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The Music of Friday Night Lights

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So, yeah…I’m writing another FNL post, so sue me!  It’s a great show.  If you haven’t started watching it yet, I suggest you netflix or stream it immediately.

Part of what makes this such a great show is the surprising soundtrack.  You won’t find any Creed or Sixpence None The Richer here.

Here’s a “listen”, if you will, at some of the tracks from Season 1:

“Devil Town” Tony Lucca
This is actually a cover of Daniel Johnston, which to me was really….unexpected.  I guess it was the at first incongruous juxtaposition of Daniel Johnston and football.  But, on second thought, the general sentiment makes total sense just in the whole alientation/insularity/provinciality theme of the show.  It was a brilliant choice to open and close the season with the parade scene coupled with this song.  Sorry about the cheesy commercial (it actually makes the show look really stupid), but it was the only clip I could find of this version that I could find.

“Debra” Beck
I think they played this either at the diner that everyone goes to, or at the season kickoff party with the Mayor in episode 1.  I’m not entirely sure why they chose this song in either case, but I think Tyra was involved somehow, and I could totally picture her working at JC Pennys.  It would actually be a step up from Applebees.  The important thing is that they chose this song, and it’s hilarious.  And there you have it.

“Let’s Get Out of This Country” Camera Obscura
I know this song comes in during a montage of Tyra, Lyla, and maybe Riggins all being pensive and on the brink of wanting change or something.  This was definitely the most unexpected song to come on that I’d heard, aside from the Daniel Johnston cover.  Again, though, it does actually make sense for them to use it, especially when Tyra was briefly seeing that guy from LA and dreaming about moving out of Dillon, and Lyla was feeling appreciated by Riggins.

“Search and Destroy” Iggy Pop

It is both funny and true that this was used in the episode that Smash first starts using steroids.  What’s more, this was also the episode where Tami and Coach Taylor are all up in arms about Julie potentially dating the first string QB Matt Serenson, given the typical behavior of teenage football players.  Search and destroy, indeed. On a sidenote, this is my favorite song to work out to ever.

“Political Scientist” Ryan Adams

I think I may have literally shrieked when not only was Tim Riggins sexily brooding over something, but that none other than my favorite musical sad sack, Ryan Adams was helping to emote the scene properly!  Actually, I believe this is the episode where Tim confronts the reality that his dad is a thieving, lying, general and all-around asshole, and he has very few people he can really count on (given that he’d broken up with Tyra and Lyla won’t talk to him), so I believe that was the source of his pouting this time.  Never before in TV history that I can recall has a music track so perfectly married with a character and a scene.  Also, it’s funny to think of the words “Political Scientist” and “Tim Riggins” in the same sentence.

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Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G. is a Southern California native living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn since 2005. Anna is constantly trying to unite her love of CA sunshine and the excitement of the New York urban jungle, all the while trying to keep her unwieldy credit card debt under control, and look fabulous at brunch, no matter how un-showered and hungover.