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.
We told you that Taylor Swift was going to become a goth icon, but did you listen? Did you? No. No, you said we were "crazy." That our logic was "sketchy." That we should take the "medication" that nice "doctor" prescribed us after we "went apeshit" over the Dungeons & Dragons movie.
Well, we were right and you were wrong because here comes Ms. Swift in all her gothy glory right on True Blood.
Truth be told, we love Taylor Swift. Our love is guileless and unashamed. When we were reluctantly flipping through Houston's sad FM dial searching for any melody to take the pain of traffic away, and Swift's "Mine" came on, we knew that we were just going to have to live with the fact that the little minx is completely pop-awesome. She is, and we will fight any one of you tooth and freakin' nail over the fact.
Admittedly, when we claimed that Swift would rise to become a spooky starlet, we were just having some fun with our editor at a young star's expense. However, since then, we've watched her carefully, and every now and then she really does pull some awesomely dark and wonderful stuff.
Consider this live video that the Wife With One F found for us after we heard a song of hers on this week's True Blood. In it, Swift, decked out in an ensemble that is half Christine Daaé, half Magenta from Rocky Horror, desperately hammers a bell to toll the sorrow of her soul in the song "Haunted." She really sells her broken-hearted anguish, anger and complete conflictedness before launching into the song proper.
Even when we reach the more mundane pop-song aspect of the performance, her eyes are wild, her hair flies in every direction, and truly we get to hear lyrics that would be perfectly at home in a Birthday Massacre tune. Sure, the staging is the typical overblown crap that most pop stars use this day to hide the fact that what they're doing is bloody boring, but Swift uses it as opposed to letting it use her. She's aces.
And what exactly is the scene that needs "Haunted" to set the tone? Well, we haven't dwelt much upon it in previous articles, but baby vamp Jessica's relationship with Hoyt Fontenberry has fallen apart, and to top it all off, she had to use her blood to save Jason Stackhouse from the brink of death.
Blood-sharing tends to make both parties almost unstoppably sexually attracted to each other, and Jess and Jason have been in decaying orbits towards each other despite Hoyt being Jason's best friend.
In this episode, Hoyt packs up a box of Jess's stuff and asks Jason to deliver it to her. Among the many items in the box is a copy of Swift's 2010 LP Speak Now. "Haunted," a track from that best-selling album, begins to play as Jason tells Jess that they shouldn't see each other anymore. The opening of the song swells as we cut to the two of them in the bed of Jason's truck, chainsaw within arm's reach, humping each other to nubs.
Swift wrote a tune about living with one person and loving another. We wonder about the girl a bit. At this point we're afraid to brush up against her too hard for fear of getting a song written about it.
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Has someone so young really had experiences of the heart deep enough and hard enough to pour forth from her so poetically? Then again, Mason Lankford pulls the same thing, so maybe it's just that the rest of us were substandard young people.
Be sure to visit the Loving True Blood in Dallas blog, where Jef With One F will be a semi-regular contributor to the podcast this season.