Jace Everett’s “Bad Things” (Theme to True Blood): A Modern American Classic

true blood

How can you tell if a modern work of art is destined to become a classic? Whether it is a band or a song, a painting or a television show, a movie or a sculpture, how do we know that it is going to survive the test of time? Honestly, we can’t know for sure, but we can sense real magic in our gut. It stirs and shakes as we realize that this may be something new, but it is going to last a very long time. Our intuition reveals the rest. A perfect example of a modern classic is “Bad Things” by Jace Everett — the theme song of the HBO hit series True Blood.

Bad Things is just one of those songs that seems to have been waiting to be written. It reveals the passionate desire of love and surrenders to its darkest mysteries, yet never becomes maudlin but instead has a bit of wry humor — like True Blood. Everett’s lyrics are country charm wrapped in black crepe.

Gary Calamar supervises the music of the series, and his goal for the show’s soundtrack was to create something “swampy, bluesy and spooky” while featuring local Louisiana musicians.

The True Blood soundtrack albums have twice earned Grammy Award nominations, and such recognition reveals their lasting value.

The original version of the song on the True Blood soundtrack is from Jace Everett’s 2005 self-titled debut album. Listen to whole song (True Blood plays a shortened version over the opening credits). Everett re-released Bad Things as a bonus track on his latest CD Red Revelations — a killer record that is at once twisted rock as it is country with our favorite being One of Them.

Bad Things won a 2009 Broadcast Music Incorporated award in the cable television category and was nominated for a 2009 Scream Award for “Best Scream Song of the Year.” Yeah, that’s downright cool. But landing the True Blood theme song broke open Jace Everett’s career.

In today’s music word, licensing and synch rights are the money and fame gigs. That’s why the Dance Hall Pimps signed with Lakeshore Records (Lakeshore Entertainment) — because, as the record label to a major film producer, it has the inside track on licensing and publishing opportunities. We’ve been described as New Orleans Vampire Rock and Haunted Swamp Garage Rock, so no way could we resist doing our version of Bad Things in our first public performance in January 2010.

And thanks to James Morel who suggested we blog about cool songs in response to our email contest. We hope he is enjoying his prize bag of swell swag!

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