True Blood: A Couple Of Things We Missed
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.
Listen, Gothtopia makes mistakes... mostly mistakes named Amy, but sometimes we make other, non-werewolf-obsessed sex-partner mistakes too. For instance, there were two musical stories involved in this season of True Blood that the high journalism standards we try so very hard to pretend to have demanded we cover, but we just plain missed. Usually, we would have waited until the show had a lull while showing repeats to address these lapses, but this is the first season where there was literally no break in the action.
Now that it's over, we'd like to address those musicians we offended by omitting them, and the first is from right here in Houston. Chris Knudson, better known as Kanude, is a singer now based in Austin laying down a combination of rock and Americana he calls Americronica. He's wandered all over the country plying his trade, and even as far as Berlin, and earns our respect for having worked with Robert Rodriguez on the score for El Mariachi.
Kanude's tune "Wheels" made its appearance back in the second episode, "You Smell Like Dinner." Rocks Off too busy throwing up in our mouths whenever we typed Jinx Titanic and Super 8 Cum Shot, which was the band we chose to focus on since the episode was named after their awesome single.
The song is hidden in a brief scene where Tommy ogles Sam's new shifter girlfriend, Luna, who in our eyes went from "meh" to "HOLY JESUS THAT GIRL IS HOT!" over the course of the season. We didn't really catch it at the time, but now that's we've had a chance to download "Wheels," we really feel like it adds just the right dirty touch to the scene. It's the best grindhouse rockfest since Hundred Year Flood dropped "Sunshine" on us.
Our second miss isn't quite as tapped into the dirtier parts of the mind, but definitely didn't deserve us ignoring her. Nondumiso Tembe has a recurring role this season as the spirit of a Creole woman murdered by the father of her baby son... whom he also killed.
Throughout the season, Alan Ball teased us that the young son of Arlene, being raised by Terry but actually fathered by the murderous Rene, was somehow possessed by Rene's spirit and was responsible for a number of creepy and possibly murderous activities.
We didn't cover the storyline much because A) we think possessed-children plotlines are the refuge of screenwriters with middle child syndrome; and B) we didn't think that the baby was possessed anyway. We turned out to be right. All the creepiness surround baby Mikey was the work of Tembe as Mavis, who would later find peace through Lafayette's medium abilities.
During one of Tembe's appearances, she sang a French lullaby to Mikey, and we were blown away by the silk of her voice. She sang like a bird, and not like the crap ones we have around here. She has a voice like a bird in a Disney flick.
Hailing from South Africa, Tembe has been rising through the ranks as both an actress and as a singer. In addition to True Blood she also worked on NCIS: LA with LL Cool J, and recently released her debut album, IZWI LAMI; My Voice. Below is the music video for "Silver to Gold" from the album.
Now, we won't argue that her Mariah Carey-esque pop and happy-go-lucky approach are nowhere near any other track that we've covered in the course of this column, which is probably why Ball decided to utilize her acting chops rather than her musical abilites.
Bitter, aging goth that your humble reporter is, there just isn't enough enough bleeding in her tunes to make us much of a fan. That being said, we will give Tembe some bravo for an amazing set of pipes. She really can sing, even if we don't really care for what she's singing.
Once again, our apologies to Knudson and Tembe for leaving them out of the column during the regular run. Hopefully we'll hear from them again real soon.
Our True Blood coverage returns next summer.
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