Posts Tagged ‘Tom Waits’

He went down, down, down

July 31, 2019

It’s all downhill from here.

Nope, I didn’t break the speed limit. I maxed out around 35 mph as I dropped from the top of Tramway to Roy, 4th, Guadalupe Trail, Alameda, and finally, the Paseo del Bosque.

As you know, I am a law-abiding fellow, and rarely in a hurry.

Last trip down I was on the Soma Saga (disc). This time I took the Soma Saga (canti), having finally toed the squeak out of the TRP RevoX brakes.

The TRP RevoX. You need a jillion Allen keys and a 13mm wrench to make this dog hunt. But hunt it does. I never had to Flintstone to a stop.

I’ve tried a bunch of brakes on this bike and hadn’t really liked any of ’em. Paul’s MiniMoto would be the shit, but cabling proved a little crowded with 38mm tires and fenders. And I was fresh out of my go-to stoppers, Paul’s Neo-Retro and Touring cantis, having shifted my last pair to the Voodoo Nakisi.

Happily, I had this set of TRPs idling around the garage, so on they went. A little fiddly for a half-assed mechanic to set up, and on our last outing they brayed like jackasses, but now they work and sound just fine. Still, when time and finance permit I’ll give some more money to my man Paul, just ’cause.

The bosque was nuts for a workday morning. Racer dudes and dudettes, recreational riders, e-bikers, recumbents, joggers, skaters, strollers, equestrians, even one grinning young woman aboard what I think was an ElliptiGO.

I had thought about doing the whole enchilada, continuing down past Rio Bravo and back around, but discretion proved the better part of valor. I hung a U at Interstate 40 and went back the way I came for a grand total of 47.8 miles, which felt about right.

As I rode up Roy toward the Tramway climb I saw a rara avis indeed — a triplet, barreling down toward the roundabout at 4th and Roy. I waved, and the dude in the middle waved back, but he looked like he’d rather have both hands on the bars and I can’t say I blame him. That was one crowded bike and like our “democracy” I imagine it demanded everyone’s attention and participation.

If you’re looking for them “Deep River Blues,” they’re off to the left, behind the cottonwoods, and they’re actually more of a brown.

Bucket (play)list

July 14, 2018

It never rains, but it pours. Enough to fill up that bucket, anyway.

The rain gods finally heard our prayers this afternoon. Or maybe they heard the Tom Waits. I was playing “Small Change,” but it might be time to cue up “Rain Dogs.” For I am a Rain Dog too.

Make it rain

June 16, 2018

Finally. What a great day to be a rain dog.

Broken bicycles

December 7, 2017

Carl sent me on a trip down the Tom Waits rabbithole with his tip about a BBC documentary on the man, so blame him for a dose of Waits during Zappadan.

This is from “One from the Heart,” the score for a Coppola flick I don’t believe I ever saw; I have the vinyl around here somewhere.

And pardon my French, but you ain’t heard shit until you’ve heard Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle doing a duet.

 

The music a’Waits

March 14, 2017

OK, apropos of nothing in particular, check out this interview with Tom Waits at The New York Times Style Magazine.

Beck and Kendrick Lamar are in there, too, if that’s how you roll.

The money quote for me — from Waits, of course — is about inspiration and how it strikes:

If you want to catch songs you gotta start thinking like one, and making yourself an interesting place for them to land like birds or insects.

 

Life is but a dream

December 19, 2016
Life is but a dream; it's what you make it.

Life is but a dream; it’s what you make it.

Those last few moments of sleep before the bathroom light snaps on and a cat jumps on you are prime dreamtime.

So I’m drinking beer with Tom Waits and while we sip we’re wandering around his cabin, which is more of a shack, really, and with a decidedly M.C. Escherish tilt to it, and I’m apparently staying the night ’cause Tom rasps, “You know where the mattress is, right?”

And I ask where Kathleen is, and he says she’s dealing them off the arm downtown at some hipster hash house, and he wonders what that’s like, because every time he and the band are trying to wrap up a track it seems they get hungry and need a bite to carry on but even getting a simple sandwich from this posh beanery is a pain in the ass because the chef is always short some effete ingredient.

“Sorry, can’t finish your sandwich without my artisanal mayonnaise,” I quip, and we both have a good laugh about that and then the bathroom light snaps on and the Turk jumps on me.

And none of this has anything to do with the fact that the Electoral College votes today and with a little mercy, a lot of balls and a metric shit-ton of educated, far-sighted patriotism they could save us all from ourselves and deny Sir Donald of Orange his dubiously acquired electoral majority.

This would dump the whole hot mess into the fat lap of Congress. And the House would select some garden-variety-nightmare Republican to be president, and just maybe — maybe! — given the popular vote, the Senate would pick some run-of-the-mill Democrat to be vice president.

But being a presidential elector in these circumstances must feel a lot like being the maid at the Motel 666 in Federalist 68 Hell. We get to shit the bed and she has to wash the sheets?

No, thanks, honey, she purrs. I’d rather make a sandwich for Tom Waits. I know what kind of mayo he likes, and I hear there’s some beer left.

Life is but a dream. Hail, Beelzebozo.

 

(Almost) last leaf

November 12, 2015
Hang on there, fellas, it's only 38 outside.

Hang on there, fellas, it’s only 38 outside.

It’s not quite the last leaf on the tree … but it’s close.

Everyone’s a winner, bargains galore

June 1, 2013

wiggo-pythonToday is the neighborhood’s biennial yard sale, an event during which one hopes against all reason that strangers will cart off one’s useless bullshit and leave money in its place. This makes the tooth-fairy tale seem reasonable by comparison.

And now for something completely different: There is no truth to the rumor that Bradley Wiggins is skipping the 2013 Tour de France in order to stand in for the late Graham Chapman in a revival of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”

Christmas music that doesn’t suck (3)

December 24, 2012

Any longtime fan of the DogS(h)ite knows my fondness for Tom Waits. He was a favorite, whether my old bros and I were in residence at the Mombo Club, El Rancho Delux or Ed Siegelman’s Ground Zero Equal Opportunity Apartments.

I mean, who else would perform a mashup of “Silent Night” and “Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis” on “Austin City Limits?”

 

Tom Waits’ latest, ‘Bad,’ is good

October 24, 2011
"Bad As Me"

The latest from Tom Waits, "Bad As Me," is a keeper. But then I'm the guy with most of his 20-odd albums cluttering up the joint, in CD and in vinyl.

The latest from Tom Waits, “Bad As Me,” hit the stores today, and I bought my copy from the fine folks at Independent Records & Video, reasoning that Bibleburg could use the sales tax to plug a few of the potholes that keep knocking my wheels out of true.

I sprung for the deluxe edition, which includes a smallish book containing all the lyrics, photos, a breakdown of who plays what on which tracks and three additional tunes. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Musically, Waits is all over the map on this one. There’s less banging on shit just to hear what it sounds like and more toe-tappers; an occasional tip of the bowler to the bluesy old days of “Nighthawks,” “Blue Valentine” and “Small Change”; and a couple of audio political cartoons that I enjoyed a lot, especially “Hell Broke Luce.”

Herself thought she detected some marital distress in a few numbers, like “Face to the Highway,” “Back In the Crowd” and “Kiss Me,” but I’m not sure her spidey-sense is tuned into the Waits frequency. He’s always loved a good weeper, like “Ruby’s Arms” from “Heartattack and Vine.” And if there’s ever been a better fuck-you-I’m-gone track than “Frank’s Wild Years” from “Swordfishtrombones,” I’ve never heard one.

“Last Leaf,” a duet with Keith Richards, is just a song about the last leaf on a tree, says Waits. Uh huh. Whatever it is, it’s beautiful. And “New Year’s Eve” could be a Pogues number — it reminds me of “Fairytale of New York,” and I know Waits is a fan of the band and of Shane Macgowan, though like the rest of us he wishes the manky git would do summat about them teefuses a his.

Quitting the booze and the butts has mellowed the man’s voice without constricting his vision. If you’re a Tom Waits fan, you want “Bad As Me” in your collection.

• Extra credit bonus Waits: Libby, a longtime friend of the DogS(h)ite, sends this link to a Guardian interview with the man himself. It’s a good read.