Listening To: Take It Off

Take it Off

No one’s practicing strip tease moves here or planning on a career in burlesque. But compilation CD’s often make for the best background music when you’re writing period noir (which I am…y’know: ‘The Stiletto Gumshoe’) and Take It Off – 50 Essential Striptease Classics is ideal listening for that kind of work. Sure, there are a few cliched stripper tunes, but there’s also film and retro TV theme songs and soundtrack music from Peter Gunn, 77 Sunset Strip and Dragnet as well as some utterly perfect smoky jazz that can easily make you imagine yourself perched at the bar in a 1950’s cocktail lounge or roadhouse, or engaging in something naughty or nefarious (or both) in a run down hot sheet hotel or roadside motor court…just close your eyes for a moment and listen. Billy Vaughn, Buddy Johnson, Nelson Riddle, Henry Mancini, Elmer Bernstein’s Studio Orchestra…man, this one’s perfect.

Listening To: Love For Sale (1959)

Love For Sale LP

Technically, not listening to, but still waiting for: Pioneer jazz pianist Cecil Taylor (1929 – 2018) and his fifth album, Love For Sale from 1959, the year I’m fixated on with my own writing work. Vinyl’s been ordered, and back-ordered since forever. Suitable background music’s a must when I’m pounding the keyboard. The Mac keyboard that is. I’m not tinkling any ivories here. Love that album cover, though. The photo could be a scene right out of ‘The Stiletto Gumshoe’.

 

Listening To: Ute Lemper

The Very Best Of Ute Lemper

The icy winds roared all day and night on Sunday, ‘gale force’ according to the TV news, and enough to rattle the windows, no exaggeration. But comfy behind the keyboard once back home (had to work Sunday AM, several stops on the way back), I felt like I was ensconced in some dark little Weimar era Berlin café.  The soundtrack for Sunday’s writing desk sessions: Ute Lemper on CD and vinyl, the German chanteuse and stage star’s eclectic mix of pop, cabaret, jazz and show tunes all suitably moody, some not even in English so I wouldn’t get too distracted.

Crimes Of The Heart - Ute LemperBerlin Cabaret Sngs - Ute Lemper

 

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