14 years later, Tom Waits Mule Variations CD goes "Gold" in the U.S.A.. Instead of a tickertape parade, I thought I'd use it as an excuse to, once again, talk about a brilliant songwriter and performer.
With a minor scratchy throat and an important once-every-two-years meeting coming up on Thursday, I defer to the master of voice gravel, Tom Waits, with this mashup:
"Eggs and Sausage" from Nighthawks at the Diner
Iggy Pop and Tom Waits clip from Coffee and Cigarettes (dir. Jim Jarmusch)
"Drunk on the Moon" from Heart of Saturday Night
Licorice tattoo turned a gun metal blue
Scrawled across the shoulders of a dying town
But the one eyed jacks across the railroad tracks
And the scar on its belly pulled a stranger passing through
He's a juvenile delinquent never learned how to behave
But the cops would never think to look in, in Burma Shave
And the road was like a ribbon and the moon was like a bone
He didn't seem to be like any guy she'd ever known
He kinda looked like Farley Granger with his hair slicked back
She says I'm a sucker for a fella in a cowboy hat
How far are you going he said depends on what you mean
He says I'm only stopping here to get some gasoline
I'm guess I'm going thataway just as long as it's paved
I guess you'd say I'm on my way to Burma Shave
And with her knees up on the glove compartment
She took out her barrettes and her hair spilled out like rootbeer
And she popped her gum and arched her back
Hell Marysville ain't nothing but a wide spot in the road
Some night my heart pounds like thunder
I don't know why it don't explode
cause everyone in this stinking town has got one foot in the grave
And I'd rather take my chances out in Burma Shave
Presley's what I go by, why don't you change the station
Count the grain elevators in the rearview mirror
She said Mister anywhere you point this thing
Has got to beat the hell out of the sting
Of going to bed with every dream that dies here every morning
And so drill me a hole with a barber pole
And I'm jumping my parole just like a fugitive tonight
Why don't you have another swig
And pass that car if you're so brave
I wanna get there before the sun comes up in Burma Shave
And the spider web crack and the Mustang screamed
Smoke from the tyres and the twisted machine
Just a nickel's worth of dreams and every wishbone that they saved
Lies swindled from them on the way to Burma Shave
And the sun hit the derrick and cast a bat wing shadow
Up against the car door on the shot gun side
And when they pulled her from the wreck
You know she still had on her shades
They say that dreams are growing wild just this side of Burma Shave
An unsettled wandering through other people's conversations about music, creation, and found inspiration.
The sparse Tom Waits original Diamonds and Gold...
followed by a very cool cover by My Terrible Friend.
I will leave behind all of my clothes, I wore when I was with you.
All I need's my railroad boots, and my leather jacket.
As I say goodbye to Ruby's arms, although my heart is breaking,
I will steal away out through your blinds, for soon you will be waking.
The morning light has washed your face, and everything is turning blue now.
Hold on to your pillow case. There's nothing I can do now.
As I say goodbye to Ruby's arms, you'll find another soldier,
and i swear to god by Christmas time, there'll be someone else to hold you.
The only thing I'm taking is the scarf off of your clothesline.
I'll hurry past your chest of drawers, and your broken window chimes.
As I say goodbye, I'll say goodbye, say goodbye to Ruby's arms.
I'll feel my way down the darken hall, and out into the morning.
The hobos at the freightyards, have kept their fires burning.
And Jesus Christ this goddamn rain. Will someone put me on a train.
I'll never kiss your lips again or break your heart.
As i say goodbye, I'll say goodbye, say goodbye to Ruby's arms.
Okay, this version is really just me and four vocal tracks. Just in case someone orders this removed from Youtube, feel free to rip it to your heart's content.
Great original song by the Barenaked Ladies. Great show. Tom Waits (impersonated).
Hope you like it.
I created a simple mashup of a couple of videos on archive.org and an obscure Tom Waits track. I kinda dug the result.
What Makes a Battle? (1944) - video
Ant City (1951) - video [50% opacity]
Army Ants (2006) - audio