> I offer up the entirety of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' album MURDER
> as another possibility (and talk about "Noir atmosphere": his song
> Right Hand.").
The entirety? I dunno. I tend to skip over a couple of the songs.
Cave, who's usually a smart and surprisingly subtle and witty artist,
given his frequent subject matter, just chews up the scenery a little
much on a few of them. The hammy overkill may work in concert, but on
record it just comes off as a little forced and silly. Though that may
be the point.
Mind you, sometimes it's the singer or the performance, not the song.
The Beatles' "Run for Your life" is a pretty lame (albeit slightly
offensive) pop song. When The Cowboy Junkies do it as this grungy
bluesy thing, it's just nasty. Margo Timmins sounds like she means it,
She catches you with another woman, that's the end, little boy.
Some of my other personal fave crime songs (they're not all noir)
Frankie & Johnny -- various
Stagger Lee (aka Stoack-o-Lee, Staggalee, etc., etc.) -- various
Nebraska by Springsteen
Jeannie Needs a Shooter by Warren Zevon
Folsom Prison Blues by Cash
Copperhead Road by Steve Earle
Mack the Knife -- Bobby Darin (finger-snappin' murder at its best)
Jesse James -- various
Streets of Laredo -- various (lately, it's Paul Westerberg's version,
but I'm flexible...)
Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts -- Joe Ely, Tom Russell et al
In State by Kathleen Edwards
Long Black Veil by The Band
Cop Killer by Body Count
The Ballad of Billy Jo by Billy Gentry/The Night the Lights Went Out
in Georgia by Vicki Llawrence (Yeah, I know, but both of these MOR
nuggets are also flat-out great story songs, dying to be remade in
darker, gritter versions. Maybe Marianne Faithful or Chrissie Hynde
should check 'em out...)
38 Years Old by The Tragically Hip
Murder in the Red Barn by Tom Waits & John Hammond
James River Incident by Steve Wynn
Cocaine Blues by George Thorogood (Cash's is great, but Thorogood's
slide-driven stab at it is a real rush)
But don't get me started....
Kevin Burton Smith
Palmdale Noir: Saturday, June 18
Butler's Coffee, Palmdale, CA
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