Music, guns and L.A.
Each of the eight stories in Ry Cooder’s Los Angeles Stories has at least one musician and one crime. It is clear that Cooder has read classics from the hard-boiled and noir genres, but he brings his own musical spin, incorporating musicians like Billy Tipton, John Lee Hooker, Charlie Parker and lesser-known players with alienated characters like the pink-slipped trolley driver in “End of the Line,” who takes his beloved 606 for one last ride after dark, or the Los Angeles City Directory fact collector in the opening story, “All in a Day’s Work.” Repo men, waitresses, tailors, drifters, grifters and women of all sorts populate these stories that will appeal not only to Cooder fans. Although dark, the stories are never hopeless. They are filled with tough characters making their way in post-World War II Los Angeles, and there’s usually a gun involved.