Tag Archives: Tom Waits

Tom Waits For No One

I’d heard about Tom Waits’ music for years before I picked up a copy of his Asylum anthology on vinyl. I was about 18 years old in my first year at Michigan State University. I’d read the book Written in My Soul: Conversations with Rock’s Great Songwriters by Bill Flanagan. The interview with Tom is [...]

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Midnight Visitor Waits

If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen my ornery post last week wherein I linked to an announcement about Leonard Cohen’s new album, and complained about my Nashville music peers constantly celebrating “great” songwriters who shouldn’t even be allowed to mutter Cohen’s name in their prayers. GREAT is a big word, and [...]

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Tom Again

I love the Blank on Blank project’s animated takes on archived interviews. In this episode Tom Waits waxes on Stonehenge, Hawaii and everything in between. Here’s the lowdown… Waits had just released the concert film, Big Time, when he was interviewed by Chris Roberts at a London recording studio; you can hear music playing softly [...]

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We Talk Art

I was supposed to be doing a gallery talk with Daniel Holland at Red Arrow tonight, but the bad weather in Nashville found me on a text-go-round with the artist and the gallery last night, convincing ourselves that delaying the talk until 4:30 this Sunday afternoon was the best decision given the weather forecast. I’m [...]

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The Animated Tom Waits

Pioneering animated filmmaker Ralph Bakshi had already produced landmark films like Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic and The Lord of the Rings when he approached John Lamb at Lyon Lamb Animation Systems about building a rotoscope set-up that worked with video instead of film. Rotoscoping involves drawing and painting over images projected from live footage [...]

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Tom Waits’s Big Time at 25

Tom Waits released his groundbreaking concert video Big Time 25 years ago. Not only did Big expand the contemporaneous notion of a short, promotional music video into a feature-length work of art, it also served as a moving picture showcase for the artist’s audacious mid-career trilogy: Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs and Frank’s Wild Years. Of course, [...]

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The Beautiful Noise of Harry Partch

I first heard of Harry Partch while reading about Tom Waits. With 1980′s Heartattack and Vine, Waits hung up his fedora, turning his back on the piano-based, cabaret croaking of his early years for the strange territories of his breakthrough trilogy: Swordfishtrombones (1983), my favorite Waits’ album Rain Dogs (1985) and Frank’s Wild Years (1987). [...]

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