Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sonic Sunday on a Tuesday: Tom Waits

Let it be known that this Mule variation is just me as an ignorant ass getting kicked in the throat by the one and only Tom Waits. I know, I know that everyone in the world is a fan of his and that my slow uptake is met with the same old whiskey drenched adjectives and gravel laden lyrics that meander deep into the backwoods. But, I just saw him in concert and I thought it would be interesting to see if there was any animation that captured his scarecrow-like gestures and that distinctive sabulous voice that rumbles and rasps through the cracks of that (wind)pipe. Unfortunately, there is hardly any. The only one that does the trick is this animation by John Lamb and Bruce Lyon in the late 1970's (shown above). "Tom Waits for No One" (via YouTube or download here) is a rotoscoped video that won an Academy award for scientific and technical achievement for Lamb and Lyon. HERE is an excellent write-up and interview with John Lamb about the video and the process. Other than that there is nothing that comes close to harnessing the dark energy of that vocal creation.
However, Tom has composed music for some animated feature films (which will remain ogreless) and a short film by Chris Wedge, Bunny. You can watch it here in it's entirety!! Also, he composed music for that disturbing film about everyone's favorite outside artist, Henry Darger: In the Realms of the Unreal.

Distinctive and untamed is the voice that remains to be Tom Waits but his lyrics and his music will inpire and drown the dreams many. Enjoy.

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