I loved that John From Cincinnati kicked off with "Johnny Appleseed" from Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros last night. I love it for a number of reasons: because it’s the first track on a terrific album, Global a Go-Go, that for some reason no one ever talks about, because Strummer is no longer with us, and because for Sopranos viewers, long trained to learn that songs are far more than filler and often have great significance, it set the right tone for a new show.
If the Sopranos finale left me a bit cold–like the old drama adage says, if you put a gun onstage in Act I, you better use it by Act III–"Appleseed" picked me right back up.
My only concern with Cincinnati is Cincinnati itself. As one who writes about these shows each day, "Cincinnati" is impossible to spell. Should John From Cincinnati …Cinncinati?? be a hit, I’ll be spending way too much time looking up the proper spelling before it becomes second nature.
And one final thought on The Sopranos and musical selections: Ending on Journey was just wrong. Sure, Tony is cheesy and "Don’t Stop Believin’" would be right at home on his iPod, next to AC/DC, Billy Squier and the odd Night Ranger track. But Sopranos music works when it’s subtle–remember the Peter Gunn theme segueing into "Every Breath You Take" as the Feds spied?–not big, dumb, obvious and bereft of nuance.