Monday, July 27, 2009

Jace Everett: Good things come to those who wait

A few years ago Jace Everett's career left him in a familiar artist’s quandary: that of a struggling musician. His debut was a mainstream country album, a sound that didn't completely reflect his style.

Flash forward a year and Everett was on the brink of his big break even if he didn't yet realize that was the case.

"I love country music with all of my heart, but I thought 'My career's over, so I might as well do what I want," Everett said.

"Bad Things," a rockabilly track off of his 2005 self-titled album caught the attention of Oscar-winning screenwriter Alan Ball who, in 2006, was scouring iTunes in search of a track to accompany his treatment of the now hit HBO series “True Blood.”

In an age when much of television programming has discarded the use opening credits, “True Blood’s” main title montage has captivated its viewers as well as critics.

“The opening sequence was recently nominated for an Emmy,” Everett said. “I can't take in credit for that, but it's cool.”

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Dead and Gone sales numbers ... wow!

In the U.S., Penguin CEO David Shanks said the company did better than expected with Charlaine Harris "making up" for most of the huge sales numbers compiled by Tolle last year. Harris' most recent, Dead and Gone, has shipped 540,000 copies of the hardcover to date

New 'True Blood': Screaming Sookie, Mad Maryann, Hard-Hearted Hannah, and a peek at the rest of Season Two


Well, it took me a while to banish from my mind the image of Bill (’scuse me: “Guillaume”) sitting at a piano in 1926 Chicago crooning this week’s episode title-song, “Hard-Hearted Hannah” — surely the least sexy/appealing poses we’ve ever seen Bill in, and yes, I remember those stiff Civil War flashbacks. What finally replaced that image (Bill looked sort of like early Billy Joel crossed with Marvin Hamlisch — shudder) was True Blood’s two climactic scenes this week. (Do I need to write it?: Spoiler alert if you didn’t watch tonight’s episode yet.)

I’m talking about Sookie and Hugo (Isabel’s human boyfriend) being dragged down screaming into Rev. Steve’s basement of terror, and Maryann’s wildest whipped-up orgy yet, which included Tara and Eggs going at it like rabbits, but rabbits with dead-ghoul eyes. Eek and eek, respectively. Yes, the danger is becoming more harrowing with each week, so that now one of True Blood’s pleasures is its churning suspense, so far kept under an artistic control that’s so confident on the part of Alan Ball and his directors that it hasn’t gone over the top

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True Blood Sucker Punch: Episode 6 from Mark Blankenship

Yipppeee from Mark on Huffington Post- he must have stayed up late !

Warning: This post contains spoilers.

Welcome to Sucker Punch, the only blog post that ranks the gaudiest moments on this week's episode of True Blood.

Um... remember last week, when I worried the show was slowing down? Well, "Heard-Hearted Hannah" has settled my hash. There are so many sucker-punchy scenes in this installment that I could get carpal tunnel syndrome writing about them all.

But before we begin... have you noticed that on the bottom right side of the screen, there's an automatically generated ad leading you to the books I supposedly wrote? Well, I am not that Mark Blankenship. He's a celebrated composer of Christian hymns, not the dude watching vampires have sex and then writing about it. Or at least, he's not writing about it on The Huffington Post. However, if he writes a hymn called "Lord, Thy Sun Shalt Kill Bill Compton," we'll know why.

Speaking of church... let's start with the Fellowship of the Sun. Sarah giving Jason a beejer in the choir loft is crazy, if unsurprising. After she anointed his bishop last week, her advances were bound to get more intense, and doing it in the church certainly ups the trash factor. Also trashy? Convincing poor, witless Jason that his trampy behavior is mandated by God.

Ryan Kwanten's performance makes me believe Jason is gullible enough to fall for Sarah's "God told me to get freaky" routine. If he actually believes what he's doing is consecrated, then he could feel wounded later, which gives this storyline more electricity. (And if Sarah believes her own nonsense, which I think she does, then the inevitable fallout will be even worse.)

I also enjoy how the Fellowship scenes in this episode swing so easily between blatant stereotyping and creepy scheming. On one hand, we've got Luke spouting kneejerk rhetoric about how gay sex is the worst sin of all, and on the other, we've got Reverend Steve getting googly-eyed about building a giant platform so that his followers can watch a vampire get burned alive by the sun. Meanwhile, everything is tinged with ludicrous sincerity, so that when Sarah explains her horror over Steve's behavior, she's as outraged by his desire to provoke a vamp-human war as she is by the fact that he says "the C word."

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True Blood Ep 7 'Release me' promo video

Hard Hearted Hanna -Ep 6 review

From Zap2it

"True Blood" begins to pick up the pace this week, with storylines that have long been on slow burn finally taking some dramatic turns.

We start out with a killer teaser this week featuring my favorite bad-boy vamp Eric feeding on one of the hotel's working girls. He stops when Lorena enters the room and he greets her with the revelation that he was the one who summoned her to Dallas. Naughty, naughty, Eric! I Methinks he wanted a little distraction for Bill, no? He confirms that he wants something from Sookie and needs Lorena to keep Bill busy while he gets it. I can't wait to see how this shakes out!

This week also features another lovely flashback! This time we get to see Lorena and Bill in Prohibition-era Chicago. It seems the Bill of 80 years ago wasn't so human friendly, as the flashback involves Lorena and Bill seducing, torturing and killing a rich couple for fun. Aw, they're just like old school Angelus and Darla! Them having sex on the bloody bed while their female victim lay there dying was deliciously disturbing. It's nice to be reminded that vamps aren't all kittens and TruBlood and rainbows.

Bill and Isabel decide to send a fellow human, Hugo, with Sookie to infiltrate the Fellowship, with them posing as an engaged couple. They exchange notes about dating vampires, which hee! It turns out Hugo wants to be turned so he can be with Isabel forever, which Sookie admits she has never even thought about before. I think it might come up at some point. Just a hunch. Sookie and Hugo go on their mission, which starts out great until Sookie reads Reverend and Sarah Newlin's minds and realizes they know EXACTLY who she is. Ruh roh! The Reverend tries to lure them into the basement, but when they try to flee he and his henchman drag them down there against their will. Bill senses Sookie's danger but is stopped by Lorena making her appearance. Will Jason be the one to discover his sister in danger? Here's hoping.

Jason gets tapped to participate in the infamous and prestigious "Meet the Sun" ceremony, which is basically a vampire torture/murder ritual. What an honor! While building the torture device, Jason and Luke get in a conversation about infidelity and abstinence. Jason considers becoming abstinent for at least 30 seconds, but I doubt it will stick. Especially when Sarah later cries on his shoulder, reveals to him that they are being trained to start a war with the vampires, and puts it out there that she is supposed to be with him, not the Reverend. God told her so and everything! Jason confirms that Sarah got the go-ahead from God for them to have an affair, and he dives right in there in the church. Now that's the Jason we know and love!

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USA Today -'True' love heats up

'True' love heats up

As HBO's True Blood enters the second half of Season 2, expect the romantic triangle between mind reader Sookie (Anna Paquin) and vampires Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) to heat up.

Skarsgard says Sookie "comes along, and there's something different about her. For the first time in a really long time, (Eric is) curious." He told the Comic-Con crowd he'd personally like to see the relationship intensify: "Just look at her," he said, referring to Paquin on the panel. But he quickly followed with an apology: "I'm sorry, Stephen." (Moyer and Paquin are an item in real life.)

Series creator Alan Ball said that viewers can expect a third season: "It's not officially announced, but I think it will be pretty soon."