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Carnival Barker for Kingdom dot Come

 I enjoy music; i always have.  But Julien *loves* it. Every week, sometimes twice a week, he goes to the library to check out CDs, discovering new artists and reconnecting with old ones. His hard-drive is chockfull of music, so full he's going to have to get rid of some to make room for other things (like photos of his daughter. :P).

I'm not as obsessive as he is, but when I do find something I like, obsession seizes me in a different way.  I listen to the same songs over and over and over and...yeah.  Drives Julien batty.  I've shared before about songs that I listen to on repeat, like Johnny Cash's Hurt  (turned you on to a good thing, didn't I, asakiyume ?).

I especially like music I can think or write to, and it was with that in mind that I followed Julien into a music store in Christchurch, New Zealand last year. The saleswoman was very well versed in the music available there, and there was a lot of it. I explained to her what I liked and she turned me on to Over the Rhine, specifically their Trumpet Child album. I knew that I probably wouldn't listen to it obsessively and probably not while writing, but it was fun, interesting, catchy, well-written music just the same. Flirty and thought-provoking by turns. Really, the lyrics are a delight, especially "Don't Wait for Tom."

Sadly the video is just a fixed image, but this is the best recording I could find. The live versions I viewed don't appear to be professionally filmed, so the sound quality is poor.  And you really need to be able to listen to the evocative words:

He wears a tuxedo made of sackcloth and ashes
Has a tattoo of a girl who can bat her eyelashes
Down on the river he was fishin’ with a sword
He knocked off John the Baptist for a word from the Lord

He takes his coffee with the blood of a turnip
Blushes his cheeks with an Amsterdam tulip
Choppin’ up a rooster for a pullet surprise
If the gravy don’t getcha he’ll getcha with his eyes

This from an interview on their website:

Q: “Don’t Wait For Tom” is about as left-field as you’ve gotten since “Jack’s Valentine.” The song is obviously Tom Waits-ian in its composition and arrangement, which begs the question: is even the title a reference to the gravel-voiced bard? (And whether or not that’s true...) where the heck did this one come from?

A: Just poured out the morning after seeing him perform live for the second time. The working subtitle was (Tom Waits For You)… Tried to squeeze some references in there to him and his music: Fishin’ with a sword (Swordfish Trombones), I saw an Ol’ 55 Buick (Me and My Ol’ 55), Are you tryna make it rain (Make it Rain) etc. We’re fans, that’s all. And “Choppin’ up a rooster for pullet surprise” – just seems like somethin’ Tom would serve up for dinner…


Over the Rhine put out a new CD this year, The Long Surrender.  I think I shall have to hie myself to iTunes and make it mine. 

(frigg , there is absolutely NO way you can say this is pot-smoking music, so don't even try!)


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 23rd, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
Yes, you did! And here you have again! This is brilliant!

You are now batting 1,000, and I shall now believe EVERYTHING YOU TELL ME ABOUT SONGS.

BTW, you know Hadestown, right? That I got this icon from? Because you would love it, if you don't know it already.

May. 24th, 2011 10:58 am (UTC)
Uh oh, now I'll be afraid of mentioning music ever again for fear of disappointing.

I know of Hadestown through you. What an awesome video that was.

BTW, Julien gives two thumbs up to the "Barton Hollow" song. "Where'd you get that?" he asked, bobbing his head to the music, watching the screen. I told him you always clue me in to lots of goodies. :D

Going to read your short while having a slice of pie.
May. 24th, 2011 11:06 am (UTC)
LOL--I know, it's terrifying if someone says they love every recommendation--talk about a way to call down a jinx!

So let me tone that down. In this particular vein of music, your taste and mine overlap nicely. I like most anything though, honestly.
May. 24th, 2011 11:18 am (UTC)
Just sent you an emergency replacement draft. Only changes are--well, you'll see. (Or if you haven't started the original version, use the replacement one)
May. 23rd, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
Whatcha saying? I'm too busy rolling joints to hear you. ;)
May. 23rd, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
(reminds me a bit of Manu Chao)
May. 23rd, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
(Love Manu Chao!)
May. 24th, 2011 10:59 am (UTC)
May. 24th, 2011 10:59 am (UTC)
Manu Chao is good, too!
May. 24th, 2011 10:59 am (UTC)
Silly pea!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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