One of the many bizarre things I got sucked into while through the respiratory illness looking glass was bad T.V. I’ll spare you the gory details as a lot of it is super-embarrassing, but one show I became particularly obsessed with is called “The Vampire Diaries”
Yeah, it is as bad as it sounds.
It basically takes all of the crappiest and soppiest elements of True Blood and Twilight and assembles them into this vapid, pulpy, bloody mess. It’s written badly, the actors aren’t great (EXCEPT for Ian Somerhalder… Oh God, Ian Somerhalder) and generally you just feel like you don’t deserve to procreate while watching it. However, most alarmingly perhaps, it’s got this crazy obscure soundtrack.
Allow me to illustrate: So I’m watching the show. It’s come to one of those typical cliché moments when the vampire sexyman love-interest is conflicted in whether he should tell the beautiful brunette protagonist about his “true nature”. He’s being brooding and mysterious (no, not like the normal brooding and mysterious, like, intensely brooding… like, Tolstoy and opium man) and she’s standing there looking pretty and confused and they’re standing on some bridge which, for no apparent reason, has twinkly white Christmas lights all over it. They go through the pedestrian dialogue, the sighing and the “discrete” glances, and then, all of a sudden WA-BAM, Glass by Bats for Lashes starts playing.
At this point I’m totally confused. It would be one thing if this was some quirky indie vampire show (that’s fun to imagine), but this show airs on a sister channel of Fox… IN AMERICA.
At first I thought it was a fluke, some show intern’s little victory. I could just imagine her, the little waif from NYU with her horn-rimmed glasses, inwardly beaming at having incorporated an obscure British dream-pop ballad into a cookie-cutter teen drama. But then the frequency of these songs abolished all pretence of coincidence from my mind. For example, at one point in the show the mayor’s unsatisfied and lovably cougar-ish wife is slumming it at the local bar. I’m not really sure why because trying to figure out why things happen in this show is kind of like trying to defeat a ninja, it’s pointless and ultimately painful. ANYway she’s sitting there, and then the “bad” vampire (because now all of a sudden predatory beings that drain you of blood and are meant to be hella scary can be something other than bad) comes in and seduces her. As the director of this show, I would want the music to reflect the sense of dark foreboding to foreshadow the violence of the impending scenes. Although derivative, I’d probably opt for some creepy classical music or just some dissonant strings. But that’s not Vampire Diaries’ style. No way man, that’s too obvious. They’re the hip cool vampire show. So in a scene that basically sets up for the murder and brutal exsanguination of a well-meaning middle-aged woman, the backing track is MGMT’s Kids.
Suffice it to say I was shocked.
I could go on about other instances in the show where the obscure music selection was inappropriate and downright weird, but unfortunately these few instances I’ve mentioned in relation to the Vampire Diaries are just small satellites orbiting a bigger problem. Vampires are infiltrating music. That’s right, you read it, they’re infiltrating it and it’s flipping sick. Just take a look at the track list for the recent Twilight: New Moon movie soundtrack:
1. Meet Me On The Equinox – Death Cab For Cutie
2. Friends – Band Of Skulls
3. Hearing Damage – Thom Yorke
4. Possibility – Lykke Li
5. A White Demon Love Song – The Killers
6. Satellite Heart – Anya Marina
7. I Belong To You [New Moon Remix] – Muse
8. Rosyln – Bon Iver & St. Vincent
9. Done All Wrong – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
10. Monsters – Hurricane Bells
11. The Violet Hour – Sea Wolf
12. Shooting The Moon – Ok Go
13. Slow Life [with Victoria Legrand]- Grizzly Bear
14. No Sound But The Wind – Editors
15. New Moon [The Meadow] – Alexandre Desplat
And the great thing is, these are all original songs. That’s right, if you want to get these songs you have to buy the New Moon soundtrack. This means that Thom Yorke sat in his sound proof biosphere (for some reason that’s where I imagine him working), put on his smoking jacket and thought to himself, “What kind of song should I, a literal rock LEGEND write for this silly teenage vampire drama? I who wrote the album that single handedly changed the face of alternative rock… Hmmmm…”
It’s hard to imagine that the same person I loved for coldly refusing to meet Miley Cyrus at the Grammies could pull something like this. I mean it’s not like he needs the money, or cares for that matter. This is the man from the band who allowed their fans to choose their own price for his record.
So what do you do when you feel like one of your favorite musical heroes has seriously challenged his own credibility? You go into denial. I don’t choose to believe that Thom Yorke did this of his own volition, I believe that the vampire overlords have impressed him into their infernal service to help them in their quest for world domination. You may think it extreme, but with this kind of stuff being sold to children, I think there’ve been crazier beliefs.
P.S. Thom, I will save you… on the condition that you let me hang out at your biosphere sometimes.
Vampire Hands – Paradise Knife Fights