February 4, 2013

Something Wonderful: The Santa Ana Winds, Raymond Chandler, and the Ghost of William Faulkner

"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Ana's that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge." -- Red Wind -- Raymond Chandler

Sometimes I almost think that there's hope for pop music after all. This is one of those times. Of course, I could be wrong.

”When the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking.....”

Well there's no one to blame,
And we all look the same,
And maybe’s just the course of evolution.
And it surely seems to me that predictability
Is quickly becoming something
You can’t count on.

Went on through the night,
As the headlights shine so bright
And they’re staring me down like I’m to blame.
Rolling in and out
Of LA County and they're calling out
My name, yeah they're calling out my name

Honey let me in, Santa Ana winds
Are going straight to my head.
And when the sun comes up there won't be no tomorrow
In the valley of the dead,
In the valley of the dead.

There ain’t no skating by,
We're all are gonna die
No matter what the plastic surgeon told you
Should Karma be the judge
Cause she don’t hold a grudge?
Or does she need a little helping hand?

When on through the night
as the moonlight shines so bright
And it lights up the sheets on my bed.
But tonight I'm gonna light that San Fernando
With Kerosene instead,
With kerosene instead.
With kerosene.

Honey let me in, Santa Ana winds
Are going straight to my head.
And when the sun comes up there won't be no tomorrow
In the valley of the dead,
In the valley of the dead.

Sons of Bill is a five-piece rock and Americana band from Charlottesville, Virginia.[1] Named after the father of three of the founding members, Bill Wilson. -- La Wik
Posted by gerardvanderleun at February 4, 2013 3:15 PM
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I like it!

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at February 4, 2013 4:43 PM

Chandler's opening lines in Red Wind is one of the all-time great 'hooks' in 20th century writing. You can't not read-on after that setting has been thrust upon you.

Posted by: Mahtomedi at February 4, 2013 6:38 PM

Only in America, Gerard.

Posted by: Jewel at February 4, 2013 8:52 PM

Those winds can do strange things to a soul...

Posted by: leelu at February 5, 2013 10:27 AM

Father Bill got up and played with the Sons at their Charlottesville Christmas concert. Grandma was in the audience at the table next to ours. Lots of others came onstage for a number or two as well, to include Love Canon, a band playing folk instruments covering 80s tunes from Staunton. Great show. They just got back from Europe, and will be in Richmond a week from Friday.

Posted by: LtCol DuBois at February 5, 2013 1:36 PM

My thought exactly.

Posted by: vanderleun at February 5, 2013 9:09 PM