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Author Topic: Tom Waits
fern hill
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posted 12 March 2006 07:20 PM      Profile for fern hill        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I looked (briefly) for the 'what are you listening to now' thread. Didn't find, then thought, Tom deserves a thread of his own.

I adore Tom Waits. Every time I listen to one of his albums, I hear a lyric I hadn't heard before.

Had Raindogs on the Walkman eons ago -- I remember I was walking on Eglinton, don't know why I remember that -- and something hit me I hadn't heard before and I cracked up. A couple of business-dressed guys looked at me as if I were nuts. Well. . .


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Sven
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posted 13 March 2006 12:13 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fern hill:
I looked (briefly) for the 'what are you listening to now' thread. Didn't find, then thought, Tom deserves a thread of his own.

My favorite album of his, by far, is Nighhawks at the Diner. Second is Small Change.

I've listen to those two albums many, many times over the years and the music/lyrics always feel fresh.


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'lance
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posted 13 March 2006 01:05 AM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've just bought his latest, Real Gone, from 2004.

Not his most accessible recording, you might say, but with plenty to recommend it. I'll have to give it a few more listens before I know quite what to make of it, though.


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Sven
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posted 13 March 2006 01:17 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Let me know what you think after you've had a few more listens.

I just downloaded "Frank's Wild Years". I really enjoy it. Again, the more I listen to it, the more I like it. His music just grows on you. I think that is one sign of a good artist. The more you experience the art, the better it gets.


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scott
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posted 13 March 2006 01:42 AM      Profile for scott   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Swordfishtrombones", "Foreign Affairs" and "Rain Dogs". Or anything you can find. They are all good.

I like his film appearances. "Down by Law", and "At Play in the Fields of the Lord".

[ 15 March 2006: Message edited by: scott ]


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siren
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posted 13 March 2006 02:10 AM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ah, a meaningful thread! Tom Wait's is the present poet of the status formerly held by Allen Ginsberg (imo). Rain Dogs is one of his best albums, I think.

9th & Hennepin

Well it's Ninth and Hennepin
All the doughnuts have names that sound like prostitutes

And the moon's teeth marks are on the sky
Like a tarp thrown all over this
And the broken umbrellas like dead birds
And the steam comes out of the grill
Like the whole goddamn town's ready to blow...
And the bricks are all scarred with jailhouse tattoos

And everyone is behaving like dogs
And the horses are coming down Violin Road
And Dutch is dead on his feet
And all the rooms they smell like diesel
And you take on the dreams of the ones who have slept here

And I'm lost in the window, and I hide in the stairway
And I hang in the curtain, and I sleep in your hat...

And no one brings anything small into a bar around here
They all started out with bad directions
And the girl behind the counter has a tattooed tear
"One for every year he's away", she said
Such a crumbling beauty, ah
There's nothing wrong with her that a hundred dollars won't fix
She has that razor sadness that only gets worse
With the clang and the thunder of the Southern Pacific going by
And the clock ticks out like a dripping faucet
'til you're full of rag water and bitters and blue ruin
And you spill out over the side to anyone who will listen...

And I've seen it all, I've seen it all
Through the yellow windows of the evening train...

~~~~~~~~~~~~

When others cover a Tom Wait's poem/song they inevitably "pretty it up" -- Rod Stewart's version of Downtown Train for e.g. You need to hear the gritty lyrics presented in the gritty voice of the master.

Or perhaps I am just in a perverse mood ce soir.


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 13 March 2006 02:28 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by siren:
Ah, a meaningful thread! Tom Wait's is the present poet of the status formerly held by Allen Ginsberg (imo). Rain Dogs is one of his best albums, I think.

For $6.99 on iTunes, I can't go wrong. I'm downloading the album now.

With "9th & Hennepin" and "A Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis", it looks like Waits has spent a meaningful amount of time here, as some time in the past. I'll have to do some research about the songs.


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siren
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posted 13 March 2006 02:40 AM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
$6.99 is quite a deal. Note of caution; listening to Waits while in the throes of depression and when sharp pointy objects are easily obtained -- is just not advised.
From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
fern hill
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posted 13 March 2006 09:28 AM      Profile for fern hill        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by siren:
Note of caution; listening to Waits while in the throes of depression and when sharp pointy objects are easily obtained -- is just not advised.

I had Rain Dogs on the walkman (Clap Hands was the cut) walking along and thinking: 'This is it. I'm going to start screaming. I'm about to become one of those people who shout on the streets. This is it.' Etc. (was going through a bad patch) Just when it felt like I was going to start screaming, I had the wit to hit the 'off' button. Feeling vanished. Waits definitely should come with a caution.


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RP.
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posted 13 March 2006 10:07 AM      Profile for RP.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My favourite album and maybe song: Heart of Saturday Night
From: I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
F.
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posted 13 March 2006 12:21 PM      Profile for F.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Waits' interviews and between-song stories at concerts are often as good as his songs:

quote:
Funny little story... I drove on a field trip once, to a guitar factory, to show all these little kids how to make guitars. So we're standing there, and I'm looking around, and folks are looking over at me, and I'm just waiting for someone to recognize me, you know, "Hey, aren't you that music guy? That singer guy?" Nobody. Nothing. We're there for, like, two hours, watching them put the frets on and all that, and I'm waiting and waiting. A week later, I took the same group of kids on a field trip to the dump, and as I pulled up, don't ask me how, but my truck was surrounded by people that wanted an autograph. It was a dump, for Christ's sake. I guess everybody knows me at the dump.

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'lance
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posted 13 March 2006 02:00 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by siren:
When others cover a Tom Wait's poem/song they inevitably "pretty it up" -- Rod Stewart's version of Downtown Train for e.g. You need to hear the gritty lyrics presented in the gritty voice of the master.

Or perhaps I am just in a perverse mood ce soir.


No, you're right -- it's an execrable cover, down there with Mannfred Mann's massacres of "Blinded by the Light" and "Going Underground."

Listening to his most recent albums, I wonder if Waits has deliberately decided to make fewer concessions to pop sensibilities. Both "Downtown Train" and "Hang Down Your Head" are songs that could have been big hits -- deservedly so, I'd add -- but it's hard to find equivalents on Mule Variations or Real Gone.

[ 13 March 2006: Message edited by: 'lance ]


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siren
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posted 14 March 2006 07:45 PM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Arrgh. Only now, in the posts of others, do I see my error in apostrophe re. Wait's Waits'. Grr.

Fern Hill, I know exactly what you mean; my scream out loud often happens during: "Uncle Vernon, Uncle Vernon, independent as a hog on ice." Now isn't that a great imaginative lyric?

'lance, I agree -- Waits knows he could be a commercial success, he deliberately chooses otherwise.


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 14 March 2006 07:58 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by siren:
$6.99 is quite a deal. Note of caution; listening to Waits while in the throes of depression and when sharp pointy objects are easily obtained -- is just not advised.

I listen to Rain Dogs last night and LOVED IT!!!

Okay, so now I have Nighthawks, Small Change and Rain Dogs. What would you recommend I consider for another two albums??


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'lance
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posted 14 March 2006 08:07 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by siren:
Fern Hill, I know exactly what you mean; my scream out loud often happens during: "Uncle Vernon, Uncle Vernon, independent as a hog on ice." Now isn't that a great imaginative lyric?

Or pick anything pretty much at random from "Gun Street Girl."

Sittin' by the Erie with a bull-whipped dog
Tellin' everyone he saw 'they went thattaway, boys'
Tellin' everyone he saw 'they went thattaway.'

Once I had to do an inspection of a huge property (several hundred acres) that included a sort of junkyard -- more accurately, a "soil recycling facility" that, I strongly suspected, served also as a front for a chop-shop. (This was in the lower Fraser Valley of B.C. I'm reluctant to narrow it down more than that).

The manager was a leathery old character with eyes that looked in different directions. As soon as he opened his mouth, I thought I'd slid over to a parallel universe in which Tom Waits hadn't made it in the music business, but instead had somehow ended up the manager of a "soil recycling facility"/chop-shop in the lower Fraser Valley of B.C. And had ended up living a much harder life than the Tom Waits in this reality, all of which showed on his face.

I realized almost immediately, of course, that this wasn't any sort of Tom Waits, only a character who'd stepped out of one of his songs. But I'd better end it there, or else I'll wind up trying to imitate Waits' style of lyrics.

[ 14 March 2006: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 14 March 2006 08:09 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
I listen to Rain Dogs last night and LOVED IT!!!

Okay, so now I have Nighthawks, Small Change and Rain Dogs. What would you recommend I consider for another two albums??


Swordfishtrombones and Mule Variations. Listen especially for "What's He Building In There" (on MV).


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Makwa
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posted 14 March 2006 09:59 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
Okay, so now I have Nighthawks, Small Change and Rain Dogs. What would you recommend I consider for another two albums??
Two copies of 'Franks ..."

From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
guy cybershy
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posted 14 March 2006 10:17 PM      Profile for guy cybershy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

I listen to Rain Dogs last night and LOVED IT!!!

Okay, so now I have Nighthawks, Small Change and Rain Dogs. What would you recommend I consider for another two albums??



You can't go wrong with his debut, "closing time". You haven't lived until you've heard "little trip to heaven on the wings of your love".

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pink
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posted 14 March 2006 10:27 PM      Profile for pink     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

[ 08 June 2007: Message edited by: pink ]


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ronb
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posted 15 March 2006 12:21 AM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If he'd stopped recording after Closing Time he would be considered one of the giants of American music. I would also highly highly recommend Bone Machine. It's still my favourite of the post Rain Dogs albums. I Don't Want To Grow Up is worth the price of admission - one of my top 5 fave videos to boot - plus there's a great duet with Keith Richards called "That feel", and A Little Rain - one of the saddest songs ever recorded. It's a nearly perfect record, IMO.

In The Neighbourhood from Swordfish Trombones is probably my favourite video ever. Some how that record got buried by Rain Dogs for me. I listened to Swordfish Trombones constantly until Rain Dogs came out, and now I rarely return to it. I think I'll go listen to it right now.

BTW, rent the movie Down By Law if you haven't seen it. And BIg Time, one of the coolest concert films ever.


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Papal Bull
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posted 15 March 2006 12:24 AM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Did I just get a Telephone Call From Istanbul?

I suggest listening to the Red Elvises. Absolutely hilarious band, on their audio section of their site they have a killer cover of Tom Waits.


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