Happy Birthday Anne Rice! 6 Songs For a Horror Icon

Anne Rice, the author of horror classics like Interview With The Vampire and the Witching Hour, turns 71 today. She's a talented and complicated lady that all goths owe a debt to for recreating the vampire as a lonely, Miltonian figure that was at home in seats of elegance or on a rock and roll stage as he was sipping blood from a neck wound. Without her, I doubt we ever would have had a character like Bill Compton from True Blood.

Of course, without her we also probably never would've had Edward Cullen, but let's cut her some slack on that. Without Faith No More there never could have been Limp Bizkit; it doesn't mean we wish Faith No More had never existed.

We lost her for a while there, as she discovered or rediscovered a deep attachment to Christianity and the life of Jesus, something she chronicled in two novels that are honestly pretty damned good. In the end she left her Roman Catholic faith because of the Church's official stance on gay rights. Now she's back to putting out great, fur-crackling books like the Wolf Gift, as well as being a very prominent Facebook personality after the publicity of her shift in views brought her.

That's all well and good, but let's keep this train on the proper track. Anne, you've given me and a lot of other people some really great afternoons, and many more late nights, immersed within your modern goth tales. I still crack open Taltos and The Mummy regularly, and Wolf Gift proves you've lost none of your touch. This week I dedicate my playlist to your own bad self.

6. Bryan Ferry, "Slave to Love": Exit to Eden is, for my money, Rice's best erotic work. It's a wonderful taboo-blasting page-turner that will leave you questioning whether or not you've lived your sensual life quite to the fullest.

The movie... not so much. You can't cast Rosie O'Donnell in a BDSM story and expect any good to come of it. The soundtrack was pretty amazing, though, including a choice tune by Bryan Ferry.

5. The Damned, "The Dog": Man, you forget just how brilliant a band the Damned is. Strawberries was a troubled time for the group, with Paul Gray and Captain Sensible leaving the project not long after its release.

"The Dog" deals with one of Rice's best-known characters, the child vampire Claudia that is adopted by Louis and Lestat. Trapped forever in a child's body, her bloodlust is terrible to behold and she lives in envy of the womanly forms around her and in hatred of her physical weakness.

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4. Atreyu, "The Crimson": The Gothic Council is going to kill me for following up the Damned with Atreyu, and maybe I deserve it.

I always thought the line, "Robert Smith lied, boys do cry/ And with blood tears in my eyes I'm an Anne Rice novel come to life," was really profound when I was younger. Now I guess it is a little silly, but if you're going to roll your eyes at a little poetic melodrama then you shouldn't be reading Anne Rice anyway.

3. P.O.S., "Gimme Gimme Gunshots": Stefon Alexander is one of the great poetic rappers, and the solid punk-rock credentials he brings to his music don't hurt any either. I've been listening to "Gimme Gimme Gunshots" on a loop for an hour now, and I still don't think I've nailed down all he's trying to say.

What does it mean when he says, "Your parents mock people like Anne Rice?" Ipecac Neat came out the same year as the Interview movie. What are the elders mocking, her openness on sex, her exploration of damnation?

2. Marilyn Manson/Korn, "Redeemer": Yes,Queen of the Damned is a pretty stupid movie, but it's got some good moments. Stuart Townsend is a passable and pretty Lestat, Vincent Perez (a highly underrated Crow stuck with a bad script) and Paul McGann (a highly underrated Doctor stuck with a bad script) both turn in memorable performances, and Jonathan Davis' soundtrack is more or less what you'd expect Lestat's band Satan's Night Out to sound like at the point the movie was made. "Redeemer" featured Marilyn Manson to round out the modern-goth scorecard, and it's a good tune only goth genre Nazis hate.

1. Siouxsie and the Banshees, "Shadowtime": This is a just a theory on the Wife With One F and my part, but we've always thought that "Shadowtime" was inspired by the character of Lasher from the Lives of the Mayfair Witches series. It's just something about the references to ideas taking shape and changeling songs that brings to mind the birth of the ghostly lover seeking rebirth into the world through the affections of the witch line.

Siouxsie's Superstition (1991) did come out a year after the first book in the series, and she's a voracious reader with a penchant for the occult. It's not that far-fetched to believe that the story might have been in her head while composing the track.

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