Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Wire to Go

I realize I’m a little late to the partyon this but I’ve finally gotten around to watching The Wire. I really don’t like coming into the middle of a series and trying to get in sync with the seasons by using On Demand was too much brain damage.

Then my neighbor Peter told me about HBO Go. I love HBO Go. I now can start at the beginning of any of their series (Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Deadwood, and The Wire of course) and keep going right up to the latest episodes, if any.

I also love The Wire. What’s not to love? It’s all about the city of my birth, B-more. It’s not pretty but neither is life in the big city sometimes. More than anything it’s familiar. The scenes from the city make the story all the more real for me not to mention the fact that the scenes from inside the Major Crimes unit offices were likely all filmed in HoCo. I’ve spotted our former guv in at least two episodes and the mayor in the series is inspired by the current guvs stint as mayor.

The episode openings are one of my favorite parts. While the opening credits roll, the blues song “Way Down in the Hole,” plays in the background. Each season a different artist performed the song. In Season 1 it was The Blind Boys of Alabama, Season 2, Tom Waits, Season 3, The Neville Brothers, Season 4, DoMaJe, and Season 5, Steve Earle.

I’m in the fifth and final season now. These episodes start with Steve Earle’s version. Looking back on the previous four seasons I've started thinking about which version I like the best. It's pretty interesting what the five separate artists do with the same song. I think Steve Earle’s take on "Hole" is my second favorite.

Picking my favorite is harder. I really like the harmonica in The Blind Boys version and DoMaJe’s version sounds like is being sung in a dark smoky bar. The Neville Brothers version on the other hand has an industrial feel.

At the end of the day I’ve decided I like the way Tom Waits brings it best. He also wrote the song.

Anyone else wanna share their favorite?
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