Bad As Me, Tom Waits's first studio album of new music in seven years, was released yesterday. I'm an enormous Tom Waits fan and never met an album of his I didn't love, but I love some of the material more than others -- in general, I'm fonder of his noisier, faster, more dramatic stuff, and less enamored of the ballad-y numbers. Bad As Me leans more towards the ballads, and they're awfully sweet and sad, but for me, the standout track is Hell Broke Luce, an anti-war song that is pure gotterdammerung and may be my new all-time-fave Tom Waits track. Anti-, Waits's label, actually has some pretty good copy explaining the album's appeal:
From the opening horn-fueled chug of “Chicago,” to the closing barroom chorale of “New Year’s Eve,” Bad As Me displays the full career range of Waits’ songwriting, from beautiful ballads like “Last Leaf,” to the avant cinematic soundscape of “Hell Broke Luce,” a battlefront dispatch. On tracks like “Talking at the Same Time,” Waits shows off a supple falsetto, while on blues burners like “Raised Right Men” and the gospel tinged “Satisfied” he spits, stutters and howls. Like a good boxer, these songs are lean and mean, with strong hooks and tight running times. A pervasive sense of players delighting in each other’s musical company brings a feeling of loose joy even to the album’s saddest songs.
The Apprehension Engine is a custom-made musical instrument designed to produce the scary, tension-building noises associated with horror movies, but without the all-too-obvious digital chopping and synthesizing invariably involved. The result is something organic and seamlessly natural—something that goes beyond fear and fright to nail you to some deep Jungian place so completely you become […]
After 40 years of trademark threats and general grousing, the Y.M.C.A. (or at least one international branch of it) is embracing the eponymous Village People song, Y.M.C.A.: it’s commissioned a cover version from singer and D.J. Boy George to promote the organization. The decision to embrace the song – along with queerness and marriage equality […]
The Samurai Guitarist brings some Morricone to Michael. (via Laughing Squid)
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]