Friday, April 23, 2010

Just Jumpin' and Havin' Fun

The feathers shake and the trombones blare and the dancers squat and shimmy. The crowd marches and you feel like you're here.
Hangin' in the Treme
Watchin' people sashay
Past my steps
by my porch
in front of my door

The first episode of HBO's new series, Treme, depicts the first second line in New Orleans after Katrina. A character argues that he should get the first shower because he has to get to the second line (the other character merely has to go open her restaurant). This is NOLA. This is how important the culture is to her people.

Two episodes in and we are in love with this series. It captures so much of what we adore about New Orleans. The music. The food. The people.

The spirit.

The show is full of humor and heartbreak. It is about the struggle of a city to overcome amazing obstacles, and about the human failings and triumphs along the way. We were hooting with laughter at John Goodman's character one minute, and breathlessly wiping away tears the next.

The scenes of the destroyed houses? Not nearly destroyed enough, but still close enough to stop us cold. We're thankful no one has invented smell-o-vision, but for anyone who was here after the storm, it is an odor you do not forget. The visual images were enough to call it to mind. The mud on the floor and the mold crawling up the walls much higher than any water line.

The show is populated with real New Orleans musicians. Real Mardi Gras Indians. Real people of New Orleans partying down the street.

It's a love song to New Orleans. Please, have a listen. I promise you will not leave unchanged.

Down in the Treme
is me and my baby
we're all going crazy
Buck jumpin' and havin' fun
all lyrics from Treme Song, by John Boutte


I would love to know what people who have never been to NOLA, or have only visited but not lived here, think of the show. If you've seen it, please share your thoughts.

Also, I highly recommend the 30 minute documentary about the making of Treme, Beyond Bourbon Street. You can follow that link to watch it. And if you follow the John Boutte link you can go to his website, where Treme Song will automatically play. You can even buy a CD. Trust me, you won't be disappointed (I can personally recommend Jambalya, which includes Treme Song)


Kat said...

Well now I think I'll have to add that show to my DVR. Not that I need yet ANOTHER tv show to watch ;) but it just sounds that good. :)

Anonymous said...

I live in Pittsburgh, but have visited New Orleans many times. I am a fanatic about the music and love the food. Heading down for my 9th JazzFest next week. Haven't been there since pre-K. I love the show as much as a non-native can. Can't wait to get back there.

imbeingheldhostage said...

i don't think we'll ever get it here :-(

Anonymous said...

Nice post. So now i gotta share this recent buck jumpin in the street:

Very nice.