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The fix is no big thing

May 29, 2011

Use your words.

  1. brueso permalink
    May 29, 2011 10:14 pm

    One of the things I’ve been chuckling about lately in thinking about the Seda character. We haven’t seen any particularly redeeming qualities in him- he seems to be basically an opportunist/vulture, seeing what he can take for himself from the swamp. But he seems to genuinely like the music he’s hearing and it reminded me how at one time in my life, I would sometimes make assumptions about people on the basis of them liking certain music/books/art. And how those things don’t actually always match up- people can be shits no matter what kind of music they like.

  2. dexterjohnson permalink
    May 30, 2011 12:58 am

    Davis, you think Joe Strummer was what, an empty vessel? C’mon, man! I can’t possibly know as much as you do about all the artists you name-drop (keep doing that, by the way) , but that one conked me over the head.
    Like brueso, I felt myself thinking…hey maybe this opportunist, this guy most of us pegged as a creep, is somehow changing, but we need to see a lot more to believe it.
    Tonight’s episode was fantastic…wow, the music was just great. I am a huge Hiatt fan anyway, and Antoine’s band was smokin’.
    Steve Earle’s walk with Annie was great, as Annie was reading so much “Storm” and Love” into the one song that Hiatt sang, when Earle had written it 20 year ago.
    I always get a big kick out of the Second Lines, and tonight’s show-closer was again fun, with the Strippers and all.

  3. brueso permalink
    May 30, 2011 1:05 am

    One of the things I always admired about Seinfeld was it was the stated opinion of Seinfeld and Larry David that none of the characters was going to get wiser or improve over the life of the show, cause in their opinions, people rarely do in real life. So if Seda is basically the same guy at the end of the season, no matter if he’s playing WWOZ 24/7 and going to every Sunday parade he hears about, it does seem like it would be more realistic. Not everyone gets an ephiphany about how to live a better co-exist with their fellow man just because they jumped in a second line or two.

  4. brueso permalink
    May 30, 2011 1:11 am

    I’ve got to replay the episode to hear exactly what the line about Joe Strummer was. Tom Piazza wrote the episode, don’t know whose idea it was to put The Clash into the mix- I think Tom has professed to not being much of a rock’n roll fan. Thought the Davis Band (whatever they end up calling themselves) sounded great (playing a song by the real Davis). That was a nice moment between the Chief and his son.

  5. May 30, 2011 1:12 am

    Seda gets it, but in the wrong way. That speech on the balcony was perfect but in reality people who live here don’t know how it all fits together, only that at some level it does. He does seem genuinely taken in by it all. He wants to be himself, but I think he wants to be himself in New Orleans . The person he most puts me in mind of is Sidney Torres.

    Tonight seemed to be about people settling into their new grooves, finding their place in a displaced world. Toni with Colson, Annie going over to the neighbors, Antoine comfortable in front of the class, Delmond sewing a patch for his father (who will parade; it was in the next week previews), even Nelson’s wistful speech on the balcony (the boy has the New Orleans bug bad). Again, maybe we know too much of the back story but its an apt portrayal of people finding their new niche. Yes there is conflict ahead: LaDonna, Toni and Sofia, Antoine torn between the band and touring with Henry Butler, but my sense is of most of the characters finding their place in topsy-turvy land.

    One last thought: the marching band at what I take to be Lusher. Lusher had instruments galore but no band. Lusher had two books for every child while I’m sure the KIPP kids (is it a KIPP school0 were still wanting. Lusher had the Marshall Foundation in Europe (founded to repay the U.S. for rebuilding Europe) building them a gymnasium. I am waiting to see that story unfold in detail, but perhaps that’s a third season thing. Maybe it’s just Wire-based expectations, but its one of the critical stories of the city. I am thinking this season crime, next season schools.

  6. May 30, 2011 1:36 am

    Davis is gonna introduce that poor kid to the Clash by making him listen to Sandinista? That’s just cruel.

  7. rickngentily permalink
    May 30, 2011 2:36 am

    haven’t seen this episode yet, but sandinista had three versions of junko partner on it.

    i can see the torres thing but i still think he has some cesar burgos in him.

  8. brueso permalink
    May 30, 2011 3:50 am

    But such a wonderful mix of styles on Sandinista!

    “After all this time (Judgment Day!) to believe in Jesus! (Judgment Day!)
    After all these drugs (Judgment Day!) I thought I was Him! (Judgment Day!)”

  9. May 30, 2011 8:13 am

    I’ve been thinking Torres too, and that they’re finding their voices. For the last couple of episodes everyone is singing.

  10. May 30, 2011 8:18 am

    I loved that Ladonna appeared to tap into the anger when she saw the picture of her attacker. Toni’s dream made me cry.

    It was odd. I re-watched last week right before the new ep and read Sam’s post in between, so I’m not completely sure why, but, even though there was a lot to be happy about, I watched this entire episode with a lump in my throat and on the verge of tears. There was something about it that was rollicking close to the edge, even the music.

  11. tompiazza permalink
    May 30, 2011 8:56 am

    @brueso — don’t forget that the lines a character is speaking come (you hope) from the character — not the writer! Please don’t mistake Davis’s view on J.Strummer for those of the episode’s writer…. Thanks everybody for the good ongoing conversation about the show.

  12. Davis Rogan permalink
    May 30, 2011 9:26 am

    The song is ‘Road Home” The name of the Davis band is ‘DJ Davis and the Brassy Knoll” Blake Leyh came up with the band name. The hook:
    Funny how you callin it the road home
    You left my people in the streets now they all alone
    you wrap them up in red tape and fuck with they head
    You might as well use duct tape and shoot em dead.

    Big props to Dave Walker at the Times Pic

  13. adrastosno permalink
    May 30, 2011 9:47 am

    I’ve decided to try and swear off comparing characters in the show to real people since it leads us astray. BUT as much as I dislike the Seda character, the Trashanova is a home grown douchebag, not a Dallas douchebag.

    I’ve also never met an older Momus/Comus/Rex type who would have gone with Hidalgo to a club at Frenchmen Street; doesn’t ring true. Can anyone imagine Joe Canizzaro at the Spotted Cat?

    Okay, back to swearing off comparing characters to real people. I fell off the wagon immediately. At least we have Oliver the actor to compare to his real self:

  14. dexterjohnson permalink
    May 30, 2011 10:01 am

    Mark Folse: Good post…and I suppose even Madoff loved a great New York vista, and he was as rotten and crooked as it gets.

  15. Bill from Pgh permalink
    May 30, 2011 10:26 am

    Glad to learn that was Wilbert Rawlins Jr. of Nine Lives fame playing himself as a band director:

    Wondering just how everybody but Sophia knows about her father’s suicide – didn’t Terry let Toni hide the note found in his car before anyone else saw it? Who else would know? Toni has only told a couple close friends – did they blab?

    Antoine’s got a hell of a band if he’s using George Porter Jr. as his fill-in bassist and has Henry Butler sit in for a tune! So glad to see those guys getting national airtime.

  16. Virgotex permalink
    May 30, 2011 10:37 am

    THIS. x 1,000.

    If you look at these characters as real people themselves in their own real story — rather than stand-ins for writers or producers, rather than mules for stories that are already dead and over in our world–the story we are watching is so much bigger!

    I don’t understand the urge to reduce Treme to something smaller, I really don’t.

  17. brueso permalink
    May 30, 2011 10:51 am

    Oh, Tom, it’s well understood! When I said you’ve said (in some interview or another) that you didn’t particularly listen to alot of rock in your past, I wasn’t trying to imply that meant you were dismissing Strummer yourself. ( I know enough about the process to know writers own opinions don’t necessarily echo their characters or vice versa.) I was more curious about how he and The Clash might’ve ended up being included in that scene if that style of music isn’t something you’re into. The Clash certainly weren’t an obscure band, but as years go by, it’s sometimes hard to know how widespread their music- particularly the more political stuff that wasn’t played on the radio much- was heard.

  18. brueso permalink
    May 30, 2011 10:57 am

    I read Dave Walker’s article and you mentioned that David S. said he wanted DJ Davis and the Brassy Knoll to be sorta like All That with a bounce feel. I definitely got that watching the episode. When I lived in N.O. in the mid 90s, I got to every All That gig I could get to and was in fact listening to Eponymous Debut just yesterday.

  19. May 30, 2011 11:01 am

    And I gotta say, look, I’m as huge a Clash fan as the next guy, they were one of my first club shows when I turned 18 (saw them at The Warehouse on Tchoupitoulas in 1982) but their version of Junco Partner is really really awful.

    Not sure where I read that Annie not knowing “Feels Like Rain” paints her as horribly naive music-wise, but until I read the reviews this morning I thought it was a Dead song because that’s the only version I’ve ever heard.

  20. May 30, 2011 11:08 am

    It’s really weird seeing somebody you know in crowd scenes and trying to place them. During the second line, there was a woman in the crowd who it turns out is a regular at Handa Wanda on Sunday night; when I used to take the kids there, she found out Liam was a drummer and practically dragged him up and got him a spot on the drums. We started going every week. This is her from behind:

    Liam drumming with the Wild Magnolias

    Also, when Delmond gets his sewing project out I said “Aw, that’s Albert!” and Cas finished my sentence, “That’s just like Darryl Montana!” Nice that my kids still remember their Indian history while they’re living in exile over here.

  21. brueso permalink
    May 30, 2011 11:25 am

    The Dead song is “Looks Like Rain”, and that’s written by Weir/Barlow.

  22. May 30, 2011 11:28 am

    Ah, see, this is what happens when I don’t fact-check my comments first.

    Anybody else read Dave Walker’s explainer post every Sunday before commenting anywhere just to avoid saying something stupid in public?

  23. May 30, 2011 11:38 am

    Thinking about it, The Clash are a brilliant choice here. White guys of some privilege trying to express righteous working-class anger through the music of another culture. Joe Strummer was the son of a diplomat and a boarding school kid who love reggae, tried to sing reggae, and wrote songs about Socialist revolutionaries. It would figure that Davis would see himself in Strummer’s music (and still call him a “flawed vehicle”…pot, kettle, black?) I need to go back and watch this episode again, but this scene gets funnier after you let it set a while.

  24. May 30, 2011 11:53 am

    What,Ray, and miss my chance to make a public fool of myself? Where’s the fountain in this joint?

  25. brueso permalink
    May 30, 2011 11:56 am

    Ray- Great insight into the scene! You’re always adept at peeling back the layers. Strummer did have that background, but I think he too (like DJ Davis) was earnest in wanting to write and perform music that was about important things. (Mick Jones was the one writing “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?”)

  26. May 30, 2011 12:04 pm

    A quick addendum to Dave Walker’s essential Treme explained:

    The owner of Betsy’s Pancake House, where Toni and Colson meet, was murdered in 2008.

  27. May 30, 2011 12:10 pm

    One last addendum: I remember vividly when my mother-in-law confronted me with a clipping of Time’s Gangs of New Orleans just days before we left for New Orleans, demanding to know if I knew what I was taking my children into. I think this is an essential read for people watching Season Two from the outside.,9171,1194016,00.html

  28. DJPOPTART permalink
    May 30, 2011 12:16 pm

    Re “Sandinista” — My thought exactly!

  29. May 30, 2011 1:02 pm

    Re: Joe Strummer – I’d forgotten until I read the Strummer/Clash conversation here that before adopting the name Joe Strummer, John Mellor gave himself the nickname Woody for Woody Guthrie and was a political folkie who came from privilege.

    … and one correction: The Hidalgo/Liguori scene was at Chickie Wah Wah on Canal Street, not Frenchmen.

  30. Dexter St. Jacques permalink
    May 30, 2011 4:05 pm

    Thanks for this link. I remembered reading this article at some point but forgot where I saw it.

  31. Dexter St. Jacques permalink
    May 30, 2011 4:26 pm

    I thought the scenes between Delmond and Albert were especially touching. Their relationship makes me wonder how me and my daddy would relate to each other if he were still alive. Also, I’m glad to see Delmond refer to him as his “daddy” and not his “father”. The only people I ever referred to as “father” were priests at school.

    I also liked Toni’s use of the phrase “twisted civic pride” when Colson told her how the local boys chased the Bloods and Crips out of town. Whenever people here in North Texas ask me about crime in New Orleans, I always make a point to mention that piece of information. I wouldn’t say I’m proud to share this with people but I never hesitate to do it and I’m not sure why. Leftover “knucklehead” residue in the brain, I guess.

  32. May 30, 2011 5:23 pm

    I love Sandinista!, but if you hand it to a Clash-neophyte, you better give them a list of tracks to skip. Lest the point you are trying to make get drowned out by “Mensforth Hill” or “Lose This Skin.”

  33. rickngentily permalink
    May 30, 2011 5:36 pm

    this was the lyric that hooked me back in the day on old algiers point.

    the booker covers really sold me on that album.

    “Career opportunities are the ones that never knock
    Every job they offer you is to keep you out the dock
    Career opportunity, the ones that never knock”

  34. rickngentily permalink
    May 30, 2011 5:43 pm

    i was thinking the same thing during the scene at betsy’s.

    is that the n.o. character actor named jack at the next table?

    i dont know his last name but he used to hang out at the napoleon house when i worked there in the 80’s

    the one commercial i allways remember him doing was him walking a beagle and every body turning up their nose like the dog had took a dump.

    at the end of the commercial it was revealed that it was an entergy commercial and asking people to call them if they smelled a gas leak.

  35. rickngentily permalink
    May 30, 2011 5:45 pm

    p.s. sorry you dont like the clash’s junco pardner.

    i love it.

    music is so subjective.

    at 50 i’ve finally learned not to force it on my friends.

  36. doctorj2u permalink
    May 30, 2011 5:48 pm

    I loved the NYC scenes between father and son. It was so touching to see the walls break down between them, even a little bit. And my laugh out loud moment of the show was when the New York store that had “everything” could not fill the order. Albert’s reaction was priceless! I guess I am a provencial also because I was like “Hell, yes!”.

  37. May 30, 2011 6:10 pm

    You said exactly what I was thinking about Trashanova and the Momus/Comus/Rex type.
    Man, that’s scary. *wink*

  38. doctorj2u permalink
    May 30, 2011 6:25 pm

    I sincerely doubt Joe Canizaro is a member of Comus or Momus. Rex is a possibility.

  39. May 30, 2011 6:47 pm

    Yeah, I don’t evangelize any more either. It’s not worth the trouble. Unless somebody makes the mistake of asking.

    My favorite Junco Partner is James Booker’s version. I used to try to sing it to my kids at bedtime. (When my daughter leaves for college, she’s getting a mix CD of bedtime songs and that’ll be on it, along with Willie and Hank and the Dead and the Meat Puppets and Giant Sand and Iko Iko).

    The thing about the Clash is, even when I don’t like a particular cover, they always had hugely excellent taste in American music, more so than most Americans. That show at The Warehouse, their opening act was Lee Dorsey. This was when Devo’s version of “Working in a Coal Mine” was all over the radio, and it was local roots R&B and I guess the Clash misjudged where their audience’s head was at, but Dorsey wasn’t exactly well-received by all the punks and skinheads. And then we got majorly chewed out by Strummer later for being ignorant.

    The thing is, though, if you were a white teenager into punk rock in 1982, it didn’t matter that you were from New Orleans, because all that local music is what you were either ignoring or taking for granted or rebelling against. New Orleans music is a lot bigger at home now than it was in the 70’s and 80’s; before the great renaissance in the musical culture, if you weren’t from a musical family or a musical neighborhood, you probably didn’t hear nearly as much of this music as people do now. You know, Rick, right? When we were kids, there was no WWOZ, Tipitina’s was brand new, Jazz Fest was relatively new. All these cultural icons haven’t been around forever. It was all different then.

    But then you get a little older and you move away and you find out that in other cities they don’t play “Big Chief” or “Iko Iko” or “They All Axe for You” on the radio all the time, and you realize what it is you were missing out on, how important all that music you took for granted was. And you start seeking it out.

    That and trying lo leave a bar with your drink are the two biggest culture-shockers.

  40. brueso permalink
    May 30, 2011 7:02 pm

    ‘the message on the tablets was Val-i-um!’ hah hah still makes me laugh 30+ years later.

    (Also always loved the version of “Guns of Brixton” sung by a 5 or 6 year old girl, esp. at the end when she says “That’s enough now. I’m tired of singing!”)

    I saw Strummer play a tiny club in San Francisco a few years before he started his last band. He was completely ready to launch into any Clash song at a moment’s notice, which was refreshing cause it was uncertain before if he’d stay away from them. Someone yelled out “Charlie Don’t Surf!” and bang, he started doing an acapella version.

  41. rickngentily permalink
    May 30, 2011 8:16 pm

    “But then you get a little older and you move away and you find out that in other cities they don’t play “Big Chief” or “Iko Iko” or “They All Axe for You” on the radio all the time, and you realize what it is you were missing out on, how important all that music you took for granted was. And you start seeking it out.
    That and trying lo leave a bar with your drink are the two biggest culture-shockers.”

    for me it was the mighty 690 wtix.

    i grew up thinking that people loved frogman’s aint got no home and the meters they all axed for you as much as hounddog and pretty woman.

    when i moved up to the ozarks for a couple of years as a young man i was shocked to learn you had to be 21 to buy a beer .

    i also almost got arrested for walking down the street with a beer because the bar didnt have go cups. luckily the cop liked new orleans and let me off with a warning.

  42. May 30, 2011 8:41 pm

    I’m not entirely sure that he really is such a despicable character. He is portrayed as a carpetbagger and carpetbagger’s are always thought to be assholes but, the cleanup and rebuilding was a huge job and the guy pulling all the strings for him is actually a local. The character is smarmy and arrogant but he has shown a genuine interest in the culture and seems enamored with the city. He has a naivety certainly but I wouldn’t be surprised if he does a “face turn” at some point in the series.

  43. May 30, 2011 9:16 pm

    I’ve missed it if anyone said anything about Jacques being illegal and in jail and Janette trying to get him out. If he’s illegal, the only out is out of the country. He’ll be missed.

  44. Delta permalink
    May 30, 2011 9:59 pm

    At the least, we know he gets out and hangs around until Jazzfest because that scene has already been filmed.

  45. Davis Rogan permalink
    May 30, 2011 10:10 pm

    @ Ray. The last night James Booker played I was across the street at my first live show, the Dead Kennedys and the Buthole Surfers. I appreciated New Orleans music a lot more when I went away to college in Portland and discovered that the Grateful dead were an orginized religion.
    Odd factiod here, in 2006 or 2007 when David was doing research for the show and I stayed at his guest house in Baltimore I bootleged all his Clash CD’s onto my laptop. I don’t think David even knows this, but I got my first copy of Sandinista from him. So for the record, the real Davis loves the Clash and I think Joe Strummer is an awesome frontman.

  46. May 30, 2011 10:34 pm

    That was the last night Booker played? Wow.

    I was at that same DK/Butthole Surfer’s show. What was that place called, was it Jed’s then, or had it changed to Tupelo’s? It was definitely an eye-opening experience. I thought I had the whole punk rock thing figured out til Gibby hit the stage, and then I realized I didn’t understand shit.

  47. brueso permalink
    May 31, 2011 12:13 am

    Gotta chuckle wondering how many people are gonna come up to you now, Davis, saying “What do you got against Joe Strummer, man?”

  48. brueso permalink
    May 31, 2011 12:18 am

    But I guess it could be worse. They could’ve had ‘Davis’ be the one saying “Who’s Phil Ochs?”

  49. David Simon permalink
    May 31, 2011 1:30 am

    I’ll say it again. The fictional characters have agency. They can think that Joe Strummer is a flawed vehicle when it comes to songwriting, even though someone else, say, David Simon, has every Clash album on vinyl from the year of release and has worn them all down to near nothing. And even though someone else, say, Davis Rogan, burned every Clash album when he was at my house. Fuck Simon. Fuck Rogan. Davis McAlary gets to be Davis McAlary. Trying to follow this narrative by attempting some internet-search based psychoanalysis-at-a-distance of the writers is just silly, silly shit.

    I would venture to guess that attributing what a character says in a fictional work to the actual voice of one of the writers is the quickest way to misapprehend the work. And given how much bullshit people have already collected under the banner of “Simon thinks so,” I think it possible that some people ruined Treme for themselves even before it aired.

    For the record, I don’t believe that San Francisco, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, is a cesspool with hills, or that a legitimate analogy can be drawn between that city being rebuilt by local initiative after the earthquake and New Orleans relying on federal initiatives. Just as I don’t think that the kids from Wisconsin deserved to be mocked by a street performer. Nor do I “hate” New York. How does a sensate American hate New York? New York is magnificent. Arrogant at times, but magnificent. I spend as much time there as I can. And Strummer? Rest in peace, Joe, because much as I love him for other moments, this McAlary fella talks shit occasionally.

    But what I think, or what Eric thinks, or what Nina thinks about such things sometimes matters a helluva lot less than what some fictional New Orleanians, operating after the near death of their city, might think and say and do at a given moment.

    It’s really that simple.

    Seriously, guys. You’ll do better by yourselves and the work if you stay with the film and the idea that the characters are on their own journey.

  50. May 31, 2011 1:38 am

    Ditto C.J. Liguori. Italians weren’t ever really welcome at the Boston/Pickwick/whatever clubs. Even if their name was Mayor Schiro.

  51. May 31, 2011 8:51 am

    If you look at the auction scene with Seda, when he made the bid for $500k on the property…standing right next to him, giving him a look like he’s crazy for bidding that much is NavySeal…my hubby.

  52. May 31, 2011 9:06 am

    As I tell people: Relax, it’s not a documentary. Only drives me crazy when the non-fictional characters say stupid shit. *smile*

    bayoucreole, I finally watched this episode last night and noticed NavySeal as well as Steve Picou’s wife.

  53. May 31, 2011 9:08 am

    @Dexter, I feel ya on that one. I’m not proud of that lil fact either but, I’m damned glad they ran them out of the city (again).
    The devil you know is better than the one you don’t.

  54. brueso permalink
    May 31, 2011 10:08 am

    Well, time will tell with the Seda character. When I said ‘you can still be a shit even if you like good music’, I was thinking of a real person from years ago in my life. I wouldn’t tag the Seda character with that at this point, but on the other hand, as of yet, he still seems mainly an opportunist.

    I love the Bill Forsyth film from years ago called “Local Hero” where a Peter Riegert is a Texas oilman who goes to a small village on the Scottish coast to buy it up so a refinery can be built. In time, he falls under the spell of the place and comes to think what’s he’s doing might not be a good idea. (The nice twist in that film was the townspeople WANTED the place to be bought up- they all wanted to cash in. While it was a beautiful place, they were all struggling to get by and as someone commented, ‘You can’t eat scenary’. It was the Texas guy who started to have second thoughts).

    I don’t know that Seda’s character is going to undergo that kind of transformation- I suspect not, but we’ll see- but that film has been on my mind as the ‘outsider’ type of character is discussed.

  55. May 31, 2011 11:37 am

    My neighbor seems to link him to Burgos too Rick…

  56. May 31, 2011 12:22 pm

    Jacques — we had a Ph.D grad student friend at Tulane who was in danger of deportion because — well, it was a mess! His friends wrote a lot of letters and did a lot of work, so he’s still here. However, the mess after the floods — he lost all his work in progress, two books and his diss. A neighbor stole his computers.

    Myself, I was deeply disappointed that Sonny blew it. Why was he late yet again? That information is missing. Are we to believe that he is that un-noticing, even under notice? Playing with those guys, that is the happiest we have ever seen him — and he put that in such jeopardy?

    Talking about Treme with an uptown girlfriend yesterday — she loathes Annie. So many do, while so many love her. Wonder what’s up with that?

    Does anyone think Butler was hustling Antoine about that tour just to get him to fill in for that Friday gig?

    LaDonna — will the capture of her brutalizers be a help to her recovery?

    All the scenes with Albert, Delmond and Janette were good ones; they also were hopeful — except for that mess with Jacques. It’ the NOPD and la migra after all.

    Toni better talk to Sofia asap. Personally, I loathe dream scenes, so the opening of this ep felt weak. I see how they think it worked. It was a prod for Toni to speak openly nd ap0logize to Sofia, as it was followed by Sofia questioning her friend and learning that everyone but she knew Creigh had killed himself. This is very bad. Can it even be repaired?

    A lot of really good music, but generally quiet episode, in which what happens is significant and important, but it is not dramatic in the sense of fireworks.

    Love, C.

  57. May 31, 2011 1:32 pm

    That’s great news. Maybe he’s not illegal. There seemed to be some question as to whether or not his “papers” were somewhere.

  58. adrastosno permalink
    May 31, 2011 2:18 pm

    My favorite thing about the episode was the presence of John Hiatt who is a stone genius of a songwriter. I suspect that Steve Earle could have written the lines he spoke to Annie about Hiatt. At his best John writes timeless music plus there’s a Gret Stet connection with Sonny Landreth and the Goners; one of his favorite backing bands.

    Wish I would have been on extra call for Hiatt at the HOB. That way I could answer my own question about what cheesy country-pop songwriter he referenced in Memphis in the Meantime. The last one I recall was Toby Keith…

  59. May 31, 2011 3:49 pm

    I love the Clash and Joe a whole lot but they aren’t beyond reproach…Tom Waits is though. 🙂

  60. Anita permalink
    May 31, 2011 8:32 pm

    I had the same impulse to shrug off the dream sequence and consider it weak but I watched again and was struck with such clarity about what Toni lost. She was probably always that good girl who worked really hard to make everything right, was completely responsible but who never learned how to play. Creigh brought play and happiness to their life. Toni could laugh with him and watch him and Sofia sparkle and be part of that wonderful joyful thing he brought. Then he took it away. In the sequence, she was so surprised by the joy she felt that she eagerly rationalized everything, trying to keep the dream going, fighting to hang on to that happy impossibility just a few seconds more. Oh, Toni, your beautiful sparkly daughter is in big trouble and she blames you.

    (Everybody else sees it but I’m not sure Toni even knows that Lt. Colson really likes her.)

  61. Anita permalink
    May 31, 2011 8:47 pm

    There’s another fun Treme line in this episode by Chef Ripert to the effect that spouses and lovers come and go but commitment to one’s sous chef is permanent. I can’t remember the line exactly but it reminded me of last season’s comment by Annie’s friend that “music is personal.”

    I really like the actor who plays Jacques. It was very effective that he just hung up the phone and looked at Janette; he was in her hands.

  62. May 31, 2011 9:23 pm

    His name is Ntare Mwine. He is also an awesome photographer. You should check out his photos on his website at

    No worries. Janette will get him out. Perhaps that will bring her back home for good.

  63. May 31, 2011 10:39 pm

    Anita, you’re right. Annie’s friend was suggesting that breaking up with Sonny wasn’t as hurtful as not wanting to play with him any longer. It’s a similar concept.

    Thanks, Sam. I am comforted.

  64. OpenThread permalink
    May 31, 2011 11:28 pm


    When you say “really like,” do you mean romanically? What have we seen between Colson and Toni that indicates that?

  65. June 1, 2011 6:49 am

    ‘Annie’s friend’ = the lovely Aurora Neeland from Panorama Jazz Band.

    That scene and the Hiatt ignorance really reveals gaps in Annie’s music soul, no?

  66. nicole permalink
    June 1, 2011 9:14 am

    The opening dream sequence was a heart-breaker. Who can watch that scene and not think of the pain and anguish of losing your beloved? Creighton’s singing, the costumes, the family traditions are lost but achingly alive in Toni’s dream. It moved me.

  67. brueso permalink
    June 1, 2011 9:20 am

    Or maybe the Hiatt ignorance just reflects her youth? Don’t wish to offend anyone, but how many people her age know who John Hiatt is? (or, Phil Ochs for that matter). When you pick up an instrument, the whole history of righteous music doesn’t flood into you. Cue season 1 with Kermit “That guy’s name is Elvis?!”

  68. June 1, 2011 10:00 am

    Nested comments have been turned off for increased readability and decreased whiplash. We now return you to your irregularly-scheduled program.

  69. wigatrisk permalink
    June 1, 2011 11:12 am

    While the Sofia storm clouds have been well noted here, I’ve been moved instead by the portrayal of Toni’s changing relationship with Lt Colson. Pre-Creighton Toni needed Terry for her own cause and we saw her confident and skilled in the you-know-that-I-know-that-you-know wheedling. Now she needs him for his listening, his acquiescence, his not asking. They are both so well cast – the edge of desperation Leo’s plays with suits hers quick eyes and Toni’s increasingly wan smile.

    If you separated them out and put all the Toni/Terry moments together I don’t doubt the arc would be totally believable, even as filmed over a long period. Terry’s world has been sketched out with marvellous economy: take-out dinners alone and his (growing) sense of justice. As OpenThread asks above, whether it’s flirtation or lonely company remains to be seen. I’d watch a series with just those two in it.

  70. June 1, 2011 11:23 am

    Also Terry is separated from his family, and it’s not clear if it’s storm or personal. His own kids are uncommunicative. I’m going to look for a ring when I re-watch. He seems to be going way out on a limb even for an old friend, even as far as some of us might go for an old friend.

  71. June 1, 2011 11:24 am

    A vote *for* nest comments. If we keep them turned off, people should make clear which post and poster they are responding to, or we’ll liable to get even more lost on open threads.

  72. jeffrey permalink
    June 1, 2011 2:29 pm

    I agree with Folse about the nested comments. It’s hard enough for me to read through these threads and pick up on what’s being discussed without having actually watched the episode. If the replies aren’t in line with their object, it gets even worse.

  73. June 1, 2011 3:09 pm

    Y’know, the more I think about it, the more that the idea of handing Sandinista! to somebody who’s never listened to the Clash before — and expecting them to instantly understand the point you want them to take from it with no explanation — is EXACTLY what I would expect from Davis. I’m still smiling about that scene.

    As for flawed vessels, aren’t we all.

  74. June 1, 2011 5:20 pm

    I’m also in the “nesting comments” yes vote category. If we’re taking a vote.

  75. doctorj2u permalink
    June 1, 2011 6:07 pm

    I know this is not a democracy and a private blog, but I vote for nesting also. It is too hard to follow what posters are responding to or posting to otherwise. Either way, thank you Maitri for creating this blog. It is wonderful.

  76. June 1, 2011 6:09 pm

    We’re not taking a vote. We’re also not taking requests to hold a vote. The comments are what they are.

  77. doctorj2u permalink
    June 1, 2011 6:09 pm

    @ Rickgentilly,
    WTIX! That is a blast from the past. Or maybe it was because we both lived in Gentilly. LOL! Either way, thanks for the reminder.

  78. doctorj2u permalink
    June 1, 2011 6:12 pm

    @ raynola,
    And we will slug through it, no matter what. We survived Katrina. We can survive this also.

  79. June 1, 2011 7:58 pm

    @doctorj2u: Thank you, sweetie. Consider this here a benevolent oligarchy.

    All: I have now made it easier for you to start at the top and work your way to the bottom. This as opposed to breaking the flow of things by scrolling back and forth because someone doesn’t know how to or forgot to use nested comments.

    The end.

  80. doctorj2u permalink
    June 1, 2011 8:09 pm

    Thank you Maitri for making it easier. A benevolent oligarchy indeed. Thank you!

  81. Virgotex permalink
    June 1, 2011 11:36 pm

    easier for you to start at the top and work your way to the bottom

    story of my life, sister

  82. June 2, 2011 4:32 pm

    Anita — Yes, to all that you brought out about what Creigh brought to Toni, and all of that is in the dream sequence.

    To me it still wasn’t a strong scene though. Mileage varies, it does! 🙂

    Love, c.

  83. June 2, 2011 5:40 pm

    @ David Simon: Amen, brother, amEN.

  84. Dexter permalink
    June 3, 2011 7:41 am

    I get that Davis McAlary is not Mr. Davis Rogan, and Ashley Morris’s legacy was just used as the cornerstone for Creigh, (I am from afar and I never met Mr. Rogan and only once was called a fucking fuckmook by Mr. Morris on a “The Wire” blog) , so I was lashing out at McAlary (I thought obviously), not Mr. Rogan, for dismissing Joe Strummer like he did.
    I watch the show alone, intently, and that little dagger just set me off because I miss Strummer like I miss Lennon and Marley, and that is because their music became my music.

    It’s fun to read how you folks are extras and you see yourselves and your neighbors in the show.

    David Simon, thanks for the scolding. I got into the habit of discussing characters by their cast names during the hay days of Six Feet Under’s message boards at HBO. The confusion here is just because Davis ain’t the real Davis, and how would anyone know what the hell I was talking about.

  85. June 5, 2011 11:03 am

    I’m late to the dance as usual, but this last episode was all about loyalty. Everything from the pessimistic politics of Hidalgo being asked to “prove” his loyalty to the councilmember, to the police officer who questioned Colston’s loyalty to the fraternity of police, to the test of loyalty Antoine continues to undergo regarding his family, band and personal music ambitions. And as I said last week, Delmond is emerging as the most honorable with his real and emphasized love and loyalty for his father and culture.

    At least that’s what I saw in it.



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