It's shaping up to be a music week here at Uninflected Images...today's treat is a recent print interview with Mr. Tom Waits courtesy Robin Wilson at NPR.
Some tasty tidbits:
Q: What's hard for you?
A: Mostly I straddle reality and the imagination. My reality needs imagination like a bulb needs a socket. My imagination needs reality like a blind man needs a cane. Math is hard. Reading a map. Following orders. Carpentry. Electronics. Plumbing. Remembering things correctly. Straight lines. Sheet rock. Finding a safety pin. Patience with others. Ordering in Chinese. Stereo instructions in German.
Q: What's wrong with the world?
A: We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness. Leona Helmsley's dog made $12 million last year... and Dean McLaine, a farmer in Ohio, made $30,000. It's just a gigantic version of the madness that grows in every one of our brains. We are monkeys with money and guns.
Q: Your most thrilling musical experience?
A: My most thrilling musical experience was in Times Square, over thirty years ago. There was a rehearsal hall around the Brill Building where all the rooms were divided into tiny spaces with just enough room to open the door. Inside was a spinet piano -- cigarette burns, missing keys, old paint and no pedals. You go in and close the door and it's so loud from other rehearsals you can't really work, so you stop and listen. The goulash of music was thrilling. Scales on a clarinet, tango, light opera, sour string quartet, voice lessons, someone belting out "Everything's Coming Up Roses," garage bands, and piano lessons. The floor was pulsing, the walls were thin. As if ten radios were on at the same time, in the same room. It was a train station of music with all the sounds milling around... for me it was heavenly.
Read it all HERE...as well as hear an interview with Waits discussing his influences and songwriting style HERE...very entertaining stuff.
Then there's a 'press conference' Waits endured to launch his latest tour...stick around for the punchline at the end of the clip.
And to cap it off, also courtesy NPR, a two and half hour concert recorded last month at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.
Listen to it HERE.
I saw Waits play at Massey Hall in 1987 on his Frank's Wild Years tour...it was definitely one of the highlights of my many concert-going experiences. And as much as his material with his band sparkled, it was the unplugged 'mini-set' in the middle of his show that absolutely slayed. Enjoy.