Friday, October 26, 2007

The brilliant oddity that is Tom Waits

Had a fascinating conversation with a coworker the other day ... and in said chat found a fell enlightened soul.

"You mean you like Tom Waits!" Love the mad genius in fact. But most music fans fall into one of three categories when it comes to the "poet at the crack of dawn." Either they've never heard of him, hate him or are obsessed with him.

I fall into the latter category - most days. Got to be in a mood for the gravely voiced singer who uses his own abrasive voice as an instrument. Waits has two essential phases - broken-hearted, whiskey-soaked balladeer and just-plain-weird, must-be-heard-to-be-believed.

But no matter the phase, Waits is arguably one of the best songwriters out there.

So without further ado ... Here's a brief beginner's guide to Tom Waits tracks:

Hope I don't fall in love with you
Ol' 55
Jersey Girl
Waltzing Matilda (Tom Traubert's Blues)
On the Road to Peace
I Don't Want to Grow Up
Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis
Innocent when you dream
House where nobody lives
Earth Died Screaming
What's he building in there
Picking up after you