“From the Trader’s Desk”:
Bobby Axelrod – a Man and his Music

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 who’s 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”

Chuck Seniorisms by the Dozen, Part II

A Baker’s Dozen…And Then Some

You should know by now from my ‘Chuck Seniorisms by the Dozen’ Part I and watching the show Billions that Charles Rhoades Sr., often referred to simply as Senior, is played by the extraordinary actor Jeffrey DeMunn. Senior oozes a noble, high-born conviction with not so subtle hints of a slime ball undercurrent magnified by his Bob Barker mischievous smirk.

Senior is an Upper East Side grand master and epitome of the WASP elite who went to Yale and was a Whiffenpoof. He’s a member of the Yale Club of New York, stores his cigars at Nat Sherman Tobacco Lounge, although in season three he tells Wendy he’s cleaning out a walk-in closet of his prodigal son’s trivial prep school trophies to make room for a humidor, and hangs around with the likes of pals named Tate Tappan and Stuckey Brown, and rubs elbows with Kingmakers named Black Jack Foley.

Continue reading “Chuck Seniorisms by the Dozen, Part II”

Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis in Romeo & Juliet *UPDATED*

capuletsToday’s throwback takes us to, probably, the most famous star-crossed lovers in history… Oh, no, sorry, I am not talking about Carrie and Brody 😀

Damian Lewis is no stranger to Shakespeare. He played Romeo in Birmingham Rep’s Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet in Hamlet in the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, London in 1993 and 1994, respectively, as a fresh graduate of Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Then he did his Broadway debut as Laertes to Ralph Fiennes’ Hamlet in Almeida Theatre’s production in 1995. Damian also performed as Posthumous in Cymbeline and Don John in Much Ado About Nothing with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He also brought to life a lovely Benedick on BBC’s Shakespeare Retold: Much Ado About Nothing. Damian took on the role of Lord Capulet in a 2013 big screen adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Damian kicked off Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday Celebrations in 2014 at Guildhall Library reading the great man’s first five sonnets and he gave a wonderful performance of Mark Antony’s “Friends, Romans, Countrymen” speech from Julius Ceasar  in The Guardian‘s Shakespeare Solos in 2016. Continue reading “Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis in Romeo & Juliet *UPDATED*”

Desert Island Discs with Gingersnap

Desert Island Discs (DID) is a BBC Radio 4 Programme where invited guests share the soundtrack of their lives. Specifically, eight music tracks, one book and a luxury item. What would you take with you to a deserted island Better yet, what did Damian choose? To review his and my blog mates:

Damian’s DID
Damianista’s DID
JaniaJania’s DID
BookWorm’s DID
Holliedazzle’s DID
Lady Trader’s DID

And now it’s time for Gingersnap’s DID Playlist:

Continue reading “Desert Island Discs with Gingersnap”

Wags by the Dozen, Part II

Guess what time it is? It’s time for Wags Words of Wisdom, season three. Did you miss our first dozen that covered seasons one and two? Catch up by reading that here.

As I pointed out last time, Mike “Wags” Wagner, played by David Costabile, is my second favorite character on the Showtime hit series Billions-Axe being the first of course. Sure, he’s an acquired taste for some but we gladly claim Wags as our rapacious scumbag. He’s still that pinky ring-wearing, Michter’s whiskey drinking, vintage Mercedes driving, petite handlebar mustache sporting, sharp-dressed man with a childhood affinity for Yosemite Sam, as proven by his ass tattoo of said gun-slinging cartoon outlaw.

Continue reading “Wags by the Dozen, Part II”