Music is nature's language. What it is telling you is to shut up for once and listen.

 

Being tied with heavy chains to the back of a truck and being dragged on an asphalt road, with your ear being ripped apart by the gravel as you beg for mercy. Yes. That is the most accurate definition I can give to a tom waits song.

 

 

You cant sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people , give me something to work with here…

    Opinions / Science / Theory of Relative Ignorance  
 

..and as I was a yuppy marketing and advertising executive for the better part
of a decade, I am not really impressed with stories of selling your soul to the devil...

    Art & Culture / Music / Blues / Robert Johnson  
   

Tom waits - Hoarse power

Being tied with heavy chains to the back of a truck and being dragged on an asphalt road, with your ear being ripped apart by the gravel as you beg for mercy. Yes. That is the most accurate definition I can give to a tom waits song. Oh, did I forget to mention you also enjoy every inch of that road scratching your face off?

Listening to tom waits can hardly be considered an easy experience, especially in his live shows when he really cranks up the wierdometer and the decibels. But we don’t put on tom waits because we want some light entertainment.

 
I don't have a drinking problem 'Cept when I can't get a drink."
 
 
We put on tom waits because we need him to clean the gutter of our soul. Roll his sleeve and reach down in there and take out the leaves and rubble from where the others don’t dare to go.
Tom waits is the 'drunk master' from Jackie Chan's famous film. A genius who knows exactly what he is doing, but hides behind the front of a drunk bum who can't even stand up straight. But we all know it is just 'the piano has been drinking. Not me.'
 

and the things you can't remember tell the things you can't forget that history puts a saint in every dream"
 
When you listen to the arrangements and the musical envelope we get waits in, you realize that there is something so much more than a drunk there.
 
 
If I exorcise my devils, well,
my angels may leave too."
 

I am trying to remember what tom waits song I heard first, but I guess the experience was so traumatic I sublimated the whole thing. Heartattack & vine was the first tom waits record I bought. This I remember clearly and indeed I was lucky as this is one of the more 'civil' albums he produced. Almost easy to digest. Well, for a tom waits album at least…

Ha! It came back to me. Downtown train. ( I was looking for the YouTube clips to add and as I am a very visual person, it just brought me back…yes, downtown train.)

 
 

Outside another yellow moon
punched a hole in the nighttime
I climb through the window and down the street
shining like a new dime
the downtown trains are full
with all those Brooklyn girls
they try so hard to break out
of their little worlds

 

The reason I got to know downtown train is because it is one of two tom waits songs Bruce Springstin covered . The other being of course jersey girl became a super hit. So it seems that unlike popular belief, Bruce Springstin is good for something after all. I'm joking, the boss did have a couple of good songs before…well before he didn’t anymore. But I will thank him much more for introducing tom waits for me if you don’t mind.

 
There ain't no devil, there's just god when he's drunk"
 

Actually Bruce is helping me also in this article because by adding his versions to the songs side by side with the originals, you can see the true brilliance of tom wait's work. The sheer unadulterated dirty tired hungry energy he brings with every trumpet, with every beating drum, marching drums, but marching to the pace of a drunk…

 
Broken umbrellas like dead birds; steam comes out of the grill like the whole God-damn town is ready to blow."
 

One of the things I like about tom waits is  the urban gypsy eclectic arrangements he summons up. An accordion, a tube, and vocal. A piano, some trash cans and some trumpets. It is always strange. It is always theatrical, it is always tom waits.
Always.

 
 

Jersey girl http://youtu.be/aw5JkJQgYsM
Jerset girl (bruce springstin) http://youtu.be/ytpfLy-P2fs

Downtown train http://youtu.be/hZhW76LAnTY
Heartattack and vine http://youtu.be/wp7x27BTGDE
Downtown http://youtu.be/1p809FSIFas
Till the money runs out http://youtu.be/RsIl4eIwufk
Chocolate jesus http://youtu.be/1wfamPW3Eaw
The piano has been drinking http://youtu.be/BPPtrqvHGEg

Coffee and cigarettes (w iggy pop) http://youtu.be/FHVVa3ipmIQ