Thursday, September 02, 2010

Down in the "Treme," it's me ...

Yep, that's what happens when I get four days off in a row - my head not only gets filled with crazy ideas, but I also act on them.

Yesterday's was that, having just made it through all of Spike Lee's sensational "If God is Willin' and Da Creek Don't Rise," his second opus about New Orleans and its people, and also having thoroughly enjoyed the first season of David Simon's "Treme," perhaps I should go to the city myself.

And so, if you happen to be there in the third week of November, you just might run into me (staying at something called the "Rathbone Mansion" - I've never stayed in a mansion before, but at $60 a night, I wasn't about to turn that down.)

And in New Orleans news that might just matter to someone besides, well, me, the track listing is out for the collection (you'll see soon why I didn't say "CD") "Treme: Music from the HBO Series, Season 1," and the music itself will be coming very soon too (and will certainly find its way into my digital downloads.)

If you watched the slow-moving but engrossing show (and if you didn't, why the heck not?), you know the music played not just a key role in it, but really set the pace and feel for the whole operation. Musicians from up-and-comer Trombone Shorty (whose "Backatown" I'm listening to right now - excellent) to legends like Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas all popped up at various spots (and watching Irma Thomas play poker is a surreally entertaining sight.)

Thankfully, they also all make appearances in the music collection for season 1, which will be available for digital download Sept. 28 - with a CD to come at some undisclosed future date. Man, I gotta say, for someone who still doesn't and probably never will own a cell phone, the modes of delivery for entertainment continue to surprise and often confound me (stick around for more on that after the track listing.) Here are the 19 songs you'll find when this comes out:


1. "Treme Song (Main Title Version") - John Boutté
2. "Feel Like Funkin' It Up (Live Street Mix)" - Rebirth Brass Band
3. "I Hope You're Comin' Back to New Orleans" - The New Orleans Jazz Vipers
4. "Skokiaan" - Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingers
5. "Ooh Poo Pah Doo" - Trombone Shorty & James Andrews
6. "Drinka Little Poison (4 U Die)" - Soul Rebels Brass Band & John Mooney
7. "We Made It Through That Water" - Free Agents Brass Band
8. "Shame Shame Shame" - Steve Zahn & Friends
9. "My Indian Red" - Dr. John
10. "At the Foot of Canal Street" - John Boutté, Paul Sanchez, Glen David Andrews & New Birth Brass Band
11. "Buona Sera" - Louis Prima
12. "New Orleans Blues" - Tom McDermott & Lucia Micarelli
13. "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You" - Michiel Huisman, Lucia Micarelli & Wendell Pierce
14. "Indian Red (Wild Man Memorial)" - Mardi Gras Indians
15. "Indian Red" - Donald Harrison
16. "Time Is On My Side" - Irma Thomas & Allen Toussaint
17. "This City" - Steve Earle
18. "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" - Treme Brass Band
19. "My Darlin' New Orleans" - Leigh "Li'l Queenie" Harris

All I have after that today is a cache of clips, but the first one comes with a bit of news. Though "Freakanomics," the documentary based on the best-selling book by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, isn't coming to at least a few theaters until Oct. 1, it's apparently available for at least rental now on Video On Demand, iTunes, Amazon On Demand, PlayStation Network and Xbox Marketplace. I say apparently because, although it was listed for a $3.99 rental at iTunes, it only said "this item is being modified" and wouldn't work when I tried it, and there's no way in the world I'm going to pay a whopping $9.99 for it at Amazon On Demand. As for the movie itself, with six portions directed by Alex Gibney ("Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," "Casino Jack and the United States of Money"), Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing ("Jesus Camp"), Morgan Spurlock ("Super Size Me"), Eugene Jarecki ("Why We Fight") and Seth Gordon ("The King of Kong"), I'm certainly going to watch it as soon as I figure out exactly how to find it, perhaps as soon as tonight. Here's the latest TV spot. Enjoy.

OK, if I really ever did have a wall of resistance to Matt Reeves' upcoming "Let Me In," I have to admit now that it's just about completely washed away. It certainly should still be there, since it's a thoroughly unnecessary English-language remake of "Let the Right One In," my single favorite movie of 2008 and easily the best horror movie I've seen in many years, but with each clip they release, it's getting lower and lower. The cast - Chloe Moretz, Kodi Smit-Mcphee and the simply fantastic Richard Jenkins - is perfect, and if you've seen "Cloverfield," you know Reeves is a solid director. And from this first actual footage from the movie, you can see that they at least got right that Jenkins' character, though charged with finding fresh blood for the "young" vampire Eli (renamed Abby in the remake and played by Moretz), he's pretty spectacularly bad at it. Keep an eye out for the movie, also due out in actual theaters Oct. 1, if, like me, you've decided to give in and see it, and enjoy the clip.

In case anyone's wondering, I am very well aware that I'm too old to be watching a bunch of high school-age kids (or probably slightly older) lip-synch their way through incredibly cheesy musical numbers each week on Fox, but I'm also aware that "Glee" is a wickedly funny and very addictive show, so I guess you can call me a "Gleek." The show itself thankfully comes back soon (Sept. 21), and Fox has released this promo clip in which the kids put their spin on Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind," and though that will and should make all hip-hop fans cringe, I like it. Enjoy.

And finally today, in something just perfect for a Friday morning, "Zach Galifianakis' brother" interviews a game Sean Penn in the latest Between the Ferns segment. It's not all funny, but when it is, it really works, especially the thought of Galifianakis, Penn and Jack Nicholson hitting the town to eat at Long John Silver's. Enjoy the clip and have a great weekend, which for me will include at least two movies, "The American" and "Machete." Peace out.

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