2020s

Soundtracks of Television: ‘Reservation Dogs’ Season 1

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack on FX - Every Song in Season 1

The Reservation Dogs soundtrack features music by The Stooges, Wu-Tang Clan and Lee Hazlewood. This Vague Visages info article contains spoilers for the 2021 FX series. Check out more music guides in the Soundtracks of Television section.

Reservation Dogs takes place in the fictional town of Okern, Oklahoma. The storyline centers on four Native American teenagers who plan to leave their community for California. Created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi, the FX series explores the realities faced by Indigenous people in middle America. Music supervisor Tiffany Anders (The Chair) peppers each episode with punk rock, country and hip-hop music; an eclectic mix that correlates with the complicated personalities of the main protagonists. Here’s every song in Reservation Dogs season 1.

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack: Every Song in Episode 1 “F*ckin’ Rez Dogs”

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack on FX

  • “I Wanna Be Your Dog” by The Stooges (0:00): The Netflix series begins with a radio DJ teasing the upcoming schedule. He takes the audience back to his “snagging days” and introduces “I Wanna Be Your Dog” — a late-60s jam that influenced the global punk rock movement during the 70s. The DJ makes a low-key joke by suggesting that the track is a “shape-shifter song.”
  • “Ace of Spades” by Link Wray (0:03): Elora and Bear steal a truck. They take it to Ansel (Matty Cardarople), who directs the duo to Kenny Boy (Kirk Fox). The song drowns out after a pool cue joke.
  • “I Love You So” by Keith King, Cal Golden’s Arkansas Mountain Boys (0:04): Ansel identifies the Reservation Dogs as “good thieves” — the “the best in town.” He also acknowledges that they do indeed live in a small town. The song continues as Bear introduces himself, Willie Jack and Elora.
  • “Protect Ya Neck” by Wu-Tang Clan (0:05): The song plays over the title graphic. A medium shot shows the Reservation Dogs walking away with boxes. Bear uses social media to discuss his hideout.
  • “Class Historian” by Broncho (0:06): The Reservation Dogs sell their Flaming Flamers product to locals. A young girl agrees to pay 50 cents. Willie Jack talks trash to the client.
  • “Waterfalls” by Sarah Podemski (0:08): Rita hums the TLC song at home. Bear puts money in his mother’s wallet. Rita stops singing when Bear says he has to pee.
  • “She’s About a Mover” by Sir Douglas Quintet (0:17): Cheese gets caught stealing at a convenience story. The employee wants to be informed about planned thefts for financial purposes. Cheese selects a literal sucker and walks away.
  • “Deeper” by Labrys (0:19): The song begins as Elora and Willie Jack use sign language to communicate about Bear. “Deeper” ramps up at 21:50 as Elora looks at a picture of her fallen friend. The song fades when Bear arrives home.
  • “Joey” by Samantha Crain (0:24): Kenny Boy offers advice to the Reservation Dogs. Elora clutches money after a Lakota-themed anecdote. The group remembers their deceased friend.
  • “R.E.D.” by Yasiin Bey, Narcy, Black Bear, The Halluci Nation (0:27): Bear decides to protect his neighborhood from the NDN Mafia. The gang follows him down the street. Reservation Dogs’ first episode ends with dual references to Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 classic Reservoir Dogs.

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack: Every Song in Episode 2 “NDN Clinic”

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack on FX

  • “Stone Cold Lover” by Mato (0:00): The episode begins as Bear walks with his headphones on. He’s confronted by the NDN Mafia. The music switches to a Spaghetti Western-like instrumental while White Steve throws a bottle at Bear.
  • “The Shadow Knows” by Link Wray (0:00): The NDN Mafia approaches Bear. A bicyclist watches the group attack the Reservation Dog. White Steve gives Bear a good kick before leaving.
  • “Get in My Car” by Broncho (0:05): Elora sells meat pies outside the Okern Indian Health Clinic. The “Old Man” Fixico passes on the offer. He also warns the Reservation Dog about bad medicine on Mondays.
  • “Days of My Youth” by Micah P. Hinson (0:15): Cheese’s grandmother reflects about her life. The song kicks in when she talks about not expecting to end up in a hospital. The music fades as Bear speaks with Leon (Jon Proudstar).
  • “ReZdReamZ” by Sten Joddi (0:22): Bears put on his headphones and listens to the song in a hospital waiting room. In the FX series, the real-life musician Sten Joddi portrays Bear’s father, a Native American rapper known as Punkin Lusty. The music cuts when Dr. Kang (Bobby Lee) arrives and identifies himself as “The Everything Doctor.” “ReZdReamZ” also plays over the end credits.
  • “If It’s a Monday Morning” by Lee Hazlewood (0:23): After Officer Big (Zahn McClarnon) deals with stomach issues, Cheese leads his grandmother out of a hospital room. They both wear dark shades while Bear inquires about the escape attempt. The song continues as Cheese and his grandmother enjoy a moment of peace together.

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack: Every Song in Episode 3 “Uncle Brownie”

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack on FX

  • “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” by Sherwin Linton, The Fender Benders (0:00): The episode begins as an elderly couple approaches Okern, Oklahoma. They wonder about the meaning of graffiti that reads “LAND BACK.” The song usages underlines the naïveté of the white characters.
  • “Marijuanaut’s Theme” by Sleep (0:12): Elora picks up her Uncle Brownie (Gary Farmer). The older character attempts to sell some “Acapulco Gold.” The young clients aren’t impressed.
  • “Lucky Penny” by JD McPherson (0:13): The song plays during a transitional moment after Uncle Brownie’s failed business proposal. It continues during a montage sequence in Okern, Oklahoma. The lyrics underscore the opportunistic nature and realities of the protagonists.
  • “Galaxy (I’m the Ruler)” by Bill Campbell, Aaron Harry (0:16): Uncle Brownie receives an invite into a “time machine.” He smokes marijuana at a dispensary as the song begins. The Reservation Dogs laugh while Uncle Brownie enjoys the experience.
  • “Funhouse” by Pretty (0:19): Uncle Brownie enters a local bar. The locals are surprised to see him. Uncle Brownie apologizes for his past meth-fueled behavior.
  • “Flight of the Eagle” by Om (0:24): After getting splattered by roadkill blood, Uncle Brownie speaks with his niece Elora. He talks about “real family” before getting interrupted by a local woman. The episode ends with “Flight of the Eagle.”

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack: Every Song in Episode 4 “What About Your Dad”

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack on FX

  • “Greasy Frybread” by Sten Joddi (0:00): The episode begins with a music video starring Bear’s father, Punkin Lusty. The moment establishes the musician as a comedic rapper. It’s revealed that a community leader has invited Rita’s former lover to perform at the annual anti-diabetes wellness fair.
  • “Easton & Main” by Turnpike Troubadours (0:10): Rita visits a bar. The song plays as she spots an admiring man (Garrett Hedlund as David). “Easton & Main” ends during an abrupt cut that shows Rita at David’s home.
  • “Our Secret” by Beat Happening (0:17): Bear pays Auntie B (Kimberly Guerrero) $90 to make a microphone pendant. The song continues during a transitional sequence. Elora then criticizes Bear for being too excited about wearing the accessory.
  • “Greasy Frybread” by Emily Green (0:23): Elora goes for a walk. She receives a text from Jackie (Elva Guerra), a member of the NDN Mafia. A stripped-down cover of the episode’s first song plays over the credits.

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack: Every Song in Episode 5 “Come and Get Your Love”

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack on FX

  • “Midnight Rider” by Allman Brothers Band (00:00): The song opens the episode during a 1984 flashback sequence in Okern, Oklahoma. A local man rocks out while driving, and smokes a little marijuana. The character picks up a female hitchhiker who is later identified as ‘Deer Lady” (Kaniehtiio Horn). A younger version of Big watches the moment play out.
  • “Drivin’ on E” by Mickey Ratt (00:09): Young Big visits the bathroom. Outside, two men pull up to a convenience store. The song cuts when the characters attempt to rob Big Murph (Van Epperson).
  • “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone: Cheese turns on the radio after listening to Big’s origin story. The Reservation Dogs soundtrack tune plays after a smack on the dash. McClarnon’s character sings the “snaggin'” song that he references earlier in the episode at 02:45. Retro footage of Redbone closes out the episode.

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack: Every Song in Episode 6 “Hunting”

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack on FX

  • “Daddy and Home” by Jimmie Rodgers (00:12): Willie Jack learns that her family sold the hunting land to Texas ranchers. The Reservation Dogs soundtrack song plays during a surveillance video montage as the two characters look for a trail cam. “Daddy and Home” underscores the bond between the son and daughter, the latter of whom plans to leave for Los Angeles.
  • “I Don’t Mind” by Sturgill Simpson (00:23): Willie Jack locates and shoots a deer known as “Chunk.” She and her father drive away with the carcass in the back of their truck. The song about a “lonely feeling” fades as a red-eyed being watches from the forest. Willie Jack then speaks to Daniel at his grave. The episode concludes with a Creek hymn.

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack: Every Song in Episode 7 “California Dreamin”

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack on FX

  • “Tom Cat” by Jim Sullivan (00:04): The Reservation Dogs soundtrack song plays during a flashback sequence. Elora Danan steals wallets at a casino. The lyric “night prowl” is emphasized within the scene.
  • “Three Good Reasons” by Jacob Tovar & The Saddle Tramps (00:11): Elora and Daniel visit a bar. The characters two-step as the song continues. A hard cut leads to another musical moment.
  • “Cleveland Summer Nights” by Jacob Tovar & The Saddle Tramps (00:12): Daniel gets drunk at the bar. Elora Dana is ready to go. Daniel bumps into an older man and tells him “go fuck yourself.” The Reservation Dogs soundtrack song plays again at 15:30 as Garrett Bobson (Bill Burr) speaks about his daughter. “Cleveland Summer Nights” also closes out the episode.
  • “Sky-Man and the Moon” by David Campbell (00:24): Elora drives Mr. Bobson home. The lyric about a “dark cloud” thematically links with the characters’ conversation about death in the previous sequence. The song plays for just a few seconds.

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack: Every Song in Episode 8 “Satvrday”

Reservation Dogs Soundtrack

  • “Wasted Days & Wasted Nights” by Freddy Fender (00:02): The Reservation Dogs soundtrack song plays over the title graphic and continues over photos of Willie Jack’s family. Leon inquires about a stolen gift card. Willie Jack informs her mother about an anniversary present — a $50 casino buffet meal.
  • “Poor Moon” by Canned Heat (00:04): Uncle Brownie drives down the street in a lawn mower. He tells Elora and company that a tornado is on the way. The song picks up as the teenagers discuss their getaway to California, and then fades when Willie Jack reveals that she’s going to stay in Oklahoma.
  • “Your Thunder and Lightning” by Lee Hazlewood (00:09): White Steve dances as his NDN Mafia pals watch. Mose and Mekko chat with Uncle Brownie about his tornado theory. The dogs confront their local enemies.
  • “What” by Broncho (00:15): White Steve wraps up a freestyle verse. Uncle Brownie carries a small axe as the weather intensifies. The Reservation Dogs soundtrack song fades as Bear and Willie Jack discuss Elora’s whereabouts.
  • “Hey, Hey, Hey, Brother” by John Angaiak (00:23): The dogs and other locals go outside after the tornado. Elora disappears after learning that Cheese won’t be going to California. The song fades with the lyric “Where are you going?”
  • “Point of No Return” by Jim Ford (00:26): For Bear, it’s the point of no return as he prepares to leave home. Moments later, it’s revealed that Jackie from the NDN Mafia will travel with Elora to California. The song fades as Bear sits on the curb, presumably after being left behind.

Q.V. Hough (@QVHough) is Vague Visages’ founding editor.

3 replies »