Cinny’s Waltz - Foreign Affairs [047]

The seemingly endless project continues! With only a bell-tree, a trumpet player and a sense of cinematic mystery to guide them, Martin and Sam return to Tom Waits to discuss his fifth album, Foreign Affairs, beginning with the instrumental track Cinny's Waltz. How the song functions as an opening track, the tone Waits is aiming for, as well as the ideology of the album as a whole are all discussed this week on Song by Song.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Cinny’s Waltz, Foreign Affairs, Tom Waits (1977)

Closing Time, Closing Time, Tom Waits (1973)

Theme from “To Kill a Dead Man”, B-side of “Sour Times”, Portishead (1994)

To Kill a Dead Man (short film), Portishead (1994)
Log into the Spotify web player to hear these tracks.

Thoughts from Season One

Hey there folks.

So in the interim between episodes, we thought it might be nice to share some of the thoughts coming out of our first season, looking at Closing Time.  The response was really gratifying, and listeners seem to have taken up our offer to treat it like a book club for Waits's music, reassessing albums/songs that maybe we hadn't thought about for a while.

First thing is to acknowledge the many many listeners who pointed out the various covers that Waits has performed, which we totally failed to remember when talking about Midnight Lullaby; most notably "Somewhere" from West Side Story on Blue Valentine, as well as "Big Joe and Phantom 309" by Red Sovine on Nighthawks at the Diner. A full list can be found here.

On the subject of covers, Stelrad Doulton provided us with the link to an interesting cover of "Rosie", performed by The Beat Farmers. Worth knowing about... though not sure what we would have said about it.

We've also had some lovely stories about how people first discovered Tom Waits - from having albums handed down from their parents, to battling through arguments with friends over his "weird and unpalatable voice," the arrival of Waits into people's lives always seems to mark some kind of shift. One listener (who we will keep nameless) had fond memories of using Closing Time to create a seductive atmosphere during romantic moments. Presumably the "Blowing my horn" lyric set the mood beautifully...

Finally we'd be interested to know if we're providing useful contextual material for the show. It's been suggested that including lyrics in the show-notes might be handy. Any other thoughts? The spotify links all working well? (Anyone need another drink, a coffee, anything?)

So once again, thanks again for listening, and we'll see you next week. 

Sam & Martin

Song by Song is GO!

It's finally here! The first steps of our journey through the Tom Waits recorded canon. And guess what: it's all here. Season one, the entirety of our podcasts on Closing Time, his 1973 debut album, released in one go.

Now, we've been a little rough on Closing Time - and after all, it's not like we're doing any better - so to give it a celebration, we're going to have a little listening party. On October 10th, from 7pm UK time, tune in via the below link (which we will share on Twitter and Facebook) and we will listen to the record and have a live chat about the album and about the show.

Oh, and another date for your diary: on October 17th, we will be having another listening party for The Heart of Saturday Night, in advance of the new season - so make sure you tune in and tell us your thoughts and feelings on this record before we hit "record" for season two of Song by Song.

Teaser Episode drops today

The teaser episode for the first season of Song by Song, discussing Tom Waits's first album Closing Time (1973) is now available to listen to.  We're both very excited about you hearing our discussions - full episodes will be appearing here, on soundcloud and iTunes very shortly.

No doubt you're crazy with enthusiasm or hate our guts already - either way, or to express your utter ambivalence to everything you've heard and read here, get in touch any way you please: : @songbysongpod

We'll see you back here for season one very soon...