Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Jammin' and having fun

In all of my excitement over the impending arrival of Game of Thrones I had kind of forgotten that Treme was coming back soon. Silly me.

I found Treme to be very much a slow burn in its first season, but by the time the finale arrived I was completely and wholly invested. The show got a bit of a hard time for being somewhat plotless, and while I sympathize with the creators' claims that what people were seeing as "plotless" was really just an absence of violence/mystery-driven plot, I don't now that I entirely buy it either. That said, whatever plot was or wasn't there wasn't what hooked me. I found Treme to be almost like a sitcom, in that the real joy of the show came in just hanging out with characters you had genuine affection for. The only (well, not really only, but it sounds better that way) difference is that, in a sitcom, our hook into these characters is that they are funny; with Treme it was the music.

In anticipation of the return of the series, I recently got the first season soundtrack, and really can not recommend it enough. What makes it so enjoyable is not just all the great music, but also the sense of the characters the music gives you. This is lived-in, often off-the-cuff music, and feels spontaneous and organic, and not overly deliberate or plotted. And that really makes it a fun record.

If you didn't give the series a try last year, check out, at the very, very least, the opening credits, which do a superb job of capturing the mood of the show:

And to get a sense of that "off-the-cuff" feel I mentioned, give a listen to this protest song led by one of the show's main characters:

OK. One more. Two unconnected main characters in this mosaic of a cast meet by chance:

Until Whenever

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