“It just sort of introduces the idea that you’re in for something pretty idiotic.” – Larry David
I love food. I love eating it. I love making it. I love talking about it. I love hearing people talk about it. I even love watching people make it on competition based television shows. Unfortunately, those shows by nature must leave out one of my favorite elements of food: the smell. When you enter a restaurant owned by a knowledgeable chef, you’ll notice the immediate presence of a powerful, distinct and pleasing aroma. It heightens the anticipation. It lets you know the type of food is on the way. It focuses your senses on the tastes and textures to come.
A good theme song is the television equivalent to a tantalizing aroma before a delicious meal. It whets your appetite for the rest of the show. The tone of the song will let you know if the show will be light, dark, comedic, dramatic, intense, intelligent, unconventional, or any number of things. When you hear the twanging guitars and mournful fiddle of Deadwood’s Opening Sequence, you know you’re not in for a buddy cop comedy. When you hear The Barenaked Ladies prattle off a Brief History of The Universe, you know you’re not watching a show about a rape lawyer.Tags: Alabama 3, Big Love, Cake, Cheers, Chuck, Cowboy BeBop, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Damages, Gary Portnoy, Jace Everett, Luciano Michelin, Man Man, Rescue Me, Television, The Beach Boys, The Sopranos, The VLA, The Von Bondies, theme song, True Blood, weeds, Yoko Kanno
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!Tags: Beck, Bob Dylan, Buddy & Julie Miller, CC Adcock, Chuck Prophet, Eels, Elivs Costello, Gary Calamar, Jace Everett, Junior Walker and The All Stars, King Britt & Sister Gertrude Morgan, Lucinda Williams, M. Ward, Robbie Robertson, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, soundtrack, Television, The 13th Floor Elevators, Thievery Corporation, True Blood