October 15, 2012. Posted by Joshua Jackson.Big Chief Albert Lambreaux (Clarke Peters, center) has his Mardi Gras Indian practice interrupted by a visit from members of the Creole Wild West tribe. (Image Credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO)
If you're one of the few viewers still confused about what Treme is saying about art, do note this episode's "play-within-a-play" staging of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. The existentialist play revolves around two characters, Vladimir (nicknamed Didi) and Estragon (called Gogo), who wait interminably for a mysterious "Godot" by a desolate country road. It's clearly meant to parallel New Orleans residents' wait for essential social services, complete with the barren backdrop of the city post-Katrina. And it's only the latest example of how artists are faster to respond to tragedy than a corrupt bureaucracy could ever be.
True to Treme form, a company actually staged the play in flood-damaged parts of New Orleans in 2007. Wendell Pierce, who plays Antoine Batiste on Treme, played Vladimir; he was quoted in the New Orleans Times-Picayune as saying: "But I'm trying to find hope, the way Gogo and Didi do in the play. They say they'll go, but they stay. I find that hope where [producer] Paul [Chan] has found it, in the courageous people of New Orleans."
Speaking of art, WBGO's Josh Jackson and I wrote about this episode's musical performances.
© 2012 WBGO
October 9, 2012. Posted by Joshua Jackson.The actor Michiel Huisman has actually moved to New Orleans from Amsterdam, much like his character Sonny. (Image Credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO)
We've reached episode three of Treme's third season and things are starting to get interesting. Through the Everett, Lt. Colson, Toni Bernette and Nelson storylines, we begin to see how deep police and government corruption runs in New Orleans. Davis is funding his next scheme; Janette is funding her next restaurant; Annie is funding her next musical adventure. The possible endgame for Chief Lambreaux (and by extension, his son) draws near. And a lot of dudes get laid.
The soundtrack to this week features a number of old-school Louisiana legends. Filling in the gaps, as always, is Josh Jackson of WBGO. Here's our email conversation.
© 2012 WBGO
October 2, 2012. Posted by Joshua Jackson.DJ Davis McAlary (Steve Zahn) interviews John Boutte about an unreleased recording of his. (Image Credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO)
For all the plot development in the series' infancy, last Sunday's episode of Treme was unusually saturated in live performances. The second half of the episode, especially, seemed like one concert after another. Here with me to recap the musical goings-on is WBGO's Josh Jackson.
© 2012 WBGO