• A Waits List

    1 jun 2008, 20:08 av ferguson24

    My 10 Favorite Tom Waits Albums

    2)Mule Variations
    3)Closing Time
    4)Rain Dogs
    5)Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards
    6)Nighthawks at the Diner
    7)Real Gone
    8)Blood Money
    9)Small Change
  • Tom Waits in Dublin

    4 aug 2008, 13:44 av Ncornflakegirl

    Thu 31 Jul – Tom Waits

    Tom Waits was in Dublin on my birthday and I could attend his gig. After some issues with the tickets, we got them and went: I couldn´t believe it! I was about to attend the Tom Waits´gig! My first one! The tour was named Glitter and Doom and for ir, he designed a tent that it made the gig looked like more a 40´s Vodeville than a XXI century concert. However, the sound couldn´t be better, the band, impressive and Waits, friendly and warm.

    The songs, unlike I´ve thought, they were from all his albums not only from the last one, Orphans. The gig, almost three hours, was mixing faster rhythms with his more weighty blues always keeping the audience on his hands. When he sat down to the piano, almost like a chitchat, Tom starts telling us stories. I´ve always admired him as a musician and an artist, but now after seeing him live, he is a show man indeed. He does know how to tell and he does it perfectly due to his all experience.

    As special moment, I´d like to remark when the audience sang together with Tom Innocent When You Dream and the last song, Make It Rain. After this last one, the band left the stage but after several minutes begging for more, they played 3 songs more.

    There are some people that complaint about the setlist because it didn´t include the songs that they wanted but, during the three days that he was in Dublin, he changed songs to make all the shows different and he didn´t repeat any of his stories. I do think he worked hard on each show.

    The only thing I didn´t like was the audience. Many people was coming and going out during all the concert. It´s a lack of respect to the artist and to the other people attending the gig.

    I leave you with the setlist.

    Down in the Hole
    Come On Up The House
    The Bottom Of The World
    Jockey Full of Bourbon
    Chocolate Jesus
    Misery Is The River Of The World
    Picture in a Frame
    Tango Till They’re Sore
    Invitation to the Blues
    House Where Nobody Lives
    Innocent When You Dream
    Lie to Me
    Sixteen Shells From a Thirty-Ought Six
    9th & Hennepin
    Black Market Baby
    Trampled Rose
    Hoist That Rag
    All The World Is Green
    Hang Down Your Head
    Raindogs/Russian Dance
    Make It Rain
    Heart Attack and Vine
    Hold On
  • Tom Waits v. Creative Commons?

    1 apr 2007, 07:39 av dkritz

    I was kinda surprised to find myself disagreeing with a proponent of the creative commons when I read this dismissive post about Tom Waits' case against an advertising agency in Europe. I'm "Dave" in the comments . The blogger got snippy and closed the thread. Maybe the comments were just intended for people who agree. I can see problems with making a singing style proprietary. But I also see problems with impersonating a well-known person in order to make it seem like they are endorsing your product on television.
  • Waits sings Waits

    20 dec 2006, 23:12 av lisardggY

    Pasties and a G-String is one of Tom Waits's most memorable songs. Sung by a drunken lecher on the verge of falling off his feet. He is surrounded by temptation and can hardly keep himself standing, much less indulge himself in the sins that surround him. Waits' voice slurs and breaks and cracks and, all in all, manages to tell the story much better than any words could have.

    I have two cover versions of this song - on New Coat of Paint - Songs of Tom Waits and Step Right Up: The Songs of Tom Waits, the Tom Waits tribute albums. One is by Andre Williams, one by Jeffrey Lee Pierce - two artists I've never heard of before. Both of them were very disappointing when I first heard them, and I think for the same reason - they were both trying to sound like Waits.

    You can argue whether their unstable rambling were more or less aesthetically pleasing than Waits', but they certainly weren't trying to make the song their own, which is what makes for a good cover.

    Recently I got myself a copy of Cold Beer on a Hot Night, a live album from 1979. Most of it is comprised of songs from Small Change, like Pasties
    and a G-String. On this wonderful album Waits jumps between moods and personas, from the broken-down washed-out has-been in Jitterbug Boy, in the throes of delirium tremens - to the wild and boisterious saxophones of I Wish I Was in New Orleans. Somewhere in there he starts with a cheerful romp through Hokey Cokey, which I think was called Hokey Pokey when I learned it in elementary school in Toronto - the put-your-hands-on-your-hips dance they teach kids. And then, before you know it, he's putting the entire Pasties and a G-String into the Hokey Cokey music. It's cheerful and friendly, and totally unlike the original version, and it simply WORKS. Waits has done a cover version of his own song that does it more justice than any attempted cover has done, not afraid (like he did a lot on that album) to simply squeeze one song into another.

    In short, I really like covers - but covers shouldn't only be the original song sung in a the new performer's voice. A new cover should be a reinterpretation of the song, not just a clone.
  • Tom Waits @ The Palace Theater, Louisville KY, 8/7/06

    10 aug 2006, 16:51 av saintartaud

    Mon 7 Aug – Tom Waits

    I'm still in computer limbo, so I've fallen way behind on reviews and such. I'm going to write up reviews for shows I've recently seen, however, since they're still quite fresh in my mind. I've been lucky enough to see some artists I really adore, which is always a good thing.

    Getting tickets to any of the Tom Waits venues proved a difficult task. I unwisely passed up some really horrible seats in both Nashville and Chicago, so the lesson here shall be, "If you want to see Tom Waits, be willing to take shitty seats." I've never been to any show where the desperation to get tickets has been so insane. It took numerous tries at several venues to end up with $55 tickets to Louisville, by far one of the cheapest and most available.

    The Palace Theater is one of those lovely restored atmospheric theaters, with a bright and showy paintjob and great Baroque-ish architectural details. Even though we had seats way up in the balcony, we had a pretty good view, as many such theaters were designed with that very thought in mind. So the view ended up superceding the expectations of my boyfriend and I quite a bit.

    We got there right before he began and nearly missed the first song while finding the restrooms and bar. We both rushed back to our seats and quickly sat down to take everything in. Now, I'm a pretty enthusiastic fan; I'd definitely consider Tom Waits my favorite music artist. I'm not the sort of fan who quibbles over details, buys every bootleg and compilation, but I know albums and songs and can discuss them at length. My boyfriend is a more casual fan but still loves the guy. I can restrain myself at a show, clap when necessary, wait for the cues. However, this crowd was extremely enthusiastic, I suppose because the guy never tours. They never hesitated to cheer at the most inane cue. I guess, at the very least, they really wanted to see him and showed their appreciation, which isn't so bad, really.

    This was the set he played:

    Make It Rain
    Hoist that Rag
    Shore Leave
    God's Away on Business
    All the World is Green
    Falling Down
    Tom Traubert's Blues
    Tango til they're Sore
    House Where Nobody Lives
    Lucky Day
    Who's Been Talkin' / Til the Money Runs Out
    Eyeball Kid
    Murder In The Red Barn
    Lie to Me, Baby
    Shake it
    Trampled Rose
    Get Behind The Mule
    It Rains on Me
    Goin Out West

    He did one encore, playing:

    Day After Tomorrow
    Don't Go Into That Barn

    Some thoughts on specific songs...

    "Shore Leave" was rather different from the original, with more emphasis placed on the music, less of a cool, relaxed approach to the vocals.

    Perhaps my favorite song from my 2nd favorite album, "Black Rider," "November" was perfectly restrained, with the climax emphasized by careful percussion.

    I recognized "Falling Down," but could not for the life of me recall what album it was on. It's been a while since I've watched "Big Time."

    Tom forgot an entire verse on "Tango 'Til They're Sore," but he handled it with a lot of humor and dignity; the crowd even tried to help him remember the words. Actually, he forgot lines and verses to several songs throughout the night, which is excusable, considering these were songs written well over 10 years ago. It never got in the way of enjoying the performance, either, as Waits is such a solid entertainer.

    He opened "'Til the Money Runs Out" with a cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Who's Been Talkin'," which I didn't recognize at first. I've always had less interest in Tom Waits's pre-Island work, and I've not listened to "Heartattack and Vine" a great deal. I didn't recognize "Lie to Me, Baby" and "It Rains On Me," but I thought the performances were excellent.

    What's most interesting about Waits and his band live is how they add new twists to the work. For instance, the sparser, rougher feel of "Eyeball Kid" with the beatboxing (via Casey Waits) was excellent, and the layering of rhythm and sound very tight. Definitely the highlight of the show. Also, "Shake It," a song it's taken me many listens to really adjust to, was much stronger live, the cut between verse and chorus still abrupt, but feeling more natural. I'm liking that song more and more as time passes.

    The encore was also excellent, with "Day After Tomorrow" serving as a strong shift from the previous set. Although he did a few songs on just piano earlier in the show, this song was the most intimate, with the timely lyrics getting lots of hoots and hollers from the crowd. After this, he went into the more rhythmic, spooky sound of "Don't Go Into the Barn," which was very close to the album cut. He also finally brought out the bullhorn, so everyone got their money's worth.


    All in all, I'd say it was an excellent show. I'll add that the lighting design was fantastic. The simple use of colored lighting and the spot was just enough to draw attention to the performers and overall mood of each song. The simple white curtain behind the band was filled with their cast shadows, which somehow added to the atmosphere of the show.

    The band played well, and the guitarist, though not ungodly amazing, was capable of capturing the feel of Marc Ribot's flourishes. I was glad that most of the show stuck with the heavier, more rhythmic songs, even though "Alice" was all but absent from the set (it might have been nice to throw just one of those cuts into the piano portion of the night). But overall, it was great stuff. If you're lucky enough to catch one of the later dates on the tour, you certainly won't be disappointed.
  • Tom Waits - August 2, 2006 in Asheville, NC

    4 aug 2006, 03:55 av mrjackalope

    For the most part, Mr. Tom Waits completely obliterated most of the other acts I've seen. I was utterly mezmerized during the entire show. He flailed around, belted out the songs, lighting was perfectly tuned to the lyrics, the band was crack-shot...I really thing it was one of the better things I've ever seen. He's truly a performer on stage.

    The lighting, as I said, was particularly notable, and I think is one of the things that made this show stand out for me, because it created at atmoshpere that just worked. For some songs there would be layered white lights to created truly spooky suillouites against the white backdrop, making the band's movements seem almost machinelike. In others, colored lights would enhance the particular moods of the songs: on "All The World is Green" the stage was bathed in flickering shades of green, and as the song climaxed the green was more saturated; on "Invitation to the Blues" it was just a spotlight on the piano and upright bass; etc. The band and crew designed the presentation perfectly, to say the least.

    The band itself was Tom on vocals (obviously), guitar, and piano for his solo set of three songs; his son Casey on drums and percussion; and an upright bassist, a keyboard/marimba/farfisa/percussionist, and a guitarist, all of whose names I don't remember offhand. They were all crackshot performers, with the guitarist emphasizing the blusier aspects of Tom's music while the multi-instrumentalist virtually controlled the sound. I couldn't imagine any way to improve on them, really.

    I didn't write down the setlist, but a quick scan over his discography helped me remember that the following were played, in rough order:

    Singapore (he forgot some of the words)
    Shore Leave
    Hoist that Rag
    November (he introduced it as one he never plays; it was a surprise, to say the least)
    Tango Til They're Sore (piano solo)
    *new song* (piano solo)
    Invitation to the Blues (piano solo, introduced as his wife's favorite)
    All The World is Green
    Murder in the Red Barn
    God's Away on Buisiness
    Make It Rain
    What's He Building
    Clap Hands

    Encore 1:
    Heartattack and Vine
    Get Behind the Mule

    Encore 2:
    Blue Valentine
    Don't Go Into that Barn (so awesome; he did a call and response thing and it was a solid 7+ minutes)

    Don't quote me on that, because I'm pretty sure it's significantly out of order and is missing 3 or so. But you get the idea.
  • A Little Transformation

    3 aug 2006, 22:23 av lisardggY

    For some reason, I seem to have completely skipped Tom Waits's Small Change. Probably because it's from 1976 – I didn't enjoy Foreign Affairs (1977) and Blue Valentine (1978) too much, and I probably bundled Small Change along with them.

    Lately, though, I decided to take a small break from all the indy-rock and post-rock and whatever I was listening to, and go back to some classics, so I grabbed me Small Change and I have to say I was more than pleasantly surprised. I'm not sure it'll replace The Heart of Saturday Night as my Top Waits Album of the 70's, but it's pretty goddamn near it.

    It has its share of maudlin, slightly shmaltz Waits ballads, from the famous opening Tom Traubert's Blues to the closing I Can't Wait To Get Off Work (and See My Baby On Montgomery St., but it doesn't end there.

    Two of the tracks I feel are quintessential Waits – perfect example of the bar-room pianiast sound, evoking the image of the man sitting alone at the bar, drowning his sorrow. The first is Invitation to the Blues, but the kicker is Bad Liver (and a Broken Heart), a track with any number of memorable quotes, from the obligatory "I don't have a drinking problem, 'xcept when I can' t get a drink" to the ever-witty "I have my own double-cross to bear" of which I've recently been enamored.

    Two other tracks are worthy of interest, because they're a very clear indication of the direction Waits will take in the future – even though it took him quite a few years to deliver on that promise. Pasties and a G-String is the sex-soaked ramblings of a man too drunk to speak in a straight line, while Step Right Up, being a rather unexpected collage of late-night television infomercials, used car salemen and snake-oil hawkers verging from the ridiculous to the surreal, seems to presage the less melodic Bone Machine/Black Rider sound.

    And one final tip of the hat to the title track, Small Change, which is Waits at his very best – painting a picture from the gutter of the dirty, rain-soaked film-noir city, petty and miserable and pointless and damp.

    There are still quite a few Waits albums I need to fully grok, mostly his 90's and later stuff. I hope they'll be as wonderful as this one.
  • April 10th: On this Day

    10 apr 2006, 18:50 av tenderbranson69

    2005, the final episode of The Osbournes was aired on MTV in the UK. The show reached a peak audience of eight million at it's height during a three year run, Ozzy was at a loss to explain its popularity, saying, "I suppose Americans get a kick out of watching a crazy Brit family like us make complete fools of ourselves every week."

    2001, Sean Puffy Combs was stopped by police in Golden Beach, Miami who informed him that his driving license was suspended. Combs was not arrested because he claimed he was unaware of the suspension, but he was cited for the traffic violation.

    2001, Eminem was given 2 years probation and fined £1,800 and £3,600 costs after admitting carrying a concealed weapon. The charges followed an incident outside a club in Warren, Michigan last June when Eminem 'pistol whipped' John Guerra after he saw him kissing his wife.

    1999, A charity tribute concert for the late Linda McCartney was held at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Among the performers were Paul McCartney, Chrissie Hynde, George Michael, Elvis Costello and Sinead O'Connor.

    1994, Over 5,000 fans attended a public memorial service for Kurt Cobain at Seattle Flag Pavilion.

    1990, Tom Waits took Doritos Chips to court for using a 'Waites', sound-alike on radio ads. The jury awarded him $2.475 million in punitive damages, Waits comments after the case, 'now by law I have what I always felt I had...a distinctive voice.'

    1982, Iron Maiden scored their first UK No.1 album with 'The Number Of The Beast.'

    1976, Peter Frampton went to No.1 on the US album chart with 'Frampton Comes Alive', the biggest selling 'live' album in rock history.

    1970, Born on this day, Mike Mushok, guitar, Staind, (2001 US No.1 album, 'Break The Cycle', 2001 US No. 7 & UK No. 15 single 'It's Been A While').

    1970, During a concert in Boston, Doors singer Jim Morrison asked the audience if 'anyone wants to see my genitals', the management switched off the power.

    1970, 27 year-old Paul McCartney issued a press statement, announcing that The Beatles had split. McCartney said, 'I have no future plans to record or appear with The Beatles again, or to write any music with John'.

    1965, A School in Wrexham, Wales, asked parents to please keep children in school uniform and not to send them to school in 'corduroy trousers', like the ones worn by The Rolling Stones.

    1964, Born on this day, Alan 'Reni' Wren, drums, The Stone Roses, (1989 UK No.8 single 'Fool's Gold', 1989 album, The Stone Roses').

    1962, The Beatles former bass player Stuart Sutcliff died. Sutcliff had stayed in Hamburg after leaving the group. Died of a brain haemorrhage in an ambulance on the way to hospital aged 22.

    1959, Born on this day, Brian Setzer, guitar, vocals, The Stray Cats, (1980 UK No.9 single 'Runaway Boys', 1983 US No.3 single 'Stray Cat Strut'). Brian Setzer Orchestra. Has been known to hang out at The Blue Comet in Glenside, Pa occasionally.

    1958, US singer Chuck Willis was killed in a car accident aged 30. Had the 1957 US No. 12 single 'C.C. Rider').

    1956, Nat King Cole was attacked on stage during a show in Birmingham, Alabama by racial segregationists.

    1950, Born on this day, Ernest Stewart, keyboards, KC and The Sunshine Band, (1975 US No.1 single 'That's The Way, I Like It', 1983 UK No.1 single 'Give It Up'). He died on 26th April 1997.

    1950, Born on this day, Dave Pevertt, vocals, guitar, Savoy Brown, Foghat, (1976 US No. 20 single 'Slow Ride'). He died on 7th February 2000.

    1950, Born on this day, Eddie Hazel, Parliament, Funkadelic, (1978 US No.16 album 'One Nation Under A Groove'). Died Dec 23, 1992 from internal bleeding and liver failure.

    1948, Born on this day, Fred Smith, bass, Television, (1977 single and album 'Marquee Moon').

    1947, Born on this day, Bunny Livingston, Bob Marley and the Wailers, percussion, vocals, left in 1974.

    1936, Born on this day, Bobbie Smith, vocals, Detroit Spinners, (1980 UK No.1 & US No.2 single 'Working My Way Back To You').

    1932, Born on this day, Nate Nelson, The Platters, (1959 UK & US No.1 single 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes').

    1921, Born on this day, Sheb Wooley, actor, singer, (1958 US No.1 & UK No.12 single, The Purple People Eater, played Pete Nolan in the TV series 'Rawhide').
  • Face lift time!

    24 mar 2006, 19:06 av blackrider23

    No its not one of those celebrety lookalike facelift shows. Its time to update this great community to the level it should be at. I would like to thank all of you who voted in the election of the new leader and I am very happy to be the one that was chosen.
    I have already made a few changes cosmetically and will be doing more as the day goes on (im currently at work).

    I love having input so please reply here with any suggestions (or on the forums)

    Tom Waits