March 16, 2010

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose

clear eyes full hearts

So. Despite my general disdain for television, I kinda might have sorta gotten addicted to Friday Night Lights. It happens, on occasion, when an exceptionally good show crosses my path, and even moreso when it has an ace soundtrack. At the urging of several friends with really good musical taste, I began gorging myself on the first three seasons on DVD right around Thanksgiving and I’m just catching up. The best I can explain, in its finest moments, this show feels like a Springsteen song in small towns and the fires of youth, all come to life in Texas.

The soundtrack is impressive. I’ve had to watch each episode with my laptop nearby because I do an excessive amount of lyrical-snippet Googling and message board trolling (nerd!) to find all the deep cuts and covers and quirky songs the music directors have chosen. Whoever they are, I love them. If you’ve never watched the show (I thought it was lame for years) take a gander at the soundtracking and you might change your mind. The songs fit perfectly, and then once you start watching, you and I can have conversations about Tim Riggins. Trust me.

Since I enjoy making mixes for occasions, heading to SXSW tomorrow (via aereo this year, sadly, not roadtripping like that one amazing time last year) makes this new mix sound even more satisfying. These are all songs that have been played on the first three seasons of the show. If you happen to be driving down to Texas this week, do me a solid and burn this to enjoy on the way.

Your Hand In Mine (with strings) – Explosions In The Sky
Everything I Do (Miss You) – Whiskeytown
Read My Mind (Like Rebel Diamonds Mix) – The Killers
Devil Town (Daniel Johnston cover) – Bright Eyes
Permission – American Catapult
Either Way – Wilco
To Build A Home – The Cinematic Orchestra
Dead Man’s Will – Iron & Wine/Calexico
Decline-O-Meter – The Gourds
I Made A Resolution – Seawolf
Devil In Me – 22-20s
Eyes – Rogue Wave
If It’s The Beaches – The Avett Brothers
Eyes Wider Than Before – Scott Matthews
I Will Dare – The Replacements
Starlite, No. 1 – Mojave 3
Storm – Jose Gonzalez
Morning Hollow – Sparklehorse
Remember Me As A Time Of Day – Explosions In The Sky


(Image credit David Kozlowski).


  • The spot where they used “If It’s The Beaches” is one of the most perfect uses of music in media in the history of time and space.

    Tim Riggins is my favorite. Glad to know he’s well-appreciated. :)

    aggie — March 16, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

  • You missed one song, the name is “Lord give me a sign” DMX is from one of the first seasons, and it was perfect for the episode, also came along in an difficult time of my life

    Tanger Soto — March 16, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

  • Hi Heather,
    My wife and I have loved this show since it’s inception. The music makes it even that much better, you are right. I can’t wait for the new season to start. Thanks so much for the music tracks… this will be a special playlist on my iPod now ;o) -Erik

    Erik — March 16, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

  • Amazing. I watched the one show with the Avetts. Now I’ll have to go watch them all. Thanks for the playlist!

    Catherine — March 16, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

  • FNL rocks, glad you noticed! I think they were the first in a long line of TV shows that used Rogue Wave’s “Eyes.” I don’t think any other music-emotional-TV-gah! moment has ever struck my heart down like that. Not before, not after.

    KC — March 16, 2010 @ 10:20 pm

  • I had no interest in Friday Night Lights, I have never been a fan of Texas or Football. But after several friends kept talking about it I borrowed them from my local library. Man I got so addicted my roommate and I would watch a disk after work, it would be late but we would throw another disk in.
    Season 2 the episode that is pretty much all about Riggins first playing with the baby, then protecting Julie & the sit ups don’t forget the sit ups. My friend has a shirt that says Riggins Rally Girl on it, I though she was ridiculous but now I am completely jealous and want one.

    Connie — March 17, 2010 @ 12:32 am

  • This season, they used AABondy songs at least one million times.

    It made me happy every single time.

    KAC — March 17, 2010 @ 12:56 am

  • You rock! I would have bypassed this show forever. Thanks for pointing out their use of cool tunes. And thanks for the mix. Great stuff!

    chris — March 17, 2010 @ 3:25 am

  • Indeed, an amazing show. Thru production style & actor performance, at times it makes you forget it’s not a documentary and there are precious few shows that have ever pulled that off. Like the comment above, several of my friends were turned off thinking it’s ‘about’ football (same thing killed the brilliant sit-com “Sports Night”) then when convinced to watch an episode, they got hooked. Music supervision is definitely top-notch – that show is solely responsible for Explosions In The Sky becoming the soundtrack for every slo-mo sports sequence in the past half-decade…

    My inner-jock thanks your inner-nerd for doing the legwork on the mix!

    jimbo — March 17, 2010 @ 5:06 am

  • [...] >> Heather Browne of the excellent I Am Fuel You Are Friends blog made a Friday Night Lights mix. Download it! [...]

    Tracklist: Wednesday wants to rule the world | Crib Notes » Atlanta Music Blog — March 17, 2010 @ 9:00 am

  • I’d add Fink’s “This is the Thing” to your excellent FNL mix. Used at a key moment in the Matt Saracen story arc.

    Sameer — March 17, 2010 @ 11:35 am

  • that soundtrack is indeed good. good as hell, even. to soley have explosions in the sky – best post-rock act out there – would have done it for me. but wilco, jose gonzales, killers, iron & wine.

    good stuff indeed.

    Jonatan — March 17, 2010 @ 5:21 pm

  • Ahh, love LOVE FNL! Got hooked and caught up on all seasons last month. The acting is seriously.. phenom. Coach Taylor <3

    Don't think you've gotten there yet, but some other key songs you may like: Great Northern's "Driveway" (you will BAWL like a stupid baby in this scene, btw) and Augustana's "Fire." Eastern Conference Champions has some good songs too.

    Pamela — March 17, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

  • Ahhh Heather as though we may have been twins separated at birth. As a both a football fan, high school coach, former player and a guy who ranks the FNL movie as one of my all time favorites I was very skeptical about this tv show. That being said it has continued to impress on all levels. As for the music the movie brought me Explosions in the Sky and for that alone (and everyone of their albums) I’ll forever be grateful. Thanks for sharing and have a great time at SXSW!

    Col — March 17, 2010 @ 10:40 pm

  • The best show on TV, hands down! In ep. 1 when Coach Taylor gives the speech (“we will all fall”) with Remember Me As A Time Of Day building slowly in background….O.M.F.G… I was sold!

    Love, love, love me some Buddy Garrity :)

    Jim — March 18, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

  • I read somewhere that the music on the FNL DVDs can be different than what was originally broadcast. They save having to pay the more expensive music rights. FNL truly is one of the great shows of our time.

    Jim — March 18, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

  • Love love love FNL! And the music is always sooo fitting. Glad you got the playlist up!

    KJG — March 19, 2010 @ 10:23 am

  • really lovely playlist. haven’t seen the show…probably won’t but wanted to thank you for sharing the music. appreciation from ireland x

    Arthur Phelan — March 19, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

  • Oh my GOD. I need to start watching that.

    Mary — March 19, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

  • Anybody who is going to start watching, should prolly start at the beginning to fully appreciate the show. The setting & character development is pretty well-formed in the first season, tho it’s constantly being updated as the students/players/townsfolk progress.

    Re: FNL on DVD. I have the first three seasons and didn’t even notice if they had substituted songs, I’ll have to go back. If they did pull a track due to licensing, they filled with either something by Explosions or the brilliant Snuffy Walden, so it’s like trading an A for an A…it’s certainly nothing like WKRP or Northern Exposure, who totally cheaped out on licensing the songs that were so critical to particular scenes. The only DVD release I’ve seen that really ponied up for licensing the music is Homicide: Life in the Street. Probably why it’s so expensive…but they were one of the first shows to build scenes around specific songs, so it was critical for them to do so. And definitely worth it.

    jimbo — March 20, 2010 @ 8:24 am

  • [...] of the Week* I Am Fuel, You Are Friends: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” Friday Night Lights fanatic? (I am a HUGE one.) Listen to Heather’s mix of songs from the [...]

    In Case You Missed It: Week In Review | Knox Road — March 21, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

  • so excited to discover you! thanks for the playlist. mundi turned me on to your blog, plus, we have the same name–minus one letter.

    Heather Brown — March 22, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

  • I’m a sucker for excellent soundtracks, and FNL is no exception. Thanks for highlighting it! I thought Tony Lucca recorded the cover of Devil Town for the show, though…

    Amy — March 25, 2010 @ 11:40 am

  • Yes, Amy! he did. someone else sent that to me. I should probably update the post, for accuracy. I do so love the Bright Eyes version as well :)

    browneheather — March 25, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  • imma gonna bring back this phrase just for you, Heather. “girl, you are the bomb!” All I know about football, I’ve learned from FNL… I’ve been a fan of your blog for, like, ever– you are officially one of the DJs of my mind grapes. Thanks! And if I ever get around to replicating one of the team hooded sweatshirts on the show, I will send you one!

    saya — March 28, 2010 @ 9:19 am

  • oh, and the official site for their soundtrack, imaginatively named:

    saya — March 28, 2010 @ 9:22 am

  • [...] via ff [...]

    Jose Gonzalez – Storm « m is for mamihlapinatapai — March 28, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

  • [...] Song: Wilco – Either Way [...]

    Wilco – Either Way :: Indie Shuffle — April 27, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

  • Liza Richardson is the music producer on the show. She is the real talent who has laid out the fantastic music during the show’s history.

    Bob — June 1, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

  • Bob – I am interviewing her tomorrow ;)

    browneheather — June 1, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

  • Hey guys, here’s another FNL mix I found floating around:

    Anyone know of more FNL mix’s like these? If so holler, I’ll check back periodically.


    octagonproplex — June 8, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

  • The cover of Devil Town is Tony Lucca.

    slk — July 7, 2010 @ 8:00 am

  • yep. i know. thanks!

    browneheather — July 7, 2010 @ 9:16 am

  • Nice work

    anony — July 21, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

  • CLEAR eyes, FULL hearts, CAN’T LOSE! What an amazing show, and the music is absolutely critical to the mood and atmosphere of Dillon, TX. Keep it up!

    Tony — August 29, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

  • Looove this show! And the musical scores involved just added to his greatness. Thanks so much for all the songs, I took them all. When I heard Explosions in the Sky on the soundtrack I was like, what the heck??? And found a new appreciation.

    I am featuring the song “Your Hand in Mine” on my music blog right now as well, please check it out when you get a chance.

    finest creativity — October 8, 2010 @ 12:58 am

  • Tony Lucca did the cover for “Devil Town,” not Bright Eyes.

    I have both versions, and I’d argue Tony did a better job.

    Jake — October 27, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

  • The Tony Lucca cover of ‘Devils’s Town’ is a note for note ripoff of the Bright Eyes cover. Tony Lucca is pathetic, I don’t know how anyone could listen to both, and not immediately realize that Tony Lucca an unoriginal pretentious asshole.

    Jake is fake — March 15, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

  • yes but how do you really feel about it, jake?

    browneheather — March 15, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

  • I can’t believe I am just now discovering this! I just watched the final episode (BAWL!) and could not agree more about the unparalleled music selection. And Tim Riggins..

    Running to Music — April 5, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

  • Kick ass mix! Thaks so much for sharing.

    Ryan — August 8, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

  • hi! is there a new one, maybe with songs from seasons four and five? i’m ready. i especially bawled all through dan auerbach’s ‘when the night comes’. . . . .

    Laura. — September 11, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

  • Can anyone tell me what the version of the “Scott Matthews – Eyes Wider Than Before” is? It’s my favourite version and was wondering if it’s been posted on YouTube?

    Erin — December 11, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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