November - The Black Rider [206]

As we try to unpick some of the interplay between the album The Black Rider and the play of the same name, Jeu Jeu la Foille, Martin & Sam reflect (pun intended) on the fatalistic imagery in the song, the foreshadowing of endings and beginnings, and the benefits of bonfire-building in awkward social situations.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
November, The Black Rider, Tom Waits (1993)

April Showers, Judy, Judy Garland (1956)

November at 21m27sfrom The Black Rider: The Casting of the 12 Magic Bullets (filmed at the Weiner Festwochen, via YouTube), Wilson/Burroughs/Waits (1990)

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The Black Rider - The Black Rider [205]

Guest host Jeu Jeu La Foille returns for a second week looking at the opening tracks from The Black Rider, discussing with Martin and Sam the presence and absence of Wilhelm and Käthchen in the play and the music, the mirror the play provides to Burroughs' own history, and how "beauty" and "ugliness" represent themselves through music and performance.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
The Black Rider, The Black Rider, Tom Waits (1993)

Pirate Jenny (English-language TV performance, via YouTube), The Threepenny Opera, Lotte Lenya/Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill (1928/1966)

Seeräuber Jenny (German-language film performance, via YouTube), Die Dreigroschenoper, Lotte Lenya/Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill (1928/1931)

The Black Rider at 4m24s from The Black Rider: The Casting of the 12 Magic Bullets (filmed at the Weiner Festwochen, via YouTube), Wilson/Burroughs/Waits (1990)

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Lucky Day (Overture) - The Black Rider [204]

Song by Song returns for its 15th season, digging into one of the densest and most involved albums in the whole project, The Black Rider. Guest host Jeu Jeu La Foille joins Sam and Martin to add her experience in use of Waits in theatrical performance as well as her own memories of the stage production, as we discuss the function of overtures & introductions, the interactions between ablism & empowerment, and how to properly discipline wayward children.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Lucky Day (Overture), The Black Rider, Tom Waits (1993)

The Struwwelpeter Overture, Shockheaded Peter, The Tiger Lillies (1999)

Lucky Day (Overture) at 0m7s from The Black Rider: The Casting of the 12 Magic Bullets (filmed at the Weiner Festwochen, via YouTube), Wilson/Burroughs/Waits (1990)

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The Black Rider Teaser - The Black Rider [203a]

We're just a week away from season 15, but The Black Rider needs a little contextual work from both us the podcast and you the listeners. Check the website for links to some of the material we'll be using to discuss the album as well as the play, collect your opera glasses and buy your popcorn, and we'll see you back here for the overture very shortly...

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Flash Pan Hunter/Intro, The Black Rider, Tom Waits (1993)

Black Box Theme, The Black Rider, Tom Waits (1993)

The Black Rider: The Casting of the 12 Magic Bullets (filmed at the Weiner Festwochen, via YouTube), Wilson/Burroughs/Waits (1990)

The Black Rider: The Casting of the 12 Magic Bullets (filmed at the Barbican Centre, London, via YouTube), Wilson/Burroughs/Waits (2004)

The Black Rider song breakdown from The Tom Waits Library
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That Feel - Bone Machine [203]

Sam and Martin get together (on the same continent no less!) to talk through both this track specifically as well as the album Bone Machine in general. Discussing what That Feel might be - in terms of love, religion or friendship - as well as the evolution of Waits's music in general, Song by Song wraps up season 14 with a little musical flourish from our very own Mr Zaltz-Austwick.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
That Feel, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

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Let Me Get Up On It - Bone Machine [202]

Ooh it's another little sound fragment track from Waits this week, as Scary, Martin and Sam explore the possibilities of a James Brown pun in this penultimate track from Bone Machine. With debate over seagulls vs. squeaking gears, various branding opportunities for the Godfather of Soul, and... and... and it's only 53 seconds long, so we just talk about some other stuff.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Let Me Get Up On It, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

(Get Up I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine, Sex Machine, James Brown (1970)

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I Don't Wanna Grow Up - Bone Machine [201]

Scary, Martin & Sam return to Bone Machine for this Tom-Waits-Does-The-Ramones song about the frustrations of youth towards age. We take a look at ideas of inspiration, the evolution of punk in general and the Ramones specifically, and the value of our own childhood ambitions.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
I Don't Wanna Grow Up, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

I Don't Wanna Grow Up, music video (dir. Dayton/Faris & Jarmusch) via YouTube, Tom Waits (1992)

I Wanna Be Sedated, Road To Ruin, The Ramones (1978)

I Wanna Be Sedated, (dir. Fishman) via YouTube, The Ramones (1978)

I Don't Want To Grow Up, Adios Amigos, The Ramones (1995)

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Whistle Down the Wind (for Tom Jans) - Bone Machine [200]

We're at another anniversary, as guest host Scary Boots joins Sam & Martin for our bicentennial episode (muttermutter-onefromtheheart-mutter-nightonearth-muttermutter-whataboutthefilms-muttermutter) taking a look at this mournful ballad to locale and lost opportunity. Listening to the work of Tom Jans and thinking about what the dedication of a song means, we get a bit reflective about our own responses to music as an audience and a podcast.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Whistle Down the Wind, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

The Eyes Of An Only Child, The Eyes Of An Only Child, Tom Jans (1975)

Champion (album) via YouTube, Tom Jans (1982)

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Black Wings - Bone Machine [199]

Creepy supernatural vibes dominate the track this week, as Mary, Martin & Sam discuss the terrifying figure who stalks through this track, as well as Waits's own intimidating vocal performance. We discuss the presence (and restraint) of Joe Gore, the mystery of Dr John, and the League of Extraordinary Musical Gentlemen that we'll be pitching to Alan Moore very soon.

(Please note that this episode was recorded before the passing of Dr. John.)

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Black Wings, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

Send His Love To Me, To Bring You My Love, PJ Harvey (1995)

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Murder in the Red Barn - Bone Machine [198]

Waits jumps on the salacious rumour-mill with this topical true-crime tale from... 1800s Suffolk. Maybe. Mary Epworth returns for a second week of conversation with Sam and Martin, discussing the truth and fiction around the real-life events that took place in the red barn, how Waits does or doesn't engage with this story, and issues surrounding vocal engagement and strain.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Murder in the Red Barn, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

Murder of Maria Marten, No Roses, Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band (1971)

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Goin' Out West - Bone Machine [197]

Martin & Sam welcome Mary Epworth to the show, as Waits expresses his dream of heading (back?) to the coast to make it in the movies. With images of Hollywood by Waits in the wake of his experiences with Coppolla, as well as other west-coast imagery in our interval, Song by Song continues its journey through Bone Machine and beyond.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Goin' Out West, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

Goin' Out West, Glitter And Doom, Tom Waits (2009)

California Dreamin', If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears, The Mamas & The Papas (1966)

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In the Colosseum - Bone Machine [196]

For this bread-and-circus-iest (breadiest and circusiest?) of tracks, guest host Jenny Owen Youngs comes out strong for Waits and his political diatribe... while Sam and Martin are more equivocal.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
In the Colosseum, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

Pretend We're Dead, Bricks Are Heavy, L7 (1992)

Pretend We're Dead, live on The Word, via YouTube (1992)

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A Little Rain - Bone Machine [195]

Amateur meteorologist and part-time Muppet Tom Waits takes another stab at bleak reportage in this song about loss and the threat to childhood. Jenny Owen Youngs returns for another discussion around Randy Newman, Django Reinhardt and our old friend the Smooth Marble Egg.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
A Little Rain, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

I Think It's Going To Rain Today, Randy Newman, Randy Newman (1968)

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Jesus Gonna Be Here - Bone Machine [194]

Our latest guest-host Jenny Owen Youngs joins us as Waits goes full-spiritual for this street-corner preacher scream. We chat about ironic or revolutionary attitudes to religion in LA and Scotland, some of our own religious experiences in music, and the role of coughing in exorcisms.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Jesus Gonna Be Here, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam, Enter The Vaselines, The Vaselines (1987/2009)

Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam, MTV Unplugged in New York, Nirvana (1994)

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The Ocean Doesn't Want Me - Bone Machine [193]

For our third track with Eliza and Greg, we delve into a bleaker and more introspective world in Waits's atmospheric poem contemplating seaside suicide. Returning to his attitude to alcohol and growing up, we also take a look at a longer theatrical piece for comparison, via the work of Samuel Beckett.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
The Ocean Doesn't Want Me, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

A Piece Of Monologue, Sound For Spaces, Scanner/Robin Rimbaud/Samuel Beckett (1979/1998)

Maker of My Sorrow, Footnotes for the Spring, Eliza Rickman (2015)

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Who Are You - Bone Machine [192]

Greg and Eliza return to question Martin and Sam’s identity in this fifth track from Bone Machine, as Waits challenges an old lover… or maybe interrogates the music industry… or both? We make comparisons with a more even-handed musical picture of a breakup, and discuss how the song represents Waits and/or Brennan’s ideas of relationships.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Who Are You, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

Somebody That I Used To Know, Making Mirrors, Gotye feat. Kimbra (2011)

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All Stripped Down - Bone Machine [191] ​

As Song by Song progresses through Bone Machine, Sam & Martin welcome Eliza Rickman and Greg Alison for a conversation around the ambience of the album, both thematically as well as sonically. We discuss the overlap of religion and sexuality in this song, the presence of material things in this song as well as our interval artist Bessie Smith, and the antiquing opportunities around the Sebastopol, CA area.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
All Stripped Down, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out, The Best of Bessie Smith, Bessie Smith (1929)

UPCYCLerS Episode 1 - DJ Wind-Up (2018)
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Such a Scream - Bone Machine [190] ​

A third week with guest hosts Vanessa & Kent brings Martin & Sam to Poetic Analysis 101 in this funhouse-mirror love song to Brennan. We talk about the depth of imagery that Waits employs, the vocal storytelling that he and our interval artist deploy, and Vanessa finally books that gig at Martin’s much-anticipated funeral!

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Such a Scream, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

Acrobat, Half Way Home, Angel Olson (2012)

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Dirt in the Ground - Bone Machine [189] ​

More music chat (which is the goal, after all) with Kent, Vanessa, Martin & Sam, as Waits releases some of the tension established in the previous track with this weird breathy hymn to the end of life. With discussion of other weird vocal styles, a comparison between bleakness vs acceptance in death, plus an exciting bonus track featuring the resonant space inside Sam’s mouth, Song by Song continues it’s journey through Bone Machine.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Dirt in the Ground, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

Satisfied Mind, For Pete's Sake, Pete Drake & His Talking Steel Guitar (1965/2005)

Pete Drake and His Talkbox on the Jimmy Dean Show, via YouTube

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Earth Died Screaming - Bone Machine [188] ​

Hey there - how’s it going? Oh nothing much, you? Yeah, it has been a while, but you know how it goes. Hey, you want to talk about some new Tom Waits songs? Cool.

As we embark on our 14th season, Sam and Martin welcome Vanessa Lowe and Kent Sparling to talk through the quasi-religious eco-disaster anthem which opens Waits’s 1992 offering. We take a look at the contributors to this track and their relationship to Waits, the technical expertise both in this as well as the the work of Primus... plus Martin Austwick’s Tom Waits Secret Origin story, true believers!

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Earth Died Screaming, Bone Machine, Tom Waits (1992)

Tommy The Cat, Sailing the Seas of Cheese, Primus (1991)

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