I finally got around to watching the first season of Friday Night Lights on Netflix. In addition to not really being about football, and being a pretty damn good television drama, the show features some great music. Ranging from Outlaw Country to Indie Rock, along with some mainstream Hip Hop, the show highlights Texan artists like Townes Van Zandt and Spoon. Evoking bleak wide open landscapes and the darker side of life, the soundtrack resonates with me. The final episode of the season culminates with a cover of Daniel Johnston’s “Devil Town”. It’s really a cover of a cover, Tony Lucca performing a cleaner and brighter version of the arrangement by Bright Eyes, who would not license their music for television.
Here is the Bright Eyes song, with Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs creating the electric guitar noise. Johnston’s original is a cappella, and repeats a single melody for each verse. Here, the instruments and harmony vocals build up and fade away to give the song a more compelling structure.