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'Bookworm' debuts new theme song by Sparks

For 21 years, Michael Silverblatt's talk show "Bookworm" on KCRW has been, uh, bookended by theme music -- a version of the Mickey Mouse Club tune "You (Are A Human Animal)." That run ended Thursday when a brand-new, custom-made theme song by the rock duo Sparks debuted.

"I am so completely thrilled. This is a dream of a lifetime. For me, if George Gershwin had written the theme song for "Bookworm" it couldn't be better than Sparks," Silverblatt said during the Thursday broadcast, when he talked to Sparks, the brothers Ron and Russell Mael. "All I have to do is hear a Sparks song and I start to smile. It makes me feel like -- 'Oh! Talk like a human being. Don't go over people's heads. Be one of us.'"

The L.A. natives have been making music since the 1970s, a little bit glam, a little bit New Wave, a little bit manic madness. Remember "Angst in My Pants"? Or "Cool Places," the Jane Wiedlin duet? Recently, they've had a resurgence -- in 2008 they played 21 concerts in London, performing each of their records live, in chronological order. 

And now you can hear Sparks singing, bookishly, about Gutenberg and "Bookworm," every time you tune into Michael Silverblatt's show.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Ron, left, and Russell Mael of Sparks. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

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And don't forget the Sparks' "Metaphor" ("Chicks dig metaphors.....")

I adore Michael Silverblatt (how could any booklover not) but that theme song drove me insane! I like that little jazz bit in the middle when they take a break though. Anyway, yay for Bookworm!


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