BBC Radio 4: Tarantino’s Jukebox

Aural Noir: Online Audio

BBC Radio 4BBC Radio 4 produces so many wonderful fiction programs. Every once in a while I get my paws on a BBC R4 documentary program that is just as good, and just as interesting as those readings and plays. I’m not much for music, but I love the music in Quentin Tarantino’s movies.

Here’s the perfect doc on that subject…

Tarantino's JukeboxTarantino’s Jukebox
2 Parts – Approx. 56 Minutes [DOCUMENTARY]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4
Broadcast: July 11th and 18th 2009
“Composer and film music historian Robert Ziegler talks to American film-maker Quentin Tarantino about the music he has used to soundtrack his films. Music plays a key role in Tarantino’s films, including Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, and he reveals to Robert his musical influences and the way in which he plunders his own backstory, remembering the tracks of his youth and making references to – and featuring music from – cult films and television. Recorded on location in Tarantino’s favourite virtual Los Angeles diner, the programme also provides an insight into the way music can infuse a film, and the way a film can bring music back to life from the dusty vaults. The programme also features contributions from Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Dusty Springfield’s manager Vicki Wickham, film producer Laurence Bender, music and film critic Paul Gambaccini, film editor Sally Menke and music supervisors Mary Ramos and Karyn Rachtman”.

When you click through you may notice that BBC only has the second half of the two part doc still available in their iPlayer. But, that’s okay because you can get this terrific two part doc in an MP3 format via torrent from (just like I did).

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #030 – The Friends Of Hector Jouvet by James Powell


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #030 – is rather different than previous programs. This one has no talk, it’s all story. I asked for and received permission to record a short story by previous SFFaudio Podcast guest James Powell. The Friends Of Hector Jouvet was Powell’s first ever sale. It was originally published in the April 1966 issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Our audio version is skillfully narrated by J.J. Campanella. This is a great story. Enjoy!

The Friends Of Hector Jouvet by James PowellThe Friends Of Hector Jouvet
By James Powell; Read by J.J. Campanella
1 |MP3| – Approx. 34 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: The SFFaudio Podcast
Podcast: July 2009
A young Canadian dentist, whilst backpacking through Europe, finds himself atop a high cliff looking out over a principality on the French Riviera. Standing behind him is mysterious older man, a local resident, who needs to tell him a story. First published in the April 1966 issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.

BONUS AUDIO – The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo |MP3|

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Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine v47 n04 [1966-04] - The Friends Of Hector Jouvet by James Powell

Posted by Jesse Willis

Lux Radio Theatre: Panic In The Streets

Aural Noir: Online Audio

Panic In The Streets


Even looking at it now the truth sounds like an April Fools day joke.

Had you asked me: “How many ‘uniformed services’ does the United States of America have?”

I would have said: “They have only five uniformed services, Army, Air-Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.” I would have bet you cash money on the fact. I could have even given you great details about all five – detailing for instance when the USAF split off from the Army (1947).

But I would have lost that bet.

I might even have hedged a little, asking: “Are you including the Merchant Marine?” But even had I said, “It has 5 plus the merchant marine” I would have lost the bet because, apparently, the United States of America has:


That fact blew my mind.

I found out about this by watching, disbelievingly, an old Film Noir movie called Panic In The Streets. In it a doctor, played by Richard Widmark, gets a phone call from the New Orleans coroner’s office. It seems there is a corpse presenting some very disturbing symptoms – one that requires Widmark’s expertise. As he complains about having to come in on his day off he dons what looks like a tan Navy officer’s uniform. His epaulets seemingly indicating his holding the rank of a Lt. Cmdr.

“That’s weird,” I said to myself as he put on the clothes. “Why would they have called a Navy doctor?” I paused the movie and broke out Wikipedia. Two or three clicks later…

Uniformed Services Of The United States

United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps!

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps?

Yeah, I was stunned too. It has a feeling of unreality.

I’ve slowly come to the realization that the USA is, like the Roman Republic, loathe to abandon any institution or tradition it creates (typically requiring either a civil war or a sustained public demonstration). I had no idea the USA had founded either the USPHSCC or the NOAACC. This is all à propos to Aural Noir due to a recent podcast…

Lux Radio TheatreLux Radio Theatre – Panic In The Streets
1 |MP3| – Approx. 53 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: March 5, 1951
Provider: Relic Radio
An illegal immigrant carrying pneumonic plague is found murdered on the New Orleans waterfront. It’s up to Lt. Cmdr. Clinton ‘Clint’ Reed M.D., of the Public Health Service, to prevent a national epidemic. Reed must find and inoculate the murderer and anyone he’s come into contact with. He has 48 hours. The movie, released June 12, 1950, starred Richard Widmark, so does this radio version.

For a similar, but Science Fiction, adventure try Alan Nourse’s Star Surgeon.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Aural Noir Review of The White Moll by Frank L. Packard

Aural Noir: Review

LibriVox - The White Moll by Frank L. PackardThe White Moll
By Frank L. Lampard; Read by Rowdy Delaney
21 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – 8 Hours 45 Minutes – [UNABRIDGED]
Published: November 15, 2008
Themes: / Crime / Gangsters / Superheroes / Thieves / New York City /

“…an angel of mercy who spends her time helping the poor in the slums of New York City is drawn into the criminal world when she attempts to help Gypsy Nan, who is not what she seems. Accused of a crime and on the run from the police, she must battle the most nefarious criminal gang in the New York underworld to prove her innocence.”

The White Moll is an exciting adventure story by Frank L. Packard who also wrote the wonderful Adventures Of Jimmie Dale. Set in New York’s shady underbelly of crime, we follow The White Moll as she strives to do good but finds herself framed by criminals who also blame her for ruining their schemes. Can she foil their plans and also save herself? And what of the adventuring thief with whom she has fallen in love?

This book is not as hard-boiled as a typical noir-ish story but definitely holds its own in New York City’s seamy underbelly as unsavory characters plot thefts and murders with little regard for any sense of decency. The White Moll is a quick thinking and plucky heroine who never performs better than when her back is against the wall and we think there is no way out of a threatening situation. Packard wrote in the early 1900s but the stories have as much zest and adventure as when they were new.

Reader Rowdy Delaney has a low key narrative style. She does not attempt to change voice styles from one character to another yet we still get impressions of the characters as they appear. Her reading is smooth and steady, allowing the story to succeed or fail upon its own merits.

This book is available free from Librivox.

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Posted by Julie D.

LibriVox Noir: The Aeneid by Virgil

Aural Noir: Online Audio

LibriVoxOut now from LibriVox is an early English translation of an epic poem. Aeneas’s story is the story of the foundations of the Roman republic and the Roman empire. Its ethos plays an important role in shaping who we are nearly two millennia after it was written. I think of it as the first in a long tradition of NOIR LITERATURE. Sure, you thought that the story of Romulus and Remus was grim. But that’s much later in the history of the Roman people – at least according to the greatest Roman poet, Publius Vergilius Maro, better known as Virgil. Virgil wrote this earlier history of the Roman origins for his Emperor, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, better known as Augustus.

If you’ve read The Iliad you’ve already met Aeneas. The end of The Iliad is the beginning of The Aeneid. Aeneas leads his surviving, but homeless, Trojans to Italy, where they become the ancient ancestors to the Romans. The first six of the poem’s twelve books tell the story of Aeneas’ wanderings from Troy to Italy, and the second set of six books chronicle the war for the new Trojan homeland. In his war against the brave and honorable, but hot-headed Turnus, Aeneas keeps his cool (as a good Roman should). In fact, Aeneas is everything a good Roman should be, full of filial piety, brave, resistant to the temptations of distracting women, and ultimately ruthless.

Some scholars think that the final scene of this epic is unfinished. I understand why they think that, they say the meter is off, that Virgil died before he could make it fully symmetrical. I choose not to believe that. I choose to believe the final lines of this epic poem are exactly as Virgil intended: That is, COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY NOIR.

Here are the final lines of the poem’s Fitzgerald translation:

“Then to his glance appeared the accurst swordbelt surmounting Turnus’ shoulder, shining with its familiar studs – the strap Young Pallas wore when Turnus wounded him and left him dead upon the field; now Turnus bore that enemy token on his shoulder – enemy still. For when the sight came home to him, Aeneas raged at the relic of his anguish worn by this man as trophy. Blazing up and terrible in his anger, he called out: ‘You in your plunder, torn from one of mine, shall I be robbed of you? This wound will come from Pallas: Pallas makes this offering, and from your criminal blood exacts his due.’ He sank his blade in fury in Turnus’ chest…”

Aeneas, who throughout the rest of the poem symbolizes pietas (reason), in this final scene becomes furor (fury). Since this poem is considered the national epic of the Roman people, it seems fitting that the Roman virtues are at the fore of the concluding scene. Romans were vengeful, pitiless, with what Friedrich Nietzsche called a “master morality” – the morality of the strong-willed. What is good is what is helpful; what is bad is what is harmful. For Virgil, and Augustus, the strong-willed Roman morality is not needing the approval of a higher power. For us, in certain circumstances it leaves us saying things like… “Forget it Jake. It’s Chinatown.”

LibriVox Noir Audiobook - The Aeneid by VirgilThe Aeneid
By Publius Vergilius Maro; Translated by John Dryden; Read by various
24 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – 13 Hours 39 Minutes [POETRY]
Published: October 2008
The Aeneid is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BC that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. The first six of the poem’s twelve books tell the story of Aeneas’ wanderings from Troy to Italy, and the poem’s second half treats the Trojans’ ultimately victorious war upon the Latins, under whose name Aeneas and his Trojan followers are destined to be subsumed. The poem was commissioned from Vergil by the Emperor Augustus to glorify Rome. Several critics think that the hero Aeneas’ abandonment of the Cartheginian Queen Dido, is meant as a statement of how Augustus’ enemy, Mark Anthony, should have behaved with the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra.

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Posted by Jesse Willis