Waiting for Tom Waits

Submitted by dag on Sun, 2008/08/10 - 22:47

This evening I was listening to a song performed by Scarlett Johansson that I knew from Tom Waits, and being a very big fan of Tom Waits' music but never have seen him perform, I went to Youtube.

Brenda however doesn't like the rough voice on most songs (except his first album Closing Time) and so we watched some old and some new performances on Youtube. I was trying to give Brenda some exposure to his new material while looking at what period his voice changed so dramatically :-)

For the people that don't know Tom Waits I can wholeheartedly recommend Tom Wait's I hope that I don't fall in Love with you, which is one of my personal favorites and appealing to everyone:

And apparently covered a lot on Youtube.

His later work is less accessible, but still great works of art. It is amazing how he manages to create a complete atmosphere to a song and a caricature in his performance. Even his earlier appearances on TV shows gives strange reactions/emotions (and isn't that what art is about ?). This is the first time I have seen him and it amazes me that he apparently doesn't come out in public without his character.

And in this video it appears he tries to mask his laughs during the interview, which is remarkable:

In some of his songs there is a twist, either dramatic, funny or both, and apparently even on the press conference he gave for his latest tour (Mental note: check when he will do Europe) he manages to turn it into a performance, more than a real press conference:

Highly recommended material. I can understand if you don't like all his songs, but you have to admit the guy is a genius !

Update: I also found this set of gems from a complete performance in Montreal in 1981.