True Detective (Burnett/Various Artists, 2014)

     True Detective (Season 1) was a very popular procedural with some very dark and sometimes almost supernatural overtones.  However, musically,  it stayed away from pipe organs and wordless male choir, and instead used subtle sound design to create its thick, cloying atmosphere of dread.  Composer T-Bone Burnett released an LP of the ambient underscore he composed for the show, but it generally consists of droney sound design and IMHO works only within the picture.

     However, balancing out this curtain of abstract textures and ambient impacts is the tracked source music, which was brilliantly chosen by Burnett as well.  Since the drama played out in many bars, dance-halls and bedrooms, there was ample opportunity to show off what good taste these establishments and characters had.  The Burnett selections are pretty great, and make for a fantastic compilation of southern gothic, folk, country and noise rock.


     Below is a run down of all of the licensed music used for the series.  In an interview, Burnett mentions Captain Beefheart's "Clear Spot" as one of his selections, but so far I haven't noticed hearing it in the program (please correct me if I'm wrong).  Admittedly, the info below is pretty easy to find on the internet, so this post was more like an excuse to just re-watch such a great show.


Title Artist Scene
Far from Any Road The Handsome Family Main title sequence.
Episode 1: The Long Bright Dark
Rocks And Gravel Bob Dylan Source music: Rust interrogates two prostitutes at a bar.
Sign of the Judgement The McIntosh
County Shouters
Rust & Marty drive out to a lead (Marie Fontenot's uncle's house in the sticks). 
Young Men Dead The Black Angels In 2012, Rust tells the two detectives to "start askin' the right fuckin' questions."
End Credits
Episode 2: Seeing Things
Unfriendly Woman John Lee Hooker Source music: Marty hangs out in a bar drinking with other detectives, telling a dirty story. 
One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer John Lee Hooker Source music: Marty calls Lisa on the payphone asking to come over. 
Train Song Vashti Bunyan Source music: Lisa and Marty have a rendezvous at her apartment.
Sign of the Judgement The McIntosh
County Shouters
Rust beats up two mechanics to get directions to the "bunny ranch" (rural whorehouse).
You Better Run to the City of Refuge C.J. Johnson Rust and Marty drive out to the bunny ranch.
Meet Me In the Alleyway Steve Earle Rust and Marty canvas the streets with the victim's photograph.
If I Live or If I Die Cuff the Duke Rust and Marty find the (now-burnt out) church referenced in the victim's diary.
Kingdom of Heaven The 13th Floor Elevators Rust and Marty discover the antler-man mural on the church wall.
End Credits 
Episode 3: The Locked Room
Stand By Me The Staple Singers Rust, Marty and a forensics team investigate the church mural (cut to church revival).
Does My Ring Burn Your Finger Buddy Miller Source music: Marty and Maggie try to set up Rust with a girl at Longhorn's.
I'm a One Woman Man Johnny Horton Source music: Marty walks up to the bar to get more beer (and talk to Lisa)
The Heart That You Own Jo-El Sonnier Source music: Dance scene.
Evangeline Jo-El Sonnier Source music: Dance scene 2nd song.
Episode 4: Who Goes There
Bring It to Jerome Bo Diddley Rust and Marty interview the mother of a suspect in a crawfish boiling plant (crawfish in a cage are removed from boiling water).
The Brain Center At Whipples Melvins Source music: Marty interviews a stripper (a suspect's girlfriend) backstage.
Illegal Business Boogie Down Productions Source music: Marty extracts more info on the stripper from the bartender, as the girl dances in a Stars and Stripes costume.
Sur Le Borde de L'Eau (On the Water's Edge) Blind Uncle Gaspard Source music: In a bar, Marty bemoans his wrecked marriage, and Rust discusses the biker gang he plans to infiltrate in order to contact the prime suspect, Ledoux.
Are You Alright? Lucinda Williams Source music (partially): Marty talks to Rust about his undercover work, as Rust injects his skin with ink and cayenne to make it look "authentic".  Rust gets cocaine from the evidence locker and works out.
Rainin' in My Heart Slim Harpo Source music: Rust talks to Maggie about Marty in a diner.
A History of Bad Men Melvins Source music: Rust enters a biker bar to arrange a meet with Ledoux.
American Life Primus Source music: An impatient Marty enters the biker bar to look for Rust.
Holy Mountain Sleep Source music: Rust is enlisted in a house raid, as Marty attempts to get to the back area of the biker bar.
Clan In da Front Wu-Tang Clan Source music: Rust and the biker gang raid a housing project stash house.
Honey Bee
(Let's Fly to Mars)
Grinderman Aerial shot of police and helicopters converging on the housing project after Rust escapes with Ginger, a middleman for Ledoux.
End credits. 
Episode 5: The Secret Life of All Fate
Casey's Last Ride Kris Kristofferson Source music: Rust meets with Ledoux's partner in a bar.
(unknown
swamp groove)
T-Bone Burnett Marty tails Ledoux's partner.
Tired of Waiting for You The Kinks Source music: Marty and his daughters go roller skating.
Eli Bosnian Rainbows Slow pullback through broken glass on Rust, as he examines the "soul-catchers" in the abandoned school room.
End Credits.
Episode 6: Haunted Houses
Waymore's Blues Waylon Jennings Source music: Inside a bar, Marty runs into Beth, a girl he once helped out at the "bunny ranch".
Les Champs Élysée Bobby Charles Source music: Marty talks to Beth outside a bar.
Every Man Needs a Companion Father John Misty Source music: Marty & Beth have sex at her apartment.
Goldberg Var., BWV 988: Aria J.S. Bach/Glenn Gould Source music: Rust talks to Kelly (one of Ledoux's captives) in a psych ward.
The Good Book Emmylou Harris Source music: Maggie hits a bar in a red dress. 
Too Many Tears In My Eyes Ike & Tina Turner Source music (?): Rust studies his crime notes at night, when Maggie knocks on his door.
Core Chant Meredith Monk Maggie seduces Rust in his kitchen (to piss off Marty). 
Sign of the Judgement Cassandra Wilson 2012 (from here to end of season): Rust asks Marty to buy him a beer so they can talk.
End Credits.
Episode 7: After You’ve Gone
Angel of the Morning Juice Newton Source music: Talking in a bar for the first time in many years, Rust asks for Marty's help in his investigation.
Trance Figure School of Seven Bells Source music:  In a New Orleans gay bar, Rust interrogates a former student of the Tuttle religious school.
Floating Bridge Gregg Allman Source music: Marty gives Rust an update on his findings at the bar, while being stared down by the owner.
Red Light
(featuring Ravenbird)
Vincent and Mr. Green Marty and Rust go to interview the Tuttle family maid.
Fault Line Black Rebel
Motorcycle Club
Source music: Rust and Marty confer in the bar after talking with the elderly maid.
Did She Jump Or Was She Pushed Richard and Linda Thompson Source music: Maggie visits Rust at the bar where he works. 
Lungs Townes Van Zandt Camera pulls back as Billy Childress (the killer) continues mowing the cemetery lawn after giving directions to the detectives, and Rust and Marty float down the nearby river, interrogating a former coworker.
End credits. 
Episode 8: Form and Void
The Angry River The Hat, Father John Misty & S. I. Istwa Leaving the hospital, Rust tells Marty that the light is winning.
End credits 
 


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