Pullin’ ‘Tubes: Tom Waits Will Be Satisfied

For the uninitiated the music of Tom Waits is a challenge at best. It’s slightly abrasive, filled with odd guitar tunings, clanking rhythms, off-beat time signatures and of course Waits’ unmistakable vocals, which sound something like a ragged world-worn homeless man that has been drinking cheap whiskey and smoking unfiltered cigarettes for the last 50 years. While those things might be a turn off for some people, they are the things that his scores of dedicated fans love about the idiosyncratic singer-songwriter. Waits’ music is as undeniably progressive as it is familiar, a hauntingly creaky blend of rock, folk, jazz, blues and pop, that easily could have been found on an old, dusty 78 acetate somewhere in the depths of the Library Of Congress’ American Folk Life Center.

Waits, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame early this year and humorlessly proclaimed during his induction speech “they say I have no hits and that I’m difficult to work with… like it’s a bad thing,” charted his highest ever album when he released Bad As Me late last month, which debuted at #6 on the Billboard charts. The record, his first in seven years, features an impressive roster of contributors that includes Keith Richards, Flea, Les Claypool, David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), Ben Jaffe (Preservation Hall Jazz Band) and longtime collaborator Marc Ribot. Last week, Waits released a spooky, black and white music video for the track Satisfied. Let’s check it out…

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