When I think of my favorite stuff by Tom Waits, I always look back to the time when the writing and arranging of his songs were more playful, avant pop exercises, colored by a range of intense and deep emotional swatches, yet always with humor. My favorite stretch in his catalog of work is from Swordfishtrombones to Franks Wild Years (Marc Ribot?). Songs were always off-kilter, tenuous, unpredictable...far-away organs played against a punchy latin rhumba beat...oh, here comes the circus, jolted by a bended-note/feedback guitar part. Wha?
I heard a lot more characters in his voice, too. The sideshow barker, the Ironweed hobo, the cocky but sensitive playboy, or the frustrated, suburbia-warped freespirit looking to make a break.
This track off Franks Wild Years feels like an old, worn out, spaghetti western-inspired guitar shuffle. Its whispered from the lips of a grizzled shopkeeper in a soon-to-be ghosttown, telling his concerned companion the need to reach for where your dreams dwell: "out where your enemies lie." There's little consolation against what most likely will be an exercise in futility, but necessary nonetheless, to carve out some sort of happiness. Get used to it.
No diss on the Pixies, especially being a big fan myself, but there are times that I think Mr. Black Black has displayed a far more interesting range since breaking up the band. Teenager of the Year will always be up for consideration on my all-time top ten. I think that it's sadly and unfairly dismissed by too many people. But maybe I can assuage and tempt some of those doubters with this gem.
Inspired by real history and/or the movie "Chinatown," the subject matter is about bringing the Colorado river to the thirsty City of Angels, by hook or by crook, and all the fortune and fame to be had by the one to do it, thus the title. That's what makes the lyrics so fun.
But the real thrill is the "fukk yeah!" abandon of this melodically-twisting tune. It plain rocks...and is brain food to boot. I swear Eric Drew Feldman, of Pere Ubu fame, who produced and played on this album, takes Black's songs to magnificent heights. I've yet to hear a better album of his work.
This sample is an outro-guitar slide into homebase supplied by Lyle Workman. Standing as one of my all-time fave guitar parts, it is at once fret-adept, rhythmically punchy, and pure electrical flow exhiliration. Olé!
A very tasty and rather 'European-sounding' cover of the 1967's psyche-jazz Tom Scott's original from the well-known session percussionist-vibraphonist Emil Richards. Although it comes in a compilation of Emil's best late 60s latin-jazz recordings (interestingly, not a single horn instrument is used in the whole set!), this is an energetic percussive jazz-rock piece, with great vibraphone and bells(!) solos.
available on CD - Luntana (Afro-Cuban Jazz) (Soundsational (Italy))
09 Feb 03 ·konsu: Kudos for rep'n mister Richards! I love this track!
This is from the awsome "New Time Element" LP he did for UNI.The whole record is conceptual versions of contemporary pop tunes done in wild time signatures.
Check out his take on "Take 5", he does it in 4/4 time! He also does "Georgy Girl" in 5/4 & "Happy Together" in 15/8 time!Also check out Emil Richard's
Journey To Bliss LP... MAD STUFF!!!
The first track on the seminal 'Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse' LP McDaniels cut in 1971 is the most furious and energetic of the album. Spiritual afro-soul-rock with a politically aware attitude. A very 'dirty' psychedelic electric bass guitar with a top-class drummer (Alphonse Mouzon) comprise a hard-hitting rhythm section to remember. I prefer this very bluesy track over the more obvious selections from this top-notch release, e.g. the haunting Jagger the Dagger, and Freedom Death Dance.
09 Feb 03 ·konsu: Nice choice!I always liked this song too but could'nt get anyone to pay much attention to his work.One of the more social/politically charged soul jazz records.Cherished by hip-hoppers for years,and sampled quite a bit.Needs to stand again on it's own merits!