Friday, 5 June 2009

Free Download Friday #13: Tom Waits

Imagine you are a careers advisor and a teenage Tom Waits tells you he wants to be a singer. How do you advise him? Do you say, "That's interesting Tom. Have you considered a career in McDonalds?"

tom waits stencil
Originally uploaded by chhhh
Singing for a living doesn't seem to be an obvious choice for someone who sounds like he gargles with a cocktail of gravel and whiskey between cigarettes and yet he is an incredibly evocative vocalist. He is an artist who can make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up with the raw beauty and emotional power of his voice. Today's Free Music Friday therefore features some free downloads from Mr Waits.

I came to these tracks by a slightly circuitous route that you may want to follow since there's good stuff that I passed on the way to Tom's downloads. It started when I was listening to a Talking Rock podcast (episode 4 to be precise). They were playing a bunch of tunes from the Podsafe Music Network and, on exploring that site, I found my way to the Epitaph Records.

Assuming you are still with me (and I suspect some at least will have been distracted by one of the sites mentioned so far) I hope you'll now spend some time on the Tom Wait's section of Epitaph's site because at the bottom of his page there are links to some of his albums and most of these albums have at least one mp3 track available for download. The one I'd like to feature here is Bottom Of The World from the Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards album. Have a listen to this track, download a few of the others too if you like, then re-think your careers advice to the young Tom Waits.

...And while you're at it, have a think about the number of great artists who wouldn't get past the audition stage of American Idol or Britain's Got Talent! Anyone want to start a list?


Aileen said...

Love it, love it (Bottom of the World) - and the other downloads aren't bad either. Can I also share one of my favourite Tom Waits tracks - the Cole Porter cover - It's Alright With Me -
(Can I put a link in here??)

David said...

Thanks Aileen. Glad I get some things right. :-)

You have to hand code the html in blogger comments (It's Alright With Me) which is a bit of a pain. Not sure why they can't use the same WYSIWYG editor that they have for writing posts.