Podcast about pop music song construction.
April 5, 2012 6:53 AM   Subscribe

I want to listen about popular music songs. I don't want to listen to just songs, but rather about how they're made. Things like instrumental contribution, song structure, different beats, along with examples of how they sound.

Topics I want to hear:

- song structure. I want to hear a song I know and have the intro, chorus, bridge etc... pointed out.
- instrumental contribution. Here's a song you know with and without the rhythm guitar. See how that sounds different?
- Back beat. Here's how this song would sound with a back beat and with a non-back beat.

Pandora had a podcast a while ago that had a lot of this stuff, but it seems to be gone. It doesn't need to be a podcast, it could just be a collection of audio lectures I grab from some school.
posted by jefftang to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Not exactly what you're looking for, but here's a long piece from The New Yorker last week about how current pop music is made
posted by glenngulia at 7:42 AM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

How Music Works was a BBC documentary. (See related videos for more)
posted by empath at 7:43 AM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

(He gets into the Beatles later in that documentary, I believe)
posted by empath at 7:43 AM on April 5, 2012

The no-longer running (I don't think) TV series "Classic Albums" is a good source for some of what you're looking for.

Often the artists will talk about specific songs, how/when they were written, or any other interesting tidbits that you probably didn't know...
And usually there is a producer or some-such at a control board and they'll provide examples of songs, highlighting different mixes, or solo vocal or instrument tracks, or tracks that never made it into final cut, etc.
posted by annekenstein at 8:03 AM on April 5, 2012

Not a podcast, but the Behind the Sounds videos about the making of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds are STAGGERINGLY AWESOME. (Much more in the Related Videos.)
posted by capnsue at 8:05 AM on April 5, 2012

The Record Producers has some of this. Looks like that site doesn't have the shows available, at least in the US, but I found the eps I listened to on some filesharing place or another, so I don't expect that the more-popular ones will be too hard to find.
posted by tchemgrrl at 8:59 AM on April 5, 2012

The podcast CBC Radio 3 Extended Play: Interviews and Ideas may be the kind of thing you're looking for.

A streaming radio program that's not a podcast, but played 3 times every weekend in every time zone is RANDY BACHMAN'S VINYL TAP... Sundays at 6 p.m. (7 p.m AT, 7:30 NT), Radio One Saturdays at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. AT, 8:30 p.m. NT). Randy Bachman is a former member of Bachman Turner Overdrive and he loves to reminisce about how rock musicians and others make music.

NT is Newfoundland time, BTW
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 10:50 AM on April 5, 2012

Just popping in to point out that the Classic Albums series recommended by annekenstein is (at least partially) available on DVD (here's the Amazon search); the episode on Steely Dan's Aja is pretty cool.

I'd also recommend checking out whatever pop-music-related DVDs you can find at your local library (one of my local libraries had the Aja DVD): for example,
Standing in the Shadows of Motown is a classic. Wikipedia has a whole page of rockumentaries, and a search for documentary making album turns up a whole bunch of stuff.
posted by kristi at 5:24 PM on April 5, 2012

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