Top Billions Songs: The Tail That Wags The Dog’s Playlist

Being a (somewhat) musician, I am always on alert for the effect of music on a show. I work in musical theater when not teaching, so the music there is often integral to the plot. But for regular movies and TV shows, the music still can add an element of drama and emotion that would hard to obtain otherwise.  Think of movies like Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET (sensing a John Williams theme here??) and the impact the music played there in the emotional moments of those shows.

Brian  Koppelman gets this. He has been around music all his life, and if you follow him on Twitter you know he has very strong opinions about music. (Don’t ever ask him about the Sammy Hagar era of Van Halen – trust me, just don’t.)  He and I both grew up in the 80’s alternative music scene. We are both REM fans, although where he prefers “Automatic for the People” I go with “Life’s Rich Pageant”, which leads me to my first musical choice for my playlist, and the one that early on got me paying attention to the song choices. Continue reading “Top Billions Songs: The Tail That Wags The Dog’s Playlist”

Top Billions Songs: Gingersnap’s Playlist

The genius behind the musical palette of Billions is strategically placed epic songs we all know balanced out by meaningful lesser-known artists, all the while lyrically feathered in flawlessly to the content of each episode, scene, or character we see before us. Music is such an integral part of the Billions landscape that we’ve seen concert t-shirts as part of the wardrobe. These past four seasons Bobby Axelrod has worn band shirts for Metallica, Megadeth, Black Sabbath, and Motörhead so it’s no surprise I’ve been rooting for Iron Maiden to make an appearance since season two! Okay rooting is not a strong enough word…I’ve sort of stalked Brian Koppleman about it, who is the co-creator of Billions:

Continue reading “Top Billions Songs: Gingersnap’s Playlist”

How Keane gave us Brody and How Brody gave us Axe *UPDATED*

keanebrodybobby

I am sure that, by now, you have got to know me quite well. Yes, I’m a little bit (ok, ok more than a little bit) obsessed with Brody… All roads do not lead to Rome, they all lead to… yes, Bravo, to Brody!

Now, I love William Keane, too. I LOVE him.

Because…

Did you know that if there had been no William Keane, there would have been no Nicholas Brody? I mean there would have been some Brody in Homeland, but not our Brody! Can you imagine? Continue reading “How Keane gave us Brody and How Brody gave us Axe *UPDATED*”

Appetite for Power – Eating, Drinking & Dealmaking in NYC: A Billions Guide *UPDATED release date*

I have news!

So… I sat down and wrote a book 🙂 And, I mean, I knew it was happening but I felt that it was really happening when I saw the book on the publisher’s website with my name on it!

So I give you…

Appetite for Power – Eating, Drinking and Dealmaking in NYC: A Billions Guide

If everything goes according to the current production plan, Appetite for Power Guide to Eating, Drinking and Dealmaking in NYC: A Billions Guide will be out on November 3, 2020 – yes, on Election Day of all days! You can check the book out and pre-order a copy on the publisher’s website or on the usual suspects Amazon or Barnes & Nobles.

Update 10/24/2020: Well, I was right saying “if everything goes according to the current production plan…” since I just heard from my publisher that the book release will coincide with the return of Billions Season 5 to Showtime – hopefully sooner than later in 2021.

Now, if you are interested in the extraordinary journey I have had, writing a book about my favorite TV show that is, here it is. Continue reading “Appetite for Power – Eating, Drinking & Dealmaking in NYC: A Billions Guide *UPDATED release date*”

Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis on The Moment with
Brian Koppelman

Note: This post was originally published on March 26, 2019.

When he’s not running a show, co-creator of Billions, Brian Koppelman hosts a podcast called The Moment. Each hour-long session is a conversation about the creative process and pivotal moments in creative careers. Koppelman talks to people in various forms and stages of their creative lives about inflection points, the moments they sensed something shifted for them in their careers. Having listened to several of these conversations in his archive, its always a treat to hear how people get to live their professional dreams, be they restaurateurs, musicians, writers or actors. Back when he first publicized the podcast, I had this twee Twitter exchange with him.

On Tuesday, last week, it finally happened: Damian sat down with Kopp to talk shop. You can listen to this episode of The Moment wherever you listen to podcasts. (Links below)

It is a truth universally acknowledged (at least on these pages) that, with Damian, there is more than what meets the eye. Likewise, there’s more to be said than what you hear, especially when interviews go deep like this one did. I wrote about another longer interview on the subject of creativity: SAG-AFTRA.  This podcast covered similar ground, but touched on some things we’d never heard before. So, here’s a bit of reading between the lines of some highlights from The Moment.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis on The Moment with Brian Koppelman”