Monthly Archives: July 2012

Favorite TV Theme Songs

Here is a list of my favorite TV theme songs with a little bit of pithy commentary you’ve come to love and expect from me. If nothing else, maybe this will help you waste a little bit of time at work. Enjoy:

“The Office” (U.S. Version) This might be my favorite TV theme song ever. The splashy piano intro mixed with the hard-rock elements with just a hint of Celtic influence almost makes it sound like something from The Dropkick Murphys. Too bad the song has been truncated in more recent episodes.

“Coach”-One of the few shows whose theme song never changed throughout the entirety of the show. I’m guessing because it was a perfect fit for the show.

“The Sopranos”-I actually think that the “Sopranos” theme worked well along with the montage of Tony Soprano’s character driving around. Alone, the song itself is o.k., but certainly not one of my favorites.

“Perfect Strangers”-Classic Miller/Boyett late ’80s fare. I can still remember it years later. “Nothing’s gonna stop me nooooowwwwww.”

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”-Shut up. Don’t judge me! No one in their late twenties and early thirties can deny that they still know this song and love it.

“Iron Man/Fantastic Four” from the “Marvel Action Hour”-The songs from these shows STILL get stuck in my head to this day and I watched those almost 20 years ago.

“Living Single”-I loved the rhythmic chanting of the back-up vocalists along with Queen Latifah’s gift for wordplay to follow. The horn at the end brining it all home is the perfect cherry on the proverbial sundae.

“Spin City” (Spin Doctors version) Spin City had an opening theme with a cg effect of a manhole cover spinning and some sound which was not really a theme song, per se. During season three, however, The Spin Doctors started doing the show’s theme music in their usual funk/rock/contemporary hybrid style.

“Dennis Miller Live” Using Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” juxtaposed with images of world leaders on dominoes with Dennis Miller knocking them over was pure genius.

“George Lopez”-The same thing I said about Dennis Miller Live’s opening song choice can be said about this show. Using “Low Rider” by War with the cast jumping on a trampoline is absolute genius. “The Office” is my favorite theme song, but this might be my favorite opening theme, period.

“Family Matters”-Who can’t recall “As Daaaaayss gooooooo bbbyyyyyyyyaaaayyyaaay” ? Sometimes, when this show is on in syndication, I just watch the opening before I flip the channel (unless it’s one of the older episodes; then I’ll sit and watch.)

“Canterbury’s Law”-VERY short lived and underrated show, this had a wonderful opening theme song, though. Kind of a smoky, dark jazz number. I also don’t need any extra incentive to stare at Julianna Margulies but watching her strut to it was just a bonus.


Commentary: Olympic Opening Ceremonies

Overall, I found the music selections for the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics satisfactory. I’m sure it will make Danny Boyle’s day to find out some fat, smug, American prig with a blog enjoyed his work. Nevertheless, I found the music selections tasteful and enjoyable. I also thought that the use of live music was absolutely a delight and Paul McCartney bringing the whole thing home was the perfect capstone.

I was baffled as to Elton John’s absence, however. I kept waiting to hear his throaty baritone voice present itself to the waiting ears of the viewing billion but, alas, Sir Elton was absent. Indeed, I really missed Elton John and felt that he could have made one of his trademark splashy entrances and made an already good show even better.

I was also surprised that The Wanted did not make an appearance. Now you can save your tersely-worded, badly misspelled e-mails because I know that some of the members of that group are from Ireland. However, they’re the flavor of the month right now and I think that they would have at least deserved to be part of the festivities even if its only by virtue of being popular at the same time as the London Games.

Oh, and no Oasis was a BIG PLUS.


Ken Burns: Jazz-A Critique

I admit that Ken Burns is NOT my cup of tea. The way that all of his films are so long, needlessly pedantic, and quite frankly pretentious is really off-putting. Indeed, even the makers of the ASPCA commercials which feature images of mistreated animals might look at Ken Burns and remark about how heavy-handed he is.

While I’m not sure why Ken Burns had to RUTHLESSLY PILFER 20 HOURS OF MY LIFE to talk about Jazz, what I am most upset with is Burns’s arrogance. Now, I have been accused of being arrogant myself, but a friend once described me as being more “delightfully arrogant.” Picture someone like Kelsey Grammer’s portrayal of the famous “Dr. Frasier Crane” character. You know, snobby but lovable.

Burns, on the other hand, proves his arrogance by making people believe that they should WANT to spend 20 HOURS OF THEIR LIVES watching his work. Further, Burns is arrogant because he is passing off his biased opinion of the “history” of Jazz as some kind of all-encompassing chronology. If that were true, he would have mentioned Robert Johnson right off the bat and the blues movement of his day of which modern jazz is a direct descendent. It is not the “history” of Jazz, it is Jazz through Burns’s own, biased lens.

Moreover, he didn’t even bother to mention modern Jazz musicians like Lee Ritenour, David Sanborn, Kenny G., Keiko Matsui or Oingo Boingo. How can you mention Wynton Marsalis and not mention David Sanborn? Oh, I know! It’s because Wynton Marsalis has the same, selective knowledge of Jazz that Burns does. NOT a coincidence. Recall that Miles Davis (who was also conspicuously absent from the documentary) once refused to play with Marsalis citing Marsalis’s limited knowledge of music. Additionally, I would submit that Al Jarreau deserves a mention. His was the voice of Jazz in the ’70s and ’80s.

No, it was obvious that Burns’s target audience was snide, upper-middle class, White people who have never touched a Black person. (People like my grandparents) Those are the type of people at whom Burns was aiming. Those are also the type of people who are afraid of talking about REAL jazz and how its roots are set in the raw, untamed, sounds of a single musician noodling on his guitar talking about how the world hates him and he hates it right back.

So, if you’re an elitist yuppie, you’ll love Ken Burns: Jazz. For the rest of us who are forward-thinking and love all forms of expression without censor or sanitization, I would steer clear of it. I wish I had.


Female Musicians I Love

I love female singers and bands with female vocalists. Here are a list of my favorites in no particular order:

Shawn Colvin

Carrie Underwood

NIcki Minaj

Paramore

Michelle Branch

The Go-Gos

The Donnas

Last Valhalla


Bay Area Radio Sucks

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, then you’re probably already aware.  However, it is still worth reiterating the above captioned title: “Bay Area Radio Sucks.”

KOME and KSJO were awesome.  So, of course, they’re now historical relics.  

99.7 NOW is absolute garbage.  They might as well call it the Cher Lloyd, Pitbull, Carly Rae Jepsen, station.  While I actually enjoyed Pitbull early on, through know fault of his own (and with blame squarely resting on the shoulders of 99.7 NOW) I cannot stand Pitbull.  I guess familiarity really does breed contempt. Now, before you start-in with your tersely-worded and badly misspelled e-mails indicative of your second grade reading level, I cannot simply change the channel because, often, I am in a situation wherein control of the radio station is beyond my grasp.  

While this next comment is unrelated to music on the radio, since it does relate to Bay Area radio, it is still worth mentioning that the KNBR morning show with Murph and Mac is absolute bilge water and has been for years.  

I believe Jim Norton said it best when he commented about California radio on Opie and Anthony years ago: “There’s nothing coming outta that f*ckin’ state but SOFT, WEAK, GARBAGE!”

Indeed, Mr. Norton.  I concur.


A Break from the Music: Monti on Masterchef is Horrible

For those of you reading this in the U.S., and are following the show “Masterchef” you are probably familiar with the bespectacled, irritating, wannabe Rockabilly/Goth type chick named Monti. She is the most annoying person on that show by a country mile. In fact, she is so putrid, that if I get an inkling that Gordon, Joe, and Graham are about to rip her dish to shreds, I sit in silent anticipation with my finger poised over the back button so I can use my DVR to rewind it and view her humiliation again and again.

If you would like further evidence of just how annoying Monti is on Masterchef, the coup de grace for me was when she revealed that her son (about whom she never shuts up) is named Danger. Yes. . .that’s right. . .this selfish, grandstanding asshole named her son “Danger” thereby undercutting any chance he’ll have to be taken seriously in his life because he is saddled with a manifestation of his mother’s arrested adolescence in the form of his ridiculous name. Then again, Monti on Masterchef is a 30 something who looks 40 something and uses “dude” and “awesome” way too much as a smokescreen for the fact that she is clinging to her last bastion of youth which is dwindling with each passing day, making how pathetic she is more and more significant.

Gordon, Graham, and Joe, PLEEEEEAAASSSEEE DON’T LET MONTI WIN!!!! I BESEECH ALL OF YOU!!! PLEASE VOTE HER OFF!!!!!!!!!
*ahem* Thank you.


Musical Acts and Songs I Hate

Bands/Acts:

Foster the People

Katy Perry

Black Eyed Peas

Fergie

Adele (of course)

The Killers

Jay-Z

The Phenomenauts

The Dave Matthews Band

Songs:

“Pumped Up Kicks”

Anything Adele has done

“Billionaire” (Sorry, Bruno Mars!)

“Empire State of Mind”

“Girls, Girls, Girls”