and last volume of my Narrative in Tom Waits' Songs
tells more stories of Waits' later period beginning with the
blues, ballad, and experimental bastards of his musical career
from Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards. Released
in 2006, Orphans was compiled of songs that extended
as far back as Rain Dogs and contained many which had
not been previously released. I end the book series with Waits'
latest album, Bad as Me, also from Anti-Records in
2011. Bad as Me continues digging in the rich vein
Waits had been following since the eighties. Like a miner
working a seam, he is tirelessly following the mineral to
its source, and has dug deep into the earth itself, releasing
the primal holler and backwoods stomp alongside the operatic
subtlety of jazz and blues rhythms.
first three volumes of Narrative in Tom Waits' Songs,
I use the lyrics and music to tell the story waiting in the
wings to come on, the one that the songs either avoid or never
intended to let loose. These most recent releases tell the
poignant story of the war's effect on the warrior, the aging
musician up against the constant rejuvenation of his craft,
and the twinges in the muscles which is the love that sprawls
through the stories in the later albums. The love story which
keeps the protagonist alive and breathing and sparkling through
the darker elements of a world gone mad with money and weapons.
Waits releases another album, however, this is the last volume
of my series. That being said, like thousands of other Waits
fans, I eagerly await the next entrance into a world we would
never have experienced without his unique talent.