Tag Archives: Tom Waits

The road ahead…

Last night at Confit Bistro will go down as one of the best gigs I have ever been part of. Straight up, I want to thank everyone who could be there (and everyone who wanted to be there). The energy in the room was sparking all night and the smiles beaming back from the floor shone brighter than the lights. And the performances…

Fern Thompsett brought the spirit of emily xyz into the room, with a stunning performance of her poem, Interview with Syd Barrett, Janaka Malwatta kept the beat going with his superb Jazz Man, David Stavanger growled like a dog in a storm and breathed like a dying asthmatic as he belted out Tom Waits’ What’s He Building In There? and his own, When the Devil Comes for Tea, Nathan Shepherdson took us on a T-Rex trip with his piece, Bolan Variations and Sheish Money spilled a little ‘Blood on the Tracks’; his versions of Simple Twist of Fate, If You See Her Say Hello and You’re a Big Girl Now, were unforgettable. To quote Bob, they twisted like a corkscrew threw our hearts.

So again, thank you… it was amazing to stand up in front of a room filled with people I love and do the thing I love. It will make the trip out to Blackall this afternoon fly a little faster. And of course there’ll be no phone or internet out in the beautiful west, so will be back with news early next week.

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Hard Ground: Tom Waits embraces the danger…

Tom Waits has never been comforatble with the title ‘poet’. To quote Waits, ‘poetry is a dangerous word’. But now, after a career spanning more than 30 years, Waits has embraced the danger… his first book of poetry, a collaboration with photographer Michael O’Brien, titled ‘Hard Ground’, will be released by University of Texas in March 2011. The book is a meditation on homelessness, a look at the people who live on hard ground. I have been searching around for a poem or two from the book, but things seem to well under wraps. You can however, check out some of the images at The University of Texas website.

So while we anticipate the arrival of Waits’ first poetry collection, here is almost two hours of Waits growling his way through a magnificent set as part of the Glitter and Doom tour. So get yourself comfortable… you are not going to want to move once you hit play!

You can listen to the whole concert here: Glitter and Doom live

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Filed under poetry & publishing, who listens to the radio?

Pinsky, Poetry & Questions of Division

In my recent trawling of the interwebs, I came across this post, which (initially) explores the question of whether poetry divides people. When faced with this question, I couldn’t help casting my mind back to last night at Confit Bistro and answering with an emphatic ‘no’, as the crowd that gathered was buzzing… brought together by the art of poetry. It was a night where the crowd felt united by the force of the words (and riffs) that resonated throughout the room. In no way, was poetry dividing this room.

And after reading the post in its entirety, I also felt that Pinsky had united the authors thoughts (and the 300 strong crowd of students) about the unique power of poetry. I agree wholeheartedly with Pinsky’s view that poetry ‘operates on the human scale’ and is ultimately ‘a physical thing – the human body the instrument which plays the notes provided.’

And last night, the instruments were playing some fine notes… it was a pleasure to share the stage with Trudie Murrell, Rob Morris and Sheish Money. One of my personal highlights was getting to drum with Rob & Sheish as they belted out a version of the Tom Waits classic, Come On Up To The House.

While I wish I could share with you footage of last night, Tom’s original is a mighty fine way to setlle into the this warm Friday night…

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There ain’t no money in poetry…

What happens when William Butler Yeats, Tom Waits & Townes Van Zant walk into a bar where Ginsberg & Kerouac are shooting dice… well only Guy Clarke could dream up that scenario, and hell, it’s a scenario I would love to walk into!

It’s been a long time since I have listened to Guy Clarke, but his Cold Dog Soup, is truly one of the best riffs on poets and poetry.

There ain’t no money in poetry / that’s what sets the poet free / but I’ve had all the freedom I can stand.

Ah yes Guy… sweet sounds to end a sweet, sweet day.

* This Lost Shark went fishing today and folks, they were biting…

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Free Tom Waits Downloads

Now I am sure that will get plenty of people’s attention…

For a limited time, you can head on over to the official Tom Waits website to download an 8-track preview of the new Glitter and Doom live album, due for release on November 24. Glitter and Doom collects the best of Waits’ 2008 tour of the same name and as a bonus, the release will also feature a second disc collecting the best between song banter from the tour, edited together into a 35min continuous monologue. Now there aren’t many artists who could even contemplate releasing a CD of their stage banter, but for an artist like Waits, this is often where the real magic is captured. So while the downloads are free (and approved by the artist) head on over for your slice of Glitter and Doom.

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