Sanford & Son theme song

February 26, 2006 at 10:47 pm | Posted in Music | 8 Comments

The unsettling sense of chaos at the beginning of this tune got me listening to it a bit more closely, and it’s crazy!

It starts with just bass, and you assume the first note is the one; but then the organ kicks in a half beat off, and you realize that that first bass note was a grace note a half beat *before* the one. But when the bass phrase repeats a second time, you’re off by a half beat again! They’ve inserted an extra half beat just before the second phrase, again tricking you into thinking of it as the one, which is reinforced by the added repetition of the last note two times.

Finally the actual theme starts, with the first note on the second beat of the bass line; at least to me, this adds yet another unexpected hiccup, since it makes the last low bass note sound like it’s a half beat after the one. After that it’s more straightforward, but full of all kinds of cool little tricks and trinkets.

A weird twist on this is that most versions online (e.g. here and here) seem to be slightly different: they skip the extra half beat before the second phrase. Which is the real tune, and why are two versions floating around? Maybe Quincy Jones will pay a visit one day and explain…it’s amazing how much talent and creativity went into a lot of these little TV snippets, and how many people remember them so many years later.


PodBop: Browse local shows and listen to songs from the bands

February 16, 2006 at 8:45 am | Posted in Music | 2 Comments

Wow, PodBop (found via TechCrunch) is the first mashup I actually bookmarked and intend to use. You choose a location, see a list of shows for each date, then can play MP3s for each band playing. The only thing I could ask for would be for the site to also list venue / cost, that about covers the factors deciding whether I’d go to the show.

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