The Pedantry of a True Fan

Last night I was watching an episode of “True Blood” on my laptop. In one scene, a character puts a CD on, and we hear the familiar strains of the Cowboy Junkies’ moody cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane”. Directors seem to love this song–I’ve heard it in movies and on TV almost as often as that darn cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

Being a big geek, I wanted a closer look at the CD cover the character was holding. I took a screenshot–click for the large size:

She Plays "Sweet Jane"

It doesn’t look like any Junkies cover that I’ve ever seen. Of course, the CD’s owner is the kind of guy who would put the CD back in the wrong case. However, he’s also not the kind of guy who would own “The Trinity Sessions”, where this song originally appears. As you can see, I was troubled. Maybe the director wasn’t sure what song they’d use when they shot the scene?

As for “True Blood”, I’d give it a cautious thumbs up. It’s not brilliant television, but it’s got an offbeat, amusing story set against the creepy backdrop of rural Louisiana, a part of the world we rarely see on television.


  1. This is just a legal matter of clearance.
    For the art of the moment they wanted and were willing to pay for sync & mechanicals for the song. But they could have cared less about paying for the original artwork of the cover – extra expense for little to no practical gain.
    Cheaper – by two to even three magnitudes to get the salaried art-dept hack to spend an afternoon on photoshop. Hell… it was probably even less work than that. It was probably one of a hundred pre-made and pre-cleared non-descript disc covers in the props house.

  2. I echo Kennedy’s assessment of the CD cover likely being created by the art dept, and it’s also likely as you say Darren that the song was chosen after the fact.

    But really, I just wanted to also pledge my “like” for the show. I like vampire stories, most of them, anyhow, and this series had a lot of fun playing with vampire myths and inventing their own.

    On the subject of oft-used songs in movies and TV, there’s a Massive Attack tune called Angel that kind of comes on like a train from the distance…with a female voice repeating “Love me love me love me love me…” and I feel like I’ve heard that one countless times.

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