Last Night in Treme: Hot 8, Mem Shannon and Michael Hill

A few quick thoughts after this week’s Treme, which I thought was one of the better episodes in the series as a whole. Last week set the table; now we’re going to start to find out why.

– The production company clearly loves little ironies such as Spud McConnell, who really made his radio name as part of the United Broadcasters of New Orleans playing DJ Jeffy Jeff, a WWOZ DJ. This week, they introduced former ABC 26 newscaster Michael Hill, who plays William Jefferson – whom he covered. However, this may be the moment in his career he’s best remembered for:

– Bennie Pete alluded to what happened to “Joe” – former member “Shotgun” Joe Williams – who was shot by the NOPD. Here’s the complicated story. Terrell Batiste, the trumpet player for the Hot 8 Brass Band that Antoine’s trying to recruit, lost his legs in an accident in Atlanta after Katrina when he was hit on the freeway after stepping out of his car, which had a flat.

– I at first wondered about Sofia’s choices of Mem Shannon and Abita Amber as her ways of acting out because I wouldn’t assume either to have heavy teen appeal. But I took the scene to say more about her grief, and that it’s manifesting itself by doing what he’d do – make videos, drink Abita and see New Orleans R&B.

– It was great to hear Sonny playing Bobby Charles’ arrangement of “See You Later, Alligator.” You’d expect no less from him, and the moment reminded me that I know a lot of people who moved to town who have a similar, almost obsessive reverence for all things New Orleans and R&B.

– It was great to hear Wanda Rouzan ask about what Antoine’s gig pays. It brought to mind his line from the first episode: “Play for the motherfuckin’ money.”

– This week’s iTunes video is the Hot 8 performing “New Orleans After the City.” You can get it here. Here’s a preview:


–Alex Rawls