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CULTURE RE-VIEW: Happy birthday to music legend Tom Waits

origin 1December 7, 1949: Tom Waits was born in Pomona, California, United States. ©ANTI

December 7, 1949: Tom Waits was born in Pomona, California, United States.

Tom Waits turns 73 today.

Why should I care, you might ask?

Simply because the singer-songwriter is a one-of-a-kind pioneer, one of the last of a generation that has shaped and influenced countless artists and genres.

What’s more, Waits has kept listeners waiting for a new album for 11 long years, as his latest recording, “Bad As Me,” was released in 2011. Since then, we’ve mostly seen him on the big screen, with roles in Seven psychopaths, The ballad of Buster Scruggs, The old man and the gun, The dead don’t die And Licorice Pizza.

So happy birthday, we are thrilled with your acting, but time waits for no man and we miss you. New album soon please?

origin 1Tom Waits turns 73 todayANTI

For those unaware of Waits’ work, the best way to describe him is as a musical Dadaist: deliberately anachronistic and frighteningly unique.

Over the course of 17 studio albums, 2 film soundtracks and 3 live albums, his musical style has ranged from Kerouac-inspired numbers, whiskey-soaked jazz numbers, romantic blues ballads, theatrical polkas and carnival rumpas. Often funny, always rich.

He hums, growls and laughs gutturally, boasting imagery and atmosphere layered in the lyrics, as well as a variety of vocally contrasting personas – many of which sound like he’s gargling razor blades and washing it down with Bourbon.

If you don’t know him, here are some songs to get you going:

‘Heartattack and Vine’, from the 1980 album of the same name: “Don’t you know there’s no devil / There’s only God when he’s drunk…”

“Clap Hands”, probably taken from his most celebrated album, 1985’s “Rain Dogs”: “Sane, sane, they’re all mad / The fireman is blind, the conductor is lame / A Cincinatti jacket and a hapless lady / Going out the window with a bottle full of rain / Clap your hands, clap your hands. ..”

“Telephone Call From Istanbul”, one of Wait’s most underrated songs, included on 1987’s “Frank’s Wild Years”: “Never trust a man in a blue trench coat / Never drive a car when you’re dead…”

Also on this day:

origin 1“Sea View at Scheveningen”, a seascape by Van Gogh stolen in 2002 Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

2002: In Amsterdam, two paintings by Van Gogh were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum: “Sea View at Scheveningen” (1882), one of only two seascapes van Gogh painted during his years in the Netherlands, and “Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen” (1882-84), showing the church where the artist’s father was pastor, a gift to the artist’s mother. The robbery apparently lasted less than 4 minutes.