Review Revue: Tom Waits – Bone Machine

People who pay attention to such things (and if you’re reading this blog you’re probably one of those people) may have heard some chatter recently about a certain pulchritudinous young actress who has taken it into her head to release — as her first musical project — an album of Tom Waits covers. This is an incredibly bold (and, some might say, foolish) move, and from what I’ve heard of it, the less said the better.

But anything that gets Tom Waits in the news (and his songs in people’s ears, and their royalty dollars in his pockets) can’t be all bad, and it is in that spirit that I bring you today’s installment of Review Revue, wherein the KCMU staff come to terms with Tom’s 1992 slab of genius, Bone Machine. As the first Tom Waits album to be released after I began my lifelong Tom Waits fanboydom, Bone Machine holds a special place in my heart. Glad to see I’m not alone:

“Tom has apparently been a busy boy in the last year or so with doing the ‘Night on Earth‘ soundtrack and now this. It’s typical Tom sounding like he needs a Sucrets or something. I like it. ‘S got soul although I suppose it could be argued that I wouldn’t know soul if it bit my hand. I’m just guessing… I sonically bonded with #4, 7, 10, 11 and 12 for starters.”

“Mix of many of Tom’s styles. The freak show is at 1, 3, 4, 6, 15. 7, 9, 10 are a lot of fun also.”

“Youch — yonga, yeecha, yongala, heeha, hollo, fantastico, splendido, excellento. What more could one ask for! I love it.”

“Associate Producer, Kathleen Brennan, is Tom’s wife. Whereas a lot of Tom’s musical peers have sold out, died, or disappeared, this cat’s still got it. Despite the presence of Keith Richards and session whore Waddy Wachtel, this is way on the edge. David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) & Les Claypool (Primus) also make appearances (Tom was featured on Primus’s ‘Tommy the Cat’). This is aces.”

“This is great. The man just doesn’t let you down. A variety of sounds on here & many songs are weird & quirkier than ever — a lot of hard work went into this thank GOD!”

“Hooray for Tom Waits!”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Oh, and Tom will allegedly be touring our great United States this summer. It is unforgivable to die without having seen him live, so I highly recommend you watch for dates and line up for tickets.

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7 Comments

  1. Spike
    Posted April 24, 2008 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Here’s my music-geek-party conversation starter:

    “Tom Waits is overrated. The man is clearly coasting at this point.”

    Then I step back and watch the fur fly! Try it, everyone!

  2. Levi
    Posted April 24, 2008 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    [Note to self: never invite Spike to a party . . .]

  3. Posted April 25, 2008 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    He may be overrated, but he’s unique and overrated and he always surrounds himself with top notch musicians. I don’t know, he’s pretty much come up with his own classification of music. “What does it sound like?” “It sounds Tom Waitsy.”

  4. Spike
    Posted April 25, 2008 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Dudes, I was joking.

  5. Posted April 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Kind of ironic, as I was avoiding listening to his last two releases, till someone I know *cough*cough* put them on an iPod for my wife, and now I’m playing his new stuff all the time again. Heh heh.

  6. Levi
    Posted April 27, 2008 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    As was I, Spike, as was I . . .

  7. Caleb
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    The thing is: he really is overrated.

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