Blue Skies - The Heart of Saturday Night [024]

Even though we finished the album last week, there's one more episode and one more song for season two here at Song by Song, as Martin, Sam and Isy discuss a single from (but not from?) The Heart of Saturday Night in Blue Skies. Isy's love of messy houses, Sam's pronunciation of "Johnsons", and Martin's smooth marble egg theory all make an appearance, as we hit our second milestone in the Song by Song project. Two down, only ohmygodhowmany to go...

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Blue Skies (Single from The Heart of Saturday Night Sessions), Tom Waits (1974)

Blue Skies, The Early Years Vol. 2, Tom Waits (1971/1993)

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The Ghosts of Saturday Night - The Heart of Saturday Night [023]

The final track of Tom Waits's second album finds us peering through the window of a diner, watching the world passing by. Isy Suttie continues her stint as guest host, describing some of her early experiences playing music in Matlock, through to her current listening habits; Martin expresses his difficulties with Best Of albums and Heart of Saturday Night as a concept album; and Sam generates a conspiracy-theory-esqe thesis about this final track's links to previous songs. But is this the end of season two? Or is there one last twist in the tale?

[Disclaimer: This episode was recorded before the death of the peerless David Bowie]

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
The Ghosts Of Saturday Night (After Hours At Napoleone's Pizza House), The Heart of Saturday Night, Tom Waits (1974)

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Drunk On The Moon - The Heart of Saturday Night [022]

Returning from the Christmas break (which we slightly caught ourselves off-guard with, hope nobody was confused by a lack of episode for the last few weeks), we push on towards the close of this second season of Song by Song. Isy Suttie returns to debate, amongst other things, the relationship between audience and performer in live and recorded settings, and the ways that this can be shifted and altered. We also discuss Frank Zappa, Waits's difficulties opening for him on tour, and even find time to talk about Drunk On The Moon itself... all in less than 15 minutes!

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Drunk On The Moon, The Heart of Saturday Night, Tom Waits (1974)

Friday The 13th, Thelonius Monk & Sonny Rollins, Monk/Rollins (1954)

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Depot, Depot - The Heart of Saturday Night [021]

Isy Suttie joins Sam and Martin for these final tracks from The Heart of Saturday Night, stuck at the end of the line but not short on topics for discussion. Comparing Nina Simone's metaphorical End of the Line from Pastel Blues to Waits's literal Depot, and envying someone's chances to see Waits live, we enter the home straight on the second season of Song by Song.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Depot, Depot, The Heart of Saturday Night, Tom Waits (1974)

End of the Line, Pastel Blues, Nina Simone (1965)

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Please Call Me, Baby - The Heart of Saturday Night [020]

In terms of affection and pet names, the "Baby" of this track creates some strong feelings in all three of us, as we reach the end of Alice's time with Song by Song. Discussion ranges widely, from Christopher Walken to drinking problems. What's clear by the end of this week's episode is this - someone needs to get the next round in!

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Please Call Me, Baby, The Heart of Saturday Night, Tom Waits (1974)

Baby It's Cold Outside, Jimmy Pardo and Scott Aukerman via Youtube (2012)

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Fumblin' With The Blues - The Heart of Saturday Night [019]

Some bleak facts presented this week on the show, but regardless Martin, Sam and Alice continue their journey through the second half of The Heart of Saturday Night, discussing issues of authenticity and honesty in Waits's voice, as well as touching on one of his greatest influences.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Fumblin With The Blues, The Heart of Saturday Night, Tom Waits (1974)

St Louis Blues, Live At The 1958 Monterey Jazz Festival, Louis Armstrong (1958/2007)

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The Heart of Saturday Night - The Heart of Saturday Night [018]

We made it! Finally arriving at the much-promised Heart of Saturday Night, Martin, Sam and Alice discover that, while there's still a dark edge to his music, there are Tom Waits songs that you can play at a party (or at least while getting ready to go to one). With the first half of the album concluded, we can all comb our hair, put on a dress or a tie and head into what presumably must be the other internal organs of Sunday morning...

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
The Heart of Saturday Night, The Heart of Saturday Night, Tom Waits (1974)

The Heart of Saturday Night, On The Scene '73 KPFK Folk Scene Broadcast, Tom Waits (1973)

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Diamonds On My Windshield - The Heart of Saturday Night [017]

Martin and Sam greet new guest host Alice Sanders to discuss the first of Tom Waits's beat poems, following the meandering imagery of an unsettled man drifting along California's roads. Song structure and creating intimacy and a sense of time all get mentioned... and Sam totally forgets that Diamonds isn't on Nighthawks, it's on Dime Store Novels. Idiot.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Diamonds on my Windshield, The Heart of Saturday Night, Tom Waits (1974)

October in the Railroad Earth, Poetry For The Beat Generation, Jack Kerouac and Steve Allen (1959)

And for contrast, Diamonds on my Windshield, Dime Store Novels vol. 1, Tom Waits (1974)

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Shiver Me Timbers - The Heart of Saturday Night [016]

Song by Song hits the high seas... or maybe just a dark metaphor as Anna Turrell makes bids us farewell for this fourth track from The Heart of Saturday Night. Is it a dark sea-shanty? A ballad of fatalistic doom? Or just a nice song about the seaside? Mark your choice on a postcard and send it along to Song by Song, c/o The Internet.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Shiver Me Timbers, The Heart of Saturday Night, Tom Waits (1974)

Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas, Read by Richard Burton (1954)

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Semi Suite - The Heart of Saturday Night [015]

Song by Song hits the road as Tom Waits chronicles the trials of a man driving the American freeways... and the women he leaves in his wake. A condemnation, a romanticism, intimate or dismissive? Anna Turrell returns for this third track, still searching for Saturday Night's Heart. 

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Semi Suite, The Heart of Saturday Night, Tom Waits (1974)

Working for the Man, More of Roy Orbison's Greatest Hits, Roy Orbison (1964)

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San Diego Serenade - The Heart of Saturday Night [014]

Season two continues! We press on into The Heart of Saturday Night, joined for another episode by Anna Turrell, and there's a certain amount of disagreement over the value of this track, in terms of content, style and arrangement. The universality of the love song, the formulaic nature of lyrics and the unavoidable truth that this is all just Space and Time man - they're all raised, discussed and ultimately forgotten.

As always, comment and input are gratefully received, either through twitter, email, soundcloud or as a comment right here on the blog - especially relating to tracks 5-8 (Diamonds On My Windshield; The Heart of Saturday Night; Fumblin' With The Blues; Please Call Me, Baby) - we're recording this weekend, tell us what we should be listening out for.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
San Diego Serenade, The Heart of Saturday Night, Tom Waits (1974)

November Rain, Use Your Illusion I, Guns and Roses (1991)

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SEASON TWO BEGINS! New Coat Of Paint - The Heart of Saturday Night [013]

Season two begins here! Guest Anna Turrell joins Sam and Martin for the first track of Tom Waits's second album, The Heart of Saturday Night.

Everything you could ever think of this track, from Homeric allusions, through the totally unacceptable presence of upbeat tempos and culminating in the height of sartorial elegance, the neck-tie; this episode has it all.

We'll be getting new episodes out to you each week, so keep an eye on the website, soundcloud, iTunes or your preferred podcast aggregator, and we'll see you back here next wednesday.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
New Coat Of Paint, The Heart of Saturday Night, Tom Waits (1974)

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Season Two - The Heart of Saturday Night... any minute now

Hey folks! Thanks to everyone who came along to our listening parties for Closing Time and The Heart of Saturday Night - we had a lovely time pretending to be radio DJs and talking over the best bits, hope everyone listening along appreciated how intrusive we were.

A brief note to let you know that we spent this afternoon recording for Season two, The Heart of Saturday Night, so will be releasing episodes into the wild on a weekly basis very very soon - later this week if all goes well.

For this season we'll be joined by some guests, giving us some different perspectives and extra insight, as well as putting us in our place when we lose all sense of perspective.  For the first few tracks, our friend Anna Turrell will be adding her two cents, with other guests lined up for the rest of the season.

Get in touch, let us know whether more listening parties (or viewing parties... anyone up for Down By Law?) would be interesting to people, give us your insights and bugbears on upcoming tracks, and as ever point out to us how wrong we are about everything on twitter or email.

There's a lot of Tom Waits material out there, and we'd like to offer some of our favourite bite-sized chunks - so for your viewing pleasure, have a look at Blank on Blank's animated interview from 1988 which has been doing the rounds, "Tom Waits on Everything and Nothing".  We'll see you soon.

Saturday October 17th, 7pm: Heart of Saturday Night listening party

Following the lovely Closing Time listening party on Saturday, we'll be having a listening party for The Heart of Saturday Night in the Heart of Saturday Night (well, 7pm) on October 17th. Please do pop along and tune into the above link! We'll start recording Series 2 on Sunday and we're keen to get all your thoughts on The Heart of Saturday Night before we plough into another round of rumination. It's certainly an album we have a lot of enthusiasm for, but giving how rude we were about Closing Time, we welcome all views. See you on Saturday Night!