New documentary: Tom Waits Tales from a Cracked Jukebox BBC 2017

 

BBC:
Tom Waits is one of the most original musicians of the last five decades. Renowned for his gravelly voice and dazzling mix of musical styles, he’s also one of modern music’s most enigmatic and influential artists.

His songs have been covered by Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart and Norah Jones, among many others. But Waits has always pursued his own creative vision, with little concern for musical fashion.

In a long career of restless reinvention, from the barfly poet of his early albums to the junkyard ringmaster of Swordfishtrombones, his songs chronicle lives from the margins of American society – drifters, dreamers, hobos and hoodlums – and his music draws on a rich mix of influences, including the blues, jazz, Weimar cabaret and film noir.

Using rare archive, audio recordings and interviews, this film is a bewitching after-hours trip through the surreal, moonlit world of Waits’ music – a portrait of a pioneering musician and his unique, alternative American songbook.

Credits:
Executive Producer Richard Bright
Director James Maycock
Production Manager Fiona Crawford
Production Coordinator Fiona Dorman
Editor Bradley Richards
Camera Operator Luke Finn

Interviewed Guest: Terry Gilliam, Lucinda Williams, Ian Rankin, Ed Harcourt, Ralph Carney, Bones Howe, Ute Lemper, Nitin Sawhney, Guy Garvey and Jim Sclavunos

– Hallgeir

December 7: Happy 67th Birthday Tom Waits

[He’s got a voice sounding] “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car.”
~Daniel Durchholz

“I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.”
― Tom Waits

“We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness.
We are monkeys with money and guns.”
― Tom Waits

Neil Young inducts Tom Waits into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:

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Classic concert: Tom Waits VH1 Storytellers 1999

Tom Waits storytellers

Baby, you got to get behind the mule!
– Tom Waits

The same year as Mule Variations was released, 1999, VH1 broadcast a Storyteller episode with Tom Waits. It aired in the middle of the night; I didn’t have any plans for the next day so I stayed up and watched.

What a songwriter! What a storyteller! He teases the audience, plays with them, he is the pied piper! All the stories are funny/weird and moving. Is he lying? He’s probably making the stuff up as he goes along, or have all of these things actually happen? I really don’t care, his delivery is amusing and so entertaining that he could probably read the A to G in the phonebook and I would find it funny. This might not work with newcomers to Waits’s concerts, they will probably find it a bit too weird and rambling. They should watch Big Time (the movie) first and then come back to this (or maybe it’s the other way ’round, he he).

VH1 Storytellers allows Tom Waits to showcase some his then new material — among them is House Where Nobody Lives, one of the finest ballads he has ever written, here in a heartbreakingly beautiful version. We also get some Tom Waits history with favorites like Downtown Train (also a hit for Rod Stewart); Old ’55, (a hit for The Eagles ); and Jersey Girl, which Bruce Springsteen turned into a live favorite.

Set list:

Downtown Train
Ol’ 55
House Where Nobody Lives
Jersey Girl
What’s He Building In There?
Strange Weather
Get Behind The Mule

Tom Waits – VH1 Storytellers 1999:

The show was around 44 minutes but there were much more material recorded.

The rest of the concert is available to stream or download (legally) at Internet Archive in great quality:

– Hallgeir

September 30: Tom Waits released the classic Rain Dogs in 1985

tom-waits-rain-dogs

“We are all just monkeys with money and guns.”
~Tom Waits

If you get far enough away you’ll be on your way back home.
~Tom Waiys – “Blind Love”

Tango till they’re sore @ Letterman 1986 + interview:

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September 8: Bone Machine by Tom Waits was released in 1992

bone-machine

“it ain’t no sin, to take off your skin and dance around in your bones”
~Tom Waits

From Wikipedia:

Released September 8, 1992
Recorded Prairie Sun Recording, Cotati, California
Genre Rock, experimental rock, blues rock
Length 53:30
Label Island
Producer Tom Waits

Bone Machine is a critically acclaimed and award-winning album by Tom Waits, released in 1992 on Island Records. It won a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album, and features guest appearances by Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo, Primus’ Les Claypool, and The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards.

Bone Machine marked a return to studio material for Waits, coming a full five years after his previous studio album, Franks Wild Years (1987). The album is often noted for its dark lyrical themes of death and murder, and for its rough, stripped-down, percussion-heavy blues rock style.

Tom Waits

Recording & production:

Bone Machine was recorded and produced entirely at the Prairie Sun Recording studios in Cotati, California in a room of Studio C known as “the Waits Room,” in the old cement hatchery rooms of the cellar of the buildings.

Mark “Mooka” Rennick, Prairie Sun studio chief said:

[Waits] gravitated toward these “echo” rooms and created the Bone Machine aural landscape. […] What we like about Tom is that he is a musicologist. And he has a tremendous ear. His talent is a national treasure.

Waits said of the bare-bones studio, “I found a great room to work in, it’s just a cement floor and a hot water heater. Okay, we’ll do it here. It’s got some good echo.” References to the recording environment and process were made in the field-recorded interview segments made for the promotional CD release, Bone Machine: The Operator’s Manual, which threaded together full studio tracks and conversation for a pre-recorded radio show format.

Artwork:

The cover photo, which consists of a blurred black-and-white, close-up image of Waits in a leather skullcap with horns and protective goggles, was taken by Jesse Dylan, the son of Bob Dylan. He wears this same outfit in the video for “Goin’ Out West” and “I Don’t Wanna Grow up”.

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