True Blood: A Sam Merlotte Sad Bastard Mixtape

Alan Ball was known for his masterful use of music in Six Feet Under. He's lost none of his touch when it comes to his current HBO series, True Blood - which happens to be set in the Louisiana swamps, not terribly far from Houston.

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HBO likes to give us a little break the week before the final episode in order for you DVR people to catch up on what you missed. (Looking at you, Captain Mongo Nelson!) Gothtopia would like to take this week's column as an opportunity to talk about a plot line we've neglected over the course of the season, namely the evermore sinful tale of Sam Merlotte.

In the books, Sam's a pretty awesome kind, just a little hang-uppy on relationships. But increasingly in the TV universe, Sam's past has revealed abandonment, murder, robbery and just an all-around tale of woe. The thing about it is... it's really interesting, but the shape shifter's family history has absolutely nothing to do with the plot. It's just a diversion for those of us who think that the "Sookie is a fairy" storyline is a wee bit too RenFest.

Well, last week, Sam got raging drunk, kicked everyone out of his bar, and then sat down and had some more whiskey in the dark like a good 'Merican. We thought this would be a great time to cue up Merlotte's jukebox for the Sam Merlotte Sad Bastard Mixtape.

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1. Social Distortion, "Ball and Chain"

There cannot be a better non-blues sad bastard drinking song than "Ball and Chain." Mike Ness laments his life while sitting in a broken Chevy drinking gin. "Born to lose/ Destined to fail" sung with a kind of over-the-top false joy that speaks of being thoroughly damned, and even more thoroughly apathetic about said damnation.

2. X, "4th of July"

X is one of those bands who can sum up sadness while never letting the punk rock go for a second. "4th of July" is all about a man's life and marriage falling apart on the normally family-friendly and celebratory holiday. This is perfect for Sam, who always seems to be in the deepest shit when everyone else is having a ball.

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