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I love serendipity.

So there I was, minding my own business, driving home from taking McDoc to work. (Such is the Faustian bargain of being a one-car couple; if I need wheels during the day, I have to get up at whatever immoral hour the medical gods decide and do a bleary-eyed ride-along. This is the punishment that awaits musicians who misbehave, kids, so practice your scales, okay?)

Anyway, I was listening to NPR, as usual, and I happened to hear the nice man (Bob Edwards, I think) mention that today is the the 60th birthday of songwriter Tom Waits. The announcer referenced a quote by music writer Daniel Durchholz, describing Waits' voice as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car." Nothing like a good laugh to make the whole concept of 'morning' more bearable!

Waits is one of those musicians that I can't decide whether I love or hate. Sometimes his voice hits me like nails on a chalkboard, and other times it's like the flame, toward which I am the helpless moth. (You did get that the second one is a good thing, right? ;) )

A while back, I happened to see one of the films he's appeared in, Down by Law. It's not the kind of movie I would have sought out myself, being that it was one of those "two or three guys embark on an oddball adventure where they do various random shite while having supposedly profound conversations," which is not usually my bag. But this was back when I had fallen in with a colorful crowd, so I went with it. To my surprise, I found the movie charmingly quirky (or is that quirkily charming?), and I was glad to see that Waits is one of those musicians whose foray into acting didn't turn out to be deeply regrettable. (Ahem.)

Waits is known for creating rather mind-blowing cover tunes, applying his, yeah, distinctive style to other artists' music. I'm rather fond of his version of Cole Porter's "It's All Right With Me:"

Oh, man, listening to this again, I just can't help myself from tripping the metaphor fantastic... It's how I imagine Louis Armstrong would sound after crossing the desert on foot with Lawrence of Arabia... It's like the way certain, really strong, coffee tastes, like you're licking out an ash tray, and I love it, even though I detest cigarettes... It's like when you put way too much wasabi in your soy sauce, and it makes you feel like someone stuck napalm up your nose... Okay, I'm done. :P

A couple last things, though. While scanning Waits' wiki, I was reminded that he lives in Sonoma, Calif. (which is just over a series of gentle rolling hills from where I grew up, in the Napa Valley), with his wife and three children. Children? Uh-oh!

What kind of dreams would you have after being lulled to sleep by this?

(Just kidding, of course; I'm sure Tom is a wonderful husband and father, and I'm pleased to note his many collaborations with his wife, Kathleen Brennan. ☺ )

Happy 60th Birthday, Tom!

On to the Top Comments!

From CityLightsLover:

khereva had this fantabulous response to my lack of enthusiasm for the first snow of the season.

From yours truly, virgomusic:

In blackwaterdog's diary, , The Simple Canadian has a great investment idea, but grannyhelen and a few others explain why it can't work.

Top Mojo using the sardonyx/csk secret formula:

Top 30  Comments excluding tip jars, first comments and stuff:

  1) but they are great pickpockets by FishOutofWater — 138
  2) We better get EFCA b4 2010 elections by MinistryOfTruth — 134
  3) I regard the Catholic Church as a menace by LaFeminista — 123
  4) Don't forget the stupidity of... by Ken in MN — 117
  5) It is so heartbreaking to me by xxdr zombiexx — 113
  6) did I write this diary? by tnichlsn — 105
  7) Hope you, and Colorado, by Cali Scribe — 100
  8) The triumph of ignorance by JuliaAnn — 100
  9) she's not the... by tung sol — 99
10) Better to attack him for other reasons by plf515 — 96
11) There is no need to be nasty by DJShay — 90
12) Looks like somebody's narrative is in trouble. by Inland — 89
13) You do know that some people come here by C Barr — 89
14) From the letter I got from Sen Lieberman by grannyhelen — 88
15) Stiffing the baby boomers by deepsouthdoug — 85
16) The 'Sorry Look' by JekyllnHyde — 82
17) Fuck the NY Times. Quote Dylan Ratigan. LOL! nt by brooklynbadboy — 81
18) "Supports her family?" No she doesn't. by chumley — 79
19) I think 'Jobs bill' is a political winner by The Zipper — 78
20) Um. "Committed funds" isn't a loan. by Inland — 77
21) No, Cenk's not picking on me :o) by the girl — 72
22) she ran with simpson last time by tremayne — 71
23) God forbid young, healthy people be allowed to by grannyhelen — 71
24) You said it. by prodigal — 71
25) Posters calling other progressives idiots ... by Meteor Blades — 70
26) Those two users... by Land of Enchantment — 68
27) I hope this hits the rec list because by StepLeftStepForward — 68
28) Fully agreed with Cali Scribe by Casual Wednesday — 68
29) Sorry, dude. I was with you ... by Meteor Blades — 68
30) I feel the by LeftOverAmerica — 68

Top 30 Comments with no exclusions, aka the Tip Jar list :-):

  1) Tip Jar by daveUSA — 539
  2) Tip Jar by Cenk Uygur — 514
  3) Tip jar. by LaFeminista — 337
  4) I've heard that Billionaires by Dartagnan — 321
  5) Tip Jar by AdamGreen — 287
  6) Tip Jar by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse — 279
  7) Alms (tips) by Muskegon Critic — 251
  8) Tip Jar by Clarknt67 — 243
  9) Tip Jar by thereisnospoon — 237
10) Tip Jar by nyceve — 224
11) Tip Jar by Drdemocrat — 205
12) Tip Jar by Eclectablog — 202
13) Tip Jar by ukit — 192
14) Tips for the top of the world by LaughingPlanet — 176
15) but they are great pickpockets by FishOutofWater — 138
16) Tip Jar by pinkbunny — 137
17) We better get EFCA b4 2010 elections by MinistryOfTruth — 134
18) Tip Jar by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand — 134
19) I regard the Catholic Church as a menace by LaFeminista — 123
20) Don't forget the stupidity of... by Ken in MN — 117
21) It is so heartbreaking to me by xxdr zombiexx — 113
22) Tip Jar by Valtin — 107
23) did I write this diary? by tnichlsn — 105
24) The triumph of ignorance by JuliaAnn — 100
25) Hope you, and Colorado, by Cali Scribe — 100
26) she's not the... by tung sol — 99
27) Better to attack him for other reasons by plf515 — 96
28) Tip Jar by blackwaterdog — 91
29) There is no need to be nasty by DJShay — 90
30) You do know that some people come here by C Barr — 89
31) Looks like somebody's narrative is in trouble. by Inland — 89

Originally posted to virgomusic on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 06:58 PM PST.

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