Much like many of you I’m sure, for a very long time I’ve enjoyed making extended mixes of my current favorite music. In 2010 I started challenging myself to make 6hr+ mixes for various occasions/reasons, and I’ve been doing a few a year since. Now in 2015 I’m on part 12, which I’ve titled “Homebound”. This is maybe my most nostalgic one yet, and it really comes across as more of a personal mix than anything else. Anyway, it’s 87 tracks of what I’ve been listening to since last October. Enjoy and stuff.
In this part of the bracket, we decided to choose songs where the theme itself describes the show’s premise and/or characters. A style of theme song more prevalent in TV’s earlier days, it allowed first time watchers to get an idea of what’s to come, usually in 30 seconds or less.
1 vs 16: Gilligan’s Island vs. The Beverly Hillbillies
What started out as a three hour tour turned into 3 seasons, 98 episodes, and one of the most memorable shows/themes of all time. Originally written by show creator Sherwood Schwartz, the lyrics were written as a capsule summary of the castaways’ predicament. This was done so that first-time viewers would instantly understand the premise. The original theme and background music was composed by John Williams. Yeah, that John Williams.
The Ballad of Jed Clampett began and ended each episode for all nine seasons of The Beverly Hillbillies. Written and composed by Paul Henning, sung by Jerry Scoggins, and accompanied by bluegrass musicians Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, the theme generally was the only country music featured on the show. The song reached #44 on sales chart and is considered a sudden hit and defining banjo song from the 1960s. While newer generations had to suffer with the horrible and forgettable feature film, those who know of the show will remember “the story of a man name Jed.”
8 vs 9: The Jefferson’s vs. Law and Order (Franchise)
As a spinoff from All in the Family, The Jefferson’s moved from Archie Bunker’s neighborhood in Queens to Manhattan and along the way picked up a soulful theme song to go with their new location. Written and sung by Ja’net Dubois (the feisty Wilona from another Norman Lear hit, Good Times), “Movin’ on Up” sang the joyful celebration of a family moving up to the big leagues. Now if they could only get a proper series finale, the show could finally be retired to the deluxe apartment in the sky.
Five different series, 20+ years on the air, and an altogether combined 900 hours of programming. For a long-standing, highly-watched TV program, the creators kept the theme simple and uniform throughout the programs, making it easy to determine which series you’re watching, and exactly what you can expect to get into, based on the voiceover at the opening. And who can forget the DOINK DOINK.
5 vs 12: Star Trek/ST: The Next Generation vs. The Facts of Life
Gene Roddenberry began drafting Star Trek with the intentions of making a Western in space where each episode told both a suspenseful adventure story as well as a morality tale about topics such as war and peace, the value of personal loyalty, authoritarianism, imperialism, class warfare, economics, racism, religion, human rights, sexism, feminism, and the role of technology. What he ended up doing was crafting a fictional universe where the imagination of many have run wild, passing along stories of distant planets where Captain Kirk has nailed alien life forms. Each series has been defined by the theme song. Here we have chosen the original, the one that started it all, but The Next Generation was a close second.
We all know when you take the good, take the bad, and add them both you have the Facts of Life. What you may not know is this theme song was written by Alan Thicke of Growing Pains fame, and the show dominated it’s time slot whenever aired. Running for 8 seasons, The Facts of Life always seemed the perennial underdog that usually came out on top. The show also helped bring future actors their first air time, including Juliette Lewis, Mayim Bialik, Molly Ringwald, Seth Green, and of course George Clooney.
4 v 13: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air vs. The Addams Family
In 1990, America became familiar with a kid born an’ raised in West Philly, and his story of how he became the prince of a town called Bel-Air. Written by Will Smith and Quincy Jones, the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-air was a major part of the soundtrack to the early and mid-nineties. Already a rap star by this point, Smith masterfully crafted a story that will cause most people to rap along about a story all about how his life got flipped-turned upside down.
While Charles Addams originally chose The New Yorker in 1938 to introduce us to the Addams Family, it wasn’t until 1964 that we first heard the now iconic theme song. Most people hearing the first few chords instantly know to *SNAP SNAP* along to the creepy and kooky theme, which has seen several different reincarnations, including an MC Hammer version used to promote the 1991 film version.
6 vs 11: The Twilight Zone vs. The A-Team
Hitting airways in 1959, The Twilight zone has been unnerving viewers for years with its avant garde and immediately recognizable theme. Explaining the journey that viewers would be going on – and not returning from – Marius Constant crafted a simplistic yet haunting and foreboding theme that would stick with people for years. The Grateful Dead reinvented the theme in 1985 for the rebirth of the show, and in 2002 Korn came along and shat on Rod Serlings’ memory with their theme. We won’t hold that against the original though.
Featuring a voice over that explains the entire premise of the show in 20 seconds, The A-Team helped boost the career of Mr. T and provided millions of peoples with a catch phrase that’s still repeated to his day. The A-Team is also known for gun battles that result in zero deaths or wounds, leading us to wonder why you would really want to hire the A-team if these ex-Special forces guys can’t hit anything?
3 vs 14: Good Times vs. The Nanny
The Good Times theme combined stark visuals of an economically depressed Chicago neighborhood with upbeat vibrant gospel music, which also contained downtrodden lyrics of the hardships of inner-city living. The theme was meant to inspire people to look past the difficulties faced in everyday life and see the good times shared between family and friends. While campaigning for a better view of life, it also makes for a great sample for a Ghostface Killah and Raekwon song.
The most memorable thing from The Nanny is undoubtedly Fran Drescher’s melodic tinkle of a voice. But the enduring CBS sitcom also has a catchy theme song setting up the series straight from TV’s past. It’s not Barbara Streisand crooning the tune (which I thought for years before Wikipedia was invented), but Ann Hampton Calloway (who also wrote the lyrics with her sister)…. who actually happens to write songs for Barbara Streisand. Got it? One listen and viewers can’t help to start rooting for that flashy girl from Flushing.
7 vs 10: Shaft vs. Green Acres
After the Shaft films had hit theaters, Richard Roundtree took the character to the small screen to star in a short lived Shaft television show. From 1973-1974, John Shaft solved cases on CBS in a 90 minute format for 7 episodes. Toned down for the small screen the show didn’t make a splash with audiences and was cancelled after its one season. At least we’ll always have Shaft in Africa.
With a theme song performed by its stars, and as part of the “Rural Programming” scheduled by CBS that included Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres sired on TV from 1965-1971 and was based on the 1950’s radio series Granby’s Green Acres. Cancelled as part of the “rural purge” to make way for more urban shows, Green Acres had a strong following and is still aired today in the depths of cable television.
2 vs 15: The Brady Bunch vs. Diff’rent Strokes
One of the absolute classic example of premise theme songs, The Brady Bunch introduced America to the blended family on television. Created by Sherwood Scwartz (who also created and wrote the theme for #1 seed Gilligan’s Island) The Brady Bunch followed the lives of the Bradys along with Alice the Maid and Tiger the dog, for 5 season before being cancelled.
Due to the theme song from Diff’rent Strokes, we all know now that “the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum.” What a crazy beat that must have been for the child stars of the show (Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, and Dana Plato). Belying the peppy theme, the actual show was known for airing “Very Special Episodes” that dealt with drug abuse, molestation, pedophilia, kidnapping, and racism among other topics. If only the shows stars would have paid attention, maybe thing would have turned out diff’rent for them.
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well how about a piano key and some saxaphones? Or a whistle? Some helicopter rotors? In this bracket we look at the shows that let us know what they were all about with nary a syllable spoken.
1 v 16: M*A*S*H vs The Dick van Dyke Show
Originally written for the film, then adjusted for the TV program, the M*A*S*H theme “Suicide is Painless” become part of the soundtrack of the 70’s. Written by Johnny Mandel (music) and Mike Altman (lyrics), the song reached number one on the UK singles charts and performed very well overseas in Europe. Mike Altman is the son of the films’ director, Robert Altman, and in an interview Robert Altman stated his son made over a million dollars from co-writing the song where as he only made $70,000 from directing the film. Then the music industry went bankrupt and now people like Uwe Boll are allowed to make films.
Dick van Dyke’s theme song actually had lyrics to them as revealed on an episode of NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, but the show only ever kicked off with the instrumental version composed by Earle Hagen. One of the composers with multiple entries to his credit, he also was the brain behind the Andy Griffith Show’s definitive “Fishin’ Hole.”
7 v 10: The Odd Couple vs Taxi
Originally written as a short snippet to bridge scenes in the show, the producers enjoyed the song “Angela” so much they shortened it and made it the theme song to Taxi. Bob James wrote the original intended theme as well, but it doesn’t have the same feel as the melancholy, warm, welcoming tones as “Angela.” I’ve been told that this theme song equals taking a warm bath. The show’s line up was so packed with talent and well received, it joined a list of great programs cancelled before their prime when it was shut down after only four seasons.
The Odd Couple theme, like a few other entries in our bracket was originally written for film before being adapted for the show. It was composed and arranged by Neal Hefti. Neal also wrote the theme music for The Batman TV show as well as composed music for the Count Basie Orchestra. He was nominated for two Grammy’s for The Odd Couple theme. The song is great and recognizable on its own, but if you’re my wife you like this version better than the original. (Speaking of, in case you’re wondering, Matthew Perry’s The Odd Couple has NOT been cancelled yet).
5 v 12: Mission: Impossible vs I Dream of Jeannie
Who, at some point in their life, doesn’t put on the Mission: Impossible theme and pretend they’re a secret agent? The Mission: Impossible theme song has transcended the show and become the de facto spy theme for everyone. Written by Argentine (STAND UP!!!) composer Lalo Schifrin, the song peaked at 41 on Billboard’s Hot 100 (1967) and 19 on Billboard’s easy listening chart. The remake by non-Bono U2 members Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr propelled the theme back to the Hot 100 charts (#7) in 1996. It’s a shame that Fred Durst happened to do this theme.
The I Dream of Jeannie jazzy theme song brings to mind the type of hijinks you would expect from a 1960s television sitcom. Upbeat, short, repetitive, and catchy. Catchy enough that if you begin to hum it, there’s a good chance it will be stuck in your head for some time. Astronaut Tony Nelson lands well off course of his landing zone and finds the ubiquitous lamp in every genie story. After freeing the beautiful Barbara Eden he becomes her master, fulfilling his every wish. Hilarity follows, as does the birth of many young boy’s fantasies (editor’s note: including Chenel’s. Yowza! unowutimsayin?).
4 v 13: Sanford & Son vs Bonanza
When the bass line comes in on the Sanford and Son theme, all the big dummies in the world wanna get down. Written by Quincy Jones (aka Rashida Jones’ dada for those of you under 25) and originally called “The Streetbeater,” the theme song didn’t perform well on charts or sales. But it has maintained extreme popularity over the years, was featured on Quincy Jones’ best of album, and if it’s good enough for Turk and J.D. it’s good enough for me.
Opening with a burning map of the Ponderosa, the Bonanza theme was a blazing western track, upbeat and driving. Setting the stage for one of the most popular western shows of all time the theme has been covered by many country western stars, including the main cast and Johnny Cash. The funny part is when the main cast covered the song the only professional singer from the group, Pernell Roberts, decided to not join in and instead is seen in the show tying up the horses while everyone else sings.
6 v 11: Seinfeld vs Roseanne
Seinfeld, as a show, is iconic. And along with the post-modern comedy came a theme song as quirky and original as the show. Composed by Jonathan Wolff (composer for about 80 other TV series including Will & Grace, Who’s The Boss?, Married… with Children, The Hughleys, and Reba) the theme also helps bridge transitions and intros/outros for commercials. The music became so iconic that when Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David attempted to include a singer scatting over the music the network hated it and asked it to be changed back.
One of the contentious compromises of this bracket finds Roseanne’s bluesy theme sitting too low (to me)/just right (to Robert) at the 11 seed. The final season did bring in irregular series guest star Blues Traveler to throw in some soulful lyrics and a harmonica, but for most of the run it was straight instrumental. Dat closing laugh doe…
3 v 14: Andy Griffith vs The X-Files
Written by Earle Hagen & Herbert W. Spencer, and whistled by Earle Hagen, the theme for the Andy Griffith show is actually called “The Fishin’ Hole”, with words that paint a picture of a wonderful Summer afternoon spending time with friends like little Ronnie Howard. As laid back and carefree as the show is, the famous melody will dig into a person’s brain and make its home there for days.
Mark Snow’s theme for the X-files, in part, was an accident. Showrunner Chris Carter had no one in mind for the shows music. A producer recommended his friend, Mark Snow. The whistling melody was inspired by The Smith’s “How Soon in now?” As for the accident part? The famous piano echo was a result of Snow slamming his forearm on the keyboard after being told it was missing something. The resulting effect impressed Carter and Snow where it became a main effect, and it’s history from there.
8 v 9: Peter Gunn vs The Cosby Show
Arguably more famous than the show, the Peter Gunn theme song (written by Henry Mancini) has been covered by Aretha Franklin and the Blues Brothers, won an Emmy and two Grammy’s, has been featured in numerous other television programs, and the original recording featured a young John Williams on piano. Wait, why is this so low again?!?
The Cosby show did something rare for television programming — that is deliberately plan change its theme song each season. The original theme was introduced in Season 1 (and that’s the one we’re going with) and was rearranged and performed in different variations through the course of the show. Each season with its own new intro would feature the members of the Huxtable family dancing along with the style of the music. It also introduced us to “The Cosby Face,” which Bill Cosby does at the end of each intro.
2 v 15: Hawaii Five-O vs Perry Mason
Those drums though….. Composed by Morton Stevens and performed by 60s surf-pop group The Ventures, the Hawaii 5-0 theme song reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 (1969) list and is known internationally. Due to the show’s weekly on-location showcase of The Aloha State, its theme song became the unofficial fight song of The University of Hawaii, and when first released became a club hit in the UK due to its driving, upbeat tempo and catchy melody.
The Perry Mason theme, “Park Avenue Beat,” was composed by Fred Steiner. Mr. Steiner was a prolific composer, penning pieces for TV programs such as The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Hogan’s Heroes, and Gunsmoke. He also wrote the theme for The Rocky and Bullwinkle show, was nominated for an Oscar for The Color Purple original music, and helped write the score for Star Wars. He envisioned lawyer-sleuth Mason as a flamboyant, film noir type often out on the town, and wrote the theme to match this vision. Mason ended up being more reserved than that, but the theme still brings to mind a great background for a crime show.
Anyone who has listened to almost any episode of The Static Podcast will know I’m a huge fan of experimental/industrial rap group Death Grips. The intense and sonically challenging songs are compelling, drawing me in like a one would watch a Nascar for the accidents: You’re expecting it to happen any moment but if you stop and think about the skill and precision used to navigate the track it’s impressive that it never happens. Death Grips albums could easily go off the rails at any moment but they always manage to pull it in at the last moment to leave you hanging on your seat wanting more. This group, possibly art project, called it quits in 2014, halfway through a double disc project was being released. Today saw the release of Jenny Death, the second half of The Powers that B double album. Transitioning from experimental rap to more Rap-Rock (yeah I said it), Jenny Death bring the signature intensity and brashness found on past Death Grips albyms. The stream is available below. Enjoy!
So a pet project of Chenel and mine is finally coming to fruition. Static and Colorbars, presented by The Static and Podcast, present TV Theme Song March Madness! We would like to settle, won’t most like won’t be once and for all, what the television theme song. Seeing as today was selection Sunday it’s as good a day as any to post the play in games. Please vote and the voting will be closed in a few days, and from there we’ll get in to the real meat and potatoes. Without and further ado…THE PLAY IN GAMES!
Premise Region, 14 seed: The Nanny vs The Six million dollar man
Setting up for viewers what led up to the creation of Steve Austin, the world’s first bionic man, the intro introduces the popular sci-fi maxim “We can rebuild him. We have the technology.” Series regular Richard Anderson handled the narration while composer Oliver Nelson did the music. Interestingly enough, chanteuse Dusty Springfield (of “Son of a Preacher Man” fame) originally sang a theme song used for two Six-Million Dollar movies, but was scrapped for the TV show. Good choice.
The most memorable thing from The Nanny is undoubtedly Fran Drescher’s melodic tinkle of a voice. But the enduring CBS sitcom also has a catchy theme song setting up the series straight from TV’s past. It’s not Barbara Streisand crooning the tune (which I thought for years before Wikipedia was invented), but Ann Hampton Calloway (who also wrote the lyrics with her sister)…. who actually happens to write songs for Barbara Streisand. Got it? One listen and viewers can’t help to start rooting for that flashy girl from Flushing. Will it be enough to beat Steve Austin?
Instrumentals region, 16 seed: Night Court vs The Dick van Dyke show
Written by Jack Elliot (who also wrote the themes for Charlie’s Angles and Barney Miller, as well as the sound track for Blade Runner), Night Court opened each episode with a jazzy tune. It didn’t break records, it didn’t top charts, and its main claim of stardom outside of its own show is a parody on Family Guy. But we’d be damned if we didn’t include this fun little diddy on this list, even as a 16 seed.
Battling Night Court for the right to face mash is a song from the near origins of television (it’s not all 80s and 90s here at Static and Color Bars). Dick van Dyke’s theme song actually had lyrics to them as revealed on an episode of NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, but the show only ever kicked off with the instrumental version composed by Earle Hagen. One of the composers with multiple entries to his credit, he also was the brain behind the Andy Griffith Show’s definitive “Fishin’ Hole.”
Game/Kids/Variety shows, 14 seed: Pee Wee’s Playhouse vs The Mickey Mouse club
You know things are getting pretty real when the memorably manic music from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse comes in at #14 in a region. Despite the gloss of silliness, there is some serious firepower behind the ditty. Co-written by the manchild in the gray suit himself, Paul Reubens, and sung by none other than 1980s siren Cyndi Lauper herself, Pee-Wee’s theme comes across as the perfect motif for the coke-fueled, shoulder-pad-shaped, power suit decade it was borne from. Enticing tykes out of bed with a world full of misfits and shenanigans, the theme is one that quickly worms its way into even the biggest kid’s cranium.
Battling Pee Wee in this region’s play-in match is Walt Disney’s greatest creation. The Mickey Mouse Club is a variety show that had several different revivals over the years, but the theme song we’re referencing today is the original. Written by the show’s host, the simplistic theme allowed for kids to sing along about their favorite cartoon mouse. It also makes for a great post-killing sing along.
Miscellaneous region, 14 seed: SportsCenter vs ABC Nightly News
The play-in game for the Miscellaneous region actually features two Mouse House themes that got a reprieve from the slaughter that will be the Instrumental region. On one hand, there’s the jock fest that is The Sportscenter Theme. Composed by Annie Roboff, co-writer of “This Kiss” by Faith Hill, the pulse pounding song brought into the world those rapid-fire six notes that let you know highlights are coming and they’re coming in strong. In the other corner is the long-running theme to ABC’s news coverage. From the fall of the Berlin Wall to Princess Di’s untimely death and all manner of presidential elections, the trumpets of Bob Israel’s theme announced something important was coming your way. Although finally retired in 2012 and replaced with a new piece by Hans Zimmer, the classic theme is the one that endures in this bracket.
Once we have the results an updated bracket will be posted, so stay tuned for the complete action. And don’t forget to listen to the Static and Colorbars podcast for results and updated matchups.
So you know what I totally forgot about? Everything not on Spotify. I’ve gotten so accustomed to dialing into the ‘ol Spotify catalogue, which by and large has most of what I want to listen to at any given time, that I forgot about all my other music I like that’s just not in there. Like almost everything by one of my favorite Japanese composers: Yasunori Mitsuda.
Known best for his work on soundtracks for games like Chrono Trigger and Xenogears, he actually has quite a long laundry list of soundtrack contributions, as well as his own collection of solo work released on his personal record label. While plenty diversified, his work is notable for its lyrical and global quality. He draws inspiration from traditional Japanese and Celtic styles, and blends them in what can often be very personal, but very effective pieces. Since virtually all of this stuff is missing from Spotify, my FfF this week will feature some of my personal favorites, still to be found on YouTube:
5. Radical Dreamers
Probably my favorite of his. So I’ll start with that.
4. The Name of Our Hope
Such an upbeat and positive song, nearly impossible not to be inspired.
3. Silver Leica
Oh Noriko Mitose. You steal my heart.
Now the fun times!
1. Scars of TIme
This one’s used in a few of the newer orchestral arrangements of the Chrono games’ scores, usually with percussionist Rony Barrak. BONUS, GO LISTEN TO THIS (also, this one’s on Spotify):
Picture this…it’s a Saturday in the late spring of 1997, me and my two girlfriends decided to skip out of our Cosmo (cosmetology) class and go to Boston Market. One of the girls drove a super-sweet, white 1996 Chevy Camaro SS with black leather interior and T-Tops (her birthday present from her dad). The sun was shining, the T-Tops were off, I was riding shotgun and Around The World by Daft Punk was playing on a loop from the CD player.
This was one of the few moments in my life I truly felt bad-ass. Turning the heads of strangers as we cruised around town. Premium sound kicking out the coolest (in my opinion) electronic dance music. I think that this was the first time I had heard EDM and I’ve had an affinity for it ever since.
Flash forward 18 years… I am almost 36 years old, married mom of 2, driving my sweet, sweet Honda CR-V and Around The World is streaming via Bluetooth audio as I drive to my daughters’ Wednesday dance class. I am instantly transported back to that sunny Saturday where I was just one of the cute chicks in that white Camaro, jamming to Daft Punk.
Over the weekend I was driving out to a friend’s house when R.E.M.’s Night Swimming came up on my shuffle. Just like every other time a song off of Automatic for the People comes on near my vicinity I sang along, stopped the shuffle, and queued up the entire disc. Automatic for the People has been an important piece of my music collection since I was in 8th grade. It was the first CD I owned that wasn’t part of the Beatles discography. Right then in that car I decided that I should write about this album and how it might be one of the most important albums of that time period. In my mind this was going to be a blog equivalent of what those Portland Dad’s do here in the main podcast, my version of getting all white and nerdy over an artist. Except a funny thing happened when I began researching the album.
I found that a 12 or 13 year old may not have been the best judge of what was or was not a monumental disc. Reviews from the time period were mostly positive, but I found many people who thought that it was too soft of an album and bit of a reach. Fans at the time felt that R.E.M. had lost their edge and sold out. My opinion of the album is more in line with what Rolling Stone had to say about it in 1992,
“R.E.M. has never made music more gorgeous than “Nightswimming and “Find the River,” the ballads that close Automatic for the People and sum up its twilit, soulful intensity. A swirl of images natural and technological – midnight car rides and undertow, old photographs and headlong tides – the songs grapple, through a unifying metaphor of “the recklessness of water,” with the interior world of memory, loss and yearning. This is the members of R.E.M. delving deeper than ever; grown sadder and wiser, the Athens subversives reveal a darker vision that shimmers with new, complex beauty.”
This disc was my entry point into the band. I was too young to care about such things as “selling out”. I didn’t know R.E.M. before then, this, to me, was R.E.M. and it was damn good. This got me thinking; how much of my love for this disc was nostalgia and the memories versus how great it actually was(is) (side note, wiki says this disc went 4x’s platinum with over 5 million sold, I’d say that is “pretty fucking great”). But how can I really know for sure?
Let’s look at the band Weezer. The Blue album is great, another staple of my youth and carry over into adulthood. The fact that everything they’ve released since has been utter shit (don’t start a debate about Pinkerton, I will cut you), leads me to believe that my love for Blue was purely because I was 15 years old and my tastes, like people that are into punk rock and libertarianism, hadn’t been fully matured. Still though, a song comes on from that disc and it’s not being skipped.
Lets switch mediums for a bit. Full House. Some people in their 30’s still fucking LOVE Full House. If that exact show were to air today not a single one of them would watch. It’s garbage, probably something your kid would want to watch on the Disney Channel. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll check out a re-run and get stuck in a marathon once in awhile because it doesn’t matter to me that it’s shit, it’s MY shit. And I love shit apparently. That accurately sums up nostalgia in a nutshell. Is Automatic for the People my Full House marathon?
I asked some people to list for me what was something that they loved when they were younger that they thought was probably shit now. People on my Facebook delivered. I”m going to list their responses, with my commentary. It’s a great list of awfulness:
Step by Step (this was great, I remember thinking that all those sisters on the show were hot. Didn’t the dude living in the van end up being a psycho in real life?). Saved by the Bell (I think ALL I need to say here is Dustin Diamond). Lucky Charms (you know what will never be mentioned? Cinnamon Toast Crunch, cuz that shit is STILL the butters yo). Dark Crystal (really creepy muppets don’t hold up, who would have thought?). Fraggle Rock (Speaking of creepy muppets, I tried to get my 2 year old into this show since it’s on Hulu and she wanted nothing to do for it and screamed for Curious George). Some of the pop culture memories that were mentioned I hadn’t tried or seen since I was a child. Like the children’s show Pinwheel and Perfect Strangers. Why isn’t Perfect Strangers in syndication somewhere? Those shows are still great to me, they hold up. My adult mind hasn’t had a chance to ruin them. The Never Ending Story was mentioned (I saw this recently and didn’t believe that it was the same movie that I had seen as a kid. As an adult I wasn’t full of amazement and wonder, I was creeped out and bored). Rad was another movie referenced (I don’t think I need to tell you that this movie ain’t rad you probably already know that). Roseanne (I think got better with age and understood some of the down home nuance a bit clearer). Dave Matthews Band (Under the Table and Dreaming was great, still is). And Gullah Gullah Island (I’ve never actually seen this one, I will watch an episode by the end of the week, or should I?). Labyrinth (as if Dark Crystals and Never Ending Story weren’t bad enough you wanted to throw David Bowie and his giant codpiece on top of it all). One of the best listed on Facebook was Holidays, it could have it’s own post entirely (childhood wonderment vs working overtime and spending all of your money as an adult).
Speaking of Never Ending Stoy, this is funny:
Other honorable mentions go to rat tails, switch blade combs, Killer Clowns from Outer Space (which is awesome), spandex bike shorts, Hyper Color shirts, the Offspring, Stretch Armstrong, and the TV show Wings (WINGS REALLY? THAT WAS SHIT? I don’t remember that show being bad. It had MONK in it!)
One of our Portland Dads, John, from the main podcast Static and Distortion chimed in with:
“Pizza Hut. For a kid who grew up in Ohio and didn’t have Lou’s or Giordanos or Rosati or any of the other great great Chicago pizza places, Pizza Hut was the shit. You could go sit down and eat there (like a fancy restaurant!) rather than just pick up your pizza from a counter and have it delivered. Plus, Book It. Not that the actual pizza was great, but its certainly not the pleasant trip down nostalgia lane for me these days. It has a distinct Taco Bell effect, which makes sense since they are both Yum Brands restaurants.”
The greatest movie ever made that didn’t star Harrison Ford (Indy / Wars) or Michael J. Fox (B2TF), Goonies, was mentioned as a movie that somebody loved when they were a kid but to them now, is terrible. I viscerally disagree. In my mind that shit holds up and may be the best children’s movie ever. Which begs the question; how can we determine what is actually good and what only seems good because of our associations? Are the Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and Back to the Future movies just associations as well?
Being nostalgic about something from our past isn’t bad. Not everything we’re sentimental about is actually garbage. I’d say the baby boomer’s nostalgia is spot on when it comes to the Beatles. Grateful Dead fans just went nuts last week buying tickets to Dead 50 based on their nostalgia. It’s how Sylvester Stallone is still able to make movies. Our memories are important. Our experiences shape our opinions, they inform our actions, and they help create bonds. Important bonds, it’s part of our fabric, specially if music is your hobby or passion. Nostalgia is important to musicphiles. Many of our actions, our listening habits, our conversations, are based on these shared experiences, and our shared interpretations of events, sounds, shows. It’s reflected in all of our communication within our communities, regardless of if you’re into indie artists, jambands, jazz, whatever.
While writing this my wife reminded me that Twinkies are another shit memory from our youth. Have you had a Twinkie lately? Garbage. Not like I remember them. Most importantly, she reminded me how great Automatic was by reaching over my typing hands and linking me this: