While once the king of hill when it came to premium pay cable channels, the mighty HBO has fallen precipitously in its post-Sopranos existence, losing cool points and audiences en masse to lascivious and graphic Showtime programs like Dexter and Californication (incidentally, I don't think I've ever related to a television character as much as I do to David Duchovny's Hank Moody, that guy's like my evil twin), and withering further in comparison to the exquisite writing and acting being delivered on AMC via Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
Luckily, Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball has been stepping up to the plate more impressively lately with his new vampiric soap on HBO entitled True Blood. It's premise lends itself beautifully to contemporary politics (there's a "Vampire Rights Amendment" being debated on a national level, and a reader board outside a Southern church depicted in the opening credits reads "God Hates Fangs") and the notion of vampire blood as the crystal meth of a new undead generation works with truly scary brilliance.
However, what's been intriguing me at the moment is what an ideal opportunity the show presents for musicians who peddle their alt-country wares down particularly dark paths. This is Southern Gothic to the hilt, with a nicely deviant sexual edge to it. The list of musicians custom-cut for this series' soundtrack is almost endless, but obscenely under-exposed when it comes to soundtrack licensing as of late. So far they've used Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, Slim Harpo, Lucinda Williams, Eleni Mandell, and Wilco, just to name a few. I could definitely see artists like Johnny Dowd, Slim Cessna's Autoclub, Trailer Bride, Neko Case, the Drive-By Truckers, Bobby Bare Jr., being used and certainly our own See Me River would be perfect. I sure hope the Bloodshot Records folks are all over this...watch the opening credits (the song is "Bad Things" by Jace Everett) and you'll see what I mean: