i'm gonna whittle you into kindlin'
I haven't done a Waits Wednesday in quite a while, not since the first day of Mix '04, way back in December '04. What's the matter with me? You all must be going through withdrawal. It's all my fault, of course, as even I haven't devoted nearly enough listening time to last year's Real Gone LP.
I will honestly try to do better, starting right now, as a matter of fact...
I recently got my hands on a VHS-rip of Tom Waits' 1988 concert film, Big Time. It got played all the time on IFC back when I was in college, but (of course) they stopped showing it by the time I finally started really getting into Waits during my sophomore (IIRC) year. The film is just as visually odd-yet-sumptuous as I remembered from the glipses I did manage to catch at the time, with lots of Waits chilling out in a ticket-taker's booth with a giant, mischievous smile on his mug. But, for a guy who missed out on the man's 1999 tour in support of Mule Variations, it was especially delightful for me to see the man's full force stage persona in action. Someone needs to remaster this sh** for dvd ASAP. This song, which originally appeared on 1983's Swordfishtrombones LP, is the leadoff track from the film's soundtrack and does a good job of encapsulating the film's madcap energy.
During most of Big Time, Tom Waits is stomping around like a madman, leading some bizarre eastern-European cabaret, backed by an eclectic band including NYC guitarist Marc Ribot. But "Train Song" displays another, more quiet side of the man. It's just Tom at his piano, emotionally crooning rather than further distorting his gutteral growl. It even begins with Tom doing a short bit of storytelling, an area that finds him at perhaps his most charismatic. "Train Song" originally appeared on 1987's Frank's Wild Years.
As-per-usual, you can find all the Waits info you need over at the Tom Waits Supplement, and the latest news at the adjoining blog The Eyeball Kid.
and the rest will follow
Attention, Air America listeners & fans of really-really loud rock music: the Austin TX band ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, who I last wrote about back in November, will be appearing with host Janeane Garofalo on tonite's edition of the Majority Report. I don't know whether or not they will be performing any songs, but they might since their delayed new album Worlds Apart is finally coming out next Tuesday (1/25).
ETA (1/20/05): Apparently the Trail of Dead interview was terrible, the worst since Janeane had Peaches on the show last year. It dragged on so long, they never got to Jason Bateman either. Plus, they didn't perform.
My old friend Nancy Kiu has apparently been working on the new Fox series Point Pleasant, which premieres tonite at 9pm ET after (ugh) American Idol. Yesterday, she sent out the following plea to watch her show:
watch POINT PLEASANT! the show that i've been working on for the past few months is finally airing WEDNESDAY the 19th and THURSDAY the 20th at 9pm on FOX. it's a midseason drama exec produced by marti noxon, one of the exec producers on buffy the vampire slayer, and co-exec by ben edlund, the creator/writer of the tick. it starts off a little fox-ified but i promise that it gets better with each episode. tell your friends, your family, hell, even your pets, and if they happen to have a tivo or a nielson box, all the better! so tune in and support a lass in need of ratings.
As Nancy mentioned, the second episode of Point Pleasant will be airing tomorrow nite (1/20) in its regular timeslot, after The O.C.. I wasn't really looking forward to this show (seems kinda like an occult version of The O.C.), though I know that Angie over at The Brain Drain (scroll down) is, but perhaps I will tune in after all. I'll happily encourage others to do so as well, because Nancy is the bestest. The West Wing will just have to wait.
The PP cast, all conveniently in one room. Hey, isn't that Jake from Melrose Place?
BTW: I picked up season three of Curb Your Enthusiasm yesterday on dvd. It includes the Krazee-Eyez Killah episode that is a favorite of my pal Marc. Next Tuesday brings the release of another HBO show, the outstanding second season of The Wire. It will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.
Lastly, Pitchfork has finally gotten around to reviewing Apostle of Hustle's Folkloric Feel, an album I quite liked from 2004. Brian Howe gave it a 7.7.