May 20, 2009

Tom Waits//Picture in a Frame

When I was a kid, I had a giant crush on Tom Waits. Not like the “get behind the mule” slightly creepy but still awesome Tom Waits of today, but the late’70s/early 80s Down By Law version of Tom Waits, complete with blond ringlets and a boyish smirk (see dreamy below).

When I was 12 or 13, we went to visit my cousins in Italy. One of them was OBSESSED with Tom Waits, so we went over with a pile of CDs for him. He kept saying over and over again, “Tuom Whhaitsa! Tuom Whhaitsa! Thank You!” After that, my dad went on a bit of a jag and played a few albums over and over again, which was probably my real introduction to the music.

My favorite TW album is Closing Time. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to find it on a relatively unscathed vinyl record. It’s an AWESOME album. Actually, if I’m ever on vacation for two whole weeks, maybe I’ll just post every song from that album up, because there really isn’t a bad one.

That said, I only really heard this song for the first time yesterday evening (some previous attempts to get all the way through Mule Variations have been fruitless for me—see what I was missing!), when Michael Beauchamp (who is in town and on tour) played it in my backyard. I think I might like his version better, but it led me to seek out this recording (thanks, internetz).

I’m actually about to put someone’s picture in a frame, so his performance made me feel pretty personally touched, as I fully echo the sentiment expressed. It’s like Mr. Waits spoke to me directly through the embodiment of Michael Beauchamp. Freaky, but true.

Picture in a Frame.mp3

Sun come up, it was blue and gold.
Sun come up, it was blue and gold.
Sun come up, it was blue and gold,
Ever since I put your picture in a frame.

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