Excited to see David Simon make the cover of the NYT Mag this weekend, though I would’ve preferred a beefier piece about his new HBO show, Treme.

Like the rest of creation, we’re huge fans of The Wire here at VB, and the thought of a guy like Simon turning his mind and eye to a place like post-Katrina New Orleans, equally beloved by us, is giddifying.

Apparently Simon has been a longtime devotee and part-time resident, with his interest in a New Orleans-based show predating even his work on The Wire. Some of the best nuggets in the Times piece are anecdotes about how he pitched the show to HBO. Apparently it was insisted upon that the executives consider his synopsis while simultaneously listening to a bespoke soundtrack.

Back when Smells Like Records was run out of an office in Hoboken, the ambience was often provided by a couple of terrific comps released by the UK-based Soul Jazz/Universal Sound outfit. You can check them out here and here. Sadly my fave, “Saturday Night Fish Fry” seems to be out of print, but you can sample a few cuts — including Betty Harris’ absolutely scorching “Break in the Road” — right here.

Another encouraging tidbit is the fact that Clarke “Lester Freamon” Peters will be playing a Mardi Gras Indian chief in the show. Will be fun to see the dry, sly, introverted Freamon morph into a wild charismatic chief a la Bo Dollis.

Don’t worry though, the also the Bunk, plus musicians galore: Dr. John, Kermit Ruffins, Elvis Costello. Oh, and Steve Zahn(?!)

— CL