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.