Archive for the ‘Gary Calamar’ Category

The Vault Wishes Gary Calamar a Happy Birthday!

Posted by Lynnpd On October - 12 - 2012

The Vault wishes Gary Calamar, True Blood’s Music Supervisor, a Happy Birthday – October 13!

Gary Calamar Talks the Music Process on True Blood

Posted by Lynnpd On September - 2 - 2012

This season of True Blood has given us some great music, and most of it has been chosen by it’s Music Supervisor, Gary Calamar.  In the two audio interviews with the Latest From The Greatest we can hear how Gary choses the songss and how there are times when he doesn’t.  The interviewers also play two of the songs featured on the show, so it’s worth a listen.




source: The Latest From The Greatest on YouTube


I just finished posting the song choices for this week’s episode of True Blood and just then, an email arrived in my inbox with a link to an article about the songs  discussing them in detail.  Byron Ward of CBS Local Digital Media talked to our good friend Gary Calamar about the choices for this episode titled “Gone, Gone, Gone.”  See below:


The episode, titled “Gone, Gone, Gone,” led fans to expect to hear some variation on the Everly Brothers song of the same name (which was recently covered by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss on their Grammy-winning Raising Sand album). Instead, True Blood used the Carl Perkins song “Gone, Gone, Gone” beneath an emotional scene where Hoyt Fortenberry (Jim Parrack) asks his ex-girlfriend, vampire Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Woll) to wipe his memory of her (she cheated on him with his best friend, in a twist fit for a blues or country music classic). In the background, “Gone, Gone, Gone” played, with its lyrics, “Well that must be my girl, yours don’t look like that.”

True Blood’s episode titles are generally inspired by songs that play during the end credits. However, instead of “Gone, Gone, Gone” the episode closed with John Lee Hooker’s “You Know, I Know.” The lyrics: “You know, I know, we’re gonna get together one day,” leading fans to wonder which characters inspired the song choice.

CBS Local spoke with True Blood Music Supervisor Gary Calamar, who noted that both song choices came from the episode’s writer, Alex Woo.I had suggested that we do a new cover on ‘Gone, Gone, Gone’ but Alex loves the Carl Perkins version on Sun Records, so we went with that.”

True Blood showed their sense of humor in another scene where vampires Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare) and Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) went to a fraternity party where they “drained” the attendees. As the two slow danced together while surrounded by bloody bodies, Katy Perry’s upbeat “Teenage Dream” was playing. The lyrics “We can dance until we die, you and I, we’ll be young together,” are accurate, provided that neither character meets the “true death.”

Calamar says that the True Blood team had a good time debating what song would work best: “We wanted a big, recognizable pop song that would show the twisted romance of Russell and Newlin… and would also work ironically against the drained college students. We tried Rihanna, Far East Movement, Maroon 5… but ‘Teenage Dream’ worked the best on all levels.”

“Plus,” he confesses, “Katy Perry is one of my guilty pleasures.” And echoing what is on the minds of many fans of the pop singer, or those who frequent gossip websites, ”[I'm] hoping she moves past the John Mayer fling quickly.”

Next week’s episode (the second to last of the season) is titled “Sunset.” The Moody Blues, Roy Orbison and Stevie Wonder have all recorded songs with that title, so it’s anyone’s guess what song will actually be used.


– Brian Ives, CBS Local


As all True Blood fans know, each episode is always titled after a song chosen by it’s music supervisor Gary Calamar in consultation with the writers.  We enjoy trying to guess which song it will be when the title for each episode is revealed during the filming of each season.

For episode 8, Somebody That I Used To Know”, Shadaliza was very sure that it would the song by Gotye. She was so sure, in fact, that she put it in print prior to the episode airing. I told her that although that could be it, I knew that Gary Calamar wouldn’t pick such a popular tune for True Blood. And, in our music speculation for this episode, we posted the Goyte song, but we also posted the one that was used by Elliott Smith, thanks for our friend from our affiliated site Skarsgå

However now, Shadaliza is somewhat vindicated because we learn below that the version she chose, was the original song that was intended for the episode. Read about it below:

So, we agree that the latest episode’s title — “Somebody That I Used To Know” — led fans to expect that the song of the same name, by breakout artist Gotye, would be used over the end credits. That song, which sounds more like Peter Gabriel’s ’80s material than anything in the pop music today, topped the U.S. singles charts earlier this year, has been covered on American Idol and The Voice, and was used on an episode of Glee. It turns out that sometimes a song can get too big for its own good.

True Blood Music Supervisor Gary Calamar told CBS Local, “Actually, when Mark Hudis first wrote the episode, he had the Gotye song in mind. At that point the song was new and just starting to become popular. By the time we got to post production on the episode the song was hugely huge. I think it’s great, but once a song has been featured on Glee it’s no longer right for True Blood end credits.” Luckily, there was an easy “plan B”: “I knew this great song by Elliott Smith with the same title. We gave it a try and it worked beautifully.” The late singer/songwriter Elliott Smith released the song on his 2000 album, Figure 8.

Here’s the chosen song by Elliott Smith:

A more familiar artist whose music was used on this week’s episode was blues legend Howlin’ Wolf. For a steamy scene that featured (female) fan favorite Alcide (Joe Manganiello) shirtless and “getting it on” with fellow werewolf Rikki (Kelly Overton), Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightnin’” played in the background. Right after the scene, “Alcide” began trending on Twitter (it was a good week, social media-wise, for the show: “Hoyt” and “Godric,” also characters on the show, were trending during and after the episode as well).

Calamar tells CBS Local, “We tried a few things over the love scene, but when we cut in Howlin Wolf’s blues classic ‘Smokestack Lightning’ we all knew this was the one to capture the wild sexuality of Alcide and Rikki.” True Blood has previously used covers of Wolf’s “Howlin’ For My Baby” and “Evil” on the show. “Smokestack Lightnin’” is one of his most well known songs, and has been covered by The Yardbirds, The Animals and The Grateful Dead, among others.



Be sure to check out the section in our Episode Guide devoted to the music for each episode of Season 5. To see it, go to the Season 5 Episode Guide: Music. This guide is updated weekly with the songs featured in each episode after it airs.

Below are the songs from the fourth episode, “Let’s Boot ‘n Rally,” which aired last Sunday, July 8, 2012.We missed on the music speculation for this episode since the song is brand new and was written by Gary Calamar himself and just recorded by Iggy Pop and Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino.

Great song Gary!

The songs featured in this episode were:


Episode 5.05– Let’s Boot and Rally
Let’s Make Santa
Clause Happy

Echo and the Bunnyman
“Undertow (NIC) Remix”
Let’s Boot And Rally
Iggy Pop with Bethany Cosentino
Amazon itunes



Sookie Sings “The Pina Colada Song”

Posted by Lynnpd On July - 7 - 2012

Last weeks’s True Blood episode 4, “We’ll Meet Again” had a scene of Sookie being pretty drunk because she is sure she is going to jail for having killed Debbie Pelt. She was drinking on her couch, singing along with Rupert Holmes’ ’70s hit “Escape,” better known as “The Pina Colada Song.”

True Blood Music Supervisor Gary Calamar, said that writer Alex Woo had suggested both “Escape” and Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” for the scene.

At the end of the day, we chose ‘Escape.’ The songs were picked because of the humor, but we also had to find something that might conceivably be in Sookie’s grandmother’s record collection.” (Sookie lives in her late grandmother’s house).

Another great music moment came during the end credits, as “We’ll Meet Again” played. A hit during World War II, the version heard last night was a brand-new recording by Los Lobos, who cut the track specifically for the episode (which was also titled “We’ll Meet Again”).

A somewhat lesser known band, Abney Park, was featured in the episode as well: their song “Sleep Isabella” was used in the scene at the Fairie Club (for you obsessives, the club is called “Hot Wings”).

Next week’s episode, “Let’s Boot And Rally,” will feature a new, original song “Let’s Boot And Rally,” written by Calamar and recorded by Iggy Pop and Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino.


From KCRW DJ Gary Calamar who also happens to be the Music Supervisor on True Blood we learn below how he got Iggy Pop and Bethany Cosentino to collaborate on the song he co-wrote for True Blood’s episode 5, titled “Let’s boot and Rally Ally.”

Bethany and Gary

How did Iggy Pop and Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino come to collaborate on a track for HBO’s True Blood?

Well, it’s a bit of a long story so read it below and check out the track “Let’s Boot and Rally“, written by me (!) and James Combs. It will air on the episode of True Blood airing this Sunday, July 8. (available on iTunes now)

I am the luckiest guy in the world to work as music supervisor on HBO’s True Blood.

Alan Ball has created this creepy sexy, fun world and I get to add songs to it. For the most part I am picking existing songs, and sometimes I commission a new song from an artist…but in this case I co-wrote the song….and Iggy Pop and Bethany Cosentino are singing it. CRAZY !

Each episode is named after a song that is used in that show. We had a situation where we had an episode called “Boot and Rally” but we really didn’t have a song that was True Bloody enough to use. What to do. Should we change the title of the episode ?

I suggested that maybe we can have someone write a new song called “Boot and Rally“…..Everyone agreed to give it a try and I started brainstorming.

Now, I have always been a weekend songwriter. I can bang out a handful of chords and I must say I’ve written a few stone classics over the years….in my mind anyway. Back at my office I break out my trusty rhyming dictionary and I start thumbing through it….mmm, one thing leads to another and I started getting, how you say, inspired. At this point I called my very talented friend and brilliant songwriter, James Combs and asked him to collaborate. We got down to business and came up with a song “Let’s Boot and Rally“. As many songwriters say, “the song just wrote itself”, “I was just a vessel”. That’s what happened, kinda.

Meanwhile, to backtrack a little….Iggy Pop, or should I say Iggy’s people, had reached out to me saying he was a True Blood fan and if any opportunities come up, to please keep Iggy in mind. What ? Music to my ears. We sent Iggy the demo of “LB&R”. He loved it and said sign me up.

So, as I was listening to my favorite song this summer, “The Only Place” by Best Coast, and I thought maybe Bethany might like to join in the fun of “Let’s Boot and Rally”. Nah, she’s too busy with her fabulous new album her great fashion line and being the cover girl for all the hip mags. What the heck (I don’t talk dirty) I said. Why not give her a call. “Hullo Bethany” ….She dug the song the most and jumped at the chance to sing with Mr. Pop.

The rest, as they say, might be history….

Gary Calamar


Just launched is the section in our Episode Guide devoted to the music for each episode of Season 5. To see it, go to the Season 5 Episode Guide: Music. This guide will be updated weekly with the songs featured in each episode after it airs. Below are the songs from the third episode, “Whatever I Am You Made Me,” which aired last Sunday, June 24, 2012.

Again this week, our music speculation about the title song for Episode 5.03 was correct  as we had speculated and it was from 1969  “Whatever I Am, You Made Me” written and performed by Koko Taylor:

The songs featured in this episode were:


“Blood for Poppies””
by Garbage
Amazon itunes
Run Like Hell”
by Cydney Robinson
Piece of Heaven
by Susie Boehrn
Amazon itunes
“Mopus Dopus”by Chili Karonkas & The Infidels
“I’m With You”by We are Leo Amazon itunes
Transister Man“by Mark Slace
Get Lucky“by Troubadour Kings Amazon
Lonely“by Sheala Miller Amazon itunes
Whatever I am, You Made Me“by Koko Taylor Amazon itunes

The title for True Blood Season 5 episode 12 is “Save Yourself” and our best guess as to which songs might be chosen by True Blood’s creator and Executive Producer, Allan Ball and his Music Supervisor, Gary Calamar.


There are lots of possibilities, so get prepared to watch all of these videos.

Personally, my guess for each episode is for episode 12 – is Stabbing Westward.

What is your choice? Let us know by leaving a comment below.


Stabbing Westward-”Save Yourself” (Album Cover)

Sense Field - Save Yourself

My Chemical Romance - Save yourself, I’ll hold them back

James Morrison – Save yourself

Civil Twilight - Save Yourself

McAuley Schenker Group - Save Yourself [Exclusive Version] -


source: YouTube

The titles for True Blood Season 5 episodes 6 and 7 are finally out.  They are:

* Episode 5.06 = “Hopeless”

* Episode 5.07 = “In The Beginning.”

Since we now know the titles for these two episodes, below is our best guess as to which songs might be chosen by True Blood’s creator and Executive Producer, Allan Ball and his Music Supervisor, Gary Calamar.


There are lots of possibilities, so get prepared to watch all of these videos. Because there are so many potential songs for episode 6, we didn’t include any lyrics this time.

Personally, my guess for each episode is for episode 6 – Breaking Benjamin (although I’d love it to be Train) and for Episode 7, I’d choose K’naan.

What is your choice? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Episode 6 – “Hopeless”

The Wrens – Hopeless from album The Meadowlands (2003) Absolutely Kosher Records

Dionne Farris – Hopeless

Hopeless – The Trews


Hopeless – Train Drops of Jupiter (C) 2001 Columbia Records

Hopeless – Even Death Rejects Me from the “Elements (Knife,Poision,Rope,Gun)” album.


Hopeless - Breaking Benjamin, , off their new album Dear Agony.


Episode 7 – “In The Beginning”


In The Beginning - K’naan


“In The Beginning”/”Lovely To See You” – The Moody Blues


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