didya cover your tracks? yessir
Yup kiddies, it's time for another edition of Waits Wednesday.
Real Gone, the new album which will hit stores October 5, leaked a short while back & I just recently got to hear some of it for myself. Here's a couple of raucous tracks to tide you over until the release date:
The second track on Real Gone has Tom Waits sounding suprisingly topical, as it certainly comes off like a screed criticizing the incessant flag-waving & blind patriotism we've seen here in the US over the past few years. This is a somewhat unusual move for Waits, who apparently also tackles the war in Iraq in the album's final track, "The Day After Tomorrow" (which I still haven't heard, btw). From a recent interview in the LA Times:
You have to be able to write about what goes on around you. Pick up a newspaper, write a tune. That's all I was trying to do. Not like I'm making speeches at the U.N. But there's nothing but war in the papers now. The whole world's at war.
"Hoist That Rag" also features some fantastic work from guitarist & longtime Waits collaborator Marc Ribot, who plays on much of Real Gone. Ribot is a veteran/icon of NYC's downtown jazz scene, which also produced comtemporaries like John Zorn and Medeski Martin & Wood. His guitar style is unmistakeable - I could pick him out of a guitar line-up any day. Ribot put out a couple of notable albums a couple years back with his band Los Cubanos Postizos, which mixed a downtown jazz groove with the music of legendary Cuban bandleader Arsenio Rodriguez. Trust me, it's much cooler (and more accessible) than that description makes it out to be.
The press release for Real Gone over at Anti website lists Tom Waits "on vocal mouth percussion," and you can hear why from the first note of this intense track. It's Tommy's own growling & grunting that sets the tone, and the beat, in this song. "Don't Go Into That Barn" strikes up frightening, dark, nightmarish, running-through-the-woods-at-night kind of imagery, which Waits has always excelled at creating. I also have to wonder if this song doesn't also speak a little to the general sense of American paranoia in the post-9/11 era, or then again maybe that's just me.
BTW: Site traffic here at The Big Ticket has been noticeably up the last couple of days, thanks largely to Scott Stereogum linking to last week's Apostle of Hustle post. Be sure to drop by his site for the latest news on Britney's descent into skankitude & other fun stuff.