Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Ellroy versus Cave. Split decision goes to Cave

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 04 Feb 2002

Kevin said:

  Cave's novel, THE ASS SAW THE ANGEL. Truth to
> tell, I wasn't even thinking of his book, just his songs, >

Actually, that's what I thought you were referring to - I just thought I'd mention the novel (which, by the way John W correctly named as "And the Ass Saw the Angel"). I personally much prefer his records - I admit to being a fan since back in the days when he & Mick Harvey were in the now legendary Birthday Party.Some of the shows they did in Sydney when I was still a young 'un were the most exciting gigs I ever saw ( & a couple weren't). As I got older, Cave's music got a little more
"conservative" , superficially, but he's always moving on in his own little groove (with Harvey's indispensible aid), someone who ,generally, seems to get better at well past the point most other popular muso's run dry of ideas. Tom Waits (who's an even bigger musical hero of mine) is similar in that respect. Tom also has strong associations with noir in his music, going back even earlier in his career - even rare-birds who don't like rock music should listen to his early classic track (which isn't rock at all, anyway; Tom rasps out a sort of hardboiled beatnik poem over a cool noiry jazz sax) - "Small Change" a track that reminds me of an old Damon Runyan short, title forgotten, that I read long ago about a dying gangster.(Just love those Gangster Romances.) That story was very hardboiled too, as I recall. In fact, I'm surprised that no-one ever seems to have brought up Runyon on this list. It's been a long time but I recall some of his stories as being very hardboiled (& all of them a good read).I guess I better stop now, or I'll be going off on tangents all night.


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