28 November 2006

Stop in for Tom Waits, Stick Around for Steve Reich

Yup, Pitchfork currently has interviews with both Waits and Reich. I just bought Waits' new CD Orphans and it is, as I expected, very, very good. This interview with Waits is quite funny - I don't think I could have a conversation with the man, as I'd be laughing too much. For example:

" Pitchfork: What sorts of movie roles are you attracted to?

Tom Waits: I do some acting. And there's a difference between "I do some acting" and "I'm an actor." People don't really trust people to do two things well. If they're going to spend money, they want to get the guy who's the best at what he does. Otherwise, it's like getting one of those business cards that says about eight things on it. I do aromatherapy, yard work, hauling, acupressure. ..."

Reich, by contrast, seems to be good at math; at least I hope he is. Otherwise he may be in trouble.

"Pitchfork: Do you think something like the Phases boxed set is a suitable introduction to your work, or is it just the best substitute for seeing the pieces performed live?

Steve Reich: It has an advantage over the previous boxed set in that it includes "You Are (Variations)" and "Cello Counterpart", which I think are really good pieces. I'm sure that Nonesuch had in mind that it was half the number of CDs, and still more than half the amount of music, but probably less than half the price ..."

And then he goes on to say that the best music might be that which can survive in multiple, often pretty much inauspicious, contexts:

"In my field, the idea that people are going to get chopped up into little movements is discouraging. On the other hand, Chuck Berry did have it right. "Any ol' way you use it." There is some truth to that. You can go into a coffee shop in Chicago, or New York, or Europe, and hear the Brandenburg Concerto tinkling away in the background, and it works just fine while you have your espresso or latte. That's not to say, hey, Bach just sold out, man. It's a tribute to music, probably the greatest music that was ever written, that it could be used at the deepest level of concentration and musical analysis and also sitting in the background in a café. ..."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought that I was the only one who was excited by the fact that _Orphans_ was coming out. When it arrived in the mail yesterday (Amazon screwed up the initial delivery), I popped it into the CD player right away.

Anyway, as soon as the first few notes of "Lie to Me" blasted out, my nine-month-old daughter froze, then slowly turned her head towards the speakers with her mouth wide open. What followed can only be described as a joyful, rhythmic spasm, as she spent the next hour just boogeying down. She actually cried when Mommy came home and turned it off.

The kid has good taste.

29 November, 2006 00:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


He´s awesome, mr Waits. Check out this old tv-interview; it´s so hard to imagine that the guy ever has been young. Even at 29, he looks as if he´s 60. Or something

29 November, 2006 06:18  

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