Music

This Week’s “True Blood”: Sookie “Against” John Mellencamp?

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Anna Paquin, Ryan Kwanten. photo: John P. Johnson

Anna Paquin, Ryan Kwanten. photo: John P. Johnson

Sookie, the main character from HBO’s True Blood (based on the Sookie Stackhouse book series by Charlaine Harris), has plenty of problems on her hands these days.  One of her vampire ex-boyfriends has become something of a religious evangelist who now sees humans as little more than food. Another ex- is on the run from the first ex-. A werewolf who she was about to hop into bed with now finds her repulsive (and not only because she threw up on him in the heat of the moment).  

But on this week’s episode, the show’s lead character may have added to her problems by insulting a heartland rocker so ornery he named himself “Little Bastard.” 

When addressing the “Faerie Elder,” she had to answer questions about contemporary musicians, including one about a certain Indiana rocker. “John Cougar Mellencamp: for or against?”  

john mellencamp This Weeks True Blood: Sookie Against John Mellencamp?“Against!” was the unfortunate response. And a sort of ungrateful response at that: episode 2 of this season featured Mellencamp’s “Authority Song” covered by Bosco Delrey.  (The nickname “Little Bastard,” a reference to both Mellencamp’s size and demeanor, is something he’s owned up to; he gave himself production credit as “Little Bastard” on his 1985 Scarecrow album.) (photo credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Not all acts fared as poorly as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer/songwriter: when asked “Boyz II Men: For or against?” Sookie responded “For!” 

However, pop singer Ke$ha is barely a blip on the Sookie radar: when asked about the hard-partying singer she said, “I’m not that familiar with her music,” was the response. 

Echoing the sentiment of some of the singer’s critics, the elder exclaimed, “She doesn’t really sing, does she?  She talks. I suppose that makes her some sort of poet.  Which is alarming: her spelling is atrocious!” 

Whatever your opinion of Ke$ha, the exchange gave some clue to when the show takes place: her debut album came out in 2010, which sets the events of the show in the current era. 

Some lesser-known artists got airtime this week:  Gayle Lynn and The Hired Hands’ “Rodeo Queen” played during a scene at Merlottes, Derrick Stout’s “Little Girl Wandered Off” was on the radio during a segment at Alcide’s father’s house, and The Heavy’s “What Makes A Good Man” was heard in Fangtasia while fan-favorite Pam was arrested. (The latter song is off of The Heavy’s Glorious Dead album, due in stores tomorrow). 

The episode, titled “Sunset,” featured an obscure Stevie Wonder song (also called “Sunset”) during the credits. Released on the 1962 album Tribute To Brother Ray (i.e. Ray Charles), it was recorded when Wonder was just 12 years old. 

True Blood Music Supervisor Gary Callamar tells CBS Local that “We originally had a different song and a different title for the episode but the song wasn’t quite working.” And he admits, the idea to use the song didn’t come from him. “The writer/producer of the episode Angela Robinson played us this obscure Stevie Wonder song.  We all agreed that it was right for the vibe and atmosphere, and it was right to close the show.” 

Next week is the season finale, “Save Yourself,” and we’ll see if the show’s most powerful vampire, Russell Edgington, sinks his fangs into Sookie Sackhouse. Even if she somehow escapes him, she should watch her back:  she may still have to deal with a pissed-off John Mellencamp. And he’s friends with Stephen King.  

Brian Ives, CBS Local 

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