Song of the Day, November 17: Black Wings by Tom Waits

WaitsBoneWingsToday’s song is the narrative of a mysterious stranger. Tom Waits is a master storyteller, building compelling tales that often contain menace or madness but always resonate with a palpable humanity. One of his finest albums is Bone Machine, a stark set of songs recorded in a room that Waits describes finding:

it’s just a cement floor and a hot water heater. Okay, we’ll do it here. It’s got some good echo.

The setting works nicely for the songs, especially the avant-folk of Black Wings. The song describes a powerful, dark figure lurking at the edges of an incomplete story. Waits uses his finest rasp to tell the tale and provides smart backing with his distinctive guitar work. In a career filled with odd glimpses and fragments, this is a standout.

Enjoy this story today.

 

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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