Friday, July 13, 2012

I'm fighting for my soul

Long Hard Times to Come ("Justified" theme) - Gangstagrass

"There are only two types of music: good and bad."

This famous quote is usually attributed to Duke Ellington or Louis Armstrong, but occasionally to others.  What matters most is that it's true.  The songs I choose to feature on this blog all fall into my personal definition of "good" - which means anything from 1970s bubblegum pop to a country song from the 40s, a just-released alternative tune or an instrumental version of something written centuries ago.  My tastes are broad, though I do tend toward melodic songs and interesting harmony.

"Long Hard Times to Come" falls into a few very interesting categories besides "good music."  First off, it's a television theme song, a genre which encompasses a wide range of music over the last 60 years.  Funny, but it seems the best shows often have the best songs - or maybe it's a Pavlovian process whereby we associate something we hear repeatedly (the song) with something that gives us pleasure (the program).  

"Justified" is one of the best dramas on television, up there with "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men."  Each episode starts with an compelling cold open, leading to a dramatic moment and then, satisfyingly, the THUMP... THUMP... THUMP of a bass drum that kicks off "Long Hard Times to Come." 

Besides being a theme song, LHTTC is distinct because it sounds fresh - it's a blend of bluegrass and hip hop.  Certainly a polarizing genre - some people don't like it at all.  But many more do.  If you haven't heard it, take a listen to the full version of the song and decide for yourself:



After the jump, Rench, the singer/producer/songwriter behind Gangstagrass, answers seven questions about "LHTTC."