Skip to main content

Here come Omar




Last week, I decided to make a purchase that some could say was foolish, but others could see as smart. And I couldn't help being self-conscious about it: I bought The Wire on DVD.

There's a joke about being white and liking this HBO show that ran for five seasons. (Read probably the best explanation why right here.) Seems like everyone I know that has seen the show loves it, and will profess its greatness at any given moment. The day I purchased the set, I quipped on Facebook that I was "officially white."

I have yet to hear anyone say a negative thing about this show, but there was some hesitation when I considered buying the whole shebang. This show was on HBO, a network that has its tendency to have original programming where people you don't normally root for as protagonists. But since this show's on HBO and not network TV, you can't say anything bad about it, right?

Well, I still have burns from being a big fan of Six Feet Under before the show made me eventually hate all of the characters. And I still remember watching a handful of episodes of The Sopranos and realizing that mob stuff is not of great interest to me, even though I think The Godfather is great.

Then, there's this little factoid: as of this writing, I've never seen a full episode of The Wire.

You might think I'm the epitome of stupid by laying down some good money for a show I think I'll like. Since the price I paid for it was too good to pass up (a one-day-only Amazon deal that pulled the price down to only $73, while it normally runs for double that amount) I decided to take the risk. I decided, if I hated the show, I'd give the set to one of my friends who loves the show and leave a nasty note.

But I'm quite sure that won't happen.

What interests me about the show can be credited to my enjoyment of watching shows like The Killing and The Shield. I'm not the biggest fan of dramas with cops, robbers, and inner-city life, but with what I've lived around in a gentrified neighborhood (and worked around in the media), a look at how cops, criminals, political leaders, and journalists intertwine fascinates me.

And knowing that, I'm reminded of when I decided to pick up Scott Walker's In Five Easy Pieces box set back when money was tight, but Tower Records was closing and selling everything drastically cheap: sometimes you have take a small risk for a big reward. The key is sometimes because you don't to drop a lot of dough on stuff that has yet to fully prove itself to you. But, every once in a while, you have to go for it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Catherine Wheel

Originally posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 Despite managing to release five proper albums, Catherine Wheel was one of those bands that always seemed to slip past the mainstream rock crowd. Yes, they got some nice airplay in their day, but people seem to have forgotten about them. You may hear “Black Metallic” or “Waydown” on a “classic alternative” show on Sirius or XM or maybe even on terrestrial radio, but that’s about it. For me, they were one of most consistent rock bands of the ’90s, meandering through shoegazer, hard rock, space rock and pop rock, all while eluding mainstream pigeonholing. Led by the smooth, warm pipes of vocalist/guitarist Rob Dickinson (cousin of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson), Catherine Wheel featured Brian Futter on lead guitar, Dave Hawes on bass and Neil Sims on drums. They weren’t a pretty-boy guitar band, but they weren’t a scuzzy bunch of ragamuffins either. Though the band hailed from England, Catherine Wheel found itself more welcome on American air

I ain't got no crystal ball

I've never been a big fan of Sublime's reggae-punk-ska, but I feel bad for their hardcore fans. Billboard reports that a four-disc box set featuring previously released and unreleased material is on the way. How is this a bad thing? Well, the number of posthumous vault-raiding collections greatly outnumber the band's proper releases. That usually isn't a problem, but the quality of them is very suspect. When they were together, the band recorded three proper albums, Robbin' the Hood , 40 Oz. to Freedom and Sublime . Sublime would be the band's breakthrough record with the mainstream, but that success was very bittersweet. Shortly before its release, frontman/guitarist/songwriter Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose. In the following years, the effects of apparently a bad record deal have yielded compilation after compilation. Here's the rundown so far: Second Hand Smoke (1997) Stand By Your Van -- Sublime Live in Concert (1998) Sublime Acoustic: Br

Best of 2021

  Last year, my attention span was not wide enough to listen to a lot of LPs from start to finish. Too much went on in 2020 to focus on 10-15 albums, so I went with only a couple to spotlight. Well, 2021 was a little better, as I have a list of top four records, and a lot of individual tracks.  (I made a lengthy Spotify playlist ) So, without further ado, here’s my list of favorites of the year: Albums Deafheaven, Infinite Granite (listen) Hands down, my favorite album of the year. I was not sure where Deafheaven would go after another record that brought My Bloody Valentine and death metal fans together, but they beautifully rebooted their sound on Infinite Granite. The divisive goblin vocals are vastly pared-down here, as are the blast beats. Sounding more inspired by Slowdive, the band has discovered a new sonic palette that I hope they explore more of in the future. It’s a welcome revelation. I still love their older material, but this has renewed my love of what these guys do.  J