There are many things that Bobby Axelrod and I have in common: New York born and bred; working class backgrounds; very non-traditional road to Wall Street; our love of gambling lead us to our career paths. However, the one thing that has always been my favorite commonality is our love for heavy metal bands and their music. Heavy Metal is not the most well known genre of music, so let’s explore Bobby Axelrod and his music, and what it says about him.
In each season of Billions, at least one episode has featured a song and a t-shirt of a metal band that must be Axe’s favorites. The writers of Billions don’t do anything just to do it, so we know that these choices are there to tell a story, shine light on who the character is, and to set a tone.
Metal is very misunderstood: devil worship, drugs, biting the heads of bats, or just screeching guitars may come to mind if you say the words “heavy metal”. But, it is so much more than that! Last season, I used Black Sabbath lyrics to open (and in some cases close) my “From the Trader’s Desk” recaps. In most cases, if I hadn’t referenced it to Sabbath, you’d have wondered what philosopher or poet I was quoting. Metal lyrics are some of the best I have ever heard; they tell stories of pain, loss, confusion, success, etc. – lyrics that would certainly resonate with a young man from Yonkers whose Dad has up and left, and whose home life is full of conflict. Continue reading ““From the Trader’s Desk”: Bobby Axelrod – a Man and his Music *UPDATED*”
Abbey Road, London. It is special. It is special firstly because it houses the famous zebra crossing that the Beatles walk on the cover of their fantastic album, titled, of course, Abbey Road.
Can you imagine, how many fans, from England and all around the world, speaking all different languages, but sharing the same love for the Beatles, have crossed the street posing like one of the Fab Four?
Secondly, Abbey Road is special because Damian Lewis grew up there.
Now let us bring these two things together.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road the iconic and the final album The Beatles recorded together. So… in celebration of Abbey Road‘s 50th birthday, today’s Throwback Thursday is taking us back to two boys, Damian and Gareth, growing up right there on Abbey Road and not far from the zebra crossing!ENJOY! Continue reading “Throwback Thursday to Damian
“Damage” Lewis growing up on Abbey Road”
Every day I sit and wonder
How my life it use to be
Now I feel I’m going under
Now my life is hard to see
So tell me people, am I going insane, insane?
Am I Going Insane – Black Sabbath
Greetings from the Headbanger’s Ball, oops, I mean the Trader’s Desk! It will never get old for me, but once again I’m starting my post with lyrics from Black Sabbath. This episode had me yelling at my television, and asking if Axe is going insane. He is making all the emotional decisions that have brought him to the brink of disaster.
A triumphant Axe parades into Axe Cap to the tune of “Never Say Die” by Black Sabbath! What else would a victorious kid from Yonkers wear but a Black Sabbath “Master of Reality” t-shirt to confirm his bad-ass self is back! Of course Axe is a Sabbath fan; in Season 1, he showed his love for Metallica and in Season 2 his appreciation for Megadeth. He’s now going old-school, as Sabbath is considered by many the fathers of heavy metal (don’t come at me with the Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple argument!) Axe has lived to fight another day. It’s nothing but high-fives and cheers for the returning King. Continue reading “From The Trader’s Desk: “All The Wilburys” – We’re going to the end of the line”
We know how important music is the world of Billions. Showrunner Brian Koppelman recently said on his podcast The Moment that he writes to music. He shared that he wrote the penultimate episode of Season 2, “Golden Frog Time” with Tom Petty’s “Even the Losers” as inspiration and that song played during the writing of the show as well as within the show itself. When the question arose to whether they’d get the rights to use the song in the episode, Koppelman insisted that without the song there’d be no episode, literally and metaphorically. Thankfully they did get that song and many more memorable cuts for Season 2.
In a wee bite of a taste of what to expect in Season 3, we learned that “Born in San Antone” by Garrett T. Capps will open the first episode. Here’s some of his Lou Reed-ish styling here:
Just occurred to me and I had to go and listen and check to make sure they indeed haven’t used this song in either S1 or S2: LCD Soundsystem’s “North American Scum” totally brings up the ethos of the Billions world. Again, not one from the show as we know it, but certainly one metaphorically connected, at least in this viewer’s head.
In the spirit of getting geared up for another season of rich musical accompaniment to this show, let’s revisit Season 2’s playlist. Enjoy!
Continue reading “Billions Season 2 Music”
Compared to Season 1, this season of Billions, for whatever reason, used a bit less music, fewer seminal tracks to accompany its richly crafted scenes. Music was still important this season, but somewhat less so than last. In my review of last year’s music, you’ll count 36 tracks. Here, the major songs in all episodes amounted to 20. Interesting revelation from this exercise is that they seem to follow a certain pattern in genres from one season to the next. That is to say, the aural landscape of this season seemed to contain the same proportion of arena metal, 70’s funk, contemporary alternative, live ballad, perennial classics, and lovely alt-country. All the tracks they chose, regardless of number, hit all the marks.
Let’s follow along with Season 2’s playlist, shall we?
Continue reading “Music of Billions Season 2 – Repost”