i LOVE tom waits. he fills my geeky heart to beyond full for several reasons.
yes, he's an incredible and unique artist and musician in his own right, making use of the tools at his disposal, whether they're "acceptable" to others (the mainstream) or not.
yes, he writes awesomely rad songs and has a wonderful vision of music that he manages to convey in the most unexpected ways.
but today, i love tom waits because he too, is a music geek. and now i feel like i can relate on a completely different level.
tom waits is one of MAYBE a handful of musicians who would be able to say "i don't go see live music. why should i?" or "i don't like live shows or listening to other musicians - it distracts my 'vision' and songwriting ability" and have those sentiments not distract from the value of my listening experience.
i do not understand musicians who don't go to live shows or listen to music. i don't understand writers who don't read. i don't understand artists who don't enjoy art. i know these people, but i do not understand them.
and, admittedly, i'm judgy of them because it seems snooty to me. how can you think that you have nothing to learn from others who are doing the same thing you are on some level? that you're the be all and end all? how can your music, writing, art, etc. grow if you limit your perspective so much? how can you NOT find something to appreciate?
ten years ago i dated a musician who didn't go to live shows of current musicians, who didn't listen to other current music. he wouldn't go see or listen to anyone who started making music during or after he started making music because "they're doing the same thing as i am" (his words, not mine) it took all i had not to say, "yeah, well, they're playing to *insert any number here* people every night and you're not. you don't think you might have something to learn from them? you don't think there's something to appreciate about that?" i had to keep the peace somehow, right? sensitive guy joes, those musicians. he wasn't very good then and something tells me he isn't very good now.
besides, he made me go see the cure. and i didn't like the cure to begin with, but seeing robert smith blown up into a large sad clown with bad makeup and scraggly, electrified hair only made me pity him, not appreciate him.
but tom waits? tom waits goes to live shows. tom waits is geeky enough about music that he'll call up his "people" and say, "how do i get to talk to _______?"
and then it happens.
and then he writes about it.
and it's awesome.
as a matter of fact, the first line in the article i just read (thanks meg) is, "i first saw hank iii maybe two years ago..." implying that he's seen hank iii live more than once!
TOM WAITS IS A MUSIC GEEK.
it is my dream that one day i will have some kind of mystical sway and that i will have "people" that i can "call" and say "how do i get to talk to tom waits?" so we can geek out together about music and books and everything.
and then it'll happen.
and then i'll write about it.
it won't show up anywhere. except, maybe, here.
and then he'll write about it.
and it will be incredibly surreal and awesome.
i think i'm just going to use awesome one more time in this post.