Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Treme 1.4: New Orleans, New York, and Nashville

Well, this time my favorite number in the music-rich Treme - episode 1.4 - was none other than Antoine (Wendell Pierce) singing his own lyrics to St. James Infirmary as he waited to see a doctor after the beating he received by New Orleans' worst (i.e., out of control police) last week.   It was a great example, in one fine scene, of the role music plays in all of New Orleans:  always in the air, ever ready to break through, providing an invitation to zest that can buck and surmount the dreary conditions,

Prof. Creighton displays another way - putting up a YouTube video that tells the world exactly what he thinks of the way New Orleans is being mistreated, in appropriate salty language.  The YouTube interface looked a little newer than what they had in December 2006, but the impact the video had - making Creighton a minor celebrity in town, as people on the street recognize him from the video - was right on.

Lots of true love percolating in this episode of Treme - some of it running less smooth than others.  Sonny is tempted and talked in going to Houston for a gig that proves far less than he'd expected.   And this pulls him away from Annie, who's superbly playing her fiddle (so far, that's all) with another group that happens to include Steve Earle and his son Townes.   But Albert is invited to Lulu's for dinner, and it's clear that those two are headed for the right place and the right time.

Back in New York City - which plays the role of the alter-city to New Orleans in Treme - Delmond attends a fancy party famously peopled by Stanley Crouch and others.   It occurred to me, as I was watching this scene, that Treme has a Robert Altman-esque quality, certainly as seen in Altman's 1975 movie, Nashville, which also had a mix of music and celebrity stirred through the story.

Note added 7 May 2010: And some tragic parallels to the devastation brought by flooding in Nashville right now.

6-min podcast review of Treme

See also Treme! ... Treme 1.2: "If you ain't been to heaven" ... Treme 1.3: Fine Sweet and Sour

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