Alan Ball was known for his masterful use of music in Six Feet Under. He's lost none of his touch when it comes to his current HBO series, True Blood - which happens to be set in the Louisiana swamps, not terribly far from Houston. With Season 2 just completed, Rocks Off is now working our way backwards through the episodes we missed as HBO begins reruns.
A thousand apologies to those who had to spend a Tuesday without a True Blood report as your friend and humble narrator was thrashing in the delirium of a 102-degree fever. Not only are we back from our little vacation, but we're back to the beginning of the series! This Saturday our favorite vampire dramarama will begin rerunning from the very first episode, "Strange Love," and continue Saturdays after that. Now Rocks Off has a chance to evaluate everything we've missed in a more organized manner. So where did it all begin? Well, the opening scene of the first episode of True Blood is indisputably one of the greatest scenes ever. We open in a typical rural gas station. Typical, save that it's manned by a black-clad and pierced creature of the night. That's OK, we say to ourselves (Or, you know, to the cats if the're watching it with us), it's a VAMPIRE show. Maybe even a VAMPYRE show. And everyone knows that the best way to tell if someone is a vampire is if they look like they bought out a Hot Topic clearance sale in 2003 and never looked back.
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Our capetard proceeds to ham up a bogus accent in order to give a couple of customers scare, only to find that the convenience store does in fact harbor a vampire. Only, instead of the HIM lookalike it's more of a Larry the Cable Guy lookalike who bares fangs and tells the clerk if he ever sees him impersonating a vamp again he'll be dinner. Now that's how you scare people these days. Bela Lugosi's dead! Long live the undead in Wal-Mart jeans and a camo shirt!
Having established that these are not your momma's vampires and are instead Southern vampires, it behooves us to eschew Depeche Mode and the series' title song in order to examine a sick little country ditty that ends the episode nicely. "Bones" is a track from Little Big Town, a Nashville country vocal group that's worked with Sugarland and members of Rascal Flatts. It's a fairly typical story of a couple of girls who move to Memphis to find country fame and fortune, which they do. Seriously, it's pretty much the story of everything working out fine with a talented middle--of-the-road country act. Everyone's married with children and a couple of Grammys. They don't even have the decency to have a band drunk. Still, "Bones" is great little track full of the appropriate dread and dark prophecy that usually makes up a True Blood track, even if it does borrow heavily from Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain." More than anything else, it is the harbinger of things to come in the town of Bon Temps - which, like Twin Peaks, is full of secrets (though short on pie and only middle-height on midgets). Most of us know all that's to come in the next couple of months, but Rocks Off will be here to illuminate your ears with the sweet sounds of True Blood's music. Peace out.