Music in Media

Television / Soundtrack Review / True Blood: Music From The Series Vol. 2

Yesterday EW.com posted an exclusive full stream of True Blood: Music From The Series Vol. 2, and here’s what I have to say about it.

If I could describe True Blood in three words they would be: dirty, sexy and voodoo. Produced by Gary Calamar (music supervisor, KCRW DJ and author) the soundtrack definitely fits the same description, combining gritty tracks from Jace Everett & CC Adcock, M.Ward (all performing covers of Howlin’ Wolf songs), Beck and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, with a dash of sex from the likes of Robbie Robertson and Chuck Prophet and an eerily awesome remix by Thievery Corporation. There’s a great combination of new and old stuff – a Jr. Walker and The All Stars track from 1965, then “Fresh Blood” from last years Eels album – which melds together incredibly well.

While the overall flow works, the soundtrack’s strengths are definitely those songs when the gritty and the sexy come together for that great hot, bayou feel. The kind that make you feel like you should be dancing in the moonlight on a sweaty summer night, perhaps some fireflies still hanging around…ok, I’ll stop now, you get my point. While a Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello collaboration is cool and it is a good song – I just wanted to go back to the swamp.

Check out the tracklist below – my favorites are in red, naturally.  And you can stream the whole thing here.

1. “Howlin’ For My Baby” – M. Ward
2. “Evil (Is Going On)” – Jace Everett & CC Adcock*
3. “Bad Blood” – Beck

4. “How To Become Clairvoyant” – Robbie Robertson
5. “Shake And Fingerpop” – Jr. Walker and The All Stars
6. “Frenzy” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
7. “Kiss Like Your Kiss” – Lucinda Williams with Elvis Costello
8. “Gasoline And Matches” – Buddy & Julie Miller
9. “You Did (Bomp Shooby Dooby Bomp)” – Chuck Prophet
10. “You’re Gonna Miss Me” – The 13th Floor Elevators
11. “Fresh Blood” – Eels
12. “The Forgotten People (Bon Temps Remix)” – Thievery Corporation

13. “New World In My View” – King Britt & Sister Gertrude Morgan
14. “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” – Bob Dylan

And digital only downloads…

15. “Bad Things (Acoustic)” – Jace Everett
16. “Ain’t No Invisible Man” – Jakob Dylan
17. “You Can’t Drive Me Away” – Stone Temple Pilots
18. “Dig” – Headbone featuring Bubba Kendall

*Featuring background vocals from Calamar’s daughter and friends!

Making The Soundtrack Cool Again

This April, Variety published their annual Music for Screens Issue, containing several interesting articles about ever-changing landscape of using music in film and television.  One in particular is an interview with president of Fox Music, Robert Kraft, discussing the state of the film soundtrack and what it takes to get noticed these days.  You can take a look for yourself here – I highly recommend.

I bring it up, because 2 soundtracks were publicly announced yesterday that I think both did it really right in different ways…

1. ) Twlight: Eclipse – So big it was a trending topic on Twitter for much of the day yesterday, the only thing that gives these films any indie cred is the stellar music used.  Again and again Alex Patsavas proves she knows how to get the best unreleased stuff from a slew of buzztacular artists AND throw in an amazing-yet-unexpected pairing we never knew we were dying to hear (Bon Iver & St. Vincent!  Beck & Bat For Lashes!).  To be perfectly honest, I sometimes question how well all these tracks actually fit into the fabric of the movie, but as a soundtrack I would definitely shell out the dough.

The tracklist…

1.  Metric – “Eclipse (All Yours)”
2.  MUSE – “Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)”
3.  The Bravery – “Ours”
4.  Florence + The Machine – “Heavy In Your Arms”
5.  Sia – “My Love”
6.  Fanfarlo – “Atlas”
7.  The Black Keys – “Chop And Change”
8.  The Dead Weather – “Rolling In On A Burning Tire”
9.  Beck & Bat For Lashes – “Let’s Get Lost”
10.  Vampire Weekend – “Jonathan Low”
11.  UNKLE – “With You In My Head (ft. The Black Angels)”
12.  Eastern Conference Champions – “A Million Miles An Hour”
13.  Band Of Horses – “Life On Earth”
14.  Cee Lo Green – “What Part Of Forever”
15.  Howard Shore – “Jacob’s Theme”

2.  Killers – Seriously, people.  While less flashy and lacking any current hipster idols, this soundtrack still boasts exciting up and comers and tracks from artists with unreleased albums like Nikki & Rich and Rox.   More importantly, however, all the tracks jive together to create a very specific and fun tone described as “1960s french riviera rave up” doesn’t over do it and – gasp – FITS WITH THE FILM.  Not to mention some excellent selections from Rolfe Kent‘s score to finish it off.  Curated by Tracy McKnight, the skilled hand behind Adventureland, The Messenger, and Cold Souls among many others – you know it’s gotta be good.   Preview some of the tunes on the myspace page.

The tracklist…

1. Macy Gray – “Beauty In The World”
2. Salvador Santana – “Under The Sun”
3. Nikki & Rich – “Cat & Mouse”
4. Faces – “Ooh La La”
5. Bitter:Sweet – “A Moment”
6. Rox – “I Don’t Believe”
7. Vanessa Contenay Quinones – “Bon Bon Bon”
8. Menahan Street Band – “Montego Sunset”
9. “Scuba Sneak” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)
10. “Gonna Kill Him” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)
11. “Even The UPS Guy” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)
12. “Nice, France” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)
13. “Falling In Bed” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)
14. “Elevator Attraction” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)
15. “New Home Office” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)
16. “Killers Suite” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)

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