BCB 100 - Tom Waits

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geoffcowgill
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Postby geoffcowgill » 04 Jul 2006, 05:44

the masked man wrote:Song: "Alice"


Hell yeah. I'd say it's likely his best song of the last twenty years.

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darleggnogen'
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Postby darleggnogen' » 04 Jul 2006, 07:40

Tom Waits for no two.

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Django
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Postby Django » 04 Jul 2006, 08:24

One of my favourites, but sadly, yes, he's had a run of slightly mediocre records lately, which suggest his best work is now behind him.

Album - Rain Dogs

Song - Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis
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Postby Jumper k » 04 Jul 2006, 10:01

Soundtrack to One From The Heart for me.
Broken Bicycles would be the track.
A beautiful lp of magical lyrics and superb harmony. Its affecting, engaging and most of all accessible for those not overly keen on the more 'experimental' side of Waits.
Swordfishtrombones is unlistenable by the way.

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Oscar52
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Postby Oscar52 » 04 Jul 2006, 10:25

Jumper K wrote:Swordfishtrombones is unlistenable by the way.
:(

Album: Swordfishtrombone. For the sake of the wonderful 'Shore Leave', the more-howlin-wolf-than-howlin-wolf '16 Shells from a Thirty-Ought Six' the alarmingly tender 'Soldiers Things' and 'Frank's Wild Years' which never fails to amaze me.

Tracks: 'Soldiers Things'

I've listened to quite a few Tom Waits and never really got the same impact as Swordfish. The closest would possibly be 'Small Change'.

One From The Heart has to be the gayest of them all though. I can't stand Crystal Gayles voice. :P

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Postby Jumper k » 04 Jul 2006, 10:47

Oscar wrote:
Jumper K wrote:Swordfishtrombones is unlistenable by the way.
:(

Album: Swordfishtrombone. For the sake of the wonderful 'Shore Leave', the more-howlin-wolf-than-howlin-wolf '16 Shells from a Thirty-Ought Six' the alarmingly tender 'Soldiers Things' and 'Frank's Wild Years' which never fails to amaze me.

Tracks: 'Soldiers Things'

I've listened to quite a few Tom Waits and never really got the same impact as Swordfish. The closest would possibly be 'Small Change'.

One From The Heart has to be the gayest of them all though. I can't stand Crystal Gayles voice. :P


OOOHH GET YOU.
I like the idea of Tom Waits and really love the occasional track. I put him with Beefheart in the wilfully unlistenable artifice stakes though. I've managed Blue Valentine all the way through but apart from One From The Heart its all just too jazz for me. Thats jazz in a bad way.

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Postby The Fish » 04 Jul 2006, 13:14

Head says Rain Dogs, but I always feel the need to blow the trumpet for Bone Machine, an oft overlooked gem. Many of the traits I don't normally like in Waits (the wilful growling, the whiny falsetto etc etc) somehow make sense on this album, plus one of Keef's best guest performances.

Album: Rain Dogs, Bone Machine
Track: Hold On
We're way past rhubarb

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Postby Jeemo » 04 Jul 2006, 13:51

As The Slider said this is very hard to just pick one song. I lot of my favourites have been mentioned so I will pick something that hasnt been selected.


Song - Georgia Lee
Album - One from the Heart
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Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 04 Jul 2006, 15:10

Waits is like Elvis Costello and most other post-modern greats, in that the more you talk about them - the more critical you seem to get. It's just too easy to focus on the negatives.

Yes, his whole persona seems forced. Yes he can veer into the "willfully unlistenable" without warning. Yes, he has more than a touch of annoying musical dilatente about him. And sadly...yes, at this point he has artistically painted himself so far into his box he probably won't ever get out.

But again, like Costello, when you stop talking about his music and just listen to the best of it, it is amazing how great it all sounds. As contrived as Waits' whole act can seem, his early records are also suprisingly emotional and heartfelt. Strange that a guy who came to be a post-punk indy god could have a back catalogue so full of earnest singer-songwriter gems.

Of course Swordfishtrombones and Raindogs changed all of that. It is easy to forget that prior to their releases Waits was already trapped in a box artisically, as his sensitive jazz derelict routine had gotten extremely predictable. Swordfishtrombones was nothing less than a complete reinvention. If you weren't following his career progression in real time, it is impossible to understand its impact. While Raindogs rightly gets all the accolades for being a stronger group of songs and covering more musical territory, it must be said that without the release of Swordfish we simply wouldn't talking about Waits as being in the BCB100 right now. He'd be somewhere in between Tim Hardin and Jonathan Richman in terms of impact.

But as important as the career reinvention of Swordfish/Raindogs were to him, Waits never managed to muster a convincing third act. By the time Franks Wild Years came out, it all seemed just as predictable as it had been previous to Swordfish. And though there has been some very good music since - he's still a hell of a songwriter - it has been a long time since a new Waits release seemed important.

Okay - now to prove my initial point. Now that I've talked all the fun out of the subject, just put on "Ol '55' or "Tom Traubert's Blues" for 30 seconds and see if all of the nitpicking doesn't instantly lose its meaning. Because for all his flaws, the guy was fucking great.

Favorite Album - Blue Valentines

Favorite Song - Please Call Me, Baby
Last edited by Davey the Fat Boy on 04 Jul 2006, 15:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bungo the Mungo » 04 Jul 2006, 15:19

Davey The Fat Boy wrote:Waits is like Elvis Costello and most other post-modern greats, in that the more you talk about them - the more critical you seem to get. It's just too easy to focus on the negatives.

Yes, his whole persona seems forced. Yes he can veer into the "willfully unlistenable" without warning. Yes, he has more than a touch of annoying musical dilatente about him. And sadly...yes, at this point he has artistically painted himself so far into his box he probably won't ever get out.

But again, like Costello, when you stop talking about his music and just listen to the best of it, it is amazing how great it all sounds. As contrived as Waits' whole act can seem, his early records are also suprisingly emotional and heartfelt. Strange that a guy who came to be a post-punk indy god could have a back catalogue so full of earnest singer-songwriter gems.

Of course Swordfishtrombones and Raindogs changed all of that. It is easy to forget that prior to their releases, Waits was already trapped in a box artisically, as his sensitive jazz derelict routine had gotten extremely predictable. Swordfishtrombones was nothing less than a complete reinvention. If you weren't following his career progression in real time, it is impossible to understand its impact. While Raindogs rightly gets all the accolades for being a stronger group of songs and covering more musical territory, it must be said that without the release of Swordfish we simply wouldn't talking about Waits as being in the BCB100 right now. He'd be somewhere in between Tim Hardin and Jonathan Richman in terms of impact.

But as important as the career reinvention of Swordfish/Raindogs were to him, Waits never managed to muster a convincing third act. By the time Franks Wild Years came out it all seemed just as predictable as it had been previous to Swordfish. And though there has been some very good music since - he's still a hell of a songwriter - it has been a long time since a new Waits release seemed important.

Okay - now to prove my initial point. Now that I've talked all the fun out of the subject, just put on "Ol '55' or "Tom Traubert's Blues" for 30 seconds and see if all of the nitpicking doesn't instantly lose its meaning. Because at its best, his music just feels perfect when you are listening to it.

Favorite Album - Blue Valentines

Favorite Song - Please Call Me, Baby


Great post. I might well agree with you on your choice of song.

I still think that an artist can spoil the way you listen to any of their songs once you get an inkling that they're little more than a bundle of affectations - especially when those affectations have taken the place of talent that has run dry. That's an oversimplification and an exaggeration, but it's bothered me about Waits for years (probably since I heard him growl 'on 9th and Hennepin all the donuts have names that sound like prostitutes' over some musique concrete).

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Postby Prograstinator » 04 Jul 2006, 15:50

The only albums I own are Foreign Affairs (1977), Frank's Wild Years(1987) and Real Gone (2004).

I'd like to catch up with Tom real fast. Somebody hand me a wolf-ticket.

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The Slider
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Postby The Slider » 04 Jul 2006, 19:33

Davey The Fat Boy wrote:Waits is like Elvis Costello and most other post-modern greats, in that the more you talk about them - the more critical you seem to get. It's just too easy to focus on the negatives.


True dat.

django wrote: he's had a run of slightly mediocre records lately


Not true dat.
Real Gone was less than inspired, but Alice and Blood Money and Mule variations before them were all magnificent records.
One substandard album doesn't connstitute a 'run' - unless you didnt like the others, of course...
Ah but I was so much younger then.
I'm older than that now.

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Postby Django » 04 Jul 2006, 20:28

The Slider wrote:
django wrote: he's had a run of slightly mediocre records lately


Not true dat.
Real Gone was less than inspired, but Alice and Blood Money and Mule variations before them were all magnificent records.
One substandard album doesn't connstitute a 'run' - unless you didnt like the others, of course...


I didn't. Mule Variations is probably my least favourite Waits record. Bone Machine Lite. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single track I really rate from that one.
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Postby Clippernolan » 04 Jul 2006, 20:44

Song: "I Wish I Was In New Orleans"

Album: Small Change

I like beatnik drunk Tom, rather than Kurt Weill Junkyard Tom.
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Postby Bungo the Mungo » 04 Jul 2006, 21:23

The Slider wrote:
django wrote: he's had a run of slightly mediocre records lately


Not true dat.
Real Gone was less than inspired, but Alice and Blood Money and Mule variations before them were all magnificent records...


Mule Variations?!?

Terrible. The forced quirkiness on show there was very difficult to take. And I can't remember one decent melody from it.

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The Slider
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Postby The Slider » 05 Jul 2006, 07:57

Come on up to the house, Hold On, Picture in a Frame, What's he building?

Ok I might have been joking about the last one.

It isn't really about melody as a whole, though, is it?
It is a shouty blues record.

I can understand some people not really liking it.
But they are wrong.
Ah but I was so much younger then.
I'm older than that now.

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Postby Jeemo » 05 Jul 2006, 08:03

Pop Pup wrote:
The Slider wrote:
django wrote: he's had a run of slightly mediocre records lately


Not true dat.
Real Gone was less than inspired, but Alice and Blood Money and Mule variations before them were all magnificent records...


Mule Variations?!?

Terrible. The forced quirkiness on show there was very difficult to take. And I can't remember one decent melody from it.


Georgia Lee, as mentioned above
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the hanging monkey
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Postby the hanging monkey » 05 Jul 2006, 15:27

Am I the only person on here who rates Real Gone? I was expecting it to be cack after the slating it got on here but there's nowt wrong with it.
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Postby Tactful Cactus » 05 Jul 2006, 15:37

The Northern Monkey wrote:Am I the only person on here who rates Real Gone? I was expecting it to be cack after the slating it got on here but there's nowt wrong with it.


Its more of Mule, which is no bad thing but the balance between songs and hollers isn't as good. I shrank Real Gone down to about six tracks on the player and it works great. Hoist That Rag, Day After Tomorrow and Trampled Rose are all top Waits imo.

Another thing that blights this album is the horrible "tour" that followed it.

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Postby the hanging monkey » 05 Jul 2006, 15:52

Tactful Cactus wrote:
The Northern Monkey wrote:Am I the only person on here who rates Real Gone? I was expecting it to be cack after the slating it got on here but there's nowt wrong with it.


Its more of Mule, which is no bad thing but the balance between songs and hollers isn't as good. I shrank Real Gone down to about six tracks on the player and it works great. Hoist That Rag, Day After Tomorrow and Trampled Rose are all top Waits imo.

Another thing that blights this album is the horrible "tour" that followed it.


Well I'm not saying it's flawless but it's hardly a disaster.

If he can't be arsed to tour then that's up to him but he's a fucking wanker for charging £100 for that one off gig.
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