Death, Family and Music
The Foot Of Canal Street was probably my favorite slice of Treme yet. There were so many satisfying moments and interesting character developments some of which I can give credit to my countryman, George Pelecanos.
Okay, here are a few scattershot comments and skewed observations:
I like where they took Antoine’s character. He was more than a court jester this time around: his interactions with his sons and their stepfather were a high point. Dr. Larry’s family may be snobby Creoles but he’s a good man. He not only fixed Antoine’s teeth gratis, he made sure that the prodigal father spent time with his sons. Of course, those kids seem to have fallen in love with chain restaurants, which may require an intervention. There are, actually, some pretty good local eateries in Red Stick. It is in Louisiana, after all.
Another family moment I enjoyed was Albert’s dinner with the kid and his mama. Albert seems ready to take the kid under his wing. As a Chief he’s a patriarch to his core so this makes sense. Besides, mama is not only attractive, she’s an excellent cook. There’s a whiff of romance in the air; walking hand in hand with Albert’s mentoring compulsion.
Death and family intersect with the story of the wild man’s funeral. Albert is informed that he’s not to speak, chant or otherwise remind anyone that he’s a MG Indian. Why? The wild man’s mama never liked her son being an Indian. This story rings true to me. One of Dr. A’s former co-workers had been Zulu Queen BUT she considered the Indians to be thugs and roughnecks. It’s a common belief among middle class black folks of a certain age. Albert gulped but agreed to comply with the family’s wishes thereby disproving the notion that there’s something disreputable about this particular chief.
I’ve always thought of the foot of Canal Street as being by the river downtown but they’ve flipped that on its head. But the more I pondered the idea, I decided why not? The other end of Canal is the cemetery zone and we were all a bit morbid in December, 2005. Beyond the people who perished during and right after the storm, many elderly people simply lost the will to live in those difficult days. Life was *that* hard even for people who didn’t lose everything.
We even got to see the kinder and gentler side of Creighton as he padded about the house in his bathrobe and waxed sentimental about an ornament made by his daughter when she was a wee lassie. Of course, Toni seems alarmed by her husband’s apparent depression and urges him to get out and about, which happens when he gives Davis a ride to his car, which was swallowed by a gynormous pothole. Talk about realistic.
Putting Creighton’s rants on YouTube was an inspired idea. It means that the cult of Creighton will spread hither and yon even faster than the posts of Ashley Morris from whence they largely come. I tend to agree with Hana that Ashley had an almost eerie ability to *look* deranged when spouting off as you can see from this picture taken by our mutual friend LisaPal at the 2007 Krewe du Vieux “ball.”
Finally, music. The weakest part of the episode was the African American Jazz glitterati party in Manhattan. It left me cold but the idea of a Delmond Lambreaux/Donald Harrison Jr. tour is inspired. It was also fun to see another member of the David Simon stock company. Welcome to Treme, Prezbo. I also love the actor’s real name, Jim True-Frost. It rolls off one’s tongue.
Who among us didn’t enjoy the look on Sonny’s face when he was bumped in favor of Joe Krown? Joe proceeded to show why he’s the best keyboard player in Debrisville. I know Joe and he’s a sweetheart so I’m glad he got a few lines this time around.
Annie seems to be blossoming as a fiddler who’s getting indoor gigs without her dour partner, Sonny. Lucia Micarelli is fast becoming one of my favorite players on Treme. She’s a helluva violinist in real life; way too good to play for tips at the Square or on Frenchmen Street.
Here’s Lucia playing Kashmir with Ian Anderson and an orchestra. This proves what a fine fiddler Lucia is: Ian is a notorious perfectionist and Lucia toured with Tull in 2006-7. Good stuff, y’all: