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Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by Jim622, Dec 24, 2018.
He’s a poet man, and he uses music as a medium to express his poetry....like a rolling stone....
Somewhat recent Waits that makes me think of early era. Reminds me of On The Nickel, & more references to the Midwest (Johnsburg & Rockford IL).
Beautiful beautiful song.
I gotta say and I don't mean to suggest I'm up to the standard, but Tom Waits is my dream gig that I never found.
I view music more as art than entertainment, but in society, music is consumed more as entertainment than art.
We have Jazz for the arty consumption, but much of Jazz can be stuffy in the consumption arena, and is often more reproduction of art than art being made.
Then there's free/ avant garde/ experimental Jazz, which is less stuffy in the consumption where it's not black tie polite, but there's a lotta problems with this area of music.
Now we have Tom over here and he honestly rips chunks of Jazz and Rock and Blues and Soul and Funk yet is none of those things, he makes art of it yet doesn't create a stuffy pompous audience/ venue scene, and despite many not getting him, he is really very accessible compared to an awful lot of music that's arguably art centric.
WRT his style and voice reminding some of other performers, and bringing up comparisons, his voice and its range is his instrument, which he takes full advantage of, regardless of who did what when.
Feeling a need to find a reference point is certainly understandable, but judging his work on how well it fills the shoes of a similar at first glance yet entirely different artist; is not going to make his body of work into a happy meal.
I might pull up Sun Ra for comparison as a (roughly) contemporary who carved out their own territory and filled it without being slave to record bin convention.
I'm gonna print that out for a cd cover.
My faves are:
I just stumbled across this podcast where two guys discuss Tom Wait’s entire discography track by track in short 15 min episodes.
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I was late to the party as far as Tom Waits is concerned. A friend of mine is a huge fan and played me some of his stuff. At first, I thought it was a bit of a p*ss take but I started to warm to it.
I bought Mule Variations, Blood Money and Real Gone and, although they're not played all that regularly, I like them well enough. I might have to delve into his earlier stuff...
YES! Real Gone is a corker too. Hoist That Rag is one of my favourite songs ever. Agree on Marc Ribot. How does he do that? The guitar parts on Way Down In The Hole are amazing!
HUGE Tom Waits fan here. Travelled twice from UK to Paris to see him play. #1 gigs of my life. Totally converted my wife into a fan too (albeit following a steady process of attrition).
To the OP...dive in, stick with it, his catalogue is big and there's diamonds in the mine. If you have a preferred genre of music, that may help in making recommendations for you.
He’s a good writer and has a nicely skewed sensibility but the Schtick gets really tiresome. He’s sadly trapped himself in this elaborate Charles bukowski/carny pose, and so you have to get to everything through a bunch of trappings, a bunch of bohemian posing and preening.
----He’s sadly trapped himself in this elaborate Charles bukowski/carny pose----
Well to be honest you could say that during the '70 s, he is rather the opposite, married since 1980 and not even close to a bohemian lifestyle, he is just a private person that doesn't like going on tv and doing interview that was influenced more by the beatnik movement than the flower power movement fortunatelly, really, he doesn't need to play a character, is just the way he is, to me....
----Agree on Marc Ribot. How does he do that?----
I don't know man, i've seen Ribot many times live and he is damn good, last time was only him and his acoustic guitar, i was afraid to get bored after a while, no way man, no way....
-----Totally converted my wife into a fan too---
Very good job.
I like Way Down In The Hole a lot, i think one of the best guitar part is on Diamonds And Gold from Rain Dogs, also the solo on Clap Hands, again, i could go on forever.
You pretty much hit the nail on the head. You put it very well. He is sometimes off putting to watch. Since starting the post, I’ve listen a lot more. He really is an excellant writer, I would say sometimes more of a poet. I find him easier to listen to than to watch. He is definitely an acquired taste which I plan to look into more, not to much at one time. I like his bluesier side more than his crooning with a jazz band in the background. His lyrics definely make up for the Schlick most of the time.
"Goin' Out West" is another good one, hilarious lyrics ("I look good without a shirt!..") and a cool song. There are so many great Waits songs, I think you should start at the beginning to check out the arc of his career, as he changed from the melodic piano driven songs to the band stuff to the really quirky stuff, which Marc Ribot really added an element to. I like that he changed from one album to the next, he is like Neil Young in that he doesn't like to sit still stylistically, and is consistently evolving his sound.
My first thought while reading the OP was: Listen to the live Nighthawks album, with some good headphones. Don't be texting or watching TV, just immerse.
One of my favorites: The House Where Nobody Lives.
I’ll give it ago, and I’m 55,texting is not a problem.
My introduction to Tom Waits was his first album "Closing Time". I think I only listened to it once. Maybe 10 years later one of my best friends played me "Franks Wild Years" Oh Yeah! One of my favorites!
I was hooked from "Closing Time" on. Each album got better, the fist was just his mostly piano/voice songs, many of which were covered by other artists. He progressed from there, but every album to me is a classic, he changed gears with each release, that's what I like about him, he's like Neil Young in that he is not content to sit on his laurels. One of my favorite artists, but I think, like with Zappa, Beefheart, Zevon, etc. you either get it or not. I get it.
interesting take and thanks for adding the context of location, location, location. Seems to me it's a pretty tough call for someone with that kind of artistry...reminds of a Dylan Thomas view of his own work:
“I read somewhere of a shepherd who, when asked why he made, from within fairy rings, ritual observances to the moon to protect his flocks, replied: “I’d be a damn fool if I didn’t!”
It's tough, long ride, mostly and somehow, the piper has to be paid - if you had that thing going, you'd probably agree to the strain, just to get the chance to see where it goes.
a little trip to heaven:
I liked his earlier stuff better
saw him live a couple times on the 1970's
and in 2008
step right up: