Keith Richards and Marc Ribot provide suitably down and dirty guitar riffs for this tune by Tom Waits that sounds eerily like Captain Beefheart. It’s been obvious from the get-go that Waits owes a big debt to Beefheart but this enters the realm of mystical channeling. And I like it.
Here’s Waits writing about Trout Mask Replica:
The roughest diamond in the mine, his musical inventions are made of bone and mud. Enter the strange matrix of his mind and lose yours. This is indispensable for the serious listener. An expedition into the centre of the earth, this is the high jump record that’ll never be beat, it’s a merlot reduction sauce. He takes da bait. Dante doing the buck and wing at a Skip James suku jump. Drink once and thirst no more.
“Satisfied” by Tom Waits from the new album Bad As Me Directed by Jesse Dylan.
For those of our readers lucky enough to live here in Los Angles (try to get that earlier post out of your mind, if possible) tonight at the Hammer Museum as part of their Flux series, Dangeorus Minds pal Syd Garon will debut his new film, co-directed with Sam Spiegal: N.A.S.A. The Spirit of Apollo..
I’ve been working on a documentary about the band N.A.S.A. and the making of their first record for a few years now. We took behind the scenes footage from recording sessions and mixed it in with animation on top of the picture as well as excerpts from the animated music videos. The animation was a collaboration between fine artists like Marcel Dzama, The Date Farmers, Sage Vaughn, Shepard Fairy and director/animators such as Logan, 3 Legged Leg, Florescent Hill as well as myself. The music is based around unusual collaborations, David Byrne and Chuck D., Tom Waits and Kool Keith, Method Man and E-40, Old Dirty Bastard and Karen O.
The show starts Tuesday Aug 2nd, 8 pm sharp at The Hammer Museum in L.A. The will be live custom screen printed t-shirts, food, drinks, N.A.S.A. will play a DJ set after the show, and a bunch of other stuff. The screening is free, open to the public and there is plenty of cheap parking. RSVP suggested.
An exclusive excerpt from the upcoming film N.A.S.A. The Spirit of Apollo. Sam records Kool Keith in his studio while Tom Waits literally phones it in. The animation here is incredible.
Below, N.A.S.A. “Money” (feat. David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge, & Z-Trip). Art by Shepard Fairey. Directors: Syd Garon & Paul Griswold
Cause Small Change got rained on with his own thirty-eight
And a fistful of dollars can’t change that,
And someone copped his watch fob, and someone got his ring
And the newsboy got his porkpie Stetson hat”
Tom Waits has teamed up with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to record two tracks for a special fundraiser. Released November 19th, Preservation Hall Recordings pressed up a 504 piece limited edition, hand-numbered 78 rpm vinyl record, with a special edition that also includes a 78 rpm record player. Proceeds will benefit the Preservation Hall Junior Jazz & Heritage Brass Band and outreach program:
Mr. Waits traveled to New Orleans in 2009 to record two songs with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for the critically acclaimed project Preservation: An album to benefit Preservation Hall and the Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program, “Tootie Ma Was A Big Fine Thing” , and “Corrine Died On The Battlefield”. Originally recorded by Danny Barker in 1947, these two selections are the earliest known recorded examples of Mardi Gras Indian chants.
The two tracks will now be packaged in a special limited edition 78 rpm format record, each signed and numbered by Preservation Hall Creative Director Ben Jaffe. The first one hundred records will be accompanied by a custom-made Preservation Hall 78rpm record player as part of a Deluxe Donation package. The remaining four hundred and four will be available as a standalone record for the Basic Donation package.
This special limited edition recording will be made available in two different tiers, based on the level of donation: Deluxe Donation Tier: $200 – Limited Edition 78rpm record featuring Tom Waits & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band AND a custom-made Preservation Hall 78 record players – and Basic Donation Tier: $50 – Limited Edition 78rpm record featuring Tom Waits & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Don Lane was born in Manhattan, became a Vegas entertainer and ended up hosting a talk show in Australia. It’s a long story worth telling… but not now. We’ll just jump right into these segments from Don’s Aussie show and Tom Waits’s appearances on them, which are quite entertaining. Lane is a gracious host who seems to be genuinely interested in Tom’s beat personae, which is about as real as the Charles Bukowski house slippers I almost bought on eBay.
Tom’s schtick, and it is schtick, is performance art of a very high caliber. And I enjoy it. But, having interviewed Waits in the mid-70s in Denver I know his skidrow, Raymond Chandleresque posturing was part of a deliberate process of creating a character, kind of like a hard-edged literary Pee Wee Herman.
In our meeting, Waits had mistakenly pegged me for a young college kid working for a college paper. Yes, I wrote freelance for a college paper, but I was a high school dropout that had grown up around some heavy weight poets in the Washington D.C. area, cats who had introduced me to the beat poets and the king of the bards of the backalleys Bukowski. Waits was laying his Waits trip on me and I was going along for the ride. But, when I mentioned Bukowski’s name, Waits’s attitude changed. Bukowski was not the superstar then as he is now. Tom wasn’t ready to be outed as a Bukowski imitator. I nailed Waits to the wall with my Bukowski rap. I basically told Tom that I felt his streetwise, hipster hobo thang was something he had picked up from Bukowski, which he did not deny. He seemed surprised that I knew who Bukowski was and had identified Bukowski’s style in his own. Waits had spent time with Bukowski and certainly seemed to me to have picked up some of Bukowski’s traits, from the way he held his cigarettes to the low growl in his voice.
As I continued to discuss my take on his act, Waits slowly worked himself out of character and got real. His voice became less gruff, his body language changed from a guy who had taken a few too many punches to an alert intellectual who had read a few too many books. He relaxed and shared with me his actual past: suburban upbringing under the guidance of parents who were school teachers, one of whom taught English. None of this changed my mind about Waits’s art. His lyrical gifts and musical genius stand tall in my mind. But, the Tom Waits we see on stage is a character created by the Tom Waits we don’t see. And maybe none of that matters. But, I did enjoy the soft spoken young cat who dropped his guard for a few minutes in the lounge of a seedy hotel in Denver. A lounge that the puppetmaster Waits had chosen deliberately for dramatic effect. Yes, it’s showmanship. But I always believed that the beats were about getting down to the realness of shit. I wasn’t prepared for the Monkees version of bohemia.
Enjoy the Tom Waits we love in these episodes of The Don Lane Show broadcast in 1979 and 1981.
These are just stunning! Stunning! I certainly wouldn’t mind owning one of those fantastic Zappas. From the artist Lisa Brawn:
I have been experimenting with figurative woodcuts for almost twenty years since being introduced to the medium by printmakers at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Recently, I have been wrestling with a new challenge: five truckloads of salvaged century-old rough Douglas fir beams from the restoration of the Alberta Block in Calgary and from the dismantling of grain elevators. This wood is very interesting in its history and also in that it is oddly shaped. Unlike traditional woodcut material such as cherry or walnut, the material is ornery. There are holes and knots and gouges and rusty nails sticking out the sides.
To find suitably rustic and rugged subjects, I have been referencing popular culture personas and archetypes from 1920s silent film cowboys to 1970s tough guys. I have also been through the Glenbow Museum archives for horse rustlers, bootleggers, informants, and loiterers in turn-of-the-century RCMP mug shots for my Quién es más macho series. Cowgirl trick riders and cowboy yodelers in their spectacular ensembles from the 1940s led to my Honky-Tonkin, Honey, Baby series. Inspired by a recent trip to Coney Island, I have been exploring vintage circus culture and am currently working on a series of sideshow portraits including Zip the Pinhead and JoJo the Dog-faced Boy. There is also an ongoing series of iconic gender archetypes, antiheroes and divas, which includes such portraits as Sophia Loren, Maria Callas, Edith Piaf, Jackie Onassis, Steve McQueen, and Clint Eastwood.
Following up from Bradley’s awesome Tom Waits and Bob Dylan post, here we have a Family Guy spoof of the two rock stars along with two of our other favorites, Muhammed Ali and Popeye! “Why didn’t you play Hurricane?” Thanks Britt!
In honor of his birthday, here’s some truly wonderful Robert Zimmerman esoterica! On his Sirus XM show, Theme Time Radio Hour, Bob Dylan sometimes (infrequently, I’m guessing) features the often hilarious musings of his pal and fellow troubadour, Tom Waits. Now, thanks to Aquarium Drunkard, you can catch up with five of those segments here.
Dig if you will Dylan’s nasally intro to the Body Parts segment, “I don’t tell a lot of people this, but Tom Waits and I have been sending cassettes back and forth to each other for quite some time.” Wow, how do I get taped dispatches from Tom Waits sent to me?! And to demonstrate how even the most familiar of Dylan compositions can be stretched like silly putty, here’s PJ Harvey‘s take on Highway 61 Revisited: