down in the hole

February 22, 2013

A re-up of Season 4 pulled us right back into The Wire loop, as addictively as before. The added bonus for me is the fantastic slave-to-the-beat version of the series’ supremely catchy theme song, ‘Way Down in the Hole’. It’s on constant playback, both in reality and in my head.

The relative merits (or not) of each season’s version are hotly discussed among Wireheads. I already liked The Blind Boys of Alabama’s Season 1 version, although Tom Waits’ gravelly (original) version in Season 2 gives the song a feel that is a completely different. The Neville Brothers in Season 3 didn’t seem to make a lasting impression, but DoMaJe’s version in Season 4 has grabbed me by the throat and won’t let go. It features the five Baltimore teenagers Ivan Ashford, Markel Steele, Cameron Brown, Tariq Al-Sabir, and Avery Bargasse, and was arranged and especially recorded for the show.

Steve Earle does the final Season 5 version, but Mr. Snow and I are loath to start that season. It’s a mix between fear of having to totally surrender to the series (again), and never ever having any more episodes to watch again… nor new theme versions to discover.

Have a listen if you need to, and tell me if you agree. Or, do you love an alternative version of a well-known song?

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the wire

August 5, 2008

I knew we were a bit slow in catching on to The Wire, but I didn’t realize just how slow until Inspector Gadget told us he had started getting bored during the fifth season! The fact that Season 1 was sold out all over KL should have given me a clue.

We did try following it on TV, but were really useless at sitting down at the same time every week to catch it. Salvation came in the form of the NOK200 box set courtesy of Platekompaniet and now we’re happy viewers.

I’m not sure why it’s so addictive, but this time round even I am hooked. A host of rock-solid characters, ranging from sharp as knives to bumbling incompetents on both sides of the law, imaginative cinematography, a good-looking set and a funked-up title tune by Tom Waits don’t hurt their chances. Here are some other people talking about why they think so too, and Jimmy McNulty (originally of Ireland by way of Sheffield) plays no small part in that. In fact, the show is getting a reputation for being more written about than watched.

In our living room, on Episode 7, either I’m depending more on the subtitles than I realize or I am getting really good at Baltimore cop and gangsta talk. I wonder which…