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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Fri June 19, 2020 11:04 pm 
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Lets just slide right past Joe's ridiculous observation and onto Night on Earth. I've listened to this maybe 2-3 times in my life. The last time was quite possibly when we did this last LAL cycle, and I can't even remember. I have no impressions of this album. So here we go.


Back in the Good Old World (Gypsy): Hey, this song is pretty fun. Feels like it could nestle nicely on Black Rider. Typical Tom Waits gypsy carnival stomp (and I love that there is a typical Tom Waits version of that). This isn't a game changer song, but it was fun. Maybe this won't be so bad.

Los Angeles Mood (Chromium Descensions): Neat instrumental that slinks along in a cool way. Sounds like someone is playing an electric guitar with a saw. They probably are...

Los Angles Theme (Another Private Dick): These are excellent titles, as this has a noir Peter Gunn theme stomp going on

New York Theme (Hey, You can Have that Heart Attack Outside): There's a cool melodic discordance to all these instrumentals. This is a playful extension of the prior theme with some Jazz elements narrating some kind of club scene.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Fri June 19, 2020 11:10 pm 
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New York Mood (New Haircut and a Busted Lip): Another night time city instrumental - definitely of a piece with what's come before. He's playing around with 2-3 themes on this album, it feels like, mixing and matching a bit as he goes.

Baby, I'm Not a Baby Anymore (Beatrice Theme): Great character theme - these are really excellent pieces. Super evocative, full of attitude, knowingly self-important in a way the people they're about probably could never be. This is a really good soundtrack so far.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Fri June 19, 2020 11:27 pm 
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Good Old World (Waltz): As advertised

Carnival (Brunello Del Montalicino): After some more tightly focused songs drifting back towards the Black Rider/Eastern European junkyard sound. Fun insanity.

On the Other Side of the World: One of his desolate hobo numbers. Pretty good. 'And I drink champagne from your thin blue veins' is a great lyric

Good Old World (Gypsy): I like this one more than Good Old World. I guess I'm in the mood for gypsy Tom tonight

Paris Mood (un De Fromage): Excellent subtitles on this album. Sounds like a Paris waterfront cafe song

Dragging a Dead Priest: First song that maybe feels self-indulgent. Sounds like parts of this were recycled for 'What's He Building?'

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Fri June 19, 2020 11:37 pm 
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Helsinki Mood: I don't know the album well enough to tell (and he does seem to be repeating themes, but I swear I already heard this song, or at least elements of it). is there a didgeridoo (sp?) in this?

Carnival Bob's Confessions: Shades of 'We're All Mad Here' from Alice

The Good Old World (Waltz): This is the song from Beautiful Maladies, I think. It went right past me when I used to listen to that album (it was my first TW album). Now that I've 'unlocked' him, this is pretty good. Fairly standard Tom Waits lament for the good old days.


On the Other Side of the World : More of the same, but the same is pretty good

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Fri June 19, 2020 11:38 pm 
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I am not an instrumental guy, for the most part, but I really enjoyed this - relaxing and evocative and surprising (if you don't know Tom Waits) or comforting and familiar (if you do). Only three songs with vocals, and none are gonna light the world on fire, but I enjoyed them. I could definitely seem myself coming back to this.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sun June 21, 2020 1:20 pm 
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Lets spend part of Father's Day listening to Bone Machine. This is a top3 TW album for me. It's never been 1, and tends to fluctuate with Blood Money. Looking forward to this

Earth Died Screaming: Amazing song title, and certainly a top 5 opener. I might just have Singapore and Tom Traubert's Blues ahead of it. The apocalyptic imagery is fun, and one of the things that makes this song work so well is that it doesn't take itself seriously. There's a vaguely 'here we go again' put upon quality to the lyrics and performance that help make this what it is. A 'put your backs into it/everybody' row kind of lament

Dirt in the Ground: Such a rainy, depressing, cold wet song. I love how the horns sound vaguely like miserable city traffic. That horn makes the song.

'Cause hell is boiling over
And heaven is full
We're chained to the world
And we all gotta pull

is a great sequence.

Such a Scream: I love that he spent 7 years haunted by the idea of who/what the Eyeball kid is. I like this song fine, but it's not one I'm ever drawn to. Album filler, but good album filler. I kind of get a Tom Jones feel to this song for some reason

All Stripped Down: this song gets carried by the good will I have for this album. This doesn't really do anything for me, but I do find it slightly amusing. if it cut that 30 second warm up I might like it a little more. But this is a long album, and it doesn't really need to be here. Having said that, I love the lyric

Ain't nothin' in my heart but fire for you
With my rainy hammer and a heat that's true

I don't know what a rainy hammer is, but I love it.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sun June 21, 2020 1:37 pm 
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Who Are You: A Jersey Girl style boardwalk love song. This is better, though I think his best version of this song is Never Let Go on Orphans.

How do your pistol and your Bible and your sleeping pills go?
Are you still jumping out of windows in expensive clothes?
Well, I fell in love with your sailor's mouth and your wounded eyes

Is a solid sequence, but overall I do wish the overall lyrics were a little more striking.

The Ocean Doesn't Want Me: Maybe my favorite of the spoken word songs. This is a deeply unsettling song. Striking lyrics, and the core idea - that the guy is contemplating suicide and decides against it not because life is worth living, but because the world hasn't yet decided to claim him.

"A rip tide is raging
And the life guard is away
But the ocean doesn't want me today"

Jesus Gonna Be Here: Fun song, but given some of the other powerhouses on the record I'm kind of surprised this was one of the beautiful maladies choices. One of my favorite gospel Tom songs.

A Little Rain: This is an incredible song. The idea that he would write a gentle pseudo-lullaby from the perspective of a serial killer is insane. It's a gorgeous song, and then you realize what it's about, and it's horrifying. The final verse gets to me every time.

She was 15 years old
And never seen the ocean
She climbed into a van
With a vagabond
And the last thing she said
Was, "I love you mom."


In the Colosseum:
This is a bit of a low point on the album for me. I don't dislike it, but it's too long (longest song on the record), but it feels like it's somewhere between Earth Died Screaming and Murder in the Red Barn, and both of those songs are a lot better. I do like carnival barker Tom, but I feel like this song is still missing something.

Listening I just realized that I think this entire song is percussion. Maybe that's it. I do really like the lyrics, though. Evocative snapshots of a people eating themselves.

Now it's raining and it's pouring on the pillaging and goring
The constable is swinging from the chains
For the dead there is no story, no memory, no blame
Their families shout blue murder but tomorrow it's the same

No justice here, no liberty, no reason, no blame
There's no cause to taint the sweetest taste of blood
And greetings from the nation as we shake the hands of time
They're taking their ovations, the vultures stay behind

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sun June 21, 2020 2:01 pm 
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Goin' Out West -> Whistle Down the Wind is one of the strongest 4 song sequences in his whole catalog. Maybe the strongest? It might just edge out the Singapore -> Jockey Full of Bourbon run. I'll have to think about that.


Goin' Out West:
Maybe his most bad ass song - made even more so by the fact that the guy singing it is a total loser completely oblivious to the fact. Great drunken bar boast of a song, especially knowing the guy is going home alone.

Murder in the Red Barn: I love this song. Tom does absurd rural small town dread so well.

Black Wings: This is the guy the character from Goin' Out West would be mouthing off, who would just silently sit there taking it until he killed him, paid the tab, and walked out into the night. Best song on the album.

Whistle Down the Wind: This song used to skate by me until Kevin Davis highlighted it for me. So glad he did. It's amazing. The hollow rust in his voice is incredible, and the way the singer doesn't stop dreaming after a life of disappointment. Great performance with the impossibly tactile music and just utterly rooted in place. I love the final verse

The sky is red
And there world's on fire
And the corn is taller than me
And a dog is tied
To a wagon of rain
And the road is wet as the sea
And sometimes the music from a dance
Will carry across the plains
And the places that I'm dreaming of
Do they dream only of me?


I Don't Wanna Grow Up:
One of the first TW songs I've heard. It's okay. A little brash and light after the incredible run of atmospheric songs. Seems like it should come earlier on the record.

Let me get Up On It: Completely pointless

That Feel: There's a pleasant hound dog moonshine feel to this, and it works as a closer, but it's just a little slight, especially coming out of the two songs that proceed it.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sun June 21, 2020 2:04 pm 
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I don't know that Bone Machine has the best collection of songs in the catalog (probably not), but there isn't another album in his catalog (in anyone's?) with this much atmosphere. It makes everything feel so real - the sound creates shape and texture and color and smell and this incredible tangible feeling. Tom produced this. He did an incredible fucking job.

My issue with Bone Machine, such as it is, is that it builds this incredible atmosphere, but then interweaves them with song clangy, noisy songs that undercut the tension and sense of place. I could easily strip 5-6 songs from this album (Such a Scream, All Stripped Down, Who Are You, In the Colosseum, I Don't Wanna Grow Up, Let Me Get Up On I), some of which I like, and you're left with a mood that only gets more and more immersive as the album moves along until it gently eases you out with That Feel.

Still, incredible album. Is this his only Grammy? I know it was the first. Well deserved, regardless.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sun June 21, 2020 2:05 pm 
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Bone Machine Ranking, probably.


Black Wings
A Little Rain
Goin Out West
The Ocean Doesn't Want Me
Murder in the Red Barn
Whistle Down the Wind
Earth Died Screaming
Dirt in the Ground
Jesus Gonna Be Here
Who Are You
That Feel
I Don't Wanna Grow Up
Such a Scream
In the Colosseum
All Stripped Down
Let Me Get Up On It



Anything from Goin Out West through Whistle Down the Wind is basically tied

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sun June 21, 2020 2:06 pm 
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An updated ranking


1. Rain Dogs
2. Bone Machine
3. Heart Attack and Vine
4. Swordfishtrombones
5. Frank's Wild Years
6. Blue Valentines
7. Closing Time
8. Heart of Saturday Night
9. Night on Earth
10. One From The Heart
11. Small Chang
12. Foreign Affairs
13. Nighthawks at the Diner


9 more to go, with 5 of them outranking everything but Rain Dogs and Bone Machine.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sun June 21, 2020 3:22 pm 
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That Feel is my favorite Tom song. It just get me so much. The lyrics, the feel...the fact that its Tom and Keith.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sun June 21, 2020 3:37 pm 
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really? kind of a surprising song for a favorite

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sun June 21, 2020 3:37 pm 
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well maybe not. dont know what a standard favorite would look like

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sun June 21, 2020 3:40 pm 
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Every time i listen to it, it gets me. No matter whats happening, i can relate to those lyrics. Its so fucking powerful.

I remember being super happy when Ed did the cover, i was like ¨yeahhh Ed gets it, Ed gets it¨.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sun June 21, 2020 4:19 pm 
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A Happy Father's Day, indeed

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sat August 01, 2020 7:16 am 
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Storytellers in on Spotify. Not sure how long it's been there.


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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sat August 01, 2020 11:57 pm 
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contamination wrote:
Storytellers in on Spotify. Not sure how long it's been there.

I’m not seeing it ...


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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sun August 02, 2020 1:28 am 
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Strat wrote:
contamination wrote:
Storytellers in on Spotify. Not sure how long it's been there.

I’m not seeing it ...


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 Post subject: Re: Tom Waits
PostPosted: Sun August 02, 2020 6:36 am 
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kreng wrote:
Strat wrote:
contamination wrote:
Storytellers in on Spotify. Not sure how long it's been there.

I’m not seeing it ...

Interesting. Maybe it is not available in the US:

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