TOM WAITS FOR NO MAN

by josiah (photo by anton corbijn)

Since Rock and Roll history is one that is always writing and rewriting itself, its easy to see the treadmill breaking down for so many of the old soldiers – I’m not even going to bother with names, but if you’ve paid over 100 dollars to go see an artist who is over 50, well….

Tom Waits, on the other hand, is an anomaly of an artist, that is, a TRUE artist, who does not idle to repeat himself, and most significantly, seems to just keep on getting better and better with time, over his 35+ year stint in music. His career confirmed already as nothing short of groundbreaking and inspiring, he seems to continue to extend himself as a bridge between past and present – just look at Real Gone, released in 2005, a masterwork that combines fantastic songwriting, Waits style junkyard experimentalism, and current ideas such as turntables and beatboxes, all dense with the insightful passion and playful abandon we have sought from Mr. Waits.

Last year’s Orphans – a 3 disc set categorized into rockers, ballads, and experimentally inclined pieces, respectively – was not merely a way of looking back in celebration, but rather was a reconfirmation of the still solid gold result of what happens when a poet/blues singer pours whiskey all over the forgotten scrap heaps of a broken America.

And now, it looks like there is even more excitement under way – in one of the funniest “press conferences” ever, Waits announced a new tour, an undertaking he has expanded in one of the funniest (self-conducted) “interviews” ever. Also included in this self-examination: new song titles (!), and news that Waits is playing the Devil in the new film by Terry Gilliam (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Brazil, etc). More than news though, this interview is chock-full of Wait’s encyclopedic absurdity and Americana zen. Check it out! And go see him live if you can, I guarantee you will be transformed beyond belief.

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