Jitterbug Boy - Small Change [038]

For our last episode with the delightful Jeffrey Cranor, Song by Song takes on the truth-or-lie stories of this third track on Small Change, talking about the Jitterbug Boy lying his way through the night. The truth of a person as well as the truth of a performance emerges from the discussion, touching on Jeffrey's own experiences with performance, as well as the experiences of one of the surprising heroes of 20th Century America.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Jitterbug Boy, Small Change, Tom Waits (1976)

A Talk With George, JoCo Looks Back, Jonathan Coulton (2008)

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Step Right Up - Small Change [037]

Driving up the tempo and pulling back on the production, this second track from Small Change both imitates and satirises the tone of salesman patter. Alongside discussion of advertising and art in general, Song by Song delves into Waits's relationship with commercialism, both in terms of his music as well as his vocal identity, and features the most sympathetic description of a dog this side of Frank's Wild Years.

Further reading on Waits's attitude to commercials and advertising can be found here.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Step Right Up, Small Change, Tom Waits (1976)

Butcher’s Blend Purina Advert, Tom Waits (1981)

All Things Considered, Joel Rose, NPR, May 6 2005

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Tom Traubert's Blues (Four Sheets To The Wind In Copenhagen) - Small Change [036]

Sam and Martin returns for a victorious fourth season, joined by their latest guest host Jeffrey Cranor of Welcome to Night Vale. As Waits embarks on what we consider his most successful and exciting album to date, expanding his range and tone and truly cementing his voice both sonically and lyrically, we mirror the content of the album by doing... exactly the same as we've done for the last three seasons. Stability and continuity, the most Waitsian of values. Welcome back to Song by Song!

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Tom Traubert’s Blues (Four Sheets To The Wind In Copenhagen), Small Change, Tom Waits (1976)

Fyn Er Fin, Fyn Er Fin, Lasse & Mathilde (1995)

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