RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir Music

Kevin Smith (kvnsmith@colba.net)
Sun, 23 May 1999 10:57:10 -0400 Sound and vision can combine in strange ways. One of the more consistently
enjoyable uses of popular music in hardboiled and noir settings has been
not in film, but on TV's HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET, which has managed
the neat trick of combining non-hardboiled and non-noir songs, often from
some very diverse and unexpected sources, with the action to enlighten,
underline, and offer additional comment, sometimes ironically. Some of the
juxtapositions will make you chuckle, and some will break your heart.

Of course, the use of pop in film has also been done very well. I can't
hear "Please, Mr. Postman" anymore without picturing DeNiro tearing up the
joint in MEAN STREETS, or "Stuck in the Middle With You" without picturing
Michael Madsen flashing the blade in RESERVOIR DOGS. Imagine Stealer's
Wheel's music being considered hardboiled? YIKES!!!

If you ask me, that's a far better use of my musical memories than TV
commercials for Toyotas or Tampons.

And, of course, as usual, please forgive me for violating the List Purity
Laws, by mentioning television. Will you take a bribe? The eggs are in the

So, it looks like someone else lucked onto an, er, alternative copy of GOD
IS A BULLET. Here's Teran's original bio:

"Boston Teran was born and raised in the South Bronx by his drifter father,
surrounded by "gamblers, con men, and thieves." Teran now lives in Los
Angeles with his family. This is his first book."

Play that funky music, white boy....

Kevin Burton Smith
The Thrilling Detective Web Site
This month: Sci-Fi P.I.'s, and thrilling new detective fiction by Chris
Mills and Jack Curtin.

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