Portrait Of The Artist as a Consumer: Dietrich Kalteis

Canada, Dietrich Kalteis, Music, New Musical Express, Portait Of The Artist As A Consumer, Punk Noir Magazine
The Big Bad Blues by Billy F GIbbons
You Want it Darker by Leonard Cohen
Kill or Be Kind by Samantha Fish
The Sparky Sessions by The Hillbilly Moon Explosion
Western Stars by Bruce Springsteen
Colorado by Neil Young and Crazy Horse
The Bodyguard
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The Crown
Schitt’s Creek
White Gold
The Border by Don Winslow
The New Iberia Blues by James Lee Burke
Julia, Naked by Nick Hornsby
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
House of Earth by Woody Guthrie
Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski
The Irishman
Ford v Ferrari
The Good Liar
Green Book
Carmel by the Sea
Milk Stout
Vintage guitars
Vintage sports cars
Vinyl albums
A good book
Dietrich Kalteis is the award-winning author of Ride the Lightning (bronze medal winner, 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards, for best regional fiction), The Deadbeat Club, Triggerfish, House of Blazes (silver medal winner, 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards, for best historical fiction), Zero Avenue, Poughkeepsie Shuffle and Call Down the Thunder. His novel The Deadbeat Club has been translated to German as „Shootout“, and 50 of his short stories have also been published internationally. He lives with his family on Canada’s West Coast.

Canada Rocks by Dietrich Kalteis

Canada, Crime Fiction, Dietrich Kalteis, Music, Punk Noir Magazine

dietrich k

(Photo credit Andrea Kalteis)

I can’t imagine a day without music. When I write, I put on my headphones and play whatever inspires me to spin a story.

There have been so many great Canadian artists, and here are some of my favorites that I’ve listened to over the years. I’ve linked some of the tunes in hopes that you’ll check them out and find something that you haven’t heard in a while, or something that’s new to you.

Growing up in Toronto, Canadian music was all around, and I still connect certain tunes to certain times in my life, things I was doing when a particular song hit the charts. Goldies like Hank Snow’s “I’ve Been Everywhere,” Bobby Curtola’s “Fortune Teller,” and Shirley Matthews “Big Town Boy.” And what red-blooded Canadian didn’t ring in the New Year with Guy Lombardo.

Rompin’ Ronnie Hawkins, or The Hawk as he’s known to some, originally hailed from Arkansas, but he moved north of the border and helped shape the rock scene here early on, giving us hits like “Mary Lou”, “Forty Days” and more. Here he is with The Band in ’76 from the film The Last Waltz, doing “Who Do You Love?


Leonard Cohen showed up in the early sixties with “Suzanne”. From there he turned out so much more, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was also invested as a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honor. And he received a Prince of Asturias Award for literature, as well as the Glenn Gould Prize. Since he passed away in 2016, a posthumous album of new songs has been announced.

It’s called Thanks for the Dance, and here’s the first track called “The Goal”.

Then there’s Gordon Lightfoot who came on the scene with “Early Mornin’ Rain” and helped define the folk-pop sound of the sixties in a career that’s spanned over five decades and turned out over twenty great albums. Along with other prestigious awards, he’s won sixteen Junos, been nominated for five Grammys, and he’s been inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

Another great Canadian songwriter, Joni Mitchell came along in ’68 with her first album Song to a Seagull, and she’s given us so many memorable songs since. She’s also won nine Grammys, three Junos, been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. She became only the third Canadian singer-songwriter, along with Gordon Lightfoot and Leonard Cohen, to be appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada. Here’s the title track from her 2007 studio album Shine.

And who doesn’t remember the riff for “American Woman” by the Guess Who, a band out of Winnipeg in ‘65, delivering one smash hit after another over the next decade. If you ask me, Burton Cummings stands among rock’s top vocalists, and Randy Bachman is one of the finest guitarists on the planet. And if you give their 2007 album Jukebox a listen, you’ll see they’ve gotten better with age. Here’s a retake of “American Woman” from the album.

Members of Steppenwolf hailed from the Sparrows, a Canadian blues/rock band that produced a handful of recordings, with frontmen Jack London, and later with John Kay. Check out “Twisted” from the ’67 album John Kay and the Sparrows. It’s interesting to note Kay’s still going strong and performing solo.

Since Neil Young’s self-titled debut album in ’69, he’s given us forty solid studio albums, won a Juno for Artist of the Year, won a Grammy, was nominated for an Oscar, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I can’t wait for the new album called Colorado coming out in October. Here’s a taste, a track called “Milky Way”. Just no sign of him burning out or fading away.

I still covet the original vinyl of a couple of favorite local bands from the late sixties. I used to love going down to Sam the Record Man’s on Yonge Street and picking up the latest discs. And I still never tire of hearing the albums now. Give The Ugly Ducklings’ a listen. This is “Nothin’” from Somewhere Outside recorded in ’67. Another album that I’ve given a lot of play over the years is Magic People by The Paupers, released the same year, featuring rock drummer Skip Prokop, later to play with Lighthouse. Check out “Think I Care.”

The late ‘60s also gave us The Band, who originally came together as The Hawks, the backing band for Ronnie Hawkins, and debuted on their own in ’68 with Music From the Big Pink. They turned out nine more fabulous albums, as well as three they recorded with Bob Dylan.

Other Canadian favorites moving into the ‘70s were Murray McLauchlan with his self-titled debut release in ‘72, four-time Juno award-winning Bachman Turner Overdrive, Blood Sweat & Tears, Lighthouse, Heart, King Biscuit Boy, Crowbar, Downchild Blues Band, and A Foot in Coldwater. And by the mid-seventies we added Triumph, April Wine, and Rush, who went on to turn out twenty-five gold and fourteen platinum records, making them the third best-selling rock band in history behind the Beatles and the Stones.

When I researched for my novel, Zero Avenue, set in Vancouver during the early days of punk rock, I revisited the sounds of some kickass bands like D.O.A., as well as the Young Canadians, the Subhumans, Dishrags and Pointed Sticks. And east of the Rockies there were the punk sounds of the Demics, the Viletones, the Diodes, and another favorite Teenage Head. Check out “Let’s Shake” from 1980s Frantic City.

Into the eighties there was glam, new wave, heavy metal and music videos with the debut of Much Music in ’84. Along came Rough Trade, and the underrated David Wilcox. Here’s “My Eyes Keep Me in Trouble” from the ’83 album of the same name. Other artists I loved during that time: Powder Blues Band, Doug and the Slugs, and k.d. lang.

The late eighties gave us Colin James, and also Jeff Healey, another awesome guitar player. Here’s See the Light from his ’88 debut album.

And of course, there was Kingston’s the Tragically Hip, another multi-award winning group that turned out a superb body of work. Give a listen to “New Orleans is Sinking” from their second LP Up to Here from ’89.

In the nineties glam and new wave got old and gave way to hip hop, alternative and grunge. It was also the time for emerging bands like Fathead, The Crash Test Dummies, Bif Naked, and some blues-based rock by Wide Mouth Mason, and ska-dipped punk by The Planet Smashers. It was also the time for some new-age music with Loreena McKennitt, and some jazz with Diana Krall and Holly Cole.

In the new millennium there was post-grunge, pop punk and indie rock. And for folks like me who now lean old-school there are bands with their roots in blues like the Sheepdogs and Monster Truck, David Gogo, MonkeyJunk, and Sue Foley.

This is just an sample of some of the great Canadian music that I’ve enjoyed over the years, and my apologies for all the deserving bands and songwriters I couldn’t mention in this amount of space. But, one thing is for sure, Canada has turned out a lot of talent, and it looks like we’re just going to keep on rocking.

Desperate times call for desperate measures in Dietrich Kalteis’s latest lightning fast crime caper set in the Dust Bowl.
Call Down the Thunder (ECW Press, October 2019) follows Sonny and Clara Myers as they struggle on their Kansas farm in the late 1930s, a time the Lord gave up on. The land has dried up and become worthless, the bankers are trying to squeeze farmers out of their homes, and Sonny and Clara’s marriage is in trouble. Faced with a decision between withering along with the land or surrendering to the bankers and hightailing it to California like most of the other farmers, Sonny and Clara are on opposing sides.
In a fit of temper, Clara takes off westward alone. Determined to get back both his wife and the good old days, Sonny comes up with a risky plan that will let him keep his land and even prosper, all while giving the banks a taste of their own misery. He sets the scheme in motion under the cover of the commotion being caused by a rainmaker hired by the mayor to call down the thunder and wash away everyone’s troubles.
Dietrich Kalteis is the award-winning author of Ride the Lightning (bronze medal, 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards, for best regional fiction), The Deadbeat Club, Triggerfish, House of Blazes (silver medal, 2017 IPPY, for best historical fiction), Zero Avenue, and Poughkeepsie Shuffle. He lives with his family on Canada’s west coast

Call Down the Thunder Blog Tour (1)

Dietrich Kalteis is the award-winning author of Ride the Lightning (bronze medal, 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards, for best regional fiction), The Deadbeat Club, Triggerfish, House of Blazes (silver medal, 2017 IPPY, for best historical fiction), Zero Avenue, and Poughkeepsie Shuffle. He lives with his family on Canada’s west coast


Recommended Reads: Rausch, Kalteis, Morr.

Andy Rausch, Close To The Bone, Dietrich Kalteis, Fahrenheit 13, Fahrenheit Press, Indie, Paul D. Brazill, Punk Noir Magazine, Recommended Reads, Todd Morr


Bloody Sheets

Bloody Sheets by Andy Rausch

Mob enforcer Coke’s son is murdered by the Ku Klux Klan and Coke heads off to redneck country to extract his bloody revenge. Bloody Sheets is a violent and powerful crime drama choc-full of great characters and crackling dialogue.


Poughkeepsie Shuffle by Dietrich Kalteis

In ’80s Toronto, an ex-con trying to go straight gets involved with gun running and violence ensues. Poughkeepsie Shuffle is a fast-moving combination of crime caper and convincing character studies that are worthy of peak period Elmore Leonard.

if you're not 1 percent

If You’re Not One Percent by Todd Morr

A man with a dark past hides out in a small town but is dragged into a world of violence by a group of local psychopaths.  If You’re Not One Percent is brilliant, blistering, hardboiled, grindhouse action. A belter. I loved it.

Dietrich Kalteis Interviews Paul D. Brazill

Dietrich Kalteis, Interviews, Paul D. Brazill, Punk Noir Magazine
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Punk Noir Magazine hovers in the shadows of the late lamented Pulp Metal Magazine. It’s an online arts and entertainment magazine that looks at the world at its most askew, casting a bloodshot eye over films, music, television and more. There are interviews, reviews, news, poetry, fiction, micro fiction, and flash fiction.

Punk Noir’s editor Paul D. Brazill is a talented writer whose books include Last Year’s Man, A Case Of Noir, Guns Of Brixton, and Kill Me Quick. He was born in England and lives in Poland, and his writing has been translated into Italian, Finnish, Polish, German and Slovene. He’s also been published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime.

Dietrich: First off, Paul, the new magazine really is all things noir: movie reviews, book reviews and excerpts, radio, opinions, advice, music, even poetry. And with some highly talented writers weighing in. Please tell us about the direction you have planned for it?

PDB: All of the above and a whole lot more! The world is our lobster. We are your huckleberry! I’m interested in and enjoy a wide range of things that fall under the arts and entertainment umbrella, as are most people, I think. I didn’t see any reason to limit what goes up on the site to fiction or non-fiction. We’re all 21st century boys and girls, after all.

Dietrich: What type of submissions are you mainly looking for?

PDB: For non-fiction, I’m more interested in enthusiasms. If something – a film, a song, a beer, for example- really blows your skirt up, then write it up and send it my way. For fiction, I think flash fiction works best, as do novel excerpts. Poetry in nice and punchy too.

Dietrich: What is punk noir exactly?

PDB: Both punk and noir are words that have been so overused and misused that they pretty much mean nothing now. They’re random adjectives that are regularly added in a scattershot way, so combining them allows a lot of scope for the site. No sense? Nonsense!

Dietrich: Do you think there’s a growing interest and fascination with noir and crime fiction?

PDB: In Europe, crime fiction is a massive seller, for sure – mostly police procedurals. On TV too. They’re great comforters.  But ‘true noir’ with regard to Jim Thompson, Derek Raymond, Patricia Highsmith et al, not really. As I’ve said before, crime fiction is about bringing order to chaos, and noir is about bringing chaos to order- maybe the real world is chaotic enough for most people.

Dietrich: In your own writing which has been referred to as brit grit and punk noir, you seem drawn to music and humor mixed into your writing. What is it that makes it work?

PDB: Well, it certainly doesn’t work for everyone or I’d sell more books! But you can only be your own judge. I write what tickles my fancy in the hope that other people enjoy it. And some do, if not many.

Dietrich: Who has influenced your writing over the years?

PDB: Television, songs, books, comics, films, the music press, jokes, people – a veritable cornucopia of odds and sods!

Dietrich: So, what’s up next?

PDB: Well, the main focus for the next couple of months is getting posts up at Punk Noir Magazine, and there’s some good stuff coming up too, I can tell you.  For me, I’ve stories in a couple anthologies that will be published in the next few months, and I’m plodding away with the writing, as per usual. I’ll probably have a couple more books out next year.

Thanks for the interview!

This interview first appeared at Dietrich’s blog.

A New Punk Noir Interview

Dietrich Kalteis, Interviews, Paul D. Brazill, Punk Noir Magazine

I recently had an ‘Off The Cuff’ chat about Punk Noir Magazine with crime fiction author Dietrich Kalteis. 

‘Dietrich: What is punk noir exactly?

PDB: Both punk and noir are words that have been so overused and misused that they pretty much mean nothing now. They’re random adjectives that are regularly added in a scattershot way, so combining them allows a lot of scope for the site. No sense? Nonsense!’

Fiction Extract: The Silent Type by Dietrich Kalteis

Crime Fiction, Dietrich Kalteis, Fiction, Music, Punk Noir Magazine
PoughkeepsieShuffleCoverFrom the novel Poughkeepsie Shuffle, ECW Press. You can find it here.


Sitting on his deck with the cedar hedge at his back, Vick DuMont tapped his fingers on the arm of the metal chair. He tried for cool, not letting his eyes go to the portable drill on the picnic table.

Randy Hooper stood close, letting his size get his point across, his hair hanging in front of his face, strands sticking together like he’d been sweating. Pony White leaned against the shakes of the post-war-era house and looked on. Frown lines deep as scars on either side of his mouth.

Randy saying, “Two ways we can go.” Sitting on the bench of the picnic table, leaning close to Vick, Randy reached in a pocket and took a banded roll of cash, holding it up. Looked like a grand in hundreds. Tossing it, he caught it, saying to Pony, “Why they got to go the hard way all the time?”

“Beats me.”

Setting the cash on the table, Randy picked up the drill, Boar Gun printed on the side, big battery pack on the bottom. Pressing the trigger, he spun the bit, looked like he admired it, saying, “One way’s money, Vick, other way’s pain.”

“Okay, said I’ll find out what I can.”

“Expect your call, then,” Randy said, spinning the bit and gouging into the top of the table, saying, “You do, you get another roll like this one. You don’t . . .” He drilled deeper.

“Said I would, right?” Vick wiped at his forehead. Looking at the hole, he threw in that Ted Bracey had a trailer load of cars coming across the Peace Bridge, told them about the hidden cells welded underneath, opened on hydraulics. How you had to tap your foot on the brake and turn the key at the same time, flip a switch under a fake bottom on the console for the cells to open. Each packed with a couple of Uzis.

“Already know all that, the reason we’re talking. What I want to know’s when and where,” Randy said, tapping the drill bit against the roll of cash, then tapping it against the side of Vick’s knee. “Whichever one you want, your choice.”

“All I know, swear,” Vick said.

“But you’ll find out more,” Randy tapped the trigger, let the bit spin, catching the edge of Vick’s pants.

“Yeah, yeah.” Eyes on the bit, Vick bobbed his head and moved his leg away.

Randy got up, taking the drill, going and opening the screen. Vick’s schnauzer rushed out, Randy giving it a pat, then walking through the house, boots thudding on the hardwood.

Standing there, looking at the roll of bills, Pony said, “We got this place, kind of a warehouse sitting empty, out by the nuke plant. Locals moved the fuck away after the bullshit over in Chernobyl. You hear about it?”

“Yeah, yeah, sure.” Vick nodded.

“Nobody wants a candu reactor in the hood. Place get- ting all deserted.” Pony pointed at the gouge in the table. “We got to start drilling more holes, nobody’s gonna hear the screaming, not out there. You get me?” Pony left him sitting there, going through the house. Vick on the metal chair, hugging his dog.