Tom Waits

Tom Waits

God"s Away On Business


My Gravelly Voice

There's no one really in show business in my family but there were two relatives who had an effect on me very young and shaped me in some way. They were Uncle Vernon and Uncle Robert. I always hated the sound of my voice when I was a kid. I always wanted to sound more like my Uncle Vernon, who had a raspy, gravelly voice. Everything Uncle Vernon said sounded important, and you always got it the first time because you wouldn't dare ask him to repeat it.Eventually, I learned that Uncle Vernon had had a throat operation as a kid and the doctors had left behind a small pair of scissors and gauze when they closed him up. Years later at Christmas dinner, Uncle Vernon started to choke while trying to dislodge an errant string bean, and he coughed up the gauze and the scissors. That's how Uncle Vernon got his voice, and that's how I got mine

Hold On


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Everything You Can Think Of Is True

everything you can think of is true
before the ocean was blue
you were lost in a flood
run red with your blood's nigerian skeleton crew
everything you can think of is true
the dish ran away with the spoon
dig deep in your heart for that little red glow
we're decomposing as we go
everything you can think of is true
and fishes make wishes on you
we're fighting our way up dreamland's spine
with black flamingos, expensive wine
everything you can think of is true
the baby's asleep in your shoe
your teeth are buildings with yellow doors
your eyes are fish on a creamy shore

The Piano Has Been Drinking

The piano has been drinking, my necktie is asleep
And the combo went back to New York, the jukebox has to take a leak
And the carpet needs a haircut, and the spotlight looks like a prison break
And the telephone's out of cigarettes, and the balcony is on the make
And the piano has been drinking,

the piano has been drinking... And the menus are all freezing, and the light man's blind in one eye
And he can't see out of the other
And the piano-tuner's got a hearing aid, and he showed up with his mother
And the piano has been drinking,
the piano has been drinking As the bouncer is a sumo wrestler cream-puff casper milktoast /And the owner is a mental midget with the IQ of a fence post /'cause the piano has been drinking, the piano has been drinking...

And you can't find your waitress with a Geiger counter
And she hates you and your friends and you just can't get served without her
And the box-office is drooling, and the bar stools are on fire
And the newspapers were fooling, and the ash-trays have retired
because the piano has been drinking, the piano has been drinking
The piano has been drinking, not me, not me, not me, not me, not me...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Only Mary Loves Tom Waits: Truth Conditionals

This old clotheshorse has a real interest in the structure of language and as such an interest in Truth Conditionals.

Do not be alarmed, the Keeper of the Boneyard himself, Mr. T. Waits, is no slouch with Truth Conditionals

Bone Machine: A Musical Apocalypse

This old clotheshorse is interested in Tom Wait's use of music as an exploration of self. Interesting to take this a step further and to consider the self in the Apocalypse. Thus goes Angela Jones paper of Bone Machine:

Musical Apocalypse: Tom Waits’ Bone Machine

"As a popular musical re-presentation of apocalypse, Bone Machine, like Derrida’s
apocalyptic tone, can be understood as registering an idea of the apocalyptic as process
and movement, wherein the act of revelation is conceived as a continual, often turbulent
and confusing, unveiling. The result is an understanding of apocalypse which is not
simply an ending to a narrative trajectory, nor which relies on genre-specific imagery or
themes; on the contrary, Bone Machine’s apocalyptic tone constantly disrupts and
destabilizes the eschatological visions and imagery detailed in the lyrics, drawing
attention back to itself as a revelatory gesture which nonetheless obscures as much as it
reveals. I believe that Bone Machine can be interpreted as offering a popular musical
perspective on the apocalypse, thus opening up new and subversive ways of engaging
with this seemingly timeless (and tireless) cultural theme..."

For other clotheshorses with courage, read on:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New Coat of Paint

New Coat of Paint

Let's put a new coat of paint
On this lonesome old town
Set em' up, we'll be knockin' 'em down
You wear a dress
Baby I'll a tie
We'll laugh at that old bloodshot moon
In that burgundy sky

All our scribbled love dreams are lost or thrown away
Here amidst the shuffle of an overflowin' day
Our love needs a transfusion let's shoot it full of wine
Fishin' for a good time starts with throwin' in your line.

So let's put a new coat of paint
On this lonesome old town
Set em' up, set em' up we'll be knockin' 'em down
You wear a dress baby
I'll wear a tie
We'll laugh at that old bloodshot moon
In that burgundy sky

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Minutiae of Things - How Do You Like Your Eggs?

Dead Beat was born in a salvage yard, raised in a pawn shop.

"I'm interested in things when I don't know what they are. Like "Hey, Ray, what the hell is this?" Oh, that's lipstick from the 1700s, that's dog food from the turn of the century, that's a hat from World War II. I'm interested in the minutiae of things. Oddities."

"And you bring those into your music?"

"I think it lets you incorporate your own voice into the voice of the instrument. By nature, I think we're all curious and looking for mutations all the time. It's not peculiar to me. I guess it's a question of taste. How do you like your eggs?"

Hard boiled has got to be the answer

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Captain Beefheart

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.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Get Behind The Mule

Get Behind the Mule

Molly be damned smote Jimmy the Harp With a horrid little pistol and a lariat She's goin to the bottom And she's goin down the drain Said she wasn't big enough to carry it She got to get behind the Mule In the morning and plow She got to get behind the Mule In the morning and plow She got to get behind the Mule In the morning and plow She got to get behind the Mule In the morning and plow Choppity chop goes the axe in the woods You gotta meet me by the fall down tree Shovel of dirt upon a coffin lid And I know they'll come lookin for me boys And I know they'll come a-lookin for me Got to get behind the Mule In the morning and plow Got to get behind the Mule In the morning and plowGot to get behind the MuleIn the morning and plowGot to get behind the MuleIn the morning and plowBig Jack Earl was 8'1He stood in the road and he criedHe couldn't make her love himCouldn't make her stayBut tell the good Lord that he tried(Chorus)Dusty trail from Atchison to PlacervilleOn the wreck of the Weaverville stageBeaula fired on Beatty for a lemonadeI was stirring my brandy with a nail boysStirring my brandy with a nail(Chorus)Well the rampaging sons of the widow JamesJack the cutter and the pock marked kidHad to stand naked at the bottomOf the crossAnd tell the good lord what they didTell the good lord what they did(Chorus)Punctuated birds on the power lineIn a Studebaker with the Birdie Joe JoaksI'm diggin all the way to ChinaWith a silver spoonWhile the hangman fumbles with the noose, boysThe hangman fumbles with the noose(Chorus)Pin your ear to the wisdom postPin your eye to the lineNever let the weeds get higherThan the gardenAlways keep a sapphire in your mindAlways keep a diamond in your mind(Chorus)

Tom Waits Jukebox

1. Hound Dog - Big Mama Thornton
2. It Should Have Been Me - Charles, Ray (1)
3. Strange Fruit - Holiday, Billie
4. 'Round Midnight - Davis, Miles
5. Abilene - Lightnin' Hopkins
6. Pretty Boy Floyd - Elliott, 'Ramblin' Jack
7. Straight No Chaser - Monk, Thelonious
8. Street - Partch, Harry
9. On The Road - Kerouac, Jack
10. Supermarket In California - Ginsberg, Allen
11. Ice Cream Man - Brim, John
12. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) - Sinatra, Frank
13. Ring Around The World Phase 1 - Partch, Harry
14. Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You - Cole, Nat 'King'
15. Mack The Knife - Armstrong, Louis
16. Last Days Of The Suicide Kid - Bukowski, Charles
17. Evil (Is Goin' On) - Howlin' Wolf
18. Dark Was The Night Cold Was The Ground - Johnson, 'Blind' Willie (1)
19. Nobody's Fault But Mine - Johnson, 'Blind' Willie (1)
20. Ring Around The World Phase 4 - Partch, Harry

Monday, October 15, 2007

Tom Waits - Tom Traubert's Blues - 1977

Tom Waits - You Can Never Hold Back Spring

And The Seventh Days Petals Fell In Petaluma

And The Seventh Days Petals Fell In Petaluma

Harry Partch

An Old Clotheshorse Brews Himself A Pot of Tea

Harry Partch Collection Vol 1

The Old Clotheshorse hangs himself out to dry:

The new CDs have been reissued and the sound is excellent. These are an excellent introduction to his whole oeuvre. He’d worked as a migrant worker and had been on the road for half his life, and he was one of those rogue academics who worked outside the matrix. So they feared him and pretended to admire him. Like most innovators, he becomes gravel on the road that most people drive on. So he was the first one through the door and the crowd tramples him. But nobody has done anything like that since. The idea of designing your own instruments, playing them and then designing your own scale, your own system of music. That’s dramatic and particularly for the time that he was doing it. It was rather subversive. It’s always fascinating to hear something being played that doesn’t sound polished or evolved as an instrument. It still sounds a little bit like you’re hitting tractor parts or a dumpster door. Or you’re still in the kitchen, to an extent. The music has that extra texture to it. And then of course he’s very sophisticated and well versed in mythology so it’s got that other side to it.
"On Sundays, we'd always visit Uncle Robert, who was the organist at a methodist church in La Verne, California. Uncle Robert had a pipe organ in his house that went right through the roof. When he would play he would smear all the notes together like hot melted crayons and the whole house would shake.I remember his house was a complete mess; his clothes were everywhere, his bed was never made. "Now this is show business," I thought to myself. I asked my mom why I couldn't keep my room like Uncle Robert's, and she said, "Tom, your Uncle Robert is blind."
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