The board's server will undergo upgrade maintenance tonight, Nov 5, 2014, beginning approximately around 10 PM ET. Prepare for some possible down time during this process.
FAQ    Search

Board index » Word on the Street » Other Bands




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1300 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Thu June 04, 2020 8:03 pm 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
there isn't a ton of warmth to how a lot of the music is captured (though I think Jersey Girl sounds terrific) but I love how Tom's vocals sound. This is easily my favorite overall performance of the post Nighthawks period.

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Thu June 04, 2020 8:06 pm 
Offline
User avatar
Calibrating
 Profile

Joined: Tue January 01, 2013 5:33 pm
Posts: 83620
Location: everybody needs to stop bragging about their mountains
Tom's vocals are amazing all over this record.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Thu June 04, 2020 9:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar
NEVER STOP JAMMING!
 Profile

Joined: Tue January 01, 2013 5:10 pm
Posts: 22204
durdencommatyler wrote:
VinylGuy wrote:
Heartattack and Vine is a top 5 album for me.

My top 5 are pretty set:

Bone Machine
Blood Money
Mule Variations
Real Gone
SwordfishTrombines

But Heartattack and Vine is #8. And that includes Orphans. Take away that box set and it's #7. So, firmly in my top 10. It's such a great album.


I like that top 5. Im not sure if i can do one. Ill try later.

_________________
BONE FUCKIN´ TOMAHAWK.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Wed June 10, 2020 10:16 am 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
back after a break. One From the Heart is a TW album I never come back to and just dont think much about, so Im looking forward to it.

Opening Montage: I am not a showtunes guy, and this starts out as the most showtunesy song so far (more than the actual somewhere cover) but it fortunately levels out. It’s nice to hear him play a song straight for the first time since Heart of Saturday Night.

Crystal Gayle is a nice foil for him. There is a fading innocence to her that works well in contrast to him. Resisting a slow corruption by association

Is there anyway out of this dream: This reminded me of an Annie Clark song. Her performance more than the music.

Picking up after you: one of the songs I remember. I like the premise of the song (and the subtle lyrical shift at the end) but the lyrics aren’t as clever as they should be. But I do like the ‘the roses are dead and the violets are too’ lyric

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Wed June 10, 2020 10:34 am 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
Old Boyfriends: a pretty enough song Ill probably never listen to outside the context of the album. lyrics are clever enough. It feels like a well executed crooner standard, but I am not into the genre or Gayle enough to come back to it

Broken Bicycles: A good example of how much mileage TW can get out of an unassuming compisition thanks to his voice - even when he is dialing himself back. Didnt love the song but a good performance

I Beg Your Pardon: the strings are nice. they give this a wistful/dreamy backdrop and make this song much less seedier than it would have been on an earlier record. Prefer Broken Bicycles , though

I think the trumpet might be the horn I like the least. The former lead faculty of out audio production program was a trumpet player. Don’t tell him.

Little Boy Blue: feels like a throwback song. I like this one. Nice snappy momentum without crossing over into self-parody the way some of these songs can.

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Wed June 10, 2020 10:47 am 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
instrumental montage: yup, give me a sax over a trumpet almost any day. The back half of this feels like it could segue into Swordfishtrombones and the next stage of his career

You can’t unring a bell: I like the whisper in the ears menace of this one - like your conscience turning on you because you think you deserve it. ‘she’s got big plans that don’t include you’ is a quietly devestating lyric.

This One’s From the Heart: Not a big fan of this one. It feels like it lacks the personality or individual identity most of the other songs on here have - beyond duet. CG does a nice job with the slightly bland material, though. She is a bit more compelling than TW here

Take Me Home: another song that immediately reminded me of Annie Clark. Does anyone else here this? I liked this quick little moment

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Wed June 10, 2020 10:54 am 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
Presents: I like the toy piano. huh - and thats all of it?

Candy Apple Red: this feels like the template for about half the slow tracks on Orphans. Its okay, but my mind immediately went to later iterations of this song I like a bit more

Once Upon a Town/Closing Montage: A nice clean performance. It is an example of the issue I have with so much of his 70s output where the lyrics are more concerned with being clever then compelling

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Wed June 10, 2020 10:59 am 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
I liked this more than I remembered. Its not a singles album, and thats how I approach his 70s work (and even though its 82 this is really part of his 70s work). Not sure when I’d come back to this since this satisfies a particular itch I never have, but it is pretty effective at what it is trying to do.


It is crazy how much of an utterly untelegraphed pivot Swordfishtrombones is. Has there ever been a bigger one? It is especially courageous since by this point he had built an identity and a following doing something totally different. Would have loved to have been on the RM equivalent of a Tom Waits board in 83.

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Wed June 10, 2020 11:09 am 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
Early Tom Waits is definitely a mixed bag. I am not a huge fan of the musical bones which puts it at a disadvantage, and he spends years figuring out how he wants to use his voice. And a lot of the songs are way too overwritten. There is too much clever wordplay and nit enough insight. it gets distracting at times. Later TW, even at its most absurd and over the top, keeps itself grounded with writing that is either a bit more understated, or razor sharp with its insight, doubly so coming out of his incongruous muppet voice. Something like Come On Up to the House would have been handled much less deftly during this stretch

But when he gets it right he knocks it out of the park. The moments when he nails what he wants to do with his voice, or when the writing strikes the right balance of showing and telling, are amazing. Id put my favorite 70s moments right up there (well maybe right below) his best work from any period. there is just less of it

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Wed June 10, 2020 3:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar
NEVER STOP JAMMING!
 Profile

Joined: Tue January 01, 2013 5:10 pm
Posts: 22204
Its really hard for me to know which period i like the most. I would say his first years maybe? But Bone Machine is my favorite and his masterpiece so...no, maybe the latter years are my fav.

BUT NO BECAUSE.....


and its like that, eternally.

_________________
BONE FUCKIN´ TOMAHAWK.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Thu June 11, 2020 9:31 am 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
on to swordfishtrombones - which is towards the bottom of the albums after his pivot, but still a good one


Underground - peak muppet right away. Where the hell did this come from? How do you get from that prior point A to this point B? There simply is no map.

This is a stupid song but its hard not to smile at it

Shore Leave - its easier to see this one’s lineage. It is one of his overwritten stories, but with the junkyard percussion that goes on to define so much of his work going forward. But he sounds great. Chorus is good, and the ‘wonder how the same moon can find you there’ lyric is good. Could do without the shore leave whine at the end. I liked this song more when I was just getting into TW and it felt more special

Dave the Butcher -introducing the creepy circus, another essential piece of the tom waits puzzle

Johannesburg Illinois: Ive never been that into this one. It is weird how much a comparatively simple and standard song (this is about his wife, right?) feels out of place

Slow start to this album but at least the songs are quick

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Thu June 11, 2020 9:46 am 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
16 Shells...: Now we’re talking. It’s been forever since I played this and I dont know why. this song is awesome. I love when he sings in this voice, the music is awesome (the percussion, the great guitar part, the warning sound thay slashes across the chorus), the absurdist lyrics. He is so good at these ‘old man yells at cloud’ songs. This is right in my wheel house

Town With No Cheer: after that weird interstitial opening this is a fairly fun, if disposable lament about being unable to get a drink in dry town. He has such an amazing talent for adding emotional gravity to an intentionally lightweight premise

In the Neighboorhood: love the sad parade music alongside the pettiest possible lyrics imaginable (that keep trying to top themselves in their small town sunday misery). this song is brilliant, and I think the storytelling/scene setting here eclipses shore leave and town with no cheer.

just another sucker on the vine: not sure a 40 minute album needs an intermission but ok

franks wild years: the electric keyboard is the perfect sleezy accompaniment to this song. Has the typical problem with over describing, but it ends so violently and with such a banal final line (and is short enough) that it works as a joke

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Thu June 11, 2020 10:01 am 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
Swordfishtrombones: One of my top 3 on the album. Love the lyrics and melody and way everything creeps up your spine like a long hidden fuse hissing the promise of a quiet impending disaster. There are some really striking lines here. ‘He come home from the war with a party in his head and an idea for a party in his head’ is a favorite

Down Down Down: Fun little TW gospel stomper and a nice burst of energy on an album with a lot of slower spoken word and spoken word adajcent pieces Foreshadows way down in a hole nicely

Soldiers Things: I think this one is a little boring. feels just a little emotionally flat and insincere. It is a little surprising because he can make these kinds of songs monstrously effective when he is on

Gin Soaked Boy: I wonder if this is a Heart Attack leftover. Sounds like it could have been. Still there is something just a little perfunctory about it. It lacks the bite of a Mr. Siegal

Trouble’s Braids: really like this one. Loves the way it moves and punctuates itself

Rainbirds: nice gentle closing time send off that feels just a bit out of place

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Thu June 11, 2020 10:05 am 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
what a weird left field record. It doesnt fully work for me. I think it lacks the cohesion of the albums to come, and as a collection of songs it is hit or miss. But it has ambition and avoids sounding perfor lmative in a way the 70s output often didn’t. He manages to make most of these character studies sound authentic, and here on out he only gets better at it.

Highlights:

16 Shells
In the Neighborhood
Swordfishtrombones
Troubles Braids

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sat June 13, 2020 2:50 pm 
Offline
User avatar
Future Drummer
 Profile

Joined: Sat August 24, 2013 2:33 pm
Posts: 2734
Location: Baltic Sea, Germany
Listening to Swordfishtrombones right now (on the title track this moment). This is the first Waits album that I really like. There were serveral good ones before but nothing of this caliber. Still, this does not get close to his best albums. Several flashes of the brilliance he achieves in later albums (or rather on his next album already) are already here (Shore Leave, In The Neighbourhood, Swordfishtrombones) but several songs are just okay (or something I really don't need, like Dave The Butcher). The album seems like it does not know what it wants to be. Weird pacing and a kind of throw everything at the wall and see what sticks feeling. The things that do stick are great though and the album is wildly entertaining. The second album of his with Larry Taylor. I think he's the perfect bassist for Tom.
Finally Tom enters the era of him that I love. (I wonder how much influence meeting Kathleen had on his transformation?) If he stopped before this album I don't think I would be a fan.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sat June 13, 2020 3:31 pm 
Offline
User avatar
NEVER STOP JAMMING!
 Profile

Joined: Tue January 01, 2013 5:10 pm
Posts: 22204
i said it before here, i feel Swordfishtrombones is the perfect mix between his early years and whats comes next. Its not the big leap that Bone Machine is, but there are strong elements that he was going for a different sound.

_________________
BONE FUCKIN´ TOMAHAWK.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sat June 13, 2020 7:41 pm 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
Finally, we get to Rain Dogs, the first of his flat out masterpieces.

Singapore: 'We sail tonight to Singapore' is one of my favorite opening lyrics ever. Everything about this song is perfect. Almost every absurdist lyric is striking, and the fever dream stomp of the music is the perfect accompaniment. I just don't understand how songs like this get written, but thank god they do.

This song makes me so happy

Clap Hands: Love the alleyway slink of this song. Sinister and seductive at the time. Great 1-2 punch with Singapore.

Cemetery Polka: I'm kind of surprised this song didn't appear in Knives Out. Would have been perfect. This is a great showcase for his gallows humor.

Jockey Full of Bourbon: I love the sound of the guitars on this one. Four songs in and this is already has to be one of the all time great percussion records, right (especially how almost all the instruments FEEL like percussion, even when they aren't)? 'Hey little bird, fly away home. Your house is on fire. Your children are alone' - what a great warning that you're in over your head.

Tango 'Til You're Sore: Like Cemetery Polka, not quite the masterpiece that Singapore, Clap Hands, or Jockey Full of Bourbon, but still a blast. He just makes all this stuff sound effortless. "I'd tell you all my secrets but I lie about my past' is the perfect Tom Waits lyric.

Big Black Mariah: This is the first swing and a miss for me. It's not bad, but it always felt a bit aimless to me, and the lyrics don't have the punch, wit, or mystery of the songs that proceed it. It's definitely hurt by how generally stellar everything on this album is - diminished by association

Silver and Gold: Another comparatively weaker track. It feels a bit like ideas that are better executed elsewhere on the same record.

Hand Down Your Hand: Not a masterpiece, but it's a pretty, heartfelt song. There is a subdued quality to it that lends it some authenticity it might not have if it was a bigger performance.

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sat June 13, 2020 8:13 pm 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
Time: A perfect song. I love how the words always feel like they are just slightly out of sync with the music - walking just a pace ahead. It sounds and feels like bittersweet memory and sad reflection, and it's another masterclass in impactful writing. There's no narrative, just captioned snapshots of a life full of precious regrets.

So put a candle in the window
And a kiss upon his lips
Till the dish outside the window fills with rain

What a perfect lyric.

Rain Dogs: If you combined Singapore and Clap Hands you'd probably get Rain Dogs. It's not as strong as either of those songs, but still a great example of the junkyard polka aesthetic of so much of this album

Midtown: Fun urban taxi chase music. I love Chicago on Bad as Me, and seems like there may be some roots here

9th and Hennepin: A pretty good spoken word piece, but he does relapse a bit here into some of his older overwriting habits. Having said that -

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
Till you're full of rag water and bitters and blue ruin
And you spill out over the side to anyone who will listen

Is a great sequence


Gun Street Girl: A perfect mix of front porch and road dust

Union Square: Comes from a similar place as Big Black Mariah, but I feel like it executes it so much better. I love this song. It always makes me think of a bunch of old men sitting in a park getting up from their checkerboard to start dancing with each other. An absurd image, but it is always what immediately comes to mind.

Blind Love: Really good performance of what would be a maudlin country blues standard in anyone else's hands. Not an album highlight, but only because the bench is so deep.

Walking Spanish: Reminds me of Romeo is Bleeding (which is a better but both are great) - a bad ass funeral march that lets you strut on your way out. Love how the music belies what's actually happening in the scene

Downtown Train: There is this incredible hollowness to the song and performance that turns what might be a love song and makes it lonely, or a song about stalking that just makes it sad. It's a really tricky balancing act, but he pulls it off.

Bride of Rain Dog: just a transition instrumental. No real feelings either way

Anywhere I Lay My Head: I love this song's cateruwalling grandeur. Perfect end to a magnificent album

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sat June 13, 2020 8:14 pm 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
if anything I underrate this album. What a piece of work. There are a few records that get close, but this has to be his best, right?

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sat June 13, 2020 8:15 pm 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 34745
Haven't ranked the records in a little while


1. Rain Dogs
2. Heart Attack and Vine
3. Swordfishtrombones
4. Blue Valentines
5. Closing Time
6. Heart of Saturday Night
7. Small Change
8. Foreign Affairs
9. Nighthawks

_________________
The Sky I Scrape Gigaton Review


Top
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1300 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65  Next

Board index » Word on the Street » Other Bands


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
It is currently Fri August 07, 2020 10:14 am