Get Ready: True Blood Report Returns Monday

Rocks Off is super-excited that we'll once again be bringing you coverage of the music featured in Season 4 of Alan Ball's HBO adaptation of Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels. The fourth book is our favorite in the series, and as each season sequentially corresponds with the books (roughly), it's to be hoped that this batch of episodes will live up to their literary inspiration.

We already know we're going to get witches and an amnesiac Eric Northman, so there's some reassurance right there. On the other hand, we had some rather severe problems with the Ren-Faire fairy crap that ended Season 3 on a very "meh" note. Boobs and blood abound as much as ever, so no complaints from our nether regions, but what can we expect from the music?

So far Joan Jett has been showcased in previews with her cover of Donovan's "Season of the Witch." Nick Cave and Neko Case have confirmed that a cover of "She's Not There' will also be featured in the first episode. We see this as a somewhat ominous audio development. Nothing wring with covers, of course, but the thing that birthed this column in the first place was some of the amazing lesser known acts and songs that made their way onto the show. We'll off hold judgment, though, for the time being.

To get you ready for the season, we thought we'd bring you our five favorite cuts from the past three years. In no particular order, they are.

Sister Gertrude/DJ King Britt, "I've Got the New World in my View"

Gertrude Morgan gave up normal life and turned to street preaching in the 1950s. In 1970, she recorded an a capella album that almost everyone forgot about. Not DJ King Britt, who remixed the whole thing and rereleased it in 2005. The song served as the entrance music for Louisiana vampire queen Sophie-Anne.

Cat Power, "Half of You"

Cat Power stole our hearts with her soulful little tune while Vampire Bill was stealing Sookie's virginity while listening to the same song. Quick question, though: How come no one pops their cherry in silence in television and movies?

Lyle Lovett, "I Will Rise Up/Ain't No More Cane"

When Eric's sire, Godric, finally tired of immortality, he went to meet his death in the sun with Sookie as his only witness. The only song powerful enough to get us through such an emotionally charged scene is Lyle Lovett's cover of prison work song "I Will Rise Up/Ain't No More Cane." This might actually be our favorite song from the series thus far.

Massive Attack, "Paradise Circus"

"Strip Club" isn't really a genre of music. At least you can't find it on iTunes. Regardless, we think most people wouldn't put Massive Attack in the same setting where you usually hear something like "Girls Girls Girls." Well, in the True Blood universe you take your clothes off to "Paradise Circus" and lament that love is a rigged game that will kill you in the end. What can we say? We like our sex industry workers hopeless.

Vallejo, "Snake in the Grass"

From just down the road in El Campo (via Austin) comes Vallejo, a little Southern-rock band with much alternative awesomness Rocks Off simply had to let into the series' Top 5 songs. "Snake" perfectly sets True Blood's tone when it closed out the second episode, warning us all that no one was what they seemed and danger abounded in every direction.

Rocks Off is pleased to announce that not only will our coverage of True Blood continue, but we will be returning as a regular contributor to the Loving True Blood in Dallas radio show on Sundays after each episode. Make sure you tune in.

See you Monday.

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