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Chances are you’ve heard the name, the voice, or the sounds of Hrishikesh Hirway on the airways, whether it’s from his award-winning Radiotopia podcast, Song Exploder, (which recently celebrated its 100th episode!), his second podcast, The West Wing Weekly, which he co-hosts with actor Joshua Malina, his music (as The One AM Radio and 1/2 of Moors), or his film scores (Our Nixon and Save the Date). In 2000, he earned his B.A. in Art from Yale University studying graphic design, photography, and film. While he was starting in music, as The One AM Radio, he was also staying busy in the design world as a graphic designer. After being signed to indie label Dangerbird Records in 2006, he went on to become their Creative Director before leaving in 2010 to focus on music full-time. Working on his two film scores, he learned his love of music and storytelling, leading to the launch of his Song Exploder podcast, which is where he interviews musical acts about one of their songs and they break it down piece by piece. The innovative podcast has won a variety of awards and has been featured in various magazines, like Entertainment Weekly, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Vulture, Quartz, The A.V. Club, and LA Weekly. This week’s Friday Five lets the Los Angeles-based Hirway to share five things he loves, including his favorite tasty beverage.
2. Korakia — Palms Springs, California
An artist compound that’s been transformed into a bed and breakfast, Korakia is beautiful and serene, and one of my favorite places in California. When my wife and I were engaged, we decided to take our time to find a place to get married. We had gotten engaged very early in our relationship, so we wanted to wait until we had more of a shared history to draw upon before we picked a venue. We stayed here once after my wife read about it online, and when we arrived, we realized this was the place we had been waiting to find.
This Danish television show ran for three seasons, from 2010 to 2013, but I saw it for the first time this year. It’s the story of the Denmark’s first (fictional) female Prime Minister, and it feels like a cross between The West Wing and The Good Wife. It stars Sidse Babett Knudsen, who a lot of Americans—like me—probably saw for the first time in Westworld. Her character, Birgitte Nyborg, is wonderfully strong, principled, and flawed, and her performance is fantastic.
4. Phil Chang
Phil Chang is a photographer, and his work is made from the materials of modern photography: inkjet printer ink onto inkjet paper. But there is no camera, computer, or printer involved. The work is beautiful, and minimal, and forces me to re-examine how material and process inform what the medium of photography is.
5. H2Ops — sparkling water with brewed hops
I can’t understand why I like this drink so much, but I love it. I don’t drink beer, I don’t even like beer, and I only barely know what a hop is…but this is like someone took only the best part of that beer flavor and added it to sparkling water. I was served a bottle of H2Ops at a restaurant a month ago when I asked for a sparkling water. It was so strange and surprising but refreshing; I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, so I ordered myself a case of it—and I am going through it really fast. I want this drink to become popular so it’s easier for me to find it.