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Old 11-01-2011, 03:56 PM   #121
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Mine arrived today as well. Yay. Gonna have it in the car CD player in about 15 minutes while driving a friend to the airport.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:04 AM   #122
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Finally got this puppy today. It came with a gorgeous sixteen page book and CD copy of the album, which I'll be shipping to my old man posthaste. What a guy, that T-Waits.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:31 AM   #123
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It's definitely quite a good album. I have trouble pinning down favorite tracks, but I do have to say I'm disappointed that the bonus track "Tell Me" didn't make the main album, and I miss a spoken word piece. But there's something really tight and terse about this album, and in light of Real Gone's excess, it's refreshing.

For those still looking to get into latter-day Waits, I would definitely recommend Mule Variations - it's long, but there's no filler. And "Come On Up to the House" is among the best songs I've ever heard.

I've been trying, with the usual futility, to cook up one-disc introductions to each era of Waits's output. I've followed, with alterations, the rubric of Used Songs and Beautiful Maladies for the Asylum and Island music respectively, but the Anti- set is entirely of my choosing. The truth is, I could do two discs of that material alone, but I like the one disc per label continuity. I don't know why I still think in 80 minute sets, but I find the limitation helpful.

So... I'll share.

Disc One - Asylum
1 Ol´55
2 I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You
3 Diamonds On My Windshield
4 (Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night
5 Eggs And Sausage (In A Cadillac With Susan Michelson)
6 The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)
7 Step Right Up
8 Tom Traubert´s Blues (Four Sheets To The Wind In Copenhagen)
9 A Sight For Sore Eyes
10 Burma-Shave
11 I Never Talk To Strangers (with Bette Midler)
12 Whistlin´ Past The Graveyard
13 Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis
14 Blue Valentines
15 Mr. Siegal
16 Jersey Girl
17 Heartattack And Vine

Disc Two - Island
1 16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought Six
2 Underground
3 Shore Leave
4 Johnsburgh, Illinois
5 Clap Hands
6 Jockey Full Of Bourbon
7 Downtown Train
8 Time
9 Singapore
10 Anywhere I Lay My Head
11 Hang On St. Christopher
12 Temptation
13 Innocent When You Dream (78)
14 Straight To The Top
15 Way Down In The Hole
16 Cold, Cold Ground (Live)
17 Earth Died Screaming
18 Jesus Gonna Be Here
19 Goin' Out West
20 I Don't Wanna Grow Up
21 Good Old World (Waltz)
22 The Black Rider
23 November
24 I'll Shoot the Moon

Disc Three - Anti-
1 Get Behind The Mule
2 Hold On
3 Cold Water
4 Picture In A Frame
5 Come On Up To The House
6 Another Man's Vine
7 God's Away On Business
8 Alice
9 We're All Mad Here
10 Make It Rain
11 How's It Gonna End
12 Lie To Me
13 Long Way Home
14 Lucinda / Ain't Goin' Down To The Well [Live]
15 Metropolitan Glide [Live]
16 Fannin Street [Live]
17 Bad As Me
18 Back In The Crowd
19 Satisfied
20 Tell Me
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:50 AM   #124
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It's overwhelming to see how many incredible tunes the guy has made just written out like that. They seem like pretty comprehensive, well thought out summations of each era. Nice job.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:03 AM   #125
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Nice list

I read the description of Alice, and I think that's the next Waits album I'm getting. Tom Waits doing music for Alice In Wonderland. I don't think there could be anything more perfect.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:10 AM   #126
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Alice is wonderful, and there's a lot of great stuff on Blood Money too. But the former is far and away my favorite of all his theater soundtracks.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:21 AM   #127
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I left my arm in my coat.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:30 AM   #128
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You may find that in the coming weeks I absolutely bombard this thread.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:37 AM   #129
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my car is in the shop, and aside from the obvious transportation issue, i left my copy of bad as me in the cd player and hadn't yet gotten around to ripping it to my ipod. at least, i hope that's where i left it. cos i've looked everywhere else it might have gone.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:41 AM   #130
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So I listened to Swordfishtrombones. I'm not even sure what to say, so as per usual, I'll just say all the things that came into my head after just one listen.

Underground sort of seems like the perfect opener. It's completely fucked up, I've never heard anything like it. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it, but I was intrigued as hell. (Most of) the rest of the album isn't quite as weird, so it sort of felt like a song that is almost meant to turn people away, like "if you don't dig this, fuck off right now". I liked it though.

How do you even sing like that? How do you discover that you can do that? Dude sounds like he's burnt his vocal cords with 160 proof rum. How does that then earn you money and a career? And what is it about it that doesn't make me reach for the off button?

I really love Closing Time. I was kind of worried Swordfishtrombones was going to be devoid of anything like the great piano tunes on that album, so I appreciate the songs like Johnsburg, Illinois, Soldier's Things and Rainbirds.

I love the constant oscillation between barfly crooner and that fucked up howl he utilises on tracks like 16 Shells From A 30.6.

Anyone seen him live? The whole record, all I could imagine was sitting in a small, dark, hazy, smoke-filled Chicago bar at 3am in the morning with a whiskey on the rocks and cigar sitting in front of me. Which is cool.

I loved Town With No Cheer, for obvious reasons. Made for a good combo with In the Neighbourhood (love that Island have labelled it with the 'u' on the back).

Tracks like Trouble Braids just warped my fucking mind. I was grinning, enjoying them, just trying to get my head around what the fuck was going on.

There's a storm a-brewing here too, and it started raining and thundering during Rainbirds, which was real cool.

Frank's Wild Years is the only song I'd heard of from this record, so I was looking forward to hearing it. I'm not sure what to say except fuck Tom Waits is cool. Just throwing a two-minute story about a bloke burning down his home and killing (?) his wife and dog in the middle of an album.

So, wow. Probably the most intriguing record I've ever heard. I will without doubt be revisiting it many times over the coming weeks. But for now, I just implore all of you to talk about it. What do you love (or hate) about it? Why is it so critically acclaimed? I'm a sponge for this shit, and I love when other people talk about music in this sort of fashion.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:46 AM   #131
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See, that's the precise reaction I was hoping for. Like any great work of art, the album doesn't reveal everything about itself on the first go. What it does do is open up a new, exciting world to you and invite you back again and again by showing you something new each time. I've heard the album many times and while it feels like an old friend, it also feels alien because it's so different from what I usually listen to. There just isn't a whole lot of music out there that branches out to so many different sounds and sonic avenues while remaining uniquely cohesive.

Not sure what my favorite aspect about the album is, as there are highlights all over the place regardless of what he takes on, but I think it's the badass motherfuckers like Shore Leave and Sixteen Shells that leave the strongest impression. His voice had been weathered to the point that those songs feel wholly suited to it; it's clear to me that he had to drop the grisled barfly sound for something more organic and aggressive. The percussion has been a Tom Waits mainstay for decades (it peaked on Bone Machine...you can imagine some demon clanging bones together in hell as you listen to Earth Died Screaming), and it's on Swordfishtrombones that he really came into his own in that regard.

But, again, what makes Swordfishtrombones the definitive Tom Waits album for me is the variety present, and the ballads are tremendously good in their own right. Glad you liked Soldier's Things, that one has grown to become one of my favorites. Peter Gabriel did a very nice piano-only cover of In The Neighborhood recently, but its use of brass makes it uniquely Tom Waits. He's tremendously good at utilizing unusual instrumentation on this album, fleshing out even the relatively simple tracks arrangement-wise.

What really makes me love the album, and what sets it apart from his other work, is Tom's respect for the minimalistic power of the vignette. Each track gives you another piece of the puzzle, another snapshot to analyze, and it's structured in a purposely challenging, haphazard way to help underscore this. Trouble's Braids may race past you on first listen, but you can think of it as a fun side quest on your way to finishing the main story. Their are meatier tracks, but are they what you remember best? Not necessarily. And memorable moments are around every dank, musty corner of Swordfishtrombones.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:57 AM   #132
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thanks for the great reply. I look forward to getting into it more and more. And yeah, he's quite the lyricist.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:43 PM   #133
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I'm not sure if I mentioned here how awesome Bad as Me is. It's an immediate top five of the year album for me.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:47 PM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobl04 View Post
Anyone seen him live? The whole record, all I could imagine was sitting in a small, dark, hazy, smoke-filled Chicago bar at 3am in the morning with a whiskey on the rocks and cigar sitting in front of me. Which is cool.
I saw him once when he did like a week at a Broadway theater when I was living in NYC. He did kind of recreate that vibe, hunched over his upright piano growling and mumbling and breaking my heart. It was brilliant. I remember I was in the first row in the mezzanine feeling like the luckiest girl in the world that night.

Because I was an avid liner notes reader as a kid, and used to buy albums by people whose names I recognized from liner notes on other people's records, I began with Waits shortly after Closing Time was released, so getting to see him in the 80s was a huge treat. I dragged a friend who had never heard of him and who pretty much only listened to jazz, and he has been a fan ever since.

Somehow I've never had the opportunity to see him again.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:34 PM   #135
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I was just reading through Mr. Waits' Wikipedia page, and found this comment from him around the time of Small Change: "There ain't nothin' funny about a drunk...I was really starting to believe that there was something amusing and wonderfully American about being a drunk. I ended up telling myself to cut that shit out."

I think that is a highly perceptive comment that is relevant to a number of different segments of society - most notable college students.
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