While I’m still holding off on forming an opinion about Treme (and may never get around to expressing one here if I can’t think of anything useful to say, which is distinctly possible), I’ve certainly been monitoring the reactions of others.
Two quick links of interest on the subject of the show’s music:
Friend of no notes Marc Weidenbaum writes over on his site Disquiet about the music in the show’s first episode, here. Quick excerpt:
Learning that it was to be focused on the music of New Orleans raised some concern, since the first season of The Wire was peculiarly tone deaf when it came to the sounds of Baltimore, the city in which it was set. No such issues, as it turns out, with Treme, which mixes in not only old-school jazz and r&b, but also touches of the rap and swaggering rock’n’roll that make a home in the city.
Episode 1 starts with the Rebirth Brass Band playing the first second line parade after Katrina. I’m sold. The flooded bar without electricity and the sun streaming in the windows; the haggling between Keith Frazier of Rebirth (alright Bass Drum Shorty!!!) and the Sidewalk Steppers Social Aid & Pleasure Club over the band fee; trombonist Antoine Batiste showing up late for the parade while Rebirth marches to their local anthem Feel Like Funkin’ It Up. It’s all so true.