Telephone Call From Istanbul - Franks Wild Years [140]

Heading into the closing tracks of Franks Wild Years, Sam and Martin debate the change of locations in Waits's songwriting from this era, scrunchy chords in relation to atonality, and the relationship of intention & accident in art. Also, a small dog finding the World Cup.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Telephone Call From Istanbul, Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

Istanbul (Not Constantinople), 16 Most Requested Songs, The Four Lads (1953)

Istanbul (Not Constantinople), Flood, They Might Be Giants (1991)

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I’ll Take New York - Franks Wild Years [139]

Gabriel Ebulue returns for a second portion of Tom Waits doing his crazy lounge singer schtick. This week’s discussion includes atonal organ arrangements, the trajectory of depression in pop songs, and the lonely death of Frank O’Brien. 

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
I’ll Take New York, Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

Here, Working For The Man, Tindersticks (2004)

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Straight To The Top (Vegas) - Franks Wild Years [138]

Song by Song welcomes fellow music enthusiast Gabriel Ebulue from The Three Track Podcast to discuss the second version of this track, as it relates to Sinatra, Jaques Brel, and your crazy uncle at a wedding. 

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Straight To The Top (Vegas), Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

Jacky, Tenement Symphony, Marc Almond (1991)

La chanson de Jacky, Ces Gens-Là, Jacques Brel (1966)

La chanson de Jacky, Book Of Souls: Folio A, Secret Chiefs 3/The Traditionalists/Mike Patton (2013)

Tainted Love (Single), Gloria Jones (1965)

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Wire Stripped Special on Way Down In The Hole - Franks Wild Years [137 - rebroadcast]

We re-present (this time in the correct context) our special episode with Kobi Omenaka, discussing the use of Way Down In The Hole in the opening credits of the TV show The Wire. Kobi and his co-host Dave Corkery have launched their new show The Wire Stripped, so conversation ranges from the musical styles and influences of the covers into the content of the seasons themselves, and how the credits music informs and echoes that content.
 

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Way Down In The Hole, Frank's Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

Way Down In The Hole, Spirit Of The Century, Blind Boys Of Alabama (2002)

Way Down In The Hole, "...and all the pieces matter..." - The Music of The Wire, The Neville Brothers (2008)

Way Down In The Hole, "...and all the pieces matter..." - The Music of The Wire, DoMaJe (2008)

Way Down In The Hole, Washington Square Serenade, Steve Earle (2007)

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Way Down In The Hole - Franks Wild Years [136]

Lily Sloane returns for one more Franks Wild Years track, debating Waits’s attitude towards religion, how the track relates to the rest of the album, and the presence of joy in music. 

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Way Down In The Hole, Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

Oh Happy Day, The Best of the Edwin Hawkins Singers, The Edwin Hawkins Singers (1967/2001)

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More Than Rain - Franks Wild Years [135]

Existential crises galore, or just a really bad hangover, as Lily, Sam and Martin attempt to catch the bouquet of Waits's mournful gallic ditty. Accordion tuning, a keyboard called Leslie and a slightly unfair comparison to one of the great Jazz numbers of the 20th Century all feature this week on Song by Song.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
More Than Rain, Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

Alabama, Live At Birdland, John Coltrane (1964)

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Franks Theme - Franks Wild Years [134]

Song by Song reaches the halfway point of Franks Wild Years with Frank's Theme (apostrophe intact), as Martin and Sam are joined by the host of A Therapist Walks Into A Bar Lily Sloane for discussions of the fantasy and reality surrounding this track. Through some (slightly tangential) discussions of the nostalgia-tinged bleakness of Ivor Cutler, we debate the interactions of dreams and grey skies, the imaginative and the mundane, as well as the sale of root vegetables.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Franks Theme, Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

Life In A Scotch Sittingroom #2 Episode 11, Jammy Smears, Ivor Cutler (1976)

Frank's Theme, Temptation, Holly Cole (1995)

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Please Wake Me Up - Franks Wild Years [133]

More dream talk with Helen, Sam and Martin, as Waits constructs an unsettled and dislocated musical world to capture the sense of space between waking and sleeping. We also discuss the impact of sound (and film) on big systems vs headphones, as well as terrifying clown music and the vocal brilliance of Mike Patton.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Please Wake Me Up, Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

Carousel, Mr. Bungle, Mr. Bungle (1991)

Please Wake Me Up (demo), Franks Wild Years outtake, Tom Waits (1987?)

Mulligan and O'Hare - Tittybiscuits, The Smell Of Reeves & Mortimer, (1993/1994/1995)

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Yesterday Is Here - Franks Wild Years [132]

More from Franks Wild Years, as Helen, Martin and Sam explore some of the sad history evoked by Waits in this echoey guitar-led ballad. Connecting this track to one of the touchstones of 20th Century pop music as well as the hosts' personal connection to our interval track, Song by Song engages not just with our two tracks this week, but also with how the context of the past colours how we view music today.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Yesterday Is Here, Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

Yesterday, Help, The Beatles (1965)

The Grand Massacre, Once Upon A Time In The West Soundtrack, Ennio Morricone (1968)

Rebel Rouser, The Best of Duane Eddy, Duane Eddy (1965)

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I’ll Be Gone - Franks Wild Years [131]

Martin and Sam extend a warm welcome to Helen Sadler of the Flixwatcher podcast, as she swaps audio/visual to just audio for the next few tracks of Franks Wild Years. Some wide-ranging discussion this week, from the film work of Waits through the later work of Kate Bush and into the artistic collections of Joseph Cornell. And then some animal noises, because animal noises are fun, aren't they?
 

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
I’ll Be Gone, Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

An Endless Sky Of Honey, Aerial, Kate Bush (2005) - timecode 19:30 for our discussion


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Innocent When You Dream (Barroom) - Franks Wild Years [130]

Jeremy Warmsley returns to Song by Song for a third week to dive into one of the most sentimental songs from Franks Wild Years, and also one of our favourites. As Waits plays with truth and dreams, the image of the confident Frank against the sorrow of this ballad, and reaches back to some of his earlier writing styles, we take a listen to this track as well as another Ralph Carney collaboration with Tin Huey.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Innocent When You Dream (Barroom), Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

New York's Finest Dining Experience, Contents Dislodged During Shipment, Tin Huey (1979)

Puppet Wipes, Contents Dislodged During Shipment, Tin Huey (1979)

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Temptation - Franks Wild Years [129]

Back with a song that appeals slightly more to him, Jeremy Warmsley debates some of the effects of Waits's pitching with Sam and Martin in this week's episode, as well as the moral questions raised surrounding sex, relationships and identity in the music of Prince.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Temptation, Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

If I Was Your Girlfriend, Sign 'O' The Times, Prince (1987)

Temptation (music video), Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (Dir. Betzy Bromberg)

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Blow Wind Blow - Franks Wild Years [128]

Guest Host Klaxon! A hearty welcome to Jeremy Warmsley who joins us for the next few episodes of Franks Wild Years. There's some mixed feelings about the song this week, as we talk around the accessibilty of this track, meaning and tone of lyrics, and the way that even recording fidelity can make an impact on the meaning of a song. 

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Blow Wind Blow, Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

Blow Wind Blow (music video & interview), dir. Chris Blum, Franks Wild Years (1987)

I Want Wind to Blow, The Glow Pt. 2, The Microphones (2001)

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Straight To The Top (Rhumba) - Franks Wild Years [127]

For this second track from Franks Wild Years, we reach for the party and find more of a casual gathering as Waits paints the picture of a lunatic egotist in the midst of a frenzy. As a first of two versions of this track, we embark on some discussion of the nature of the rumba, the lack of relationship between the song and the arrangement (and the pitch to the bongo tuning), and begin to get a sense already for the shape of the album as a whole.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Straight To The Top (Rhumba), Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

Rumba Azul, Rumba International!, Lecuona Cuban Boys (1935/2015)

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Hang On St. Christopher - Franks Wild Years [126]

SONG BY SONG SEASON ELEVEN, WOOP-WOOP! After the epic 4+ month journey through Rain Dogs, Martin and Sam settle in for a nice light 17-track palette-cleanser… see you in August everyone… For this opening track we discuss the way that an unusual arrangement turns a straightforward 12-bar blues into something denser, the nature of wanderlust in music and how tricky it is to talk about a stage show you’ve never seen.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Hang On St. Christopher, Franks Wild Years, Tom Waits (1987)

Hard Travelin', The Asch Recordings vol. 3, Woodie Guthrie (1940s/1999)

Don't Let The Devil Ride, Sweeping Through The City, The Fantastic Mississippi Nightingales (1974/2010)

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Mailbag Episode #1

Come with us now on a journey through our own history, as we provide a platform for all the listeners who have screamed at their podcatcher "THAT'S NOT WHAT THAT MEANS YOU IDIOTS!" It's our first mailbag episode, featuring comments collected from our email, twitter and facebook about episodes as far back as series one. Discussion includes everything from Danish lyrics, Kathy Bates, tit-tape, Stewart Lee, the music of Burundi, irony in the work of the Beastie Boys, rock-climbing nomenclature and horn blowing. Truly a kaleidoscope of Song by Song. And we'll be back in a couple of weeks with the beginning of Franks Wild Years!

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Rosie, The Pursuit Of Happiness, The Beat Farmers (1987)

Lyrics for Fyn Er Fin as provided by listener Mats Ahlin (Note: Fyn is one of the Danish islands):

You can think it's a good sight
To look at the scenery in Midtfyn
When a groomed hooked road
"Stand down and there" No a "
Is there a troll with witch shudder?
And princesses with sexy skin
And they dance wild at night
However, they protect the magic tax
Fyn is nice, Fyn is nice, Fyn is nice.

You can think it's a good sight
When you are a bye and you have seen Funen
Beautiful houses ... island bukke shower
Thy protest singer and a horse contender
Between Store and Lillebælt
We have a crown with circus tents
And we sing and drink at night
We will give you if you want to take it
Fyn is nice, Fyn is nice, Fyn is nice.

To all of you who have only seen Funen
And never been to Midtfyn itself
You must know, you must suffer
And are you blinded with sadness in the mind
And do not know a farm
Then you will be healed in Lundeborg
Because there you sing gently at night
An anthem just like people want it
Fyn is nice, Fyn is nice, Fyn is nice.

Fyn is nice, Fyn is nice, Fyn is nice
Fyn is nice, Fyn is nice, Fyn is NICE.

Vicky Hancock website www.jeujeulafoille.com
Girls, Licenced To Ill, Beastie Boys (1986)

Fight For Your Right, Licenced To Ill, Beastie Boys (1986)

End of Harry's Law - Kathy Bates sings Take Me Home

Take Me Home, One From The Heart (outtake), Tom Waits (1982)

Frank's Wild Years music video by Solvi Dunn

Climbing video featuring Swordfishtrombone

Climbing video featuring Frank's Wild Years

Chant avec cithare, Burundi: musiques traditionnelles, François Muduga (2015)

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Anywhere I Lay My Head - Rain Dogs [125]

Rounding the post and finishing off season 10, Sam and Martin take stock of how we've spent the last 20-odd weeks, where Waits has taken us on this meandering journey through Rain Dogs, as well as some of the more personal resonances that Anywhere I Lay My Head has. Plus, in the wake of the passing of Ralph Carney, we pay tribute to some of his achievements.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Anywhere I Lay My Head, Rain Dogs, Tom Waits (1985)

BoJacks Theme, BoJack Horseman (Music from the Netflix Original Series), Patrick Carney/Ralph Carney (2017)

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Bride of Rain Dog (instrumental) - Rain Dogs [124]

We lean back into the strange this week, as Waits returns to another instrumental oddity, apparently designed to underscore Ross Sutherland's new career as an egg-disappearing clown. Is this piece designed as a counterpoint to Rain Dogs itself, or an allusion to the Bride of Frankenstein film, or just a bit of odd noise to make the album as strange as possible?

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Bride of Rain Dog, Rain Dogs, Tom Waits (1985)

Downtown Train music video, Rain Dogs, Tom Waits (via YouTube) (1985)

Gevurah, Bar Kokhba, John Zorn (1996)

At 60, 'Challenges Are Opportunities' For John Zorn, Interview with Terry Gross for Fresh Air, NPR (2013)

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Downtown Train - Rain Dogs [123]

Back with Heath and Robert Sledge for Waits at his most earnest, in this pop ballad charmer. From the murderers row of musicians assembled, questions as to whether this is heartfelt or ironic and other “trainey” songs - it’s all here on this week’s Song by Song. 

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Downtown Train, Rain Dogs, Tom Waits (1985)

Downtown Train music video, Rain Dogs, Tom Waits (via YouTube) (1985)

Night Mail, Poem from GPO Film Unit documentary “Night Mail”, W.H. Auden/Benjamin Britten (1936)

Night Mail, Anthology of English Verse vol 2, W.H. Auden/John Laurie (1936/1961)

Night Mail, GPO Film Unit documentary (via YouTube) (1936)

Downtown Train, If We Fall In Love Tonight, Rod Stewart (1996)

Downtown Train, The Language Of Life, Everything But The Girl (1990)

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Walking Spanish - Rain Dogs [122]

Our third track with Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer on Rain Dogs brings us to Waits’s paean to death row and an examination of our attitudes towards the incarcerated. We get to cover some more heartfelt religious allusions by Waits, as well as our tattoo histories and the intersection of hip-hop/trip-hop/brit-pop.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Walking Spanish, Rain Dogs, Tom Waits (1985)

Black Steel, Maxinquaye, Tricky (1995)

Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, Public Enemy (1988)

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