Archive for month: April, 2012

No man is a hero to his 17-year-old son

27 Apr
April 27, 2012

So I am vegetating on the sofa with my kid and a Domino’s Pizza ad comes on the tube.  The Domino guys offer up their analysis of the national crisis in cheese-bread quality:

“Undercheesing is rampant,” they declare.

My son repeats the phrase, mulls it for a second, then:

That should be the name of your blog.”


“Undercheesing is rampant.”




HBO’s TREME vs. THE WIRE Battle of the Bands at Tipitina’s

26 Apr
April 26, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—In a coals-to-Newcastle spirit of brave provocation, an East Coast musical contingent associated with the HBO drama The Wire is coming to town – and challenging two of New Orleans’ sturdiest and funkiest ensembles to a Wire-versus-Treme battle of the bands.

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25 Apr
April 25, 2012

I’ve had a leasehold on for years now.  People smarter than I am told me that even if I had no sense of its use at present, I should throw a few shekels down in case.  But until recently, I saw no reason to do much of anything with the site.

My ambivalence rests on a couple basic ideas:

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Oh, Baltimore…

21 Apr
April 21, 2012

Returning to Baltimore this weekend, and the wife went down to the Royal Farms Store on Key Highway early on Saturday morning.  Two mallards were hanging by the store entrance, all twitchy and hopping, trying to blend with the pigeons.   They looked really nervous, like white kids trying to cop off a westside corner.

Nice to be home.

Levon Helm

20 Apr
April 20, 2012

I can’t even begin to get good words around how much this man’s voice and musicality meant to me,  and how much his work colored my sense of American music.   From West Helena, Arkansas to the world.

We’re now filming the last episode of the third season of Treme.  In the original beat sheet for that episode, there is a story arc in which one of our characters performs with Helm and his band in Woodstock, at one of his legendary Midnight Rambles.  Helm himself had conversations with one of our producers about the possibility.  And having had the chance to attend one such Ramble in his barn there, I wanted it to happen badly.  Those homemade concerts were pretty damn magical, and I relished the thought of using the drama to cast a little more light on Helm and what he meant to roots rock’n’roll.

A couple months ago, we got word that Helm had again stopped singing, and, too, we had exhausted a good chunk of our travel budget for the production.  We published the script without the Levon Helm scene this week, but still hoped we’d get a chance to do it if we had the good fortune to get a fourth and concluding season for the drama.  Then the news.

“Rag Mama Rag,” was the song we wanted.  Helm on mandolin and vocals, Lucia Micarelli playing fiddle.