In just a matter of weeks, Making a Murderer has managed to get under the skin of basically everyone with a Netflix account. I can’t remember the last time I heard “Have you watched…” so many times, from so many very different people. And while most of us are content to wallow in our sudden expert status as conspiracy theorists and legal justice warriors, it’s inspired some people to do more.
Last year, Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys launched a new side project called The Arcs. And The Arcs were so affected by the Netflix show and Steven Avery’s story that they holed up an wrote a song about it. From the band’s official statement about the song,
It’s like Billy Childish says, ‘We live in troubled times’. Last week, we got a sneak peek at what goes on behind the curtains of our criminal justice system. A few sleepless nights later we gathered in the studio and wrote this song. Written, recorded, mixed and mastered in 2 days.
Seeing as two days is probably how long it took most of us to binge the show, that seems entirely fitting. The song has that typical Auerbach soulful funkiness, and definitely captures the confusion and outrage that’s unavoidable in watching the series.
On a stretch of sand, sweet northern breeze Manitowoc put Avery on the beach Your alibi will never do When the whole town’s got it out for you
The song, which is a hefty five minutes of literary allusions and McCarthy references, doesn’t exactly seem to be proclaiming Avery’s innocence (which is a good thing for those of us who haven’t been convinced of that so much as of the legal system’s deep-seated corruption and incompetence), but focuses more on the social and political contexts, and our reactions. Especially in the chorus, which expands from Avery’s specific story to the insanity of a world that allows corruption like what we’ve now seen in Manitowoc to exist.
I wanna know people outdoors Ain’t gonna go out and act insane My baby girl out in a world All alone burns a hole in my brain
Additionally, all of the proceeds from the song will go to The Innocence Project, although there is, of course, no way of knowing at this point if that will actually benefit Avery in any way. Hopefully, though, it will help many more people who have stories just as outrageous and infuriating as Avery’s, who haven’t had their stories aired on Netflix.