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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Blind Love - Rain Dogs [121]

We welcome Heath and Robert Sledge to Song by Song for another Waits genre experiment, this time taking a detour from Rain Dogs’ New York location into a country and western style. This week we’re focussing on the influence of Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones on this album (and others), as well as some discussion around how far Waits is able to move into new musical and lyrical worlds.

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

I Just Want To See His Face, Exile On Main Street, The Rolling Stones (1972)

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Union Square - Rain Dogs [120]

Back with Ross Sutherland, Sam and Martin talk about one of the most New York-centric tracks on this NY-themed album, with conversation on the speed of music as compared to its drive and pace, the presentation of underground culture in mainstream(ish) music, as well as the eccentricities of Lou Reed's dealer's wardrobe.

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

I'm Waiting For The Man, The Velvet Underground and Nico, The Velvet Underground (1967)

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Gun Street Girl - Rain Dogs [119]

Waits wanders back into the world of the criminal with this cautionary tale of life on the run. And who better to talk about what is Criminal than our guests from a fortnight ago Phoebe and Lauren. Avoiding any more discussion of freeform jazz concertos, Song by Song discusses some of the history of the Murder Ballad, the educational/control value of these stories, as well as continuing to catalogue which of Tom Waits songs you can dance to. (Spoiler: the "can't" list is a lot longer than the "can"…) 

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Gun Street Girl, Rain Dogs, Tom Waits (1985)

Stack O’Lee, American Epic: Mississippi John Hurt, Mississippi John Hurt (1928/2017)

Stagger Lee, Murder Ballads, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (1996)

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9th & Hennepin - Rain Dogs [118]

Song by Song welcomes our latest guest host, Ross Sutherland of the Imaginary Advice podcast, to discuss some of the dense language in both this latest track from Rain Dogs as well as the very different Americana stylings of poet David Berman. Discussion ranges from the experience found in the process of creation, the distance that Waits creates in his writing perspectives and the value of a canned mojito on the night train back to Peterborough.

Please note that the text of the Berman poems can be found in the YouTube description linked below.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
9th & Hennepin, Rain Dogs, Tom Waits (1985)

"Governors On Sominex" & "My Life at Home During Banking Hours", Actual Air, David Berman (1999)

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Midtown (instrumental) - Rain Dogs [117]

Song by Song welcomes a rotating roster of guests for the second half of Rain Dogs, beginning this week with Lauren Spohrer and Phoebe Judge of the Criminal podcast. With some definite differences of opinion (or even ideology) on this instrumental track (as well as the whole genre of Jazz in general), Song by Song debates whether experiencing the process of the creation of art (and entertainment) is a valid or pleasurable thing, or whether we should all just get our teeth drilled instead.

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

Rhapsody In Blue, George Gershwin/dir. Michael Tilson Thomas (1985)

Rhapsody In Blue, George Gershwin/dir. Leonard Bernstein (1959)

Rhapsody In Blue, George Gershwin original recording (1924)

Rhapsody In Blue, George Gershwin from Fantasia 2000 (2000)

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The Wire Stripped / Song by Song Special on Way Down In The Hole - Franks Wild Years [138]

Welcome to 2018! For this first outing of the year, we're doing a special out-of-sequence episode, as Sam and Martin are joined again by Kobi Omenaka to discuss 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 just 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.

We'll be back to our regular schedule next week. In the meantime, be sure to check out The Wire Stripped on your podcatcher of choice.

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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Rain Dogs - Rain Dogs [116]

We’ve reached another of the standout moments in Waits’s chronology with the title track of Rain Dogs. Jon, Martin and Sam discuss some of the stylistic influences on Waits from older traditions, the reality and fantasy elements in this song (and others), and a return to the perennial debate around authenticity. Plus the usual diversions into the role of small people in dreams, beauty contests in Irish sitcoms and the always looming presence of David Lynch. Of course...

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

Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet - 5. Tramp and Tom Waits with full Orchestra, Bryars - Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet, Gavin Bryars/Tom Waits (1971/1993)

Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet - 1. Tramp with full Orchestra, Bryars - Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet, Gavin Bryars (1971/1993)

Notes on the recording of Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet - written for John Potter, from www.gavinbryars.com (retrieved 20/12/17)

Peter Dinklage's Dwarf Rant (Living in Oblivion, 1995)

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