Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em Podcast
Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em Podcast
Pillow Talk: Tom Waits for Everyone
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Pillow Talk: Tom Waits for Everyone

The boozy, brokenhearted balladeer-trickster-genius darkens the doorway of Sarah's audio diary as she tackles the impossible question: Which Tom Waits songs are the best?
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by Sarah Hepola

I didn’t like Tom when I first met him. Isn’t that how love stories go? The gravelly voice, such a far planet from the melismatic songbirds who ruled the early Nineties: Whitney and Mariah if you were a normie (I was), Natalie Merchant and Tori Amos if you were an art-weirdo (I was that, too). But Tom Waits grew on me. He had a wicked sense of humor. Maybe that’s an odd quality to seek in a balladeer, but a) I seek that in everyone and b) that’s just Tom. Funny-sad, my favorite combo. Stumbling drunk, cigarette dangling, my favorite pose back then.

A listener asked me which Tom Waits songs were my favorites. Well siddown, kid, lemme tell you a story.

[tinkle of the piano, cigarette smoke wafting into the rafters of neon-lit bar as we fade to …]

Tom Waits and Rickie Lee Jones, one of my all-time favorite couple’s photo. Happy early Valentine’s Day, everyone. Love comes in many forms.

Money’s just something you throw off the back of a train (which is Tom Waits-speak for “become a paid subscriber”).

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Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em Podcast
Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em Podcast
Journalistas Nancy Rommelmann and Sarah Hepola on what's burning through the culture right now. Flirtatious banter for serious times.