toy Light's original instrumental version …

The Microphones - I Want Wind to Blow

July 1st, 2014

17:34

In the fall of 2001, Phil Elverum released the album The Glow Pt 2 on K Records. Pitchfork named it the best album of the year. In this episode, Phil recounts how he created the first song on the record at Dub Narcotic …

Converge - Dark Horse

June 19th, 2014

12:33

The band Converge formed in 1990, when its members were teenagers. They've been making music that lives somewhere in the intersection of punk, hardcore, and metal for almost 25 years. Guitarist Kurt Ballou spoke to me …

Nite Jewel - One Second of Love

June 2nd, 2014

14:26

In this episode, we'll get a deconstructed view of the song One Second of Love by Nite Jewel. I spoke to Ramona Gonzalez of Nite Jewel and her …

Garbage - Felt

May 15th, 2014

19:04

The band Garbage formed in 1994 when three guys from Madison Wisconsin — Butch Vig, Steve Marker, and Duke Erikson, met Scottish singer Shirley …

Poliça - Smug

May 1st, 2014

13:19

Ryan Olson is a member of the band Polica. Though he doesn't perform with them live, he put the band together, produces the songs, and co-writes …

Loren Bouchard - Bob's Burgers (Theme Song)

April 15th, 2014

14:28

Loren Bouchard is the creator of the animated television comedy Bob's Burgers, a series about a family and the restaurant they own and live above, currently in its fourth season on Fox. In addition to being the …

Jeff Beal - House of Cards (Main Title Theme)

April 1st, 2014

15:15

Composer Jeff Beal deconstructs the main title theme music to the Netflix original series House of Cards. The show has been nominated for multiple …

Daedelus - Experience

March 17th, 2014

11:11

Alfred Darlington, better known as Daedelus, takes apart his song Experience. This early track of his is made with only acoustic sounds, but Alfred still considers it a piece of electronic music, and explains why. He …

Sea Wolf - Kasper

March 1st, 2014

12:09

Alex Brown Church of Sea Wolf breaks down Kasper, a song from the album Old World Romance. He talks about his songwriting process, collaborating with …

Baths - Miasma Sky

February 14th, 2014

12:12

Will Wiesenfeld of Baths breaks down his song Miasma Sky, which came out last year on his highly-praised sophomore album Obsidian. Will talks about using the computer to intentionally destroy sounds, trying to find a …

YACHT - Plastic Soul

February 1st, 2014

10:05

Claire and Jona of the band YACHT deconstruct their brand new single Plastic Soul, a fun pop song about human suffering. They explain how technology …

The Album Leaf - The Outer Banks

January 15th, 2014

16:16

Jimmy LaValle of The Album Leaf takes apart The Outer Banks, a song he recorded in Iceland with members of Sigur Ros accompanying him. He reveals how …

The Postal Service - The District Sleeps Alone Tonight

January 1st, 2014

11:35

Our first guest on Song Exploder is Jimmy Tamborello, aka Dntel, aka one half of The Postal Service (the other half being Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie). Jimmy breaks down the song The District Sleeps Alone …

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