How does the music move you?

As many of our regular readers know, I love music.  I also love a movie or television show that introduces me to awesome music, most likely by bands I have never been exposed to before.  One of the first shows that hooked me on new music was USA Network’s La Femme Nikita.  (You can check out the music here:  http://tinyurl.com/3a8of46).  Chuck is also a show like that for me.  I maintain a playlist in my iTunes for Chuck that has 78 songs and counting.  I have also shared ideas of what I would use based on various scenarios I’d like to see play out on screen, which I’ve probably bored you with a little too often 🙂 .  This article is a celebration of my top 3 favorite songs, and top 3 music moments on the show.  My co-bloggers and I will regale you with our choices after the break!

Amy’s choices

Ok, my top three favorite songs (and I’m actually using the iTunes counter to validate my choice-yeah, I’m a nerd) used on Chuck are:

#3,  with 109 plays:, “Backwards Walk” by Frightened Rabbit.  I remember when it came on during Pink Slip, it caught me instantly as perfect for the scene.  I remember batting around who the artist was until I was able to look it up and subsequently download it.

#2, with 117 plays:  “God and Suicide” by Blitzen Trapper.  It was played in the beginning of Lethal Weapon, while Chuck lay next to Sarah in bed, cocooning himself in blankets as a man overwhelmed by her proximity and afraid of his own desires.  I loved the harmonies and still remember thinking, “poor Chuck!”

and my #1 choice, with a staggering 256 plays (and counting):  “The Twist” by Frightened Rabbit.  I honestly don’t recall exactly where it played (I know “Keep Yourself Warm” is another fave by Frightened Rabbit, used in scenes with Jill).  The song sticks with me, the piano methodically playing on, the drum picking up the beat.  I love it!

I kind of double dipped on songs/scenes, so I guess I’ll do a few more as honorable mentions.

#3, “Challengers” by The New Pornographers.  It played during the scenes of Bryce’s funeral in Helicopter.  I think the lead singer’s voice is amazing and the lyric set the stage for the funeral.

#2, “Sleep Driving” by Grand Archives.  It played at the end of Tom Sawyer as Chuck and Sarah discussed his Stanford diploma and making a wish as the Air Force bounced Morimoto’s satellite off the atmosphere.  The scene has stuck with me all this time.

and #1, which probably won’t be a surprise to anyone, is my choice of “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone at the end of Honeymooners.

“Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by you know how I feel

(refrain:)x2
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

Fish in the sea you know how I feel
River running free you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree you know how I feel

(refrain)

Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don’t you know
Butterflies all havin’ fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
That’s what I mean

And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me

Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel

(refrain)

Chuck and Sarah together, snuggling on the bed to the lyrics.  Finally a new dawn and a new day for Chuck fans, as a corner in the relationship was turned, hopefully to never be revisited again.  It is my favorite scene in the series (so far!) and introduced me to Nina Simone in the process.   -amyabn

Ernie’s Attempt.

In many ways this is a very easy post and in other ways almost impossible.  Like Amy I could easily check my Chuck playlist for my most played songs, except that they aren’t always my favorites, just my most frequent favorites.  I could check my ratings, but they change constantly depending on my mood and if I get tired of a former favorite song.  Picking my current three favorite songs from Chuck?  Easy,  “40 Day Dream” by Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeros, “Lost Coastlines” by Okkervil River and “The High Road” by Broken Bells.  But that may change by next week.

Pick my three favorite musical moments from Chuck?  Tougher, and more permanent, but do-able.  Frightened Rabbit’s “Keep Yourself Warm” at the end of Chuck Versus The Fat Lady, The National’s “Slow Show” at the end of Chuck Versus The Tango and The Shin’s “A Comet Appears” at the end of Chuck Versus The Intersect with two must mention honorable mentions for Toto’s “Africa” at the end of Chuck Versus The Best Friend and Slow Club’s “Christmas TV” for the second wedding in Chuck Versus The Ring.  Oddly I wasn’t much of a Toto fan back in the day.

The impossible part is this.  I’d given up on looking for good new music.  It used to be a hobby, an obsession at times.  My vinyl collection still tops 400 not counting my father’s collection.  I still have multiple working turntables.  I can play ’78’s for gods sake!  (Those of you scratching your heads don’t worry, crazy Uncle Ernie’s just “bringing grumpy back”) But at some point as friends stopped exchanging new bands or we just settled into a comfortable nostalgia and the “classic rock” station I just quit looking.  Until Chuck.  There is so much new music I’ve discovered through Chuck, whether it was on the show or not, that narrowing down what I like about the music, be it the new bands, the musical moments, the single songs, or the places those discoveries lead me is downright impossible.

– Ernie

Dave’s an Odd Duck

I rarely weigh in on music.  Strange.  I really am a bit of a music fanatic.   Most days,  I’ll listen to 150 or so songs on my iPod (and its hard drive is almost full with 12000 songs),  its almost always running.   I’ve had people say I have the most eclectic taste of anyone they know (I normally say they don’t know my wife very well).   From Beatles to Bach to Glenn Miller to Michelle Tumes.    And I really like a lot of the music on Chuck.   But very little of it has made its way into my library.

But I can pick three favorite musical moments.   These are scenes where the music, imagery, and story are so in synch that they blow me away.   They are scenes that are burned into my mind.

1)   I’ll be very predictable here and start with “A Comet Appears” from the Pilot.   To me this virtually defines the show.  Its beautiful and reflective.   It almost makes me cry every time I watch,  and I’ve watched the Pilot a lot.

2) for the next one I’ll have to mention that yes,  I also like the music of Wierd Al Yankovic and Spike Jones, so I plead “no taste” up front.   But I do love Jeffster’s take on Mr Roboto,  even after they turn into Styx.   Has to be the best orchestration of absurdity and violence ever to make broadcast television.   Considering “Christmas TV” makes my honorable mentions,  “The Ring” is an awesome episode for music.

3)  I know I would loose all credibility as a ‘shipper if I didn’t name “Feeling Good” from Honeymooners to the list.   To me,  its the most romantic thing I’ve ever seen on television,  period.

Joe Sings Out

Oh, wow. I didn’t realize I had hired a bunch of music-freaks like me! Great minds, they say…

Deeply personal, it’s impossible to get across in words the images that I have now in my head that stem from the music we’ve heard. They’re not limited to the show, either. Too many times the songs from from iPOD play lists have made their way into real life and wrapped themselves around my wife, my friends, my family… It’s rather magical.

There are songs never heard in Chuck that should have been featured; Arcade Fire’s Ocean of Noise for one. Chuck must have had these words going through his head during most of season 1 and 2.

In an ocean of noise
I first heard your voice
Ringing like a bell
As if I had a choice, oh well!

Left in the morning
While you were fast asleep
Into an ocean of violence
A world of empty streets

You’ve got your reasons
And me I’ve got mine
But all the reasons I gave
Were just lies to buy myself some time

The much more famous Wonderwall by Oasis could have been used for the motel scene in The Colonel. If would have changed the mood completely, but it would have been every bit as passionate. Imagine these lyrics going through – not Chuck’s but Sarah’s head as she strokes Chuck’s hand.

And all the roads we have to walk are winding
And all the lights that lead us there are blinding
There are many things that I would like to say to you
But I don’t know how

Because maybe
You’re gonna be the one that saves me
And after all
You’re my wonderwall

But it’s time to state my picks. I’m going to deliberately pick one from each season. Even then, I want to give honorable mentions to almost everything that was used.

For season one, I agree with Ernie about The Nationals Slow Show (great pick!) and (along with Dave) A Comet Appears by the Shins. Anyone who’s ever felt insubstantial (which is just about everyone) understands that song. Yet nothing affected me more than Blitzen Trapper’s God and Suicide for exactly the reasons that Amy said. Besides, I think I knew that girl, once, years ago.

But I name The Eels Fresh Feeling as my first choice because it exemplifies the entire season for me. You hear it and you know something great is around the corner.

For season two, I have to leave off wonderful songs like Toto’s Africa and Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads, but that’s only because those hits have too many other associations for me from the past. I refuse to leave this without mentioning Around the Bend by Asteroids Galaxy Tour (Chuck walks into Roark Industries), Bloc Party’s Signs, Bon Iver’s Skinny Love and Christmas TV by Slow Club.

When all is said and done, I have to pick Luisa’s Bones by Crooked Fingers as my favorite from season two, and maybe of all time, for all the reasons I’ve tried to give over many posts.

As hard as it was to choose for season 2, it’s become just as difficult for me to decide on one song from season 3. Imogen Heap’s Wait It Out had to be the season’s watch word and theme. And if it wasn’t, Frightened Rabbit’s Backwards Walk was. Then there’s Miike Snow’s San Soleil. “You make it hard.”

It was bitter, how they were talking to us through the music. Then they brought us back, uplifted with Nina Simone’s Feelin’ Good and Temper Trap’s Down River. Gaslight Anthem’s bitter-sweet Here’s Looking at You, Kid demands to be heard.

GakhaK! These are the songs I have to NOT pick! Look at what just happened. Just as soon as I think that nothing could affect me more than the music of season 2, season 3 comes along and does just that! I know. Close my eyes,… “einee, meanee, minee, moe…”

So finally, for my last pick I choose Frightened Rabbit’s Swim Until You Can’t See Land, because it’s personal.

I feel like a parent who’s been forced to choose one of his children as his favorite. It ain’t fair.

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About amyabn

My name is Amy and I'm in the active Army as my profession. I love the show Chuck and want to see it succeed for many seasons to come. My twitter handle is amyabn.
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50 Responses to How does the music move you?

  1. Crumby says:

    The music is definitely an important part of Chuck. From the beginning, I’ve been looking for songs featured in the show. I agree with all the musical moments you’ve mentioned. I can’t pick only 3!

    A comet Appear, Challengers, Slow Show and Fresh Feeling come to my mind when I think of S1. I didn’t know any of those songs before.

    Keep Yourself Warm is probably the musical moment that come to my mind first for S2. Boy, that scene! Every FR song was great. Every Bon Iver song as well, I mean Skinny Love and Creature Fear… But I also remember Glasvegas’s Daddy’s gone in Dream Job or in a less emotional moment We’re not gonna take it by the Twisted Sisters! That could be a surprising choice but I thought it was great fun and really well used twice in First Kill. Finally I agree that Ring I was a great musical episode with Looking at the Sun, Christmas TV, and Mr Roboto: three huge musical moment.

    For S3, Feeling Good of course. Down River as well. Bye, Bye, Bye by Plants and Animals in Other Guy and Light & Day/Reach for the Sun by the Polyphonic Spree in Honeymooners are also engraved in my brain as CS songs.

    But In my sleep by by Austin Hartley-Leonard and Kendall Jane Meade in Final Exam may be the song that reasoned the more for me in S3(apart from Nina Simone :p). It was such a good song for that moment. I found it really powerful.

    I’ve been hanging on, scraping by, all my life.
    And I know I’ll miss you.
    I’ll always miss you.
    But I know I’ll see you in my sleep.

  2. aardvark7734 says:

    I hate all of you. Officially.

    My Chuck playlist is over 120 songs long. Top three? Are you all insane?

    Just about every song each of you mentioned are defining songs for the show. “A Comet Appears” is the signature piece from the pilot. But so is “Short Skirt, Long Jacket”. And “Slow Show” captured the perfect tone of poignancy and hopefulness that ended ‘Tango’. “Fall Into Place”, “Fresh Feeling”, “No One’s Going To Love You”… I’m not even out of the first season yet.

    So, for the first time, I’m going to fail at even offering up three choices in one of these discussions. Because really, I love so many of these songs so dearly I just can’t choose between them.

    Sorry, Amy. 🙂

  3. JC says:

    I didn’t think this list would be so hard to put together but it was harder than listing my favorite episodes. Don’t Look Back in Anger from Alma Mater , Dropped from First Date and 3 Rounds and a Sound from Ring Pt1.

    • joe says:

      OOohhhh! Cool choices with a slightly off-beat twist, JC. I like it.

      I tend to leave some of the older things and monster hits separate from what I think of as “Chuck music”. Good as it is, Once In A Lifetime is like that for me. Oasis’ Look Back in Anger, should be too (Man, that whole album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory is just fantastic). But the song and Chuck’s story at Stanford are just inseparable in my mind. It really is as canonical as Skinny Love or Creature Fear.

    • Crumby says:

      Oh yep, I forgot about 3 Rounds and a Sound in Ring I and also Friday I’m in love!!!

    • JC says:

      Yeah Joe I kinda cheated but like you that Oasis album is one of favorites. The fact it was in my all time favorite Chuck episode, I couldn’t help but list it.

      I never see Dropped mentioned but the lyrics work really good with whats going on in First Date.

      tell me that you want me,
      tell me that you need me,
      tell me cause I’d like to know,
      won’t you stop teasing me,
      won’t you take it easy,
      tell me cause i’d like to know
      you’re never gonna go

  4. luckygirl says:

    I think whoever does the music gave us more of Sarah’s pov with “Swim Until You Can’t See Land” than the writer’s did in the whole first 13.

  5. herder says:

    I’m going to try and do this a bit differently, I’m picking the episodes that I liked/noticed the music the most. That may mean that it was the best song, the one that fit most with what was on the screen or simply an accumulation of both.

    All three episodes come from the back end of season two: Leathal Weapon, Dream Job and the Ring.

    Leathal Weapon opens with God and Suicide and ends with Signs, both among my favorite tunes for the whole series (I used to replay the beginning just to hear the song at times) and it throws in Dance Like an Egyptian by the Puppini Sisters for the mission. Signs is one of the best tie ins between the music and the action on screen, Chuck showing that he isn’t some dofuss being pulled by the tides pushing him about but that he has a plan and is taking steps to put that plan into action.

    I’ve written about Dream Job before, but I especially like the tie in between Chuck’s disorientation and Around the Bend only to have it topped by the tie in between Chuck getting ready for his mission and Luisa’s Bones. Then the emotion of Daddy’s Gone.

    The Ring starts out with the fist pumping of the Thermal”s “Now We Can See” as Chuck and Casey quit and Gramercy Arm’s “Looking at the Sun” as the Awesome’s wedding starts awesomely. Christmas TV, and emotional song for an emotional wedding and an relaxed “Friday I’m in Love” for a relaxed reception. Oh yeah and the masters of disater Jeffster with Mr Roboto to destroy the first wedding.

    Other episodes may have individual great bits but these had multiple bits. Doesn’t mean that I didn’t love “A Comet Appears”, “Fresh Feeling” and “Wonderwall” from season one or “Bears” “Wait it out” “Bye Bye Bye” and “Leaving on a Jet Plane” from season three. But those season two episodes seemed to have more.

  6. PeterOinNJ says:

    Great topic Amy. It is difficult cause I have over 100 songs on my Chuck Playlist Folder with several playlists. And while I love the fact that Chuck has introduced me to new music, and will give you my top three – I would be remiss to not mention the great 80’s tunes that have been brought back from the back of my iTunes library. Seriously, who’d a thunk that not one but TWO Iggy Pop songs would be featured on network TV at 8:00pm. (Lust For Life & Pumpin’ For Jill). And what better venue for Huey Lewis & The News to be reintroduced to the new generation of Nerds (all you had to do was see them in concert and you’d understand – technically PERFECT, but no visible soul). So thank you Chuck!

    Now, my top three new (for me anyway) music moments- one from each season:
    S1 – The Weight of the World~The Editors. Featured in the Sandworm, I heard it as the beginning of Sarah’s conscious understanding that this thing with Chuck is more than a cover:
    “Love replaces fear
    Fear
    Every little piece in your life
    Will add up to one
    Every little piece in your life
    Will mean something to someone
    Every little piece in your life”
    It was a touching moment and lead singer Tom Smith’s voice added the weight of the moment.

    S2 – 3 Rounds & a Sound~Blind Pilot.Think of the context – Chuck is telling the love of his life that he knows she is destined for great things and he isn’t anything but a normal guy & Sarah is about to tell Chuck she doesn’t want to save the world, she wants him. Both are laying it out completely vulnerable and we hear:
    “I was sleeping
    My eyes were dark
    Til you woke me
    And told me that opening
    Is just the start
    It was
    ~ Now I see you, til kingdom come
    You’re the one I want
    To see me for all the stupid shit I’ve done”

    S3 – the most difficult one for me.Call me a sadist, but I loved the angsty music and how well it fit what was going down between Chuck & Sarah. Black & Gold, Wait It Out, My Backwards Walk, Living a Lie, In My Sleep all told so much more of the story than we were seeing. 40 Day Dream was my favorite of the angst brigade. Chuck’s life had crashed down around him. In his mind, it was probible that he was no more than a mark to Sarah and we hear:
    “It’s the magical mystery kind
    Must be a lie
    Bye bye to the too good to be true kind of love
    Oooooh I could die
    Oooooh now, I could die”

    But wait – not my favorite of S3. No, my heart belongs to Down River. Who could resist blunt Chuck speaking his heart so openly, with such conviction, with such honesty.
    “But we will sing
    Wash the blood, off our knees
    Cause our love breaks
    Through ruff seas, our ship will sail it”
    Who didn’t believe that the beginning was in sight.

    Thanks again Amy!

    • amyabn says:

      You know, Peter, I almost put “Private Eyes” by Hall and Oates on my list. I loved it in Sizzling Shrimp and again on the stake-date. Your Huey Lewis comment reminded me of how much the 80’s stuff was used and how cool it was.

  7. OldDarth says:

    Skinny Love by Bon Iver:

    Chuck Vs The BreakUp, no surprise, my fav Chuck scene to date during the fountain scene

    Signs by Bloc Party:

    Chuck Vs the Lethal Weapon, perfect marriage of song, edits, and emotional beats for the scenes

    Fake Empire by The Nationals:

    Chuck Vs The BreakUp – the train station scene where Sarah is unable to take the shot. Really reinforces the dangerous place Chuck and Sarah are heading towards.

    Strong runnerup is Fresh Feeling by The Eels because it is a strong glimpse behind the mental barrier that Sarah is hiding behind.

  8. MaryM says:

    It was Liz James who pointed out that the first time Chuck walks into the Buy More in Season 2 Episode 1, the music playing is “Returning to the Fold” by the Thermals. And when Chuck leaves the Buy More for the last time in Season 2 Episode 22, it’s “Now We Can See” by the Thermals.

    Just another reason why Season 2 was so brilliant and Season 3 so problematic. Everything down to the entrance and exit music 22 episodes apart was planned out in Season 2. It really takes attention to detail to pull something like that off months apart.

    Season 3, on the other hand, seemed like it was run by a bad tailor on crack. But I will admit that “Bears” playing over the family dinner scene at the end of Operation Awesome was one of the best moments of matching music, mood and foreshadowing in the show. So even out of disaster there is a good moment or two.

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      While I don’t necessarily disagree with the “problematic” comment about S3, I have to point out that music-wise S3 music was also inspired. And yes, in comparison to S2.

      If it’s progression you’re looking for, look no further than ChuckThisBlog’s Message in the song and The Message in the Song Part 2. You’ll find the progression you’re looking for there.

      There may be a lot of things that went wrong in S3, I’ll be the first (or second to Dave haha, kidding Dave!) to admit that but where it never faltered is the music. From Imogene Heap’s “Wait it out” to Down River’s “Temper Trap” these are profound lyrics and songs that do to the story what the lines and the plot often could not…or refuses to 😉

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        well you know what I mean with Temper Trap…haha. Switched those two by accident.

      • aardvark7734 says:

        Agree 100%. The music was one of the areas where S3 was every bit as potent as previous seasons, at least to me – and I’m one of S3’s harshest critics.

        Bad episode or good, the music delivered. Whether it was Kettering’s haunting chords crashing out as Chuck pumps three rounds into Shaw or Bye Bye Bye’s euphoric chorus heralding the long awaited consummation of Chuck and Sarah’s relationship, the songs chosen were near perfect.

        TG something went right! 😉

      • JC says:

        I was surprised they didn’t use a Bon Iver song for the hotel room scene. Actually the total lack of Bon Iver in S3 was shocking.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        I think it has to do with new albums…there wasn’t a new one from Bon Iver so there wasn’t one in S3.

        But there is a new Arcade Fire album out, wonder if it’ll be in S4 lol. If there is…Sarah better watch out, it being a “musical aphrodisiac” and all haha.

    • Merve says:

      Weirdly enough, I sort of agree with you. While I don’t think that the use of The Thermals in the season finale was planned out “months in advance,” it was a nice bookend to the Buy More aspect of things.

      As far as S3 goes, there are times when I felt as if the music didn’t quite work. To provide a couple of examples, the number of needle drops in “Pink Slip” was excessive, and the music in Chuck’s fight scene in “Tic Tac” was just awful. I’m also not too fond of the cheesy organ music that has worked its way into the score. However, on the whole, Chuck is still better scored and has better needle drops than any other TV show I watch, so my disappointment is minimal.

  9. Ernie Davis says:

    Just an FYI, our good friends at ChuckTV have a great page (or pages) with all the music and links organized by season and episode. I don’t recommend it/them. Those damn pages have cost me more damn money…

  10. Crumby says:

    All the meaningful songs were probably in Cougars, though. 😉

    How could they not be? The DJ was pretty good!

  11. Bernardo says:

    I´m surprised nobody mentioned Jeffster´s “Fortunate son”. For me, that was the moment when Chuck become fun to watch again. In a way, it was almost as good as the wedding scene and Mr. Roboto. I never was a fan of Morgan as a Character, but “vs the beard” make me appreciate him a lot more. Plus, once Chuck admited that he loved Sarah, I knew that everything was going to be all right soon.

  12. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    It’s funny because I just recently posted my list over at the other side…

    1. Skinny love : 331
    2. Wait it out: 217
    3. Creature fear: 194
    4. Christmas TV: 121
    5. Blood bank: 120
    5. Swim until you can’t see land: 120
    7. Feeling Good: 106
    8. Down River: 88
    9. Fake Empire: 84
    10. Can’t Stop Feeling: 73.

    While I expected the Kook’s love it all to grace my list, I’m not surprised. And unlike Amy 😀 this list is an accurate description of my favs.

    But I also believe in the synergistic power of scenes and music. Notting Hill is my absolute favorite movie and the music in that movie are…well fantastic. But to me they aren’t nearly as great without the scenes to supply the emotion.

    What makes Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” the quintessential Chuck tune isn’t the tune…let’s face it, there are better songs (don’t hit me!) but the scene, the emotions, the lines, the facial expressions. You felt good because you saw the 2 characters you identified and rooted for the most, feeling good, happy, fulfilled. Just like you felt the heartbreak and the pain of another quintessential Chuck tune…Skinny Love’s break up. That’s the true power of music…it’s power to enhance emotions that you may feel or are feeling.

    • jason says:

      what I loved about ‘feeling good’ in addition to the scene and the context, was how the song was not really a love song, more a ‘growing up’ or ‘getting thru’, could see giving the song to someone returning home from battle – yet the song was a very appropriate gift from chuck to sarah

      I defer to you guys on the music, seems like many things, the meaningful music sort of fell off the shelf in season 3 after the first few episodes. I like the music in the show, but I spend no time thinking about it – in some ways, I like watching tv that way too, for some reason chuck is ‘different’ – if that makes any sense at all.

      Two songs I’d like to see and I hope it is ok to throw them in the mix – I would like to see Sarah give Chuck a song, it would be so out of character, yet could be cool – my candidate, another non love song but could easily play to a montage of chuck heroic acts – steve harwell’s ‘everyday superhero’ – the second no longer could happen, but at the end of 3.7 or 3.8 or 3.11 I would have loved a repeat of the punching bag scene from delorean, with pink’s ‘so what’ playing, instead of a shaw sarah vomit scene ending each of those 3 episodes.

  13. amyabn says:

    Wow, all, some really great picks. And I think I’ll be spending some time (and money of course) catching up on some songs you listed that I don’t have.
    This really was hard to write, and I see other faves you’ve listed. Really, I had to try and keep it short or Joe, Dave, and Ernie wouldn’t have had any room to add their choices!

  14. Merve says:

    All of my picks are from season 2.

    Break-Up: “Fake Empire” by The National. The cacophony of horns as the camera zooms in on Sarah’s face makes the scene all the more powerful.

    Best Friend: “Africa” by Toto, covered by Jeffster. It’s one of those so-bad-it’s-good things.

    Lethal Weapon: “Signs” by Bloc Party. It’s one of my favourite songs. It’s also the reason that I started listening to Bloc Party in the first place. It was the perfect song to go with the Tron poster revelation, which flipped the show’s premise on its head.

    Alex Patsavas is a genius.

    • joe says:

      Great choices, Merve. There are a few songs to which I have a real strong emotion reaction. Signs is one of them. If you haven’t heard the version I linked to in the post, I really recommend it.

      • Merve says:

        Thanks for getting me take a look at that other version of “Signs.” It’s certainly a very different and interesting take on the song. I’m guessing that that’s how Bloc Party does it live, since they obviously can’t replicate all the vibraphone and glockenspiel overdubs onstage. Weirdly enough, though I was raised on guitar-heavy rock music, I actually prefer the electronic blips and bloops of the original version.

        Now I’m trying to imagine the scene at the end of “Lethal Weapon” with the “rock” version of “Signs” playing in the background. It would certainly give the scene a very different feel, maybe a little more upbeat but not as resolute. But as it stands, in my opinion, that scene is the most perfect synthesis of music and story that the show has ever produced.

  15. herder says:

    Something different, about a year ago I saw a post, I’m not sure if it was on this site or an other but it posed an interesting question, substitute 80’s and current alternative music for that of the 60’s and 70’s for scenes in Chuck.

    Think about it, put Ballroom Blitz in for Mr Roboto and the Boys are Back in Town for Now We Can See in the Ring. Perhaps Sloop John B (this is the worst trip I’ve ever been on) at the end of Tic Tac or Anarchy in the UK during Santa Claus or maybe Cruel to be Kind at the end of the Break Up.

    Other possibilities are Is She Really Going Out With Him at the beginning of the Beard, Our House at the end of Honeymooners, Fox on the Run during Beefcake and Mrs Brown You’ve got a Lovely Daughter in Delorean.

    This board tends to skew a bit older than the show’s audience, I think and there should be plenty of ideas of alternative songs. What do you think?

    Other possibilities (which really are without limit) are:

    -God Only Knows, the Beach Boys
    -Blitzkrieg Bop, the Romones
    -I Think We’re Alone Now, Tommy James and the Shondells
    -Do ya, ELO
    -Don’t Know Much About…, Sam Cooke, really anything by Sam Cooke
    -Dreaming, by Blondie
    -Happy Together, the Turtles
    -Surrender, Cheap Trick

    and the list goes on.

    • joe says:

      Oh, wow. I pegged Jim Croce’s Photographs and Memories for use in Sandworm, and The Beach Boys Wouldn’t It Be Nice? for Truth.

      Somewhere, perhaps in 3-D or even in Pink Slip, CSN&Y’s Deja-Vu fits. But even better, think of the Rolling Stones Paint it Black in either. And in The Three Words I hear the Carpenters Goodbye to Love.

      At the end of The Break-up when Chuck gives his fountain speech, I would have lost it if they has used The Association’s Cherish.

      How’s that for a start?

      • ReadySet says:

        Well, Joe, if we are going to restart this conversation that you and I had months ago, then we should remember that:
        1) You pegged “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” for Jack Burton in DeLorean.
        2) Liz James nailed the 1970s sensibilities of the motel scene in Colonel with her choice of “Wooden Ships.”

        And I was holding out for “Court and Spark” for Best Friends.

      • joe says:

        Hi, ReadySet! You can bet I was thinking of you when I was typing.

        Oh, I recall all the CSN songs. But I had absolutely forgotten about Court and Spark (blame it on that dreaded disease, AGE). What a fantastic choice for Best Friends.

      • JC says:

        Kansas’s Carry on my Wayward Son at some point in Ring Pt2

        Hall and Oates She’s Gone during Chuck’s drinking in Other Guy. Also Sara Smile during Honeymooners.

        CCR’s Who’ll Stop the Rain at the end of Fake Name.

  16. andyt says:

    Hi folks, This is a great topic. Chuck has turned me on to many great bands, particularly Indie acts.
    Band of Horses alone has become probably my favorite group of the last decade. You are correct about the Arcade Fire Joe; their music would fit Chuck very well. In fact, in v. Sandworm Chuck told Sarah that their first album was an aural aphrodisiac, but she was not ready for it. Maybe she is now.

    I can’t limit myself to just three songs, so here is my attempt to limit it to nine(three for each season).

    S1: The Shins, “A Comet Appears”
    New Pornographers, “Challengers”
    Band of Horses, “No One’s Gonna Love You”(my favorite of the season, and a fantastic song)

    S2: Your Vegas, “Christmas and Me Are Through”
    Glasvegas, “Daddy’s Gone”
    Slow Club, “Christmas TV”(what other song could fit both a wedding and a murder)

    S3: Frightened Rabbit, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”
    Plants and Animals, “Bye, Bye, Bye”
    Band of Horses, “On My Way Back Home”(the perfect bitterseet song to end the bittersweet last two episodes)

    There are a whole lot of other songs that I could choose, in fact Band of Horses is playing right now, so I think I’ll enjoy “Laredo”.

    • amyabn says:

      I just downloaded Band of Horses (outside of what was used in the show) and listened last night. Great stuff! Today will be The National.

      • andyt says:

        Band of Horses is great stuff, and I think it suits the vibe of Chuck very well. Other bands the show turned me onto are Gaslight Anthem and The National. Music is one of the strong elements on this show and makes it special.

  17. kg says:

    Did anyone mention That Fresh Feeling by the Eels?

  18. IHateInsurgents says:

    Most of the songs you all picked and mentioned are favorites of mine as well. I don’t know many friends of mine that watch Chuck and don’t pick up new music that they then get addicted to. It’s actually how I’ve gotten 2 of my friends into the show – I’ve given them CDs with songs from Chuck.

    Amy – Twist by Frightened Rabbits is featured at the end of Season 2 Episode 1 (vs. the first date) when Chuck is practicing his dinner discussions while prepping dinner, Casey is sneaking in the house to be an assassin, and Graham is bringing the new Intersect online and blowing himself up. I think this song was the first time I even had heard a FR song before, and am a huge fan of all their music, I’m pretty sure it’s been played the most on my playlist as well.

    Love the blog postings guys. Can’t wait for the new season in a few weeks!

  19. Annette says:

    Too much (c)rap music in season 3.

    Annette

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