RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Song Noir

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 18 Jul 2009

  • Next message: Donna: "RARA-AVIS: Re: Song Noir"

    Steve, Sounds like, music taste-wise, you and I have a fair amount in common. Basically, if it's compared to the Velvets, I'll check it out, gravitate first to post-punk sounds. And Kevin's taste definitely skews a bit more Americana (alt or classic) than mine, but I've got to agree with a lot of his choices. I also found Cave's Murder Ballads overwrought, even by his standards; I like some other version of almost all of the songs on it better. It's one of my least favorite of his albums (now Martyn Bates/MJ Harris's Murder Ballads, that's incredible). But as for Kevin's recommendations, even if you don't like most Springsteen, you really should check out his Nebraska album. It's an anomaly in his catalog, stark solo songs about people out on the edge, dark folk, not rock. Along with Cash's Folsom Prison, I'd add much of his work in the American Recordings series, including his great covers of Cave's Mercy Seat and Nine Inch Nails' Hurt. Mark
    > To:
    > From:
    > Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2009 17:38:03 -0400
    > Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Song Noir
    > Sounds great...I like very much the idea of the association of noir.crime
    > and music...rock especially...
    > I think Iım much more attached to Œstyleı, than you are in your taste, since
    > I would never touch, listen, go, near the likes of Cowboy Junkies,
    > Springsteen, Earle, Westerberg, any MOR, Billy Gentry, the Band...but
    > Velvet, the Cramps, Gene Vincent...on the contrary...and I grew up in Euro
    > as ŒRolling Stonesı and Beatles were establishment and Œcuteıand were
    > therefore Œon the other sideı of the tracks (except Lennon)...Iım much more
    > sensitive to the look, the attitude, the genre...and therefore I donıt
    > follow any of the Œothersı...
    > ...but we have not even talked about some other Œmusic familiesı where
    > crime/noir story and attitude is a-plenty and abundant: industrial
    > (Ministry/Front 242...), some tecno, hip hop, some rap...and of course some
    > heavy metal (Motorhead to start with), and how to ignore some of the
    > flamenco and the fado...
    > All this to say that this is one of the rare times that music is talked
    > about in connection with crime stories in rara, and it is a pure delight to
    > hear somebody think of titles, songs, connection with it,
    > so thank you for picking this up and I promise to keep your list and Itune
    > some of the ones you have tickled my curiosity...
    > Montois
    > On 7/18/09 1:43 PM, "Kevin Burton Smith" <>
    > wrote:
    > >
    > > Brian wrote:
    > >
    > >> > I offer up the entirety of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' album MURDER
    > >> > BALLADS
    > >> > as another possibility (and talk about "Noir atmosphere": his song
    > >> > "Red
    > >> > 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,
    > > man.
    > >
    > > 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)
    > > include:
    > >
    > > 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
    > >
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    > ------------------------------------
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