I got a preview copy of the new Tom Waits 3-disc set, "Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards" about a month ago, and I've been listening to it nonstop ever since. The disc is set to be released in a week or so and it's time I told you just how totally amazingly awesome it is.
I am a stupendous Tom Waits fan. Whether he's being an experimental noise-rock loony, a bluesy raconteur, a folk-artist, a madcap orchestra director or a rock and roller, I love him. No musician makes me happier in more ways than Tom Waits, whose versatility, poetry, and self-reflexive humor make him the greatest American musician of his generation.
Orphans is a three disc set of rarities and never-released material, including some obscure personal favorites like his cover of Heigh-Ho from Snow White (originally released on the great Disney tribute album Stay Awake) and a grinding tribute to On the Road, recorded with Primus, and a track recorded with the Ramones.
Each disc is thematically separated -- Brawlers is rowdy and angry, Bawlers is full of ballads and sad longs, and Bastards is, well, Bastards -- unclassifiable, Tom Waitsian random goodness.
This is a songwriter's album -- the lyrics are so heartfelt and evocative, even the nakedly political tracks. I never thought I'd hear Tom Waits record a song about the Israel-Palestine conflict -- nor that I'd like it as much as I do. Tom Waits is like Bukowski set to music, but funnier and weirder.
This is a set that begs to be ripped and mixed into your own playlists. While the discs are thematic, I've found that I get better results by putting them together in my own order according to the mood of the songs, or the tempo, or how wordy they are. I've sliced and diced this set a hundred ways and it keeps on getting better.
If you've never heard Tom Waits, this is a great place to start -- he's one of those rare artists who actually translates great into eclectic "Best Of" albums. If you're a stone Waits fan, this set is a don't-miss-it, once-in-a-lifetime event.
The office I work in is full of things old people buy to make themselves feel young again. I can honestly say that our awesome new toy, The Swagtron T3 Hoverboard, makes me feel very, very old. I’ll explain why later. Swagtron T3 Pros There’s no way to overcharge the battery and that means no […]
One thing that’s consistent among amateur pool players is that they unknowingly stand up during their shots. Just as in golf, pool players need to keep their heads down and stay still after they shoot in order to hit straight. The DIGICUE helps keep shots consistent by letting you know every time you’ve had extra […]
A leaked memo from Apple CEO Tim Cook to his staff explaining why he met with Donald Trump — a guy who called Apple traitors for refusing to defeat their own security — explains the rationale: “tax reform.”
You know as well as I that writing complex, long-long form text requires significant organization. You’re probably also well aware that Word just isn’t up to the task. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Scrivener, the software suite used by best-selling authors and technical writers alike.Scrivener is much more than another digital typewriter. With a […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]
Traditional folding wallets are designed for paper bills—but these days, carrying cash is rarely a necessity. More often than not, I don’t carry cash at all. This Bogui Clik Wallet is the best answer I’ve found for avoiding the hassle of those tight-fitting credit card pockets.This attractive, minimalist wallet features a protective lip, so my cards don’t […]