16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought-Six - Big Time [144]

Roving reporter Jo Neary returns to Song by Song to revisit this track from Swordfishtrombones… and to apologise for her own presence. Meanwhile back in the studio Sam and Martin look at the similarities between this live performance and the original, the lack of priority given to the lyrics, and the shift in recording quality in this album.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought-Six, Big Time, Tom Waits (1988)

16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought-Six, Swordfishtrombones, Tom Waits (1983)

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Just Another Sucker On The Vine - Swordfishtrombones [099]

For their last discussion with Jo Neary, Martin and Sam try to untangle some of the questions that arise from this latest track. With debate relating to its placement on the album, Waits's interest in keyboard sounds and technology of the past and some comparison with the much more forward-looking Herbie Hancock, Song by Song continues through Swordfishtrombones. 

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Just Another Sucker On The Vine, Swordfishtrombones, Tom Waits (1983)

Rocket, Future Shock, Herbie Hancock (1983)

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In The Neighbourhood - Swordfishtrombones [098]

As Song by Song continues through Swordfishtrombones, we encounter one of the strange outliers in Waits's writing career in this celebration of small-town mundanity. As the tangents to our conversations come thick and fast, we discuss the parochial outlook of Colin Moulding, the heartwarming perspective of Mr Rogers, the bleak opinions of Cyril Connolly (who is the real writer of the "There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall" quote) and everything in-between. Variety. You're welcome.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
In The Neighbourhood, Swordfishtrombones, Tom Waits (1983)

Bungalow, Nonsuch, XTC (1992)

In The Neighbourhood, Music video via Vimeo, Tom Waits/Haskell Wexler (1983)

Mr Roger's Neighbourhood Theme Song, via YouTube

Mr Rogers Explained to Modern Kids, Buzzfeed Celeb, via YouTube (2014)

Fred Rogers Emmy Acceptance Speech, via YouTube (1997)

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Town With No Cheer - Swordfishtrombones [097]

This week sees us head across to Australasia/Oceanica to discuss outsider and insider perspectives of small-town Australia. Jo Neary is back to talk about gigs she's attended, paintings of photos she's seen and the outfits of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Meanwhile, Martin's continues his sub-project to infuriate all of our listeners this week by (gently) suggesting that Nick Cave is overrated. Fury all around this week on Song by Song!

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Town With No Cheer, Swordfishtrombones, Tom Waits (1983)

There Is A Town, Nocturama, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (2003)

A Pub With No Beer, Single, Slim Dusty (1979/2007)

Tom Waits on David Letterman, The Late Show (2013)

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16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought-Six - Swordfishtrombones [096]

We go into this week's track mob-handed and ready to rumble; Waits has his rifle, Martin has his (musical) axe, Jo Neary has Excalibur and Sam… has a trapped nerve in his neck, might sit this one out actually… We spend this week talking about the weirdness of the world created in this song, the much stranger world of Captain Beefheart, improvisation in comedy and music, and what Waits might be shooting at with those 16 shells.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought Six, Swordfishtrombones, Tom Waits (1983)

Ice Cream For Crow, Ice Cream For Crow, Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band (1982)

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