Monday, December 28, 2015

answers to questions you didn't ask: what are your favorite tv theme songs?

It would seem part of the history of this blog is a whole lot of declining to answer questions from commenters (the few times they ask) while answering or raising questions that readers don't care about.

That's part of the art of a blog, right?

So, sometimes I have posts that I've called "answers to questions you didn't ask". This is another one of those. 

What are your favorite TV show theme songs?  Well ... in no essential order ... and without any attempt at being a comprehensive list ...


Transformers opening theme
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLS2N9mHWaw

Wow, it's remarkable how out of tune that electric guitar is, and those singers.
Still, one of the more unforgettable opening theme songs for a TV show.  Still like it.  It dates me a bit because I remember when this toy commercial series was first on the air.  Not sure I could revisit the series from back then but Transformers Prime sure is fun.  This is a blog that occasionally discusses animation when some readers aren't waiting for it to keep discussing Mars Hill, remember. :)

This was cleverly reconceived as a slow jam and all the instruments are actually in tune for this version, and the singing is ... well ... anyway, just go watch it. :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TIctvxbvXg


And switching over to the other side of the Pacific ... this one's a predictable one, too.

Tank! opening theme song for Cowboy Bebop
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw3fN3OPk3A

Opening theme for the A-Team
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn6kEsloMdE
Yeah, this one also dates me a little.  The 00's movie got rid of the bridge for this theme song, which was a mistake.  Cheesy as that bridge with the brass fanfare in the middle is (about 1:03), it musically needs to be there. It introduces some fun cross-beat/cross-measure syncopation that isn't in the marching part of the form.

But if I had to pick just one theme song that is my favorite ...

That'd have to be J. G. Thirlwell's No Vacancy, theme song for the start of The Venture Bros. The fanfare on brass and bass starting at 0:35 is triumphant!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B8Nrw19qEM

If a theme song for a TV show is supposed to let you know what you're in for in the actual show then Venture Bros has a theme that lets you know up front the show's going to be a little ... off.  The charm of this little beauty is after thundering along four-on-the-floor you get this slick wind-up and when the fanfare kicks in it's in counts of 7.  You have some part of you that wants those riffs to still be in common time but the effect is of the brass and bass chorus rushing along faster than you can hum along if you've made the assumption that we'll still be four on the floor for this part of the theme song.

Which makes it hilarious and charming all at once.


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