Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Rescue Me! (Soundtrack and Music Guide to Season 1)

So, the television season ended and we plowed through our DVR detritus, catching up on odds and sods of shows, but it seemed like there was nothing to watch.

Co-worker Ian praised the show Rescue Me and insisted I watch it. But somewhere along the line, someone got it in our heads that we should at least watch season 1 on DVD before embarking on the latest episodes (season 4). So we did. We watched 2 episodes before we had to return the DVDs back to the New York Public Library.

Well, we thought, we will certainly watch more of those. So I got back, as they say in Britain, in the queue at the NYPL and after receiving my e-mail that the DVD was in, picked this up on Tuesday:

Um, not the DVD, but the soundtrack. Ok, I'll survive. The DVD came today. There's 10 copies in the system and 20 people in line.

And, I figured, since it's unlikely we'll finish the last 11 episodes of season 1 in a week's time, I've already reserved another copy. Why not?

Anyway, I listened to the soundtrack today on the way to work and it's pretty darn good. So here is the track listing. Very indy. But very good.

1. "C’mon C’mon" – The Von Bondies (Rescue Me title song)

This song is the perfect title song. It sticks with you and rocks. In the liner notes, Dennis Leary remarked how the song sounds as if it was written for a fire engine. The urgency in the lyrics launches the episode into high gear.

2. "Devil" – Stereophonics

This song is cool. It has a little bit of a early-90's grunge feel for me. It didn't show up in Rescue Me until Season 3, Episode 1. The disc has selected tracks from the first three seasons. The video for the song was considered controversial. See for yourself here.

3. "I’ll Be Your Man" – The Black Keys

From their album The Big Come Up. This band is a little in the White Stripes-variety. I am actually a fan of theirs (26 tracks on the BilliPod), and have been ever since I heard them of the School of Rock soundtrack. Good, hard, thick blues-rock.

Listen: "When the Lights Go Down" (mp3) by The Black Keys from the soundtrack of Black Snake Moan.

4. "Bonnie Brae" – The Twilight Singers

Dennis Leary loves these guys. Check out this post over at Stereogum. The Twilight Singers were formed by former leader of the Afghan Whigs, Greg Dulli. Not a bad song.

5. "All The Wild Horses" – Ray LaMontagne

Honestly, I don't know what to think of Ray LaMontagne. He's an "indie" favorite, but he's a little too mellow for my tastes. I don't think I could listen to him endlessly. But this song definitely has its merits, conveying a dark, sad mood. He's another favorite of Leary's, I'm guessing, because three songs of his have been used in the series (not counting season 4, under way currently).

6. "Shine A Light" – Wolf Parade

Wolf Parade is another favorite of the youths who I have never really sunk my teeth into. This song is perfect for the show, it has tinges of Irishness, and an angst that melds well with the themes of the show. The video for the song, viewable with Quicktime here, illustrates an individual's inner demons. The lyrics confirm this:

I keep my head uptight

I make my plans at night
And I don’t sleep I don’t sleep I don’t sleep ’til it’s light
Something’s flowing, someone buried alive

There is an awful sound
This haunted town
And it will not it will not it will not just be quiet
Some ghosts sing, someone get called to the life

Spend boring hours in the office tower
In a bus on a bus back home to you and
That’s fine I’m barely alive

It’s just a matter of time
No one gets out alive

7. Karaoke Soul – Tom McRae

I know what you're thinking, "Is he going through the whole track list?" You betcha. It's fun and I get to pay closer attention to each song and artist. It's educational for me and you. You can thank me later.

Anyway, this is a pretty kickin' tune, as one generation or another of kids said, at some point. Perfect for this soundtrack, a driving beat with a little hint of '80s Robert Plant (musically, not vocally).

You can watch the video for "Karaoke Soul" here.

8. "Love Is Blindness" – The Devlins feat. Sharon Corr

This a haunting, beautiful song that just drips with heartache. It's a song I can picture listening to as a teenager, over and over again, before, during, and after a failed relationship. Sharon Corr's violin work is chilling and accents the song perfectly. The song was originally by U2 from the Achtung Baby album. The Devlins have stripped away the percussion and studio production that you find in the original and have created, in my opinion, a superior cover. The song was recorded for a U2 benefit/tribute album called Even Better Than the Real Thing, Vol. 3.

9. "Fell On Bad Days" – Rubyhorse

Another Irish band, which makes sense, since the show is about an Irish-American firefighter in a department that has a tradition steeped in the Irish-American community. And the executive producer and lead actor is Dennis Leary. This track was prominent in the season finale of the show's first year. This track is a soaring musical tour de force that uplifts and inspires.

10. "Wipe That Smile Off Your Face" – Our Lady Peace

Not a bad track at all. Again, perfect for this soundtrack. A nice, angry, bitter song to uplift your spirits.

Listen to another song by Our Lady Peace: Somewhere Out There (mp3), courtesy of
Heartache With Hard Work.

11. "Open Heart Surgery" – The Brian Jonestown Massacre

I've heard of the Brian Jonestown Massacre for years but never listened to them. This song just kicks butt. I know what you're thinking, is there anything on the soundtrack I don't like? Well, duh, why do you think I'm dissecting the entire album?

12. "Oh Yeah" – The Subways

This song could also be a main title song. It has a great beat and a driving melody that combines with the lyrics to depict a sense of urgency. Watch the video for the song here.

13. "Pussywillow" – Greg Dulli

Remember "Bonnie Brae" above? Same dude. Same sound. I could do without this track. It's okay, but falls flat after the Subways.

14. "Just A Dream" – Griffin House

The last words we hear on the album are from Griffin House:

All you are now is only just a dream
Can you fall down in following me?

I see the placement here as essential summing up of the soundtrack. For me, I would have preferred a more rocking exit. The song is okay. The subways may have been better suited to end this project. But hey, Dennis Leary is who he is, and I am me.

Anyway, this is, overall, a great soundtrack, especially if you like the series.

You can read Dennis Leary's liner notes by clicking on the music guide at the official Rescue Me site here.

Update: August 2007
I get a lot of hits to this post from people looking for a music guide for the series, so I will try and elaborate.

Season 1

Season 1, Episode 1, "Guts":

Coldplay's "Don't Panic" is playing at the end of the episode.

Season 1, Episode 2, "Gay":

Tom McRae's "Stronger than Dirt" at the end of the episode.

Season 1, Episode 4, "DNA":

Tyrone Wells' "When All is Said and Done" at the end of the episode.

Season 1, Episode 5, "Orphans":

Magnet's "Chasing Dreams" at the end of the episode.

Season 1, Episode 7, "Butterfly":

Tom McRae's "Karaoke Soul" (track 7 on the soundtrack CD, described above)

Season 1, Episode 8, "Inches":

Tyrone Wells' "All I Can Do" as they pull Billy's body from the warehouse.

Season 1, Episode 12, "Leaving":

Griffin Wells' "Just a Dream" at the end of the episode (track 14 on the soundtrack CD, described above)

Season 1, Episode 13, "Sanctuary":

Rubyhorse, "Fell on Bad Days" at the end of the episode (track 9 on the soundtrack CD, described above)


Tony said...

Not sure if you've listend to all the tracks on Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble" CD, but he definitely cranks things up a bit on "How Come," an absolutely smoking, soulful rock song. Give a listen if you haven't already. I like his stuff, but agree it is a bit mellow.

joy said...

Never has a show given so much to the viewer; drama, comedy, suspense, this show is the best thing to happen to television in years.I took to this show and I think it's brilliant. The acting is really good and I love how the show centres around a guy who is obviously going through post traumatic stress.Catch all eps Rescue Me Download here..

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful post here. I like your post very much. I am a big fan of tv shows. I always Watch TV Shows Online. This is really great show. And music of the show is also great.

Anonymous said...

I love to watch TV Shows online. My favorite one is True Blood. I always catch True Blood Episode online. Its story is really superb. And cast of the show is also good.

Some dude in the US said...

Buddy, I enjoy stumbling on to great music. Devil, Oh Yeah, and that coldplay song will be on my ipod frequently now. Thanks for taking the time to post this.