A few months ago I saw Knocked Up, and it was pretty good, but the reason I’m bringing it up now is because recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Tom Waits, and I just now remembered a scene in the movie where one of the stoners is wearing a Rain Dogs t-shirt, and I was probably the only person in the theater who noticed that, and laughed. Along those same lines, the album’s Wikipedia article tells me that one of the guitarists in Panic! at the Disco has Rain Dogs lyrics tattooed on his wrists. What?
Maybe it’s the indie elitist in me protecting hallowed artistic principles from being exposed to the unsophisticated bourgeois, because that could lead to ruin! Joking aside, despite all the bizarre attributes of Mr. Waits and his music, I think that I always realized that at its core, his music is really quite simple. His songs are pretty much all folk or blues melodies, but he mangles them with his trainwreck of a voice, the noisy avant-garde jazz instrumentation, and the sometimes disturbing lyrics. At its core, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with the uneducated masses having the ability to enjoy Rain Dogs, because it’s really no different in structure from what everyone’s heard before. Starostin noted this before, but Rain Dogs is a great album that can appeal to the common consumer with its traditional structures and melodies, but thrill the experimental connoisseur with its exhilarating voicings and backdrops, and finding that collision of accessibility and experimentation is really at the core of every music fan’s lifelong search. Continue reading