Tag Archives: Tom Waits

Wilco @ The Kings Theatre

The Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, NY, is a spectacular movie-palace type theatre from the days of yore. Opened in 1929 and closed in 1977, abandoned until renovations got underway in 2010. Open to the public January 23, 2015. It is stunning. There are high ceilings, huge chandeliers, colorful and spacious, it reminded me of The Fox Theatre in Atlanta (where I saw Tom Waits) which coincidentally opened in 1929 too….we really needed movies then. The last time I got to see Wilco was in 2002 during their ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ period (prior to the release of the movie about that album). I’ve tried to get tickets during other tours since but they sell out very quickly. I really loved ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ and may have overplayed it as a result….what can happen is, you love a catchy album and end up knowing it so well that the little quirks, ticks, and hooks which made it so listenable wear a little thin…it’s like saying one word over and over again to the point of losing meaning and eventually sense. That said I haven’t listened to it in a longggggg time. I had all of their other albums too. ‘Being There’ and ‘Summerteeth’ are still go-to favorite albums. A co-worker hipped me to the fact that tickets were going on sale and we both hovered over the ‘buy’ button when they went up for sale and lucked out. Saturday night, Flatbush Ave, Kings Theatre, WILCO!!! I really love the new album…with the exception of the cover art, a painting of a white cat smack dab in the center with a couple of pink flowers behind it, and the title, Star Wars. The songs are melodic yet interesting enough to bear repeat listens, rhythmically active, and lyrically inviting without giving away the store. Wilco lost me a little bit on their self-titled album and ‘The Whole Love’….around the time Jeff Tweedy, the lead singer was accused of making ‘dad-rock’, the first time I had heard that term. Star Wars is an excellent return to their art-rock, alternative-rock form (for me). Jeff Tweedy (vocals, guitars), John Stirratt (vocals, bass), Pat Sansone (multi-instrumentalist), Mikael Jorgenson (keyboard), Glenn Kotche (drummer), and Nels Cline (lead guitar) all played with the expert deftness they’ve developed since the current bands line-up in 2004. They changed guitars almost every song without missing a beat (a round of applause for the Wilco crew, guitar techs and sound people). One of the most immediate amazing things I experienced at the show was that I did not need earplugs!! Three electric guitars at once! Rocking! Without the urge to blow us out of the water or top the drummer….maybe it was the room, maybe the sound tech…whatever the case I appreciate this aspect of ‘dad-rock’ if my hearing is preserved. Jeff Tweedy has an infectious energy on stage as though we’re in on the joke, Nels Clines solo on ‘Impossible Germany’ practically stopped the show, and John Stirratt is such a solid bass player you might just miss that he’s also an excellent singer. Everyone was so tight they made it look effortless. I really recommend ‘Star Wars’ and if you get the chance, get thee to Kings Theatre!! You will not be disappointed!!

Dear readers, it’s been a while and I have some catching up to do so I may finish some posts from this last summer…please excuse my infidelity to chronological order and thanks as always for reading. Support live music!! Support your local scene!! Here’s a setlist:
1. More…
2. Random Name Generator
3. The Joke Explained
4. You Satellite
5. Taste the Ceiling
6. Pickled Ginger
7. Where Do I Begin
8. Cold Slope
9. King of You
10. Magnetized

11. Spiders (Kidsmoke)
12. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
13. Art of Almost
14. Hummingbird
15. Box Full of Letters
16. Heavy Metal Drummer
17. I’m the Man Who Loves You
18. Dawned on Me
19. Impossible Germany
20. Red-Eyed and Blue
21. I Got You (At the End of the Century)
22. Outtasite (Outta Mind)
Acoustic Encore (they set up condensor mics…again, excellent live sound)
23. Misunderstood
24. It’s Just That Simple
25. War on War
26. A Shot in the Arm
27. Space Oddity (David Bowie cover)



Cover Songs

When I began playing out regularly back in ’99, heh sayeth the ol’ codger, I exclusively and almost adamantly played original songs. My thinking about cover songs was, hey those songs are already in the world if people want to hear what they already know they can put on the album and be satisfied right away. It was during the Keenan’s Open mic hosted by Orville Davis when he played ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’, the classic Procol Harum song that I understood what is enjoyable about hearing and playing cover songs. First off Orville is a honky tonk, country, and rock player which already affected how the tune was going to sound, no less felt or enjoyable but with his unique stamp. So the effect is twofold, 1. oh I recognize that tune (people like to feel comfortable) and 2. oh this is the live persons take/interpretation of that tune. Not being the brightest bulb in the house I launched into playing covers of music I really dug, Sparklehorse, Tom Waits, Flaming Lips, Neutral Milk Hotel, Elliott Smith…bands who are known but in my neighborhood, at that time, I was undercutting the positive effect of “oh I recognize that song!” (not among the musicians but the audience). A classic example of covers working is Jimi Hendrix version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower”. Working, I might add, to such an extent that Hendrix version may be the better known.

Dylan (original) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YanjY9CsPDQ Hendrix (cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLV4_xaYynY

Tom Waits is one of my favorite artists and he has penned some amazing tunes which became hits for those who covered them

Downtown Train- Tom Waits (original) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja2evWhGWHA
Rod Stewart (cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3GqxsU7hr8
Bob Seeger (cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcRsxsjUUAY Mary Chapin Carpenter (cover)

Ol’ 55- (original) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PejBkU4-1fk Eagles (cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv-fjv1bbXI

Sorry…I still like Tom’s versions best. I covered the Badfinger classic ‘Without You’ for a Valentines Day gig at Piano’s (158 Ludlow Street) but a lot of folks only know the Harry Nilsson cover.

Badfinger (original) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49dquH8tn6E Harry Nilsson (cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDR0jnKYUws

I am going to be playing an event hosted by
Taylor Rich this Monday March 3rd at An Beal Bocht 445 West 238th St. in the Bronx featuring the songs of Cat Stevens and The Carpenters. I will be covering a Cat Stevens tune, ‘Trouble’

Cat Stevens (original) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1tRB7-aBr8
Elliott Smith (cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gU6NU4bGA2U

and a Carpenters tune ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’

Carpenters (original) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__VQX2Xn7tI Barry Manilow (cover)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkgsCMyn6nU

This will be Taylor’s launch of The Cover Collective, so c’mon out it’s gonna be a blast!
Thanks for reading and listening! -p

oh also…here’s NIN (Nine Inch Nails) and Johnny Cash cover

Hurt-NIN (original)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66GHz-H4k6M Johnny Cash (cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ur8j4xWe_44

The Who/The Buzzcocks

A couple of posts ago I wrote about a trip to the Princeton Record Exchange (https://philiplynchmusic.com/2013/06/03/princeton-record-exchange/). One of my acquisitions from that trip was Who’s Better, Who’s Best by The Who. When I was a kid I went through various infatuations with various bands after The Beatles. There was a Hendrix phase, The Velvet Underground, Prince, Tom Waits, The Cure etc etc. For some reason when I was going through my Who phase I was taking their albums out of the public library. Listening to their albums was like my love of serial stories, comics, radio shows. I plowed through them. My friend Gordon and I would listen to Chandu The Magician on the radio and discuss the episode on the bus before school. Chandu was a mystery radio show from the 30’s, must’ve been on NPR or something comparable. So, on Who’s Better, Who’s Best there’s a track called I’m A Boy which was a single released in 1966. The track was initially intended to be a part of a rock opera called ‘Quads’ which was to be set in the future where parents can choose the sex of their children. The idea was later scrapped, but this song survived and was later released as a single. In The City was the b-side. I’m A Boy hit #2 on the UK singles chart.


So while listening to the album I was gobsmacked (let me know if I’m using that term improperly heh) in the ear of my mind, THIS IS EXACTLY LIKE ANOTHER TRACK, WHAT IS IT??? I immediately decided it was a Buzzocks song, I Don’t Mind. As it turns out I Don’t Mind was also a single but it charted at #55 on the UK singles chart in 1978. Autonomy was the b-side. Unlike I’m A Boy both Buzzcocks songs appeared on their debut album, Another Music in A Different Kitchen. So at closer listen the only thing the tunes have in common is really a riff in the beginning but I was glad my realization of a similarity wasn’t so far off as to question my perception/sanity. Not sure if my sanity is reliant on my perception….I think it is but I think those who’ve done acid might disagree.


Thanks for tuning in faithful readers, tell your friends etc etc. James and I are in the exciting phase of album making known as sequencing! More to follow!! Have a great week all full of great listens!
oh…and dig this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZXy1vQF0fw