Saturday, August 25, 2012

Window Dressing

I know, I know, it's incidental. You can't judge a book based on the musical taste of its author. But I'm like, damn, how nice is it to read about detective story about a guy who can chapter-and-verse Bad Brains and Wu Tang?
Yeah, yeah, George Pelecanos name-dropped Lungfish in--which one was it? Couldn't have been King Suckerman, musta been, um, Shame The Devil?--but this is different. Dewey Decimal doesn't just happen to hear these sweet jams on the radio while casing a joint or whatever. The music matters to the plot, the character development, the book itself.

No surprise, considering the source. Nathan Larson, writer of this book I'm reading with great gusto and pleasure The Nervous System (as well as its predecessor, The Dewey Decimal System) is a stone cold musician. Used to play guitar in Shudder To Think, a band I listened to a lot in high school, currently does scores for the movies and plays in A Camp.
I've had to learn patience with the musical tastes of writers of detective stories. I threw my copy of G.M. Ford's otherwise excellent Fury across the room when the male and female leads canoodled to the tortuous strains of that horrible Santana, featuring Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 song. I had mellowed by the time I got to my hero Paco Ignacio Taibo II's Santana obsessing in Leonardo's Bicycle. I even checked out some Santana, and though I'm still no Santana fan, I can dig it.
And, y'know, for all that I worshipped and emulated the writing style of Richard Meltzer during my rock crit salad days, I almost never liked the music he liked, or said he liked. So there's that.

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