Tag Archives: Tom Waits

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Tom Waits, and Darlene Love

It’s not much of a secret that there are some Tom Waits fans here at Noise Narcs.  Most surprising to me about Waits’ recent induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is finding out that he plays Rock and Roll.  Usually I just categorize him as “Tom Waits.” But where’s the Hall of Fame for that?  Where’s the Jazz-Blues-Eastern-European-Folk-Avant-Opera and Nightmare-Hobo-Cookie-Monster Hall of Fame for that?

Check out Terry Gross’ great and hilarious recent interview here:

GROSS: Well, what was your first instrument?
Mr. WAITS: I don’t know. I don’t know, probably a box or something.

Tom Waits, “Step Right Up” [Buy Small Change]

Tom Waits, “Misery Is the River of the World” [Buy Blood Money]

Other inductees include Leon Russell (featured on Noise Narcs here) listed as a “sideman” and Darlene Love, whom you may not have heard of–in spite of her prolific career–because of stories like this from her Hall of Fame bio:

Among rock cognoscenti, Love is best known for “He’s a Rebel,” a song credited to the Crystals that was in actuality sung by Love and her vocal group, the Blossoms. The reason for this odd situation has to do with the record’s producer, Phil Spector. He instinctively knew that the song, written by Gene Pitney, would be a hit. But he couldn’t record it with the Crystals, his main recording group at the time. They were back home in Brooklyn while he was out in Los Angeles, impatient to get the song recorded before a competing version (by Vicki Carr) could gain momentum. So he cut “He’s a Rebel” with the Blossoms, crediting it to the Crystals because he wanted a recognizable name on the record and they had two recent hits (“Uptown” and “There’s No Other [Like My Baby]”).

The Crystals, “He’s A Rebel” [Buy The Sound of Love: The Very Best of Darlene Love]

And here you’ll find the full induction list for 2011.

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Mates of State Covers Tom Waits

Probably because they rhyme. And isn’t that as good a reason as any? The adorable parents of Magnolia and June are touring with John Panos and my personal guitar hero Kenji Shinagawa this summer, and they played the First Unitarian Church in Philly last night. I know I would see more bands I’ve been enjoying on my iPod for years if they would only hire Kenji to play with them. What an awesome, exuberant show. And that’s a completely unbiased, disinterested remark.

Of course I didn’t know this Tom Waits track before I heard the Mates’ version (from their new cover album, Crushes), but I was pretty sure it would sound completely different, in a good way. Sure enough! One’s a party, the other’s a good-night kiss: two sides of the same shiny coin.

Tom Waits, “Long Way Home”
Mates of State, “Long Way Home”

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Noise Narcs promise: Songs featuring Kool Keith and Tom Waits

I hereby promise to post all songs featuring both Kool Keith and Tom Waits, irregardless of quality. Why? Don’t ask stupid questions.

N.A.S.A. (ft. Kool Keith & Tom Waits), “Spacious Thoughts”

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