Tom Waits announces new album, remains eminently Tom Waits-y: Hear the new music here

Even if you can’t stand his I-just-gargled-with-hot-asphalt voice, you cannot deny that Tom Waits is a fascinating musical oddity.

He is perfectly at home saving terrible action movies and tag-teaming with Primus, providing music for Robert Wilson plays and emoting opposite Ellen Barkin. He’s a fountain of cultural strangeness, simultaneously a chameleon and a singularity, somehow blending cabaret-style showmanship with the most guttural elements of folk, blues, country, jazz, and metal.

So it’s pretty exciting that Waits has a new album coming out in October, his first since 2004’s Real Gone. He’d dropped some hints that there was new music coming, and had also announced that people should be watching his official site this morning, where he would clear up said rumors.

The new album is called Bad As Me, and the single of the same name is available for sale at your preferred digital retailer. You can hear a bit of it in the completely genius video he shot, which lambastes the very nature of privacy on the Internet and how terrible it is when surprises are spoiled.

He calls it his “private listening session.” Check it out here:

In crafting that clip, Waits simultaneously manages to drive home his very unique spot on the space-time continuum. His image has always been built around dusty tropes from characters inhabiting early-20th-century Americana (gangsters, hep cats, bootleggers, buskers, hobos, and the like), and the bits of technology scattered throughout his set all have a throwback feel, from the rotary telephone to the beat-up car that hosts the listening session at the end of the video. It’s a pretty complete construction of the Waits you’ll find on his various records.

But the fantastic twist is that Waits is well aware of the power of technology, and has managed to evolve at his own pace as his career has marched on and the music industry has become a stranger place.

Despite his prickly comments about leaks—his analogy about the birthday cake is pretty priceless—he still makes quite a few concessions to the new ways of thinking. The guy is on Twitter, and seems deeply aware of exactly where his followers are and the types of things they’d like to see (in this case, it’s viral video).

So while most people think of Waits as a throwback to a past that may or may not have ever existed, just remember that he also has a foot in the future. A true man out of time, he’s everywhere and nowhere, and as hard to pin down as the genre of his music.

And, of course, he’s easily associated with Cookie Monster.

Are you looking forward to new Tom Waits, or do his acquired-taste pipes keep you away? Let us know in the comments.

Read more on EW.com:
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors 2011 inductees Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Neil Diamond
Review: Tom Waits, Glitter and Doom Live
Hey, Tom Waits fans: Your word for the day is PEHDTSCKJMBA

Comments (14 total) Add your comment
  • Nathan

    Always look forward to new Tom Waits stuff, had a good giggle over the cookie monster video too haha

  • Shane

    The man never ceases to amaze and please. Cannot wait for this album. Hoping there’s a tour in the works. Nobody is as badass as Tom Waits..

  • Kevin

    TOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!

  • Brad

    I remember Tom once telling me some thing about racial equality having something to do with peanut burtter and jelly or vice versa

  • Tom

    I didn’t know he did the voice for cookie monster? You learn something new everyday I guess.

  • negatory

    his voice an aquired taste? if you’ve ever heard Patton, Wolf or Beefheart his voice is squarely in that tradition. plus, he can out write any rapper without blinking.

    • Annie

      Completely and totally agree

  • brett

    Absolutely looking forward to the new Waits album. He’s one of our few musical geniuses. Here’s hoping he tours, too.

  • Joe T.

    This man is a freaking genius and puts on an amazing concert experience.

  • Annie

    One of my proudest moment as a parent came two years ago when I overheard my teenagers (then 14 and 15) discussing their favorite Tom Waits songs. The man is brilliant! Can’t wait for the new album

  • robin

    But who does tom wait for?

  • Teppei

    can’t wait, and he new album sounds great. I love his use of horns in his music

  • viviennewestwood

    Thanks for interesting blog post. You guys are always provide information that it makes it impossible not to want to buy your next product ;I cant wait to see what you guys come up with based on all your research and data that you gather.

  • ralphlaurenpolo

    Great article. I cant wait to hear more about your research tool. If it is as good as your other products, then you will have another winner. Your article pretty much summed up what I have been seeing too. Great to see some hard data.

Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos in Music

Advertisement

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP