Monday, October 31, 2011
TRUE BLOOD VOL. 3 (THE MUSIC)
Of course, this is not a TV blog, it's a music blog, and right now, as I'm giving out candy to trick or treaters, I'm listening to the latest installment of the True Blood compilation series. And as annoyed as I am at the show's producer Alan Ball, I have to give it up -- again -- to music supervisor Gary Calamar. Last year, I wrote about the second CD in the series, and expressed serious admiration for True Blood's music team, and I still feel the same way. They come up with songs that fit the mood, regardless of era and genre (it's the same reason why I love the greatest radio station in the world, the Underground Garage).
The album has a number of new tracks, which I imagine were recorded specifically for the show. I don't know if you could say that being on True Blood is the adult equivalent of being on a Twilight soundtrack, but I guess it is comparable. Regardless, there are some really great tracks here. The opener combines stuff I love with stuff I don't: Karen Elson (whose debut, The Ghost Who Walks, was one of my favorite albums of 2010) covers Donovan (who I've never been a fan of) with "Season Of The Witch." Karen's ex-, Jack White produces and Donovan himself sings on the track.
The late Gil Scott-Heron covered Robert Johnson's "Me and The Devil." Obviously a classic, and Mr. Scott-Heron brought his own thing to it. I guess this is one of the last things he ever recorded.
Hipsters must be melting over the union of Neko Case and Nick Cave covering The Zombies' "She's Not There." But they should, it's pretty great, and I remember thinking that as it aired over the credits of one of this season's episodes.
PJ Harvey and Gordon Gano of The Violent Femmes' "Hittin' The Ground" is the title track from Gano's debut solo album from 2002. It's a really fun song, and PJ sounds like she's really getting her Patti Smith on. It's not a new song, but it's new to me, and probably is to a lot of other people.
And in a combo made in Americana heaven, Jakob Dylan and The Jayhawks' Gary Louris do "Gonna Be A Darkness," which they co-wrote. There are so many good songs here! A group called The Heavy cover Larua Nyro's "And When I Die," and there's a cool Blackroc song (Blackroc is The Black Keys in hip-hop mode) called "What You Do To Me." Then, there's some older songs, like Slim Harpo's "Te Ni Nee Ni Nu," Massive Attack featuring Hope Sandoval "Paradise Circus," and Siouxie & The Banshees' "Spellbound."
Here's hoping that the next season of True Blood makes up for this one, but I know that the music will always be on point.