Tom Waits

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  • hcrinkhcrink 8,729 Posts
    Swordfishtrombones, Frank's Wild Years, Small Change, The Early Years, and Heart of Saturday Night are all albums that I really love.

    For some reason, I never checked for his later stuff, but I think that says more about my own musical idiosyncracies than anything else. I tend to buy specific periods of an artist's work, then ignore later stuff, either because I'm kind of over them, yet still attached to their earlier stuff (if that even makes sense), or because I don't wanna hear their "new direction."

    Maybe I should re-think that policy.

    This is "the right way". Being too open minded will lead you down a path that ends in arguing the validity of shitty 80's rock, and calling people like your former self "a snob".

  • As long as you're not lumping the first 4 Billy Squier records in with "shitty 80's rock," right on!

  • I like Waits, he's very imaginative and has a great sense of humor. I like his voice too, he's really not a bad singer...his intonation is nice. I celebrate much of his catalogue. At the same time I can sympathize with folks who hate him, he is self indulgent & often goes way over the top.

    I can't imagine anyone would consider Bobby Bland's singing style abrasive to the ear tho.

  • hcrinkhcrink 8,729 Posts
    I'm gonna drive over to his compound and tell him about all this negativity.

  • I like Waits, he's very imaginative and has a great sense of humor. I like his voice too, he's really not a bad singer...his intonation is nice.

    me too, although i'll be fine if i never hear him played in a bar again.

  • DrJoelDrJoel 932 Posts
    I like Waits, he's very imaginative and has a great sense of humor. I like his voice too, he's really not a bad singer...his intonation is nice. I celebrate much of his catalogue. At the same time I can sympathize with folks who hate him, he is self indulgent & often goes way over the top.

    I can't imagine anyone would consider Bobby Bland's singing style abrasive to the ear tho.

    No doubt. Didn't mean to imply his whole style, it's just the snort that gets me, i love the rest. It's interesting though, i took a jazz class in my college days and we did a few days with blues and we were watching a video of him and people were definitely turned off for life by that snort. I guess in that same way, people could be easily turned off of Waits because a lot of it is easier to digest with a bit of the backstory.

  • I'm gonna drive over to his compound and tell him about all this negativity.

    I'm sorry, was I being too optimistic for you again?

  • Cold Cold Ground is brilliant. That's true.

  • I saw that Daily Show shit last night as well.
    It made me draw the official line that states: "TOM WAITS BLOWS."

    Who listens to this crap?
    Dudes who who have barfly aspirations?
    People who want to take short-cuts to "a hard-lived life?"

    Yikes, that shit sucks!

  • hcrinkhcrink 8,729 Posts

    People who want to take short-cuts to "a hard-lived life?"


    hahahaha!!!

  • DrJoelDrJoel 932 Posts
    I saw that Daily Show shit last night as well.
    It made me draw the official line that states: "TOM WAITS BLOWS."

    Who listens to this crap?
    Dudes who who have barfly aspirations?
    People who want to take short-cuts to "a hard-lived life?"

    Yikes, that shit sucks!



    Please start at the beginning of this thread and read your way forward to your post. Time will be saved for all involved.

  • Yea I mean he is like a cultivated drunk. Like a college student pretending to be fucked up. Bragging about how he was born in the back of a taxi cab in Pomona. I said his references were transparent. Everyone has references but you do not need to place them out there at the forefront of your art. I mean this dudes shit is like appropriated. And that is not interesting. It's not even good. His whole act is an identity crisis. Terry Callier and Jon Lucien... Thier music is full of complex references and is pluralistic but thier individuality as artists shine through. So suprised you guys love him so much. And yea I like Indonesian nose flute music. And I think the Rolling Stones are pousers too. Deal.

  • kalakala 3,342 Posts
    he has great taste in music
    his acting is good

    but when you try to emulate being a hobo when you really aren't???

    dude is a POSER in my book


    I like real bluesman like muddy,wolf,little walter,r johnson,s house etc etc


  • he has great taste in music
    his acting is good

    but when you try to emulate being a hobo when you really aren't???

    dude is a POSER in my book


    I like real bluesman like muddy,wolf,little walter,r johnson,s house etc etc

    You're not suggesting that Tom Waits is a "bluesman", are you?

  • I saw that Daily Show shit last night as well.
    It made me draw the official line that states: "TOM WAITS BLOWS."

    Who listens to this crap?
    Dudes who who have barfly aspirations?
    People who want to take short-cuts to "a hard-lived life?"

    Yikes, that shit sucks!



    Please start at the beginning of this thread and read your way forward to your post. Time will be saved for all involved.

    honestly, i saw that daily show performance and it was bad. he was singing way off key and it wasn't intentional.

    but to be fair, it's not really representative. i would say dude is kinda past his peak...

  • You tom waits haters are a little overly obsessed with "authenticity."

    Bone Machine.

  • You tom waits haters are a little overly obsessed with "authenticity."

    Bone Machine.


    One might say that Tom himself is the one with the authenticity monkey on his back...

  • deejdeej 5,125 Posts
    You tom waits haters are a little overly obsessed with "authenticity."

    Bone Machine.


    One might say that Tom himself is the one with the authenticity monkey on his back...
    Not really; his shit is very expressly performative and theatrical.

  • but to be fair, it's not really representative. i would say dude is kinda past his peak...


    I agree with this. I also agree that, when he's over the top, he's way over the top, but to me, when he's at his most sincere, he's incredible.

    Take a 90-second song like "Johnsburg, Illinois":

    She's my only true love
    she's all that I think of
    look here in my wallet
    that's her
    She grew up on a farm there
    there's a place on my arm
    where I've written her name
    next to mine
    you see I just can't
    live without her
    and I'm her only boy
    and she grew up outside McHenry
    in Johnsburg, Illinois




    Or a heartbreaker like "Soldier's Things":

    Davenports and kettle drums
    and swallow tail coats
    table cloths and patent leather shoes
    bathing suits and bowling balls
    and clarinets and rings
    and all this radio really
    needs is a fuse
    a tinker, a tailor
    a soldier's things
    his rifle, his boots full of rocks
    and this one is for bravery
    and this one is for me
    and everything's a dollar
    in this box

    Cuff links and hub caps
    trophies and paperbacks
    it's good transportation
    but the brakes aren't so hot
    neck tie and boxing gloves
    this jackknife is rusted
    you can pound that dent out
    on the hood
    a tinker, a tailor
    a soldier's things
    his rifle, his boots full of rocks
    oh and this one is for bravery
    and this one is for me
    and everything's a dollar
    in this box




    Neither of these copied-and-pasted message board entries come close to capturing the overall vibe of either song (both from Swordfishtrombones, btw), but you get an idea of his songwriting skills.

  • One might say that Tom himself is the one with the authenticity monkey on his back...

    Only if the only satisfactory true authentic product is a record of jungle pygmies playing tree trunks with toes and stretched genitals.

    Hasn't he earned the right to grow old, tired, and not understand why he drops his kids off at Blackalicious concerts?

    Let the guy grow past his peak and have a blase performance on cable TV.

  • The_NonThe_Non 5,690 Posts
    but to be fair, it's not really representative.

    I've seen him thrice. All 3 times hot gabage!

  • but to be fair, it's not really representative.

    I've seen him thrice. All 3 times hot gabage!

    It really enhances the listening experience when you remove the asscheeks surrounding your ears.

  • SPlDEYSPlDEY Vegas 3,273 Posts
    For starters, he can't sing. He sings poorly, almost like a joke. That's why I was asking his fans what they like. I was wondering if it was ironic fandom, like Mrs Miller or something. His music is pretentious, boring, and drab. I've played all his records before I sell them to see what it is about him that attracts people. It's awful. And not just awful, god awful. His musical inclinations are boring, poorly executed, and badly presented. He should stick to acting. The only redeeming qualities I can see are some lyrical depth and his backup bands.

    I actually am curious and was not intending this thread to start a dissfest. I genuinely want to know his appeal.



    LOL... so you shit all over him, like your in grade school. Then you expect people who like his music to be sympathetic to your bullshit? You trying to be a writer for pitchforkmedia or what? Personally I could give a fuck if you or the strut doesn't like tom waits. It's definitley not that clipse pppfff. It definitely doesn't bang in a club. Tom waits is his own thing and if you don't like it then complain on the internet about it! It makes you look real mature.

    - spidey

  • mrmatthewmrmatthew 1,574 Posts
    [quote
    Or a heartbreaker like Soldier's Things:

    Davenports and kettle drums
    and swallow tail coats
    table cloths and patent leather shoes
    bathing suits and bowling balls
    and clarinets and rings
    and all this radio really
    needs is a fuse
    a tinker, a tailor
    a soldier's things
    his rifle, his boots full of rocks
    and this one is for bravery
    and this one is for me
    and everything's a dollar
    in this box

    Cuff links and hub caps
    trophies and paperbacks
    it's good transportation
    but the brakes aren't so hot
    neck tie and boxing gloves
    this jackknife is rusted
    you can pound that dent out
    on the hood
    a tinker, a tailor
    a soldier's things
    his rifle, his boots full of rocks
    oh and this one is for bravery
    and this one is for me
    and everything's a dollar
    in this box


    Funny you should bring this song up. Its actually the title of a John LeCarre novel (tinker, tailor, soldier, spy). Now, having this bit of info, does it change your opinion of this song? If so, why/why not?

    I am a big Tom Waits fan and over the years I have stuck with him, even after hearing Captain Beefheart and Howlin Wolf for the first time and noticing the overt influence/approrpriation.

    Mick Jagger pretty much mimics Don Covay, but I still dig the Stones.

    I like Wolf Mother too, despite their obvious mimicry.

    I think Tom Waits is great.

  • Like most everyone else, I also don't understand this guy. AP, you're speaking what's on my mind right now. Larry, that in-joke comment was on point.

    I can't believe anyone would put this guy up there with Dylan. Aside from them sharing what is considered a bad singing voice, at least Dylan is listenable, and I even like his voice on "Blood on the Tracks," which, in its torn up way, sounds right for the album. I think he does a good job on "Nashville," as well.

    Let us also speak of Richard Thompson. That guy seems to have lived a million lives. Take out your notebook, Tom.

    Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, we also need you to set this Waits guy straight. His fans, too.

  • Like most everyone else, I also don't understand this guy. AP, you're speaking what's on my mind right now. Larry, that in-joke comment was on point.

    I can't believe anyone would put this guy up there with Dylan. Aside from them sharing what is considered a bad singing voice, at least Dylan is listenable, and I even like his voice on "Blood on the Tracks," which, in its torn up way, sounds right for the album. I think he does a good job on "Nashville," as well.


    yeah...well, i USED to listen to Bob Dylan, until I realized he was just some product of Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, The Hawks, and some waybetter70s outlaw country. Hell, he stole the moustache from some Dashiell Hammett!

    Now, I just can't listen to him...

    (do you see how silly that looks in print?)

  • Like most everyone else, I also don't understand this guy. AP, you're speaking what's on my mind right now. Larry, that in-joke comment was on point.

    I can't believe anyone would put this guy up there with Dylan. Aside from them sharing what is considered a bad singing voice, at least Dylan is listenable, and I even like his voice on "Blood on the Tracks," which, in its torn up way, sounds right for the album. I think he does a good job on "Nashville," as well.


    yeah...well, i USED to listen to Bob Dylan, until I realized he was just some product of Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, The Hawks, and some waybetter70s outlaw country. Hell, he stole the moustache from some Dashiell Hammett!

    Now, I just can't listen to him...

    (do you see how silly that looks in print?)


  • I won't get into the whole debate.. To each their own; but I like alot of his earlier stuff. Plus, He was great doing the "Tommy the Cat" vocals on Primus-Sailing the Seas of Cheese album.

  • I tend to buy specific periods of an artist's work, then ignore later stuff, either because I'm kind of over them, yet still attached to their earlier stuff (if that even makes sense), or because I don't wanna hear their "new direction."

    Maybe I should re-think that policy.

    I would- but only for Tom Waits . "Bone Machine" might be one of his best albums of all and I loved "Mule Variations".

    I hear "Orphans" is the shit...I gotta get.

  • When any of you haters do 1/100th musically what Tom Waits has done - then you could talk. But then, that will never happen - will it?
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