Space Music: Tesla's Hotel Room


Nikola Tesla in front of the spiral coil of his high-frequency transformer in New York. Image via Studio 360

Even if HBO's original series "True Detective" wasn't the best show on television right now, I think we'd still have to give it props for that amazing opening credit sequence.

The visuals capture the sense of a gritty, Louisiana noir with metaphysical overtones -- and the theme song, "Far From Any Road" by The Handsome Family adds this folky sense of dark, desperate Biblical revelation.

Now I do appreciate some haunted folk music from time to time. Nina Nastasia and Orenda Fink are among my favorites in this area. But I have to admit I'd not heard of The Handsome Family before now. They've been around since 1994, though, with 10 albums under their belts already. Brett Sparks composes all the music and his wife Rennie writes the lyrics.

Where does Space Music enter into this? Well, I was delighted to see that their 2006 album "Last Days of Wonder" features a track about famed inventor Nikola Tesla:

Here's a taste of the lyrics:

Nicola Tesla In the hotel New Yorker nursing sick pigeons by the open window dreamed of a death ray To disintegrate matter detected Morse code From faraway planets

Internet, you love "True Detective" and you love Tesla, so if modern folk/alternative country/Americana is your thing, go explore their discography. And here's a nice little Soundcloud sampler of their work:


About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.