Song #29: “Black Wings”

Tom Waits is heard in my house more than anyone else, so he gets two entries on the big 30 Songs list.

I can understand how Tom Waits isn’t everyone’s cup of coffee. He’s got a style that leaves most people wondering, “What the hell is that?” He doesn’t make radio-friendly music. I doubt “Black Wings” was ever a big hit. (These are good things, by the way.)

My appreciation for what he does evolved from following his growth as an artist, and watching him continue to grow. The Tom Waits of the 1970s is not the Tom Waits of the 21st century, and yet it’s all Tom Waits.
Continue reading Song #29: “Black Wings”

Song #23: “Walk Away”

Tom Waits is the love child of the Cookie Monster and Sonny Boy Williamson and I’d pay several hundred dollars to see him live and not even blink. He’s #1 on my Hope I See Him Before I Die list. I don’t know what to say about him because there’s too much say. I could pick 50 of his songs that grabbed hold of me an didn’t let go. Trying to select one that’s representative of his music can’t be done. “Walk Away” ain’t a bad little ditty though.

Continue reading Song #23: “Walk Away”

My Valentine’s Playlist

John Walkenbach is creating a Collaborative Vallentine’s playlist from YouTube videos. My suggestions wouldn’t go through for some reason, so I’m posting them here.

Let the special man or woman in your life know how you feel by telling him or her, “I Want You.” (The Tom Waits cover by Holly Cole.) After dinner you can Turn Your Lights Down Low (Bob Marley), if you know what I mean. Then the two of you can lay there and bask in the purity of your Love (John Lennon). And the next morning while you’re having breakfast, you can read him or her some poetry, maybe “The Song of Wandering Angus” by William Butler Yeats (Jolie Holland). It goes like this:

loveI went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

25 Albums You Should Listen To From Start To Finish

Turn off the shuffle: 25 great albums that work best when listened to from start to finish.

I recognize only a few. They include folk, country, rap, pop… Here’s the entire list, although you should read their interesting writeup about each selection:

  1. Frank Sinatra, Come Fly With Me (1958)
  2. Cursive, Domestica (2000)
  3. Hüsker Dü, Zen Arcade (1984)
  4. Pink Floyd, The Wall (1979)
  5. King Crimson, In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969)
  6. Neutral Milk Hotel, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (1998)
  7. Deltron 3030, Deltron 3030 (2000)
  8. Wyclef Jean, Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival Featuring The Refugee Allstars (1997)
  9. The Flaming Lips, Zaireeka (1997)
  10. Parenthetical Girls, Entanglements (2008)
  11. Dr. Octagon, Dr. Octagonecologyst (1996)
  12. Sufjan Stevens, Illinois (2005)
  13. Catherine Wheel, Adam And Eve (1997)
  14. Randy Newman, Good Old Boys (1974)
  15. Queensrÿche, Operation: Mindcrime (1988)
  16. Tom Waits, Franks Wild Years (1987)
  17. Mike Watt, Contemplating The Engine Room (1997)
  18. XTC, Skylarking (1986)
  19. Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska (1982)
  20. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Murder Ballads (1996)
  21. Masta Ace, Disposable Arts (2001)
  22. Willie Nelson, Phases And Stages (1974)
  23. Prince Paul, Psychoanalysis: What Is It? (1996)
  24. Drive-By Truckers, Southern Rock Opera (2001)
  25. The Who, Quadrophenia (1973)