Mix Six: TV Time!

Download the full enhanced mix HERE

Let’s face it, most everyone who reads this blog is a TV child. And as TV kids why should we give up our security blanket as we grow into adulthood? I haven’t. Sure, I don’t watch as much TV as I use to, but there’s still something about taking a big dive into “Lake TV” and see what’s in the water.   What did I find there?  Well, great theme songs (or closing credit songs) that really reflected what a particular TV show was about.

Here we go!

John Davis “Theme from Beverly Hills 90210” (Download) If you were a big fan of this show, then you know that the first season of 90210 had a couple of theme songs that either reflected its core theme of Midwestern family values (mostly in the pilot episode), or a mild teen drama that tried to be a little Thirtysomething. But when this theme song was launched, it was clear that 90210 was really about one thing:  soap opera crap. Oh, but such great crap that it ran for 10 years! Thank you Aaron Spelling for whoring out the show in the best possible way.

Jim Ellis “WKRP Closing Credits Theme”(Download) Sure the opening song was more memorable because you could sing along to it, but this song (not the version I remember on the closing credits, but it was the closest thing I could find) was more challenging because if you were somewhat paying attention to the song, you must have wondered “What the hell is that guy singing?” The more you tried to figure it out, the more it bedeviled (and may bewitched) you. For the longest time, I thought there was something about a bartender, Saturday night, and maybe about a girl who bit some guy’s heart. Turns out I was searching for something that wasn’t there because the “lyrics” are just gibberish.

Angelo Badalamenti “Twin Peaks Theme” (Download) David Lynch and dreams…they are synonymous in many ways. If you were watching Twin Peaks when it originally aired, you were enjoying a time when a wave of postmodern detachment became embedded in the popular culture. With Twin Peaks, the whole PoMo vibe was played out against a backdrop of 1950s small town Americana colliding with a dark surrealism. “Detachment” is a good word to describe this theme song because the dreamy/floating quality reflects the way in which people watched the odd drama of this town and the tragic life of Laura Palmer. I think Badalamenti really captured the essence of what Lynch was trying to convey in the series, and this tune has such a ghostly feel that it’s both haunting and quite pretty at the same time.

Henry Mancini “Peter Gunn Theme” (Download) Wow, baby wow! What’s that hepcat sound? It’s…Henry Mancini? Well, if you don’t know the TV show, you most certainly have heard this song. It’s one of the first songs I learned on guitar, and it’s just a hypnotic and cool bit of jazzy surf music.

The Von Bondies “C’mon C’mon” (Download) “Rescue Me” is the show that inspired this mix. But you gotta love this blistering number by the Detroit garage rock band, The Von Bondies.

Bear McCreary “Main Title Theme” (Download) Original U.S. version (Download) This show is about many things, but in many ways it’s about post 9/11 America and the battle of political and social cultures we face today. The main title theme to season 1 of the U.S. version conveys sadness and loss, while the UK version has a more hopeful spiritual quality with the inclusion of the Gayatri Mantra in the lyrics. Powerful, moving, and it makes me want to see season 4 right now!

Okay kids, I hope you enjoyed our small tour of TV themes (with clips from shows included if you downloaded the full mix). Until next week…

–PK

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