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.
Season 3, Episode 6: "I Got a Right to Sing the Blues"
We're halfway to the end of the third season of True Blood, and the question that is starting to rise is, "Can other people be an addiction?"
We have all, in the throes of love said that we can't live without someone. That without them we are just a shell empty of all life and meaning. But what happens when that is actually true? Could you imagine heroin with sentience or cocaine with the ability to hate and manipulate?
Addiction already brings low the most powerful of wills, and the drugs that are its source are as mindless as viruses. When another person serves the same function as smack to a junkie, then you may have to compete against a drug that is actively working against you.
Everyone's a damn junkie this week. It's like Near Dark meets Trainspotting.
Insane vampire Franklin Mott (James Frain) is freebasing Sookie's best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley), and plans to make her his vamp wife. Gothtopia had just taken his young daughter out of the room when he heard the sound of Tara chewing a hole in Franklin, drinking his blood for the superpowers it bestows, and then beating his head into a vaguely cat-turdlike shape with a mace.
Meanwhile, Sookie (Anna Paquin) finds her lover Vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) being killed Audtion-style by his sire and former girlfriend Lorena (Mariana Klaveno) on the orders of the vampire king of Mississippi. It takes forever because Bill is, by her own admission, her drug of choice. She is thoroughly addicted to him, and has been for a century. No junkie torches their stash on purpose, and we get to watch her cry blood tears over the thought of no more fix forever.
Speaking of drug abuse, let's talk about Amy Winehouse.
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If you want what she's pretending to be, go get yourself some Holly Golightly, or maybe the girl who sang the credit song for the episode. Her name is Cary Ann Hearst, and her track "Hell's Bells" continues Alan Ball's tradition of bringing some more underground artists to the forefront. Hearst has been around for several years, but her new EP, Are You Ready to Die, is sure to be the work that launches her into the stardom that she richly deserves.
It's country with the darkness of Cash, or maybe folk with the menace of Cave. There's no tinsel, and there are no apologies. What you get in the song is a nice long list of the seven kinds of hell that wait behind the door of every drug. It's as stinging as a heroin needle, and low as nodding off.
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Cary Ann Hearst, "Hell's Bells"
Most of all, there is the primitive nature of the cave, when our lovers were our possessions, and jealousy just another score. Everyone's doing dirty deals, both in Hearst's visceral music and in the ever-widening world of True Blood.
Be sure to visit the Loving True Blood in Dallas blog, where Jef With One F is a semi-regular contributor to the podcast this season.