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Eastbound & Down: 13 Killer Songs Featured in Season Two

I hated Eastbound & Down when I first started watching it. The show's protagonist, Kenny Powers, portrayed by Danny McBride, was just so utterly unlikable. I couldn't get behind him, even as an anti-hero. He was just too racist, sexist, and shitty.

I don't know what exactly changed, but for some reason, I gave season one another shot shortly before season two premiered last fall. And something...just clicked. All of the sudden, I got it. Kenny "Fucking" Powers is one of television's best characters, despicable for all the above mentioned reasons, but also unbelievably compelling, a commentary on the idea of American exceptionalism, deeply flawed yet somehow the kind of guy you want to root for.

Once it all started working for me, I really got sucked in. The show is hilarious, with truly sad undertones. It may be the darkest television comedy this side of Louie (my current favorite). To top it all off, Eastbound and Down's second season, which hits store shelves on DVD today, has one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard on television. 

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In addition to original music by Wayne Kramer, season two features killer songs that reflect Kenny's down and out status in Mexico. Major shout outs necessary to the Last FM group dedicated to the show's music. Fans have been awesome about collecting the stuff. If you dig around, you can find archived soundtracks for both seasons, which haven't yet been commercially released. I did my best not to spoil any major plot points -- but be warned, you may figure something things out reading this list. 

Cartel De Santa, "El Cabron"

Chapter Seven

The Scene: Kenny and crew, coked up, riding mopeds to the sound of hardcore Latin rap.

R.L. Burnside, "It's Bad You Know"

Chapter Seven

The Scene: Big Red's final fight -- to the tune of dirty blues master R.L. Burnside.

Lost Monstruos, "Hey Monstruo"

Chapter Seven

The Scene: Closing credits, with some killer freakbeat.

Bo Diddley, "Hit or Miss"

Chapter Eight

The Scene: Practicing with The Charros to the sound of rock 'n' roll's coolest daddy, Bo Diddley.

Rick Derringer, "Real American"

Chapter Eight

The Scene: Kenny takes the field like a Real American.

DMX- Party Up (Up in Here)

Chapter Nine

The Scene: Some serious male nudity, to the tune of Arizona's often jailed rapper.

Los Rebeldes Del Rock, "Danny Boy"

Chapter Ten

The Scene: Stevie and Maria take it to the limit (just the sweet part of the song, before it gets rocking).

Amiina, "Seoul"

Chapter Ten

The Scene: Kenny jealously forces Stevie to dump Maria.

Richard Swift, "Field Painting"

Chapter Ten

The Scene: Kenny breaks down.

The Slits, "I Heard it Through the Grape Vine

Chapter 11

The Scene: Kenny makes a fateful call back home to The Slits post-punk take on the Motown classic.

Bog Seger, "Still the Same"

Chapter 12

The Scene: Kenny says goodbye to Vida. Seger always works for goodbyes. 

Lee Hazlewood, "I Think I'm Coming Down"

Chapter 13

The Scene: Kenny takes to his jet-ski, clad in white, scorned by the woman he loves. Hazlewood brings one from the seventies.

Kurt Vile, "He's Alright"

Chapter 13

The Scene: Kenny mans up. "Sometimes, to be the man, you have to beat the man." Faced with April's shocking revelation, Kenny takes April for Mexican food. Kurt Vile's ethereal heartland rock closes the season out beautifully.

As a bonus, the Eastbound & Down theme by Freddie King. "You're fuckin' out!"

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