Tuesday, November 21, 2006

In House #1750: Tom Waits' Orphans Collection

At this point, what can be said? He's Tom Waits, which is interesting because he's so rarely just Tom Waits. Case in point: the new 3-disc, 56-track Orphans, collection, divided into groups of Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards. Over the course of the massive collection he's a piano bar crooner, a train-hopping hobo, a smart-aleck comedian, a post-apocalyptic bluesman, a wisened storyteller, and probably a few other characters to boot. It's the theatricality of Waits and his creations that really hits home here, and that almost always involves assuming a role and doing it well. As for the details, the diverse selection includes takes on songs you probably know, "Young at Heart," and "Sea of Love," included; original compositions you may have heard done by someone else: "2:19," was first recorded by John Hammond, while Norah Jones' version of "Long Way Home," was likely more heard than Waits' contribution of the same song to the soundtrack of a film called Big Bad Love; and originals like "Little Drop of Poison," and "Never Let Go," that just never found a place anywhere else. It's a lot to digest, but it never feels as if it might be better if it were pared down to a disc's worth of material. Indeed, despite its odds & ends origins, Orphans is a huge addition to an already giant musical legacy.

Tom Waits

In House #1750.
Airdate: 11/21/06
Focus: New 3-disc collection from Tom Waits, Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, & Bastards, plus new music from Summer Hymns, Jennifer O'Connor, Melvern Taylor, and more.

Tom Waits, from Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, & Bastards:
"Lie To Me" (MP3)
"Bottom of the World" (MP3)
"You Can Never Hold Back Spring" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #210


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