Monday, 8 October 2007

What the Caked Crusader chose to bake to this week (6 Oct 2007)

I love Tom Waits. I love that if you listen to his albums on shuffle, it sounds like several different artists. You start with the smooth crooning, then progress to more bluesy fiery work then he discovers percussion big-time and the now familiar growling and barking style kicks in. He acts his songs too – some songs will be sung in an accent and for one of my favourites, “Jesus Gonna Be Here” he sings it with a lisp. Mad or genius? I know where my vote goes.

The main reason I love Tom Waits, other than you get the sense he could live in an Edward Hopper painting, is his lyrical genius. In an age where so many lazy songwriters trot out the tedious moon/June type of rhymes, he stands out as a poet. Just consider this single line from “Ghosts of a Saturday Night” describing a scene in a bar:

A solitary sailor who spends the facts of his life like small change on strangers

It tells you so much: an entire scene, an entire life in one sentence.

I suspect that Tom Waits probably isn’t a cake fan. A voice like his screams of bourbon and cigarettes rather than cream puffs, but he is great music to bake to.

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