Tag Archives: TV

BoJack Horseman

Another week skipped. Oh well, here I am again, with a quick post! And it’s about…TV? Well, sort of. It’s about the music featured on a TV show, or at least a particular song. (Oh, I’ve done this a few times before!)

I started watching BoJack Horseman on Sunday and I haven’t been able to get the opening theme song out of my head. It doesn’t really have a name. It’s just called “BoJack Horseman Theme.” It’s performed by Patrick Carney and features Ralph Carney on the sax. That’s about all the hard facts I have on the song.

Wow oh wow does that opening punch me in the gut. The visuals are pretty straightforward. It’s just the title character staring ahead with a look that hardly changes while we watch his background change constantly over the course of an entire day. It’s monotony clashing with dynamism, and that’s great. I mean, I’m only halfway through the first season so far, but it makes perfect sense for the show.

I couldn’t get enough so I found a longer version. The full version even!

There’s just something so hypnotic about it. I love that weird, twangy sound and the reverb on that guitar. The drums make it feel like a meditation, and then that sax comes in and just blows my mind. It’s just so good. It’s painful and plaintive and a little soul-crushing, but in such a good way. Maybe that’s just me over-interpreting it. Or maybe, if reviews I’ve heard of the show in its entirety are true, I’m spot-on. We’ll just have to see.


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Hey Arnold!

Today’s Music Tuesdays it a late one – so it’s gonna be a quick one!

Let’s start by talking about TV music. Been awhile since I used the TV tag! This time, I wanted to talk briefly about the music of the 90’s Nickelodeon cartoon show Hey Arnold! One of the things I remember liking about the show, besides the great characters and whimsical views of city life (it was always NYC to me), was the music. It fit the show so perfectly. It was cool, like its namesake character. And it was probably one of the reasons I got into jazz. Not that I’m well-versed on the subject – I listened to my local college station play jazz music at night, and sometimes I listened to my parents’ Harry Connick, Jr. CDs (20 was the main one for me). But put on some jazz and I won’t complain.

The music ranged from upbeat and swinging, like the intro theme here:

To smooth and laid-back, like this track, titled “Groove Remote,” which I’ve been listening to on repeat all day:

When I listen to this soundtrack (mostly random collections scattered across YouTube), I think still get the same sort of visions of NYC. I’ve thought of it as some kind of exotic place that exists in America. It’s not really a romantic fantasy view of the city. Well, maybe a little bit. But there’s still some real grit in there. It would make as much of an adventure as a boat ride down the Amazon River, in my mind. Full of possibilities to explore.

I feel like I’ve gone off on a tangent, but I swear it’s connected! The point I’m trying to make is that this is one of the places my imagination takes me when I listen to the jazz music featured in Hey Arnold! Of course, it’s pretty close to the vision presented by the show (which never REALLY said it was NYC), but I have to imagine that it could have played out another way if they’d chosen a different type of music.

Someday, when I visit the Big Apple, I’m going to be hearing this music play in my head.

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Over the Garden Wall

Sorry I had to miss last week! My Internet has not been treating me well. I have a feeling it’s actually my computer. But I’m back this week! And I’m here to talk about…TV?

Yes! I am here to talk about the soundtrack to Over the Garden Wall, the 5-night animated mini-series that aired on Cartoon Network earlier this month. And yes, this IS a blog about music, but even TV shows have music! If there are pleasant (or unpleasant) sounds to be heard, I’m here to talk about them.

So anyway! A quick (spoiler-free) breakdown of the show: Over the Garden Wall is about a pair of brothers who are lost in a strange and magical woodland setting and are trying to find their way home with the help of a talking (and reluctant) bluebird. They encounter several characters along the way and try to help them so that they can get help in turn. The story is broken into 10 chapters. Think of it as a series of fairy tales strung together like a charm bracelet. It’s all very whimsical and has a sort of late 19th/early 20th century American folk tale feel to it.

On to the music! The soundtrack (most of it anyway) is available to listen to for free on Cartoon Network’s YouTube channel. No official album available for purchase yet. Which is a shame, and hopefully will be remedied soon! Go ahead and give it a listen. It’s just a little over 14 minutes and there really aren’t any spoilers that can be pulled from it. The songs here don’t play in order! (Click the letters at the top right for each following track – It should spell THE UNKNOWN.)

The music really keeps up with that whimsical theme. It’s very inspired by late 19th/early 20th century American folk music. In a making of the music featurette, Elijah Wood (who voices Wirt, one of the brothers) states “If this show were a record, it would be played on phonograph.” That’s clear to me right away. I can almost hear it with the occasional minute scratch or hiss under the music.

My favorites (and most everyone else’s, I’d wager) are “Langtree’s Lament” (gotta learn all the words – I love this one!) and “Potatoes and Molasses,” which sounds gross and yet I want to try it because of this show and song. However, I also really like “Over the Garden Wall” and “Into the Unknown” as well as “Patient is the Night” and “A Courting Song” (which makes me want to do a little jig). Well, that’s about half the soundtrack, haha.

“Like Ships” is super corny, which is great because of what happens later in the chapter featuring this song. (I won’t give it away!) “Come Wayward Souls” is super creepy – and it’s meant to be, seeing as how it’s sung by the antagonist. “Forward Oneiroi!” is tough for me to like on its own. It was very particular to a segment that happens in one of the chapters. Same goes for “The Highway Man” but that one stands stronger on its own. It’s still meant to me listened to while you watch the sequence!

I would totally buy this soundtrack if they released a digital version. Heck, I would buy it on vinyl AND get a record player just to hear it that way! That same making of the music featurette shows them creating the LPs (although I think technically it’s an EP?) but it seems they made a limited amount for release in press kits only. So unfair!

Give this soundtrack a listen now if you want – but watch the mini-series too! You can buy it on iTunes in HD for $9.99 – or SD for $6.99 – and it’s not even 2 hours long in total. Yes, I said this is a music blog, but I’m allowed to like other things, and I LOVE this show! I keep thinking about watching it again and again. In between views, I just play the soundtrack over and over again. So lovely.

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Okay, I feel a little silly writing a post about the Squidbillies opening theme, but I swear there’s a good reason for it! And besides, the opening theme to a TV show is still music!

Let’s just go ahead and take a listen to the original:

Haha! What a silly little country ditty, right? The lyrics are pretty funny, anyway. “Sometimes I wish the sun would just explode” kind of fits in with the show’s absurd and surreal themes. Admittedly, I’ve only seen a few episodes. It’s typical late night Adult Swim fare, as far as I can tell. Televised fodder for stoners. (Not saying that’s a bad thing or a good thing – it’s just a thing!)

So the creative minds behind Squidbillies have decided to mix things up a bit by having various artists record the opening theme. These include King Kahn and the Shrines, Centro-Matic, Todd Rundgren, and…wait for it…Neko Case!

WOAH. I like this angry, bitter Neko! And I want MORE! The silly little country ditty suddenly becomes this gritty noir-Western theme song. I could almost take the opening visuals seriously if it weren’t a cartoon squid. The style reminds me a lot of some of Neko’s early stuff, particularly some tracks from Blacklisted (“Ghost Writing” and “Runnin’ Out of Fools” come to mind). Gosh, what I wouldn’t give for this to be a full-length song.

This isn’t the first time Neko has worked with a Williams Street production – you may recall my post about her Christmas song for Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I have to wonder if Neko is a night owl who stays up watching Adult Swim while she’s on tour. Or maybe the folks over at Williams Street are just fans of hers. Anyway, I love these collaborations! It shows that Neko loves to have fun. And I love artists who love to have fun!

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