The Longest Shortest Time

EPISODE #121: Family Jam

Hrishikesh Hirway grew up in Massachusetts with his Indian immigrant parents and his older sister, Priya.

Hrishikesh as a kid with his sister and mom

Priya accidentally taught Hrishi to read by playing school with him; and she helped him practice for his piano lessons by making him a keyboard out of paper, when his family couldn’t afford an actual piano.

Hrishi grew up to be a musician, performing as The One AM Radio and making the beats for MOORS.

These days, Hrishi also hosts the wonderful podcast Song Exploder, in which he invites musicians to talk about how and why they made a particular song. You get to hear the song broken down into parts—the drums, the bass, the synth, the horns, the vocals—and the musician walks you through how those parts all come together to make a cohesive piece of music.

Recent guests include Aimee Mann and Gorillaz. Iggy Pop (below) and Solange (above) have also been on the show.

I am a huge fan of Song Exploder, and I’m often struck by how many of the popular songs we all know and love are about family. Tune in to hear how some of the catchiest lyrics—which at first can sound nonsensical—are actually about very specific experiences the songwriter had with their parents or their kids.

Full Versions Featured Episodes
We only played short snippets of Song Exploder episodes in this show. Check out the full versions below!

More Musical Longest Shortest Time Episodes
If you’re hungry for more LST conversations about music and parenthood, check out: #25: Punk rocker Bry Webb quit music after becoming a dad… and then came back to it to find his voice was entirely different; #46: A music teacher whose infant son hates lullabies; and #84: A lullaby written by a couple that doesn’t want to be parents at all.

Spawn of Death Metal
Finally, here’s that video we mentioned, of Metallica’s bass player Robert Trujillo, shredding with his 12-year-old son Tye (and Tye’s band, The Helmets). Tye is currently on tour with Korn.

What piece of music or art changed how you thought about YOUR family?
Or maybe you created a thing about your parents or kids? Share, please!

Our sponsors for this episode are Fracture, ButcherBox, Jet.com (code: LONGSHORT), Third Love, and 1-800 Flowers (click the radio icon and use code LONGSHORT). Use the promo codes at checkout for a special discount.