Tuesday, November 21, 2006

waits for orphans

Tom Waits has just come out with a new collection of songs. It's called Orphans; Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards. How could you not adore this man (and his wife) for the titles alone? Seriously, I mean adore. Sacrifice-your-virginity-to level of adoration.

Blues, Ballads and Noise. I have long imagined a dotted line running from my brain to my crotch—cutting figuratively through the middle of my heart and soul or spirit (or whatever I am calling it these days). Anything that strikes a simultaneous vibrating chord, satisfying intellect, emotion, soul and desire is a rare truth. A moment of perfection. A glimpse at godhood. Art or thought or person or song. It doesn't matter–the unified plucking of a string that reverberates at all points is not limited by form.

More than any songwriter, Waits did and does this for me. His songs, old or experimental, make me feel plucked to life. My children heard his rough-lullaby voice all their lives. There are songs that I connect so strongly with each of them, I can hardly bear those songs in their absence. The love songs he rasps to life that make me think of Barbara pull at my heart like no others.

The man and his wife, Kathleen Brennan, are fucking geniuses and I'm happy to drop the 40 bucks to pay my humble disciple dues.

P.S. And thank you, Rich, for the NPR link...

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