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  1. #1
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    on some faraway beach...

    And the earth died screaming...while I lay dreaming of you

    There was thunder
    There was lightning
    Then the stars went out
    And the moon fell from the sky
    It rained mackerel
    It rained trout
    And the great day of wrath has come
    And here's mud in your big red eye
    The poker's in the fire
    And the locusts take the sky
    And the earth died screaming
    While I lay dreaming of you

    I'm thinking this might be my favorite Tom Waits song right now. Opinions? Favorites? It's got that dark and scary sound down as well as anything he's done. And it's got Larry Taylor on upright bass, and Les Claypool on electric bass, and Waits picking some guitar...but the sticks is what really gives it that dark junkyard voodoo feel, kind of like the sound of clattering bones. Three of them credited with shaking those sticks and collectively tagged "The Boners" in the liner notes Cool stuff. Of course, what fan could really pick a favorite from all his many, many songs. Changes all the time for me. Couple years ago I mighta said "Pony" from Mule Variations. But that's cuz I used it on my Twilight comp. There's a couple songs on most his albums that just totally knock me out, like nothing I've ever heard before. Ever. And Bone Machine has a bunch of them. It would be kinda fun to put together a Tom Waits comp someday. My collection is a hodgepodge though, with lots on vinyl and only a handful on CD. And a few notable omissions as well. Course he's got a collection or two out there, but they can't cover the different record labels and the newer stuff. Best album? Closing Time? Rain Dogs? Small Change? Heartattack & Vine? Swordfishtrombones? Blue Valentine? Hmmm......I don't know, Bone Machine sounds pretty good right now.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Whooptee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    I've got a lot of favorites. "The Earth Died Screaming" and very next song "Dirt in the Ground" are two of my very favorites. "Shore Leave" is one that I'm sorta partial to, and "What's He Building in There?" is one I've always found fascinating (in that it's not really a song, but for some reason I just love it). "Frank's Wild Years" would be right up there. As would "Downtown Train" and "Hang Down Your Head", but my all-time favorite Tom Waits song is "On the Nickel" from "Heart Attack and Vine". It has a certain personal poignancy for me and reminds me of my father who grew up in LA around 5th St. (the Nickel). I would have loved for him to have heard Tom Waits, I think he would liked him a lot (he was a big Leon Redbone fan).

    As to best album, it could be any of five or six. Every time I try to pick, I think of something about another album that changes my mind.


  3. #3
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    near the frozen tundra of LAMBEAU FIELD

    Misery is the River of the World- Everybody Row

    "One thing to say about mankind, there's nothing kind about man."

    Waits is a LOT too wierd for me but I love that song.

  4. #4
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    below the noise floor
    I have a friend IRL who's been making me comp's -- he put a Tom Waits track on every single one of them so far. I asked him if this was on purpose, and he said no. I suspect he's doing it subconsciously. He's just such a big fan that he can't go 74/80 minutes without thinking of Tom Waits.

    Other than that, I am not that familiar with him. Couldn't name a single track if my life depended on it, but I can tell you that when I saw Shrek 2 recently, there was a character in a bar playing a Tom Waits tune. The man not only has an inimitable voice, he has an inimitable songwriting style (yes, it was actually the Tom Waits version, but [unfortunately] they did not CGI Tom Waits).

    Always wanted to get into him more. I do have a few albums by him, but certainly not enough.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  5. #5
    Close 'n PlayŽ user Troy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Highway 6, between Tonopah and Ely
    "Filipino Box Spring Hog" off of Mule Variations has some very (good) strange lyrical passages, but I think a lot of it's charm is in how he sings it.

    Damned if I can listen to an entire TW album in one sitting. I just can't do it. It's music for the chronically depressed.

    I know a guy that listens to Tom every day, but he is one twisted bastid.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    I'm of the opinion that 'original' doesn't necessarily have anything to do with 'good.' TW is both, and might just be the most original singer-songwriter of all time. In spite of a few people he's influenced--Springsteen, for instance, though that was before TW's work started getting really weird--I don't think I've ever heard anyone remotely like him.

    I don't think it's his best work, but I'm blues-damaged, so I always enjoy hearing Blue Valentine & also Heartattack & Vine. I think my favorite might just be Nighthawks At The Diner, though. I do enjoy Bone Machine more than Mule Variations...sometimes. I do like Blood Money better than Alice...anyone familiar with the Black Rider?

    I don't like others.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    I love Tom Waits. Bone Machine is a great one...I especially like In the Coliseum off that one.

    I'm glad to see so much love for Blue Valentine. That's one of my favorites of his more traditional sounding work, along with Into the Heart of Saturday Night.

    Of his more experimental stuff, I've always been partial to Swordfishtrombones, but I have to say Mule Variations is really good too.

    I liked the laid back vibe on Alice more than Blood Money, but they were both solid. I can't wait to hear what he does next.

    Really, his catalog is way too big and varied to have one favorite. A comp would be really hard too. How do you mix in his old hazy ballads with some of his really off the wall stuff? I actually think the commercial ones that tend to focus on individual periods may be the best approach.

  8. #8
    Dubgazer -Jar-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Cleveland, Ohio
    "The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)" (from SMALL CHANGE)

    "Jesus Gonna Be Here" (from BONE MACHINE) (.."Hollywood be thy name..")

    "Take it With Me" and "House Where Nobody Lives" (from MULE VARIATIONS)

    If being afraid is a crime we'll hang side-by-side,
    at the swingin' party down the line..

    The Replacements

  9. #9
    Global Village Idiot mad rhetorik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Cortland NY


    I've been meaning to get more into Waits' stuff. I've heard a few songs--"Downtown Train" being the song that sticks out in my memory the most. I've had Rain Dogs on my list for a while now. I dig the unique instrumentation in his later work, particularly the percussion. Haven't heard any of his early stuff, but I've been told that it's a lot less weird and more piano-based.
    "...and then at the end of the letter I like to write <i>'P.S. - this is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated.'</i> "

    <b>_R.I.P. Mitch Hedburg 1968-2005_</b>

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