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Old 03-23-2005, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 31
Songs That Put You In That "Film Noir" Mood

You know: that lone, sad saxaphone echoing as Bogart or Hayworth wander down
a rain-slicked sidewalk after midnight. Or the sultry, slightly out of tune piano
tinkling in a smoke-filled bar... What tunes would you pick to capture the mood?
Old 03-23-2005, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Dallas
Posts: 5,912
There is, of course, the classic "Harlem Nocturn". IIRC, it was the "theme music" to the Mike Hammer TV Series.
Old 03-23-2005, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,056
"Blues in the Night" (in the instumental version) is another piece that creates an instant-noir mood.
Old 03-23-2005, 05:00 PM
Charter Member
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Location: Lost in the mists of time
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How about The Friends of Mr. Cairo by Jon Anderson and Vangelis?
Old 03-23-2005, 06:19 PM
Eve Eve is offline
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 22,064
Nightmare by Artie Shaw.

Scroll down and click on the link, then go out and murder Phyllis Dietrichson's husband.
Old 03-23-2005, 06:28 PM
I Am the One Who Bans
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 78,234
As usual, Eve strikes gold.
Old 03-23-2005, 06:29 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Fuck, I'm in Greensboro
Posts: 2,774
Not entirely, but TMBG - Hotel Detective comes to mind.
Old 03-23-2005, 06:41 PM
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Up there, waiting
Posts: 17,203
"No Way Out" - Electric Light Orchestra

"Twilight Zone" - Golden Earring
Old 03-23-2005, 06:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: A Derby City lab
Posts: 1,292
"1930s Rust" by Gary Numan
Old 03-23-2005, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: My Own Private Iowa
Posts: 15,382
Raymond Scott's Naked City. Not the theme from the movie or tv series, and that's too bad.

(Scroll down to the soundclips and click up #8. Then buy the g/d album. It's THAT good.)
Old 03-23-2005, 09:44 PM
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 5,442
The Taxi Driver theme fits.
Old 03-23-2005, 09:52 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 455
A (most unfortunately titled) CD by Kozo called Planned Penetration - it consisted mainly of a lone trumpet over an electronic background. Makes me think of a dim smoky martini bar. Very cool.
Old 03-23-2005, 10:21 PM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: America's Dairyland
Posts: 12,780
Bruce Springsteen, Meeting Across the River. I've always directed the film noir music video for this in my mind: Springsteen singing directly into the camera, lit by neon light in a cheap room.
The Pretenders, Thin Line Between Love and Hate.
Bela Bartok, Concerto for Orchestra. Ernie Kovacs did a film noir version of this.
Old 03-23-2005, 10:23 PM
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago 'Burbs
Posts: 5,457
Bob Seger's Turn The Page.

Oh, quit laughing at me.
Old 03-23-2005, 11:56 PM
Charter Member
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Lots of Costello songs:
Watching the Detectives (of course)
Man Out of Time
The entire Brutal Youth album
Old 03-24-2005, 12:18 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 83
Concrete Blonde's Joey

Pogues' Dirty Old Town
Old 03-24-2005, 12:28 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,372
Portishead - really, any song.

Tom Waits - "Eggs and Sausage (in a cab with Susan Michelson)"
Old 03-24-2005, 05:02 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 4,543
T-Bone Walker sets the tone for me unmistakably. Especially:

Cold, Cold Feeling
Mean Old World
The Hustle is On
Evil Hearted Woman

Check out the bargain available in the Complete Imperial Recordings. After you've gotten a taste of that, you can move onto the Complete Black & White/Capitol Recordings.

But generally any of it makes me feel like I'm elbowed up to a bar, some dive where they haven't cleaned out the spitoon since the Roosevelt administration. Teddy. I strike a match on the edge of the counter as I fit a Lucky to my lips. I light up and shake out the match, drop it in a tin ashtray. My lips are dry. I nod to Joe and he puts rye whiskey on the wood and moves on. I guess I looked like I might get chatty. There's nobody else here, so he's looking busy with his little towel on a glass that isn't getting any cleaner. Fine by me. I pick up my glass and punish it a little, wincing as the busthead burns my throat. I tell it, "Hello, Breakfast."
Old 03-24-2005, 07:11 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 8,128
Tom Waits might just be the modern king of noir-sounding music:
"Romeo Is Bleeding"
"Goin' Out West"
"Jockey Full of Bourbon"
"Small Change"
"Eggs and Sausage"
"Shore Leave"
"I Never Talk To Strangers" (duet with Bette Midler)
"Frank's Wild Years"
"Pasties and a G-String"
"Spare Parts I"

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds:
"Red Right Hand"
"Henry Lee"

Mike Ness:
"The Devil In Miss Jones"
"Crime Don't Pay"

Anything they've ever done

Massive Attack:
"Teardrop On Fire"

Sneaker Pimps:
"6 Underground"
Old 03-24-2005, 08:29 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: IN USA
Posts: 13,246
Angelo Badalamenti's music for David Lynch projects (Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Industrial Symphony, Twin Peaks)- whether or not accompanied by Julee Cruise singing Lynch-written lyrics.
Old 03-24-2005, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: VT
Posts: 12,872
There was an Aerosmith song off of their ( Lives CD that was very film-noir. I can't think of the name, though. A bit of gooling reveals it is called "Ain't That a Bitch."

It starts with a lone trumpet and just makes me instantly think of a black and white smoke filled bar, with a guy in a tranchcoat drinking a scotch on the rocks.

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