Week 35 - Tom Waits (1985)
One of the many things I love about Tom Waits is his ability to make music with just about anything. Unusual instruments, unusual subject matters, unusual ideas, unusual situations - all of these things makes his world so exciting and interesting. Like this week’s song, Cemetery Polka from the album Rain Dog. It's a song about aging relatives who are mostly insane, dying or both. Absurdity with a twisted sense of humor ran through this song and it includes some of my favorite rhymes like “egg” and “wooden leg” and “hotel” and “hell.”
I read that Tom Waits walked around NYC recording street sounds and other ambient noises on a cassette recorder in order to catch the sound of the city for recording Rain Dog. Rain Dog is one of my favorite albums and it makes me happy that it was written in my old neighborhood West Village, though I’m sure it was quite a different neighborhood back then.
I’ve been wanting to to do all toy instrumentation and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. We had a great time working on this song. I hope you enjoy!
“If I want a sound, I usually feel better if I've chased it and killed it, skinned it and cooked it.” - Tom Waits
And a happy belated birthday, Mr. Waits!