tom waits

I set up my iPod at work with a small set of speakers, so that I could add a livelier sound to a room filled with the sterile hum of florescent lights and sleeping computers.

I have in excess of 3000 songs on my device, virtually all eclectic in terms of mood, style and genre.  I can step away one moment, while “Breathe,” from “Dark Side of the Moon” is playing, and come back to one of the songs that make up Alex North’s orchestral theme to “Dragonslayer.”

So imagine my surprise upon hearing a voice that reminded me of Nina Simone, though its timber–a delicate, yet somewhat rough, falsetto–did not fit my memories of songs like “Pirate Jenny,” “Wild Is The Wind,” or “Four Women.”

My suspicion proved correct, though I was a bit surprised to learn that it was Tom Waits that I was listening to.

The song was “Talking At The Same Time,” from his album “Bad About Me.”

What surprised me is that Waits is not exactly the most subtle artist out there (though he’s an interesting actor.  His work in “The Book of Eli” was one of the highlights of the film), though the song has a quality that can almost be described as…romantic.

Picture of Tom Waits courtesy of Rolling Stone

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