What the hell is he building in there?

17 Jun

If you want to  disconcert yourself more efficiently than would most modern horror movies and in about one-thirtieth of the time, I strongly recommend listening to Tom Waits“What’s He Building?” (The only link I could find was to the Youtube video, but I actually recommend listening to it with your eyes closed first, a bit like reading a book before you see the movie).

It’s a brilliant example of the power of poetry as well as its presentation, and of the human imagination. Waits’ signature voice, which sounds as though it’s as rusted as the dirty railway tracks clacking their way through his songs and is often rife with devilish mischief, warps bone-chillingly into the bloodcurdling suspicion of a piercingly observant neighbour so unmistakeably Waitsish  that his own very presence in the situation sets any listener familiar with Waits off-balance – the song certainly caught me off-guard in the dingy lamp-light of my res room at midnight on a night when the wind sounds like it’s trying to tear the place apart…

If you’re unfamiliar with Waits, start with Big in Japan, find yourself a copy of Mule Variations and just stick it on any old time.

You’ll get familiar.


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