TV Shows with Stellar Soundtracks – HBO’s Eastbound & Down

Having a great soundtrack can make or break movies and Television shows; it can also hold up DVDs over music licensing rights which is exactly what happened to The Wonder Years. Music is an integral part of any “great” film or show, and today we’re going to take a look at one of those great shows called Eastbound & Down.

Eastbound & Down only ran 3 seasons and ended just a few short weeks ago, but every episode had really great music. The music played an important part of the show, and often set the tone for comedic scenes as well as dramatic ones. For a show about a redneck baseball player they did a great job of mixing it up with artists like The Black KeysToo ShortRam JamThe StoogesKenny RodgersJunior Senior, and Bob Segar. Segar’s music popped up several times in the show and followed Kenny down to Mexico, then back to America again.

A few other scenes/song combos that stood out right off the top of my head were The Black Keys “Your Touch” when Kenny Powers was strutting his stuff through the middle school and The Stilts version of “I Heard it through the Grapevine” when Kenny made that fateful phone call back home. A great one from the latest season that stands out in my mind was Lee Hazlewood’s “I’d Rather Be Your Enemy.”  The show always ended strong with a song as well; a prime example of that is a scene where coked-up KP parties to the Bangles “Walk Like an Egyptian” right before something happens and the episode ends. Even minor moments were made great by music like Ivan’s entrance into the ballpark to Russian folk music was fitting, and pretty damned funny.

You don’t have to be a fan of shows like Eastbound & Down to know how important music is to film, but it’s a damn fine example and sets the bar pretty high. Don’t believe me? Just do a little googling and you’ll see quite a few people talking about the tracks they played and bitching about there not being an official soundtrack. There’s even a very nice LastFM page that gives a great list of music from the show.  No matter how crazy (and dark) our man Kenny Powers got, music always seemed to brighten things up a bit. The show was awesome and so was the music; both will be missed unless we get a season 4…

HBO – Eastbound & Down

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