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A rare Tom Waits version of the 1965 James Brown soul classic “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag.” Less a cover of the original Brown penned masterpiece than an ingenious and maniacal reinterpretation recorded live in 1987 at Massey Hall in Toronto Canada during the “Frank‘s Wild Years” tour. On stage that night are Tom Waits on vocals, piano, bullhorn, Marc Ribot: guitars, banjos, trumpet, Willy Schwarz (introduced as Willie ‘the squeeze’) on accordion, organ, keyboards, Ralph Carney: saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet, marimba, violin, baritone horn, harmonica, Greg Cohen: upright/ electric bass, box electric and Michael Blair on drums & percussion. Read More

Consequence of Sound recently posted an intriguing essay on Tom Waits in their “Icons of Rock” series. Writer Carson O’Shoney positions Waits alongside literary anti hero Charles Bukowski as a prolific and highly influential outsider who defies categorization and continues to be relevant as trends come and go throughout the years.
“He began his career in the underbelly of Los Angeles, inspired by the Beat Generation and jaded by the 60’s music scene. He’s quoted as saying ‘I wasn’t thrilled by Blue Cheer, so I found an alternative, even if it was Bing Crosby.’ … Even though the crowds were not receptive of his unique style at first, he created his own persona and was an intriguing character in certain circles in the early 1970s. His first album, Closing Time, was well received by critics but didn’t garner much attention from the public until The Eagles recorded a cover of his song “Ol’ 55″ and put it on their album, On the Border.
You can read the entire thought provoking  essay as well as check out some songs and videos here. Read More

Tom Waits will have his songs “Down There By The Train” (from Orphans) and “Lost In The Harbour” (from Alice) featured in the upcoming film “Miral” directed by Julian Schnabel (Before Night Falls). The film will debut September 2010 at the Venice Film Festival and chronicles Hind Husseini’s effort to establish an orphanage in Jerusalem after the 1948 partition of Palestine. Read More

There’s a imaginative video about the artist Chris Roberts-Antieaum featuring her animated artwork singing along to Tom Waits’ timeless classic “I Don’t Want To Grow Up.” Roberts-Antieau is known for her “fabric paintings” which can be described as tapestry collages. She sent Tom and his wife Kathleen a great monkey quilt.
To watch the clip, just go here. Read More

Peter Gabriel performs Tom Waits’ song “In the Neighborhood” as part of The Voice Project, a music based initiative to raise awareness and support for the war torn areas of Northern Uganda, Southern Sudan, Eastern Congo and CAR. Artists have been recording cover songs as links in musical chains that began with a small group of widows and rape survivors in Uganda. The women there have been using songs to send messages of forgiveness to those abducted and forced to fight, many of hide in the bush, afraid to return home.
The Voice Project employs this same idea of using music to pass the message as each artist covers another artist’ song creating a chain of melodies. Now Gabriel has passed it to Tom Waits.” “I’ve wanted to sing Tom Waits’ ‘In the Neighborhood’ for a long time and this was a great opportunity.” Gabriel explains. “I love the idea that a song can reach people that can’t be touched in any other way.”
For more information on The Voice Project, click here. Read More
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