One killer soundtrack and a little head music


A serial killer we actually like. A drug dealer we'd hide from the cops. How do you set music to that? Not by getting high and killing someone, I hope. Although I think the lead characters from Showtime's "Dexter" and "Weeds" would make a good team.

For "Dexter" -- which, yes, is about a serial killer who has something of a Robin Hood complex because he only kills bad people, so that makes it OK -- composer Daniel Licht was challenged to find the right tone.

"There are different aspects to Dexter's personality," Licht says. "I know this sounds kind of strange, but I had to capture to playfulness of the character. He is a serial killer, but he does have lightness to him. He's always making wry and ironic comments. I had to get his attitude while maintaining the dark quality of the show. I combined minor gothic with percussion."

Licht's "Dexter" score and soundtrack was released by Milan Records this week to whet fans' appetites for Season 2, which premieres Sept. 30. The album also features the theme song by Rolfe Kent (all killers in TV shows should have theme songs) and a number of tracks from Season 1 including Andy Williams' "Born Free," Ska Cubano's "Bobine" and Los Abandoned's "Panic Oh." Set in Miami, "Dexter" is a natural for a lot of Cuban- and Latin-feeling music.

Licht's credits include the features "Hellraiser: Bloodline," "Stephen King's Thinner" and "Permanent Midnight" and TV shows including "Jake in Progress" and "Kitchen Confidential."

Cable's favorite housewife-turned-pot dealer is Nancy Botwin of "Weeds," played by Mary-Louise Parker. For anyone who has ever seen the show, the opening song "Little Boxes," written by Malvina Reynolds, is addictive, annoying and fabulous. For Season 3, Jay Faires, president of music and publishing at Lionsgate, is taking it to the next level. He has assembled an eclectic group of acts to cover "Little Boxes": Randy Newman, Angelique Kidjo, Kinky, Donovan Leitch, Billy Bob Thornton, the Shins, the Individuals, Man Man, Joan Baez, the Decemberists, Michael Franti, Persephone's Bees, Devendra Banhart, Linkin Park and Pete Seeger.

They've also launched an ultracool music blog at music.homegrown, where fans can learn about the artists and find out why they were possessed to cover "Little Boxes." Lionsgate also has a slew of other projects; stay tuned.