Wed, July 23, 9pm EDT - Tom Waits' Closing Time

I find it difficult to put Tom Waits' music into any genre, which I think highlights just one of the many reasons I love his work.  His raspy voice. His brilliant writing. His unique arrangements. His adventurous spirit. They all help paint the portrait of a true artist.

His 1973 release Closing Time is a very intimate record in many ways.  When listening to it I often have the impression that I am sitting somewhere in the country amongst close friends truly enjoying life.  No worries, just good friends and good times.  And Tom is the storyteller.  He tells his tales of "Martha" and "Rosie" and eventually the melancholy heartbreak of the "Grapefruit Moon", as he slips "just like the stars into obscurity".  And then before the sombre mood becomes too much, it's "Closing Time"...

These are just a very few broad strokes that barely illuminate the brilliance of this record.  Join me on Wednesday, July 23 and let this album reveal itself to you in its entirety.  With Tom Waits as your guide, there's little chance you'll be left feeling disappointed!

18 comments

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock NY

    **Please note that this has been rescheduled from July 16 to July 23**

    **Please note that this has been rescheduled from July 16 to July 23**

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Quick reminder for tonight's listening experience: Please make sure to periodically refresh your browser so you can see all the comments as they are posted.

    Quick reminder for tonight's listening experience:
    Please make sure to periodically refresh your browser so you can see all the comments as they are posted.

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Here's a link for the lyrics: http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Tom-Waits-Closing-Time-Album/42A03C8C6306D7AC482569750006BA85 And a clever Ginsberg and Waits pairing of recordings featuring the song "Closing Time": http://ginsbergblog.blogspot.com.ar/2011/12/tom-waits-closing-timeamerica.html

    Here's a link for the lyrics:
    http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Tom-Waits-Closing-Time-Album/42A03C8C6306D7AC482569750006BA85

    And a clever Ginsberg and Waits pairing of recordings featuring the song "Closing Time":
    http://ginsbergblog.blogspot.com.ar/2011/12/tom-waits-closing-timeamerica.html

  • Henry

    Henry Stubbville, KS

    Howdy John and others! I'm not that familiar with Waits' stuff but the writeup here sold me on listening. We'll see if I'm a convert in about an hour!

    Howdy John and others! I'm not that familiar with Waits' stuff but the writeup here sold me on listening. We'll see if I'm a convert in about an hour!

  • Sarah

    Sarah NY

    hi everyone! wasn't sure i was going to make it home in time for this. i did though! i've poured a nice glass of wine after a long day of work to listen to my friend tom

    hi everyone! wasn't sure i was going to make it home in time for this. i did though! i've poured a nice glass of wine after a long day of work to listen to my friend tom

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Welcome Sarah, Henry and anyone else out there who's joined tonight. Thanks for tuning in. I hope you all love or will love this album as much as I do. We'll be starting in a few minutes. I'll put a post out to let us know when to all start.

    Welcome Sarah, Henry and anyone else out there who's joined tonight. Thanks for tuning in. I hope you all love or will love this album as much as I do. We'll be starting in a few minutes. I'll put a post out to let us know when to all start.

  • John T

    John T NY

    This will be the first time I will be listening to Closing Time in a very long time (I purchased it on vinyl when it first came out in the early 70's). As much as I admire Waits as a creative, commercially defiant artist his music has been pretty much hit or miss for me and someone I know I should revisit so tonight will be the first step.

    This will be the first time I will be listening to Closing Time in a very long time (I purchased it on vinyl when it first came out in the early 70's). As much as I admire Waits as a creative, commercially defiant artist his music has been pretty much hit or miss for me and someone I know I should revisit so tonight will be the first step.

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Album Night officially starts now! Start track 1 (hit play or put the needle down on side A) of #TomWaits' 'Closing Time'. Share your thoughts right here as you listen!

    Album Night officially starts now! Start track 1 (hit play or put the needle down on side A) of #TomWaits' 'Closing Time'. Share your thoughts right here as you listen!

  • John T

    John T NY

    Ol' 55 is definitely a classic. It sounds like something I've heard but not Waits - who else recorded this?

    Ol' 55 is definitely a classic. It sounds like something I've heard but not Waits - who else recorded this?

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Thanks for joining John T! I hope this will be a rediscovery for you. Tom definitely has some great stuff, but I understand about the 'hit and miss'. For me, this debut album is definitely a hit. I hope you enjoy it too!

    Thanks for joining John T! I hope this will be a rediscovery for you. Tom definitely has some great stuff, but I understand about the 'hit and miss'. For me, this debut album is definitely a hit. I hope you enjoy it too!

  • Sarah

    Sarah NY

    I think the Eagles did a cover of Ol' 55. Not sure Tom liked it...

    I think the Eagles did a cover of Ol' 55. Not sure Tom liked it...

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    I love the reverb on the last track "I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You". Sounded like they were in the room with us

    I love the reverb on the last track "I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You". Sounded like they were in the room with us

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    I like the lyrics of the chorus on "Old Shoes (And Picture Postcards)" "So goodbye, so long, the road calls me dear And your tears cannot bind me anymore, And farewell to the girl with the sun in her eyes Can I kiss you, and then I'll be gone"

    I like the lyrics of the chorus on "Old Shoes (And Picture Postcards)"
    "So goodbye, so long, the road calls me dear
    And your tears cannot bind me anymore,
    And farewell to the girl with the sun in her eyes
    Can I kiss you, and then I'll be gone"

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Last song with lyrics starting now: 'Grapefruit Moon'. As usual, "Album Night" is going by too quickly

    Last song with lyrics starting now: 'Grapefruit Moon'. As usual, "Album Night" is going by too quickly

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Thanks to everyone who came out (virtually of course) tonight to share their thoughts on this Waits classic. It was an amazing career starting point to say the least! Aside from the obvious brilliance of the album, I also really love the mix of the album, especially the tone and space of the music. (Btw, I'm sorry to those who emailed me separately to say they couldn't post on the site at times. I hope this won't be an issue next week and I thank you for your patience). "Album Night" will return on Wednesday, Aug 6 with Michael Hurley And The Unholy Modal Rounders' 'Have Moicy!'

    Thanks to everyone who came out (virtually of course) tonight to share their thoughts on this Waits classic. It was an amazing career starting point to say the least! Aside from the obvious brilliance of the album, I also really love the mix of the album, especially the tone and space of the music.

    (Btw, I'm sorry to those who emailed me separately to say they couldn't post on the site at times. I hope this won't be an issue next week and I thank you for your patience).

    "Album Night" will return on Wednesday, Aug 6 with Michael Hurley And The Unholy Modal Rounders' 'Have Moicy!'

  • John T

    John T NY

    This comment will be late because I had trouble posting during last night's session. First of all thanks to Sarah and John for reminding me of the Eagle's version of Ol' 55 and Tom's views. I couldn't agree more - his original interpretation is definitive and I am glad this gave me the chance to hear again. This was really a good way for me to start listening to Tom's music again. Listening to Closing Time after all this time was quite a pleasant surprise. The music was far more accessible than I had remembered - funny how the passage of time often makes sounds that once seemed strange now familiar and almost soothing. One thing I definitely forgot was how well the album was arranged and produced which added to the listening experience. I will now revisit other of Tom's albums. Not sure which will be next - maybe Swordfishtrombones or Mule Variations. Any suggestions out there! Thanks again a John for hosting the session and rekindling my interest in Tom's music.

    This comment will be late because I had trouble posting during last night's session. First of all thanks to Sarah and John for reminding me of the Eagle's version of Ol' 55 and Tom's views. I couldn't agree more - his original interpretation is definitive and I am glad this gave me the chance to hear again.

    This was really a good way for me to start listening to Tom's music again. Listening to Closing Time after all this time was quite a pleasant surprise. The music was far more accessible than I had remembered - funny how the passage of time often makes sounds that once seemed strange now familiar and almost soothing. One thing I definitely forgot was how well the album was arranged and produced which added to the listening experience.

    I will now revisit other of Tom's albums. Not sure which will be next - maybe Swordfishtrombones or Mule Variations. Any suggestions out there!

    Thanks again a John for hosting the session and rekindling my interest in Tom's music.

  • John Banrock

    John Banrock

    Thanks John for adding this follow up post. I apologize again for the inconvenience of the site not working properly. And I'm glad your revisit to Tom Waits' music was successful! For follow up albums here's a few suggestions: If you're looking for something similar to 'Closing Time' you can listen to his next album 'The Heart Of Saturday Night' (1974) which is another great album. If you're looking for something a little different, a few of my other favorites are: 'Swordfishtrombones' (1983) which you have mentioned 'Alice' and 'Blood Money' (released together in 2002) Of course any Waits' album will have brilliance but these are a few of the ones I seem to gravitate to a little more. I hope you enjoy whichever album you choose to listen to next. Thanks again for joining John and sharing your opinions. Happy listening to all!

    Thanks John for adding this follow up post. I apologize again for the inconvenience of the site not working properly. And I'm glad your revisit to Tom Waits' music was successful!

    For follow up albums here's a few suggestions:
    If you're looking for something similar to 'Closing Time' you can listen to his next album 'The Heart Of Saturday Night' (1974) which is another great album.
    If you're looking for something a little different, a few of my other favorites are:
    'Swordfishtrombones' (1983) which you have mentioned
    'Alice' and 'Blood Money' (released together in 2002)

    Of course any Waits' album will have brilliance but these are a few of the ones I seem to gravitate to a little more. I hope you enjoy whichever album you choose to listen to next.

    Thanks again for joining John and sharing your opinions. Happy listening to all!

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