Re: RARA-AVIS: CD Books & Hard-boiled music and the Southern voice

From: Keith Alan Deutsch (
Date: 14 Apr 2000

Mark Sullivan wrote:

> "The current hardboiled music thread started when David White suggested
> that it would be nice if certain recent music-saturated novels could be
> released with CDs containing songs mentioned in the text. I'm in the
> middle of a book that would be a prime candidate for this approach,
> Crossroad Blues by Ace Atkins.......
> The main character, Nick Travers, is a "tracker" of old bluesmen, their
> songs, stories and legends. This particular book revolves around
> various people searching for rumored recordings from a previously
> unknown recording session by blues giant Robert Johnson....."

> Dear Mark,

> I really enjoyed your full posting and think David White's idea of books
> published with an included Music CD would be even more wonderful if the
> music on the CD included previously unreleased material and was integral to
> the mystery---or, if ithe book was one of those novelizations of
> blockbuster movies that happened to have a great sound track. The
> record/movie conglomerates (Warners/Sony/Geffen) will eventually figure
> this out.
> In re Robert Johnson, there's a very good DVD biographical film out by
> Peter Meyer (Can't You Hear The Wind Howl/WinStar) that would make a great
> "outlaw" novel, ripe for the inclusion of a CD, not only of music, but of
> reminsicences.
> Johnson's life as revealed in this film has much of the hard boiled glamour
> of the subterranean memoires mentioned recently in the discussions of
> Burroughs' William Lee writings and of the on-the-road, hobo-criminal
> romance of Jack Black's You Can't Win.
> ICEBERG SLIM: I'd like to offer up the work of Iceberg Slim for
> consideration in the Burroughs/Jack Black criminal memoir discussion that
> started a day or so ago. He writes compelling and convincing novels as an
> outlaw, pimp, drug dealing autobiographer. He has been self-publishing at
> least thirty years now, and I consider him the greatest passed over black
> writer of the last century. With all due respect to Chester Himes, who
> finally received recognition (and material success), Iceberg Slim is--in my
> opinion--in the same outlaw-reporter class , as the autobiographical
> writings of Burroughs and Malcom X.
> Iceberg Slim has been ignored, I think, because his earlier work was sold
> as and presented along with pornography (the pimp saga); he's never had a
> mass market publisher (to my knowledge), and his moral stance is often
> ambiguous....not exactly "to live outside the law you must be honest."
> Which suggests to me that some of Dylan's music, although lyrical,
> hallucinatory, and romantic, contains hard boiled argot, outlaw themes, and
> a tough guy, put-you-down attitude worthy for consideration in the hard
> boiled music discussion that has been going around recently.


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