In early March, at his production office in New Orleans' Lower Garden District, Simon is struggling with the fine points of a later episode's script. He's reluctant to draw a strong connection between his former series and Treme. Yet he describes a natural progression of thought. "The Wire was a tract about how political power and money rout themselves," he says. "But there was no place to reference on some level why it matters, emotionally, that America has been given over to those things. This show is about culture, and it's about what was at stake. Because apart from culture, on some empirical level, it does not matter if all New Orleans washes into the Gulf, and if everyone from New Orleans ended up living in Houston or Baton Rouge or Atlanta. Culture is what brought this city back. Not government. There was and has been no initiative by government at any level to contemplate in all seriousness the future of New Orleans. Yet New Orleans is coming back, and it's sort of done it one second-line at a time, one crawfish étouffée at a time, one moment at a time."Five-screen story at the Village Voice, here. Larry describes a scene in process of being shot in the Quarter:
A blonde in a pink cable-knit sweater and brown skirt, purse slung over her shoulder, stands before the musicians with two friends, another woman and a man, all three bearing the look of polite excitement common among tourists who happen upon street performers in New Orleans. The trio claps, drops some cash, attempts small talk: They're from Madison, Wisconsin. First time in New Orleans. Came down with a church group to gut houses.Several of our New Orleans have subscribed, as of April 1, to HBO, in order to watch Tremé.
"We saw everything in the news, what was going on in the Ninth Ward," the blonde says.
"Yeah," mutters Sonny. "Yeah, everybody talking about the Lower Nine . . . Let me ask you something: You ever even heard of the Ninth Ward before the storm? So why're you so fired up about it now?"
An awkward pause. Annie jumps in: "A-a-anybody have any requests?"
What about . . . I don't know . . . some-thing authentic?"
"Real New Or-leeeens music?" mocks Sonny. "How about, 'When the Saints,' you know, 'Go Marching In'?"
Annie: "Thing is, traditionally, 'Saints' is extra."
Sonny: "Because every cheesehead from Chowderland wants to hear 'Saints.' "
"He's kidding," Annie quickly adds. "We love to play 'Saints.' "
'Treme' writer David Mills dies of brain aneurysm -- By Dave Walker, The Times-Picayune, March 31, 2010, 10:28AM