• 'Treme,' Ep. 17: Mardi Gras Mayhem

    June 6, 2011. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Al "Carnival Time" Johnson (center, singing) sits in with Antoine Batiste and the Soul Apostles on Treme. Batiste, the trombonist, is played by Wendell Pierce. (Image Credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO)

    Two years running, Treme has featured a sensory-overload pageant of a Mardi Gras episode. Let's get right to this one. New Orleans native son Josh Jackson is here again to help break down the music.

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  • 'Treme,' Ep. 16: A Village On An Island

    June 1, 2011. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Antoine Batiste (Wendell Pierce) leads the Soul Apostles in the latest episode of Treme. (Image Credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO)

    I think I'm starting to figure this place out. It's a village — a village on an island. Everyone's connected. They may love each other, they may hate each other, but they're all related. ... It's all connected somehow. And I'm this close to seeing how it all hooks up.
    --Nelson Hidalgo

    The New Orleans of Treme has often felt like a small town, where many characters wear multiple hats, and six degrees of separation feel more like one or two. But this season, that quality has been heightened ever so slightly.

    Perhaps it was just the juxtaposition in this episode of Davis' raucous rehearsal and his irritated neighbors next door, but it feels like many different characters are intersecting now. It didn't take long for Nelson to make very important political contacts. Batiste is now teaching in the schools, and hiring all different types of musicians. Janette and Delmond are now friends. Toni Bernette and Lieutenant Colson are possibly becoming more than friends. And everybody who seems to care about the city sees music in clubs and dances in second lines.

    About that music: Here's our (belated, sorry) rundown of this week's performances, with Josh Jackson of WBGO. Our full archive, too.

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  • 'Treme,' Ep. 15: Finding Your Voice

    May 23, 2011. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Antoine (Wendell Pierce) and Desiree (Phyllis Montana LeBlanc) march in a recreation of the Silence Is Violence parade in Jan. 2007. (Image Credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO)

    If you've ever been to the funeral of a beloved musician, you know there's a lot of positivity under the somber tone. It's one of the few times a busy musical community manages to come together and remember the contributions of their late compatriot. And in the New Orleans of Treme, funerals have often been healing and regenerative: There's catharsis in walking in that second line.

    But Hot 8 Brass Band snare drummer Dinerral Shavers was murdered senselessly. And the grief was more intense, more palpably real than previous funerals we've seen from this show. That's where we start with our weekly recap of the music — and more — of Treme.

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