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I've started my TOM WAITS education...


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Today I saw Tom Waits' Rain Dogs album on sale for 9 bucks and bought it on a whim. It's quite an experience, I must say, and it's one that I'm enjoying.

So, Tom Waits fans... where should I go from here? What are his best albums? Any that I should avoid?

Any pressing comments about Rain Dogs?

I'm liking this guy and look forward to getting to know his music a little better.

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"You've taken your first step into a larger world." - Obi-Wan Kenobi

You've started in the right place. "Rain Dogs" is my favorite.

I would say try "Mule Variations" next. It's a great cross-section of his varying styles over the course of his career, and yet it's one of his most recent albums.

"Bone Machine" is the most bizarre of the collection, and also one of my favorites. I describe it as "The Muppets Die and Go to Hell."

If you want to discover his barroom piano-player brilliance, check out "Small Change" (although you'll want to hide the cover from the eyes of the easily offended.)

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I've been listening to Rain Dogs all day, and man... this guy can be a little depressing.

Nineteen songs about lowlifes, thugs, crooks, murderers, heartless monsters... reminds me of a Flannery O'Connor story, only without the shadow of the Divine hanging over it to give us hope.

Goodness.

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By the way, Pitchfork Media reports that we can expect new Tom Waits this fall:

Ryan Schreiber reports:

"Because there's nothing quite like fresh material," enigmatic singer/songwriter Tom Waits is currently at work on a new full-length for Anti Records, according to a report from the record label's website. Titled Real Gone, and slated for release sometime in the fall, the disc is presently being recorded at an old Mississippi schoolhouse, and is described by the label as consisting of a set of songs in a "primal rhythmic blues" vein.

Like 2002's Blood Money and Alice, Real Gone was written and recorded by Waits and his wife Kathleen Brennan, and boasts an expansive list of contributors. Among the many musicians backing Waits up on the new record will be former Canned Heat bassist and longtime Waits contributor Larry Taylor on bass and guitar, NYC experimental guitarist Marc Ribot (who last worked with Waits on 1985's Rain Dogs, Primus members Les Claypool and Brain Manita, Shotgun Messiah guitarist Harry Cody, and Waits' son Casey on percussion and (omg) turntables. The disc is also reportedly being engineered by Mark Howard (Bob Dylan, U2, R.E.M., Iggy Pop) and self-produced by Waits and Brennan.

"I'm feelin' good about it all," Waits says in a statement on the Anti Records website. "Songs about politics, rats, war, hangings, dancing, automobiles, pirates, farms, the carnival and sinning. Mama, liquor, trains and death. In other words, the same 'ol dirty business!"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Josh;I'd recommend 'Swordfishtrombones' to you smile.gif

I enjoy Victoria Williams' 'Swing the Statue' and Sixteen Horsepower for an aesthetic comparable to Tom Waits, but more God-centred,for what it's worth..

Hope he'll continue to be a good 'musical friend' .

"The core purpose of art is a survival mechanism, and the way it helps us survive is by making us attentive." Milton Glaser

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  • 1 month later...

Swordfishtrombones. And Closing Time, the first one, if you like for example, "Hang Down Your Head," and the more melodic stuff on Rain Dogs. But you can't really go wrong with him. Actually there's a good compliation of his early stuff called Asylum Years.

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A few years ago Tom Waits sang for an album by the British composer Gavin Bryars titled Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet.

I highly recommend it.

Story behind it is that Bryars was recording the sound for a documentary in 1970s London, and twenty-something years later happened to come across a forgotten reel of a tramp singing this song, Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet. He left the tape running on a loop, and when he returned to his office, people were listening to the song and were moved to tears by it. So Bryars, who is not a believer, incidentally, decided to put together a one-hour-long album using the recording on a continuous loop and various accompaniments ranging from strings to brass to full orchestra, and of course Tom Waits.

Hardly typical Waits, I'm sure, but it is an incredibly moving album. I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of using it to accompany the communion service either.

Drop by The Grace Pages, a rest-stop for fellow pilgrims.

-- Dave aka Alvy

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Add to your list 1975's Nighthawks at the Diner, my personal fave of Mr. Waits.

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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I have become a huge fan of Tom Waits in the last year. I have really enjoyed checking his albums out in order. For the most part I gone thru his catalog one by one. I would recomend The Heart of Saturday Night. It is one of his more accesible albums. Also Small Change is one of my favorites. He released 2 albums a few in 2002 called Alice and Blood Money both of those are great. Really almost nothing is a miss.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pitchfork has some details about the new album:

John Herman reports:

The forthcoming new album from Tom Waits, Real Gone, now has a release date: October 4th. But watch out, Rahzel! According to the folks at Waits' label, Anti, the record will replace the legendary songwriter's piano with his own brand of vocal percussion. Oh, sweet Jesus.

But don't fret, lovers of actual music-- as we reported in April, a whole bevy of instrument spankers are on board: guitarist Mark Ribot will be collaborating for the first time since 1985's Rain Dogs; Larry Taylor, a veteran of several Waits recordings, will be on bass and guitar, Brain Manita (Primus, Buckethead, the most recent Guns 'N' Roses tour) will man the drums, Waits' son Casey X will handle percussion and turntables, Primus founder Les Claypool will slap the electric bass, and Harry Cody's got the guitar and banjo.

Of the album's sound, Anti's website stated that "Real Gone is a place, a time beyond reach: a lost mind, a renegade leader, war love sublime, love lost, death, desire, escape. These are the themes of the record inspired by the giddy lust, high voltage, out of orbit times-- a vertigo of splash and trash popular culture spinning alongside the gun to our head and the knife in our heart political times, or as 'Shake It' says, 'I feel like a preacher waving a gun around.'" We had to check to be sure they weren't referring to Timecop.

Speaking to NME, Waits said "Real Gone is an electric pill box... a homogeneous concoction of mood elevators, mind liberators and downers, an alchemical universe of rattling chains, oscillating rhythms and nine-pound hammers." That had to be rehearsed. With tracks like "Circus" and "Trampled Rose" all recorded in an old Mississippi school house with longtime collaborator and wife Kathleen Brennan, it sounds like fans can expect a true Waits album. Please God, let him sing of a one-eyed dwarf. Tracklist:

01 Top of the Hill

02 Hoist That Rag

03 Sins of My Father

04 Shake It

05 Don't Go Into That Barn

06 How's It Gonna End

07 Metropolitan Glide

08 Dead and Lovely

09 Circus

10 Trampled Rose

11 Green Grass

12 Baby Gonna Leave Me

13 Clang Boom Steam

14 Make It Rain

15 Day After Tomorrow

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I simply cannot wait. This year is going on the record books next to years like 1986 as one of the all-time greats. Four great albums so far this year, five if you count Pedro the Lion's (I'm really enjoying Achilles Heel) and we'll still be hearing from REM, U2, Waits, and more....

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Oh, goodness, yes. I thought last year was a great year for music, but this year is shaping up to be even better, although my Great Album count is still hovering somewhere around 3-4 (I haven't heard Pedro's, and I think Wilco's is worthy of an A-, at best).

These are some very intriguing song titles, by the way.

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  • 1 month later...

Another work of brilliance from the master. He takes Bone Machine and Rain Dogs and hammers them together into the most bizarre piece of sculpture you've heard since... well... Bone Machine.

First listen: A-, maybe an A.

ANOTHER great album for 2004. This may just pull me out of my REM lament...

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I'm afraid it's gonna take a new U2 album on par with ATYCLB (or better!) to pull me out of my REM lament, but I'm glad to hear that Waits doesn't disappoint on the new album. I'm going to try to listen to it later this afternoon.

And Jeffrey, we all know you've got nothing but free time on your hands, so I'm sure we'll be seeing a lengthy blog entry about this album later today...

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And Jeffrey, we all know you've got nothing but free time on your hands, so I'm sure we'll be seeing a lengthy blog entry about this album later today...

biggrin.giflaugh.gifbiggrin.giflaugh.gifbiggrin.gif

Time on my hands?

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P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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