a kinder, gentler waits wednesday

Director & co-hort Jim Jarmusch with Waits from back in their ol' carousing days.

I caught most of Tom Waits' appearance on Letterman last nite. He told some stories about artistic-minded horses & played "Make It Rain" from his forthcoming album Real Gone, which comes out next Tuesday (10/5) through Anti records. I posted a couple of tracks from the new record a short while ago, and they actually managed to sorta scare my good pal Rachel. I think it's to his credit that Waits can create such an intense & frightening soundscape, and I imagine Rachel was more than a little unprepared for his dark side. So for her benefit, here are a couple of early-era Waits tracks that show off the man's softer, more sensitive side.

MP3 Tom Waits - "New Coat of Paint"
Back in ye ole college days, the first Waits album I ever bought was his second full-length LP, The Heart of Saturday Night. IIRC, I picked it up primarily because it was in the cheapo bin at Tower & I thought the cover artwork looked intriguing. As you can probably guess by my Wednesday-themed posts, it was a quality purchase indeed. This is the album's lead-off track, which finds Waits encouraging his ladyfriend (or special lady) to go out on the town in order to spice up their relationship:
All your scribbled lovedreams, are lost or thrown away
Here amidst the shuffle of an overflowing day
Our love needs a transfusion so let's shoot it full of wine
Fishin' for a good time starts with throwin' in your line

For those who are interested, check out this old press release from when the album came out back in 1974. I found it at a great fansite I just stumbled onto called the Tom Waits Supplement, which also features a running news blog about Waits entitled The Eyeball Kid. I haven't fully explored it yet, but it seems like a solid source for Waits information etc.

MP3 Tom Waits - "Little Trip To Heaven (On The Wings Of Your Love)"
This track comes from Waits' 1973 debut album Closing Time, and as the album's penultimate track is kind of a foil for the album's second track, "I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You." It's a crooning love song that glides by over piano & saxomophone, even ending with a jazzy, "shoo-be-doo, ba-da-da." A lot of Waits' early work (especially these first two albums) are boozy, more loungey affairs that complement the singer's younger (and far smoother) voice. Nowadays, he's been the most gruff-sounding man in music going on two decades, but he wasn't always like that.

MOV Here's video of that Letterman performance (via largehearted boy).

MOV Also, here's video of the interview (16.7mb) via tomwaitsfan.com.
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Blogger Paul Irish @ 9/29/2004 04:26:00 PM:

I'm totally hooked on this new Waits album.
Thank you.

p.s. you're one of my favorites. def on the blogroll.    

Anonymous Anonymous @ 9/29/2004 08:06:00 PM:

Thank you for this delicious picture of aYoung Mr. Waits. I will never understand how someone so stunning aged so badly ... though musically, he's still a dream. I look forward to hearing the mp3s.    

Blogger Rachel @ 9/30/2004 11:03:00 AM:

Now this is the kind of Waits Wednesday I can can get into! Thanks mr. gilbert! No nightmares tonight...    

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