new series ‘Lodge 49′ has TV’s most wonderfully surprising soundtrack
AMC's new series Lodge 49 debuted last week and is a shaggy dog story that's more about vibe than it is about plot. Set in Long Beach, CA, the show follows down-on-his-luck former surfer and pool cleaner, Dud (Wyatt Russell), who ends up joining fraternal order The Lynx (who are kind of a more all-inclusive Masons, Shriners or Elks). He finds camaraderie amongst the lodge's diverse, if dwindling, membership and may find that there's more to this secret club than meets the eye. Created by acclaimed short story writer Jim Gavin and produced by Paul Giamatti, Lodge 49 (whose title tips its hat to Thomas Pynchon) is more of a hang than anything else, and has garnered a lot of comparisons to The Big Lebowski, and it's a little like much-loved, underwatched mid-'00s series Terriers, too. Once you adjust to the laid back Long Beach pace, Lodge 49's many charms reveal themselves quickly. It airs after Better Call Saul and you should check it out.
Adding to the idiosyncratic feel of the show is its amazing, unusual soundtrack, filled with '60s surf, baroque psych, rockabilly, and obscure indie. I was shocked and delighted to hear The Soundcarriers' "There Only Once," from their great 2010 album Celeste, in the opening scene of the pilot, and that shock and delight reappeared as its final scene used Broadcast's classic single "Come on Let's Go." There was another Soundcarriers song in the second episode, which aired last night, which then ended on a scene soundtracked by "Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow" by '80s UK cult band Felt. (I feel fairly certain this is the only time a Felt song has ever been used in an American TV show or maybe any dramatic series.) Songs by Lee Hazlewood, White Fence, Jack Nitzche, Holly Golightly and more have been used so far, all really adding to the show's dreamlike, slightly surreal mood.
Lodge 49's music supervisor is Thomas Patterson, who is a music journalist and producer at Shindig! magazine and had never done this particular job before. Jim Gavin, meanwhile, is apparently a huge Broadcast fan, so music like this is really ingrained in these stories. The show's composer is Andrew Carroll of the band The Lonely Wild. You can watch the pilot episode for free on AMC.com and you can check out the trailer and listen to some of the songs used in the series, below.