Daily Archives: October 21, 2014


tom waits - alice
Tom Waits
Alice, 2002

Tom Waits’ songs, as the man himself has identified, typically fall into one of three buckets — they’re either “bawlers,” “brawlers” or “bastards.” This adherence to form, this tacit nod to tradition, a willingness to identify one’s debt to and position in the Great American Songbook, is how we know Tom Waits, like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen before him, belongs in the canon. Or something. What I know is that “Alice,” a bawler if ever there was one, is a damn fine song. Ostensibly an outline of Lewis Carroll’s obsession with a certain young woman in Wonderland, the song skates the same thin ice as its narrator: knife-edged jazz ballad, tender pedophillic paen, suicidal mash note. So compelling it makes you feel for a guy who knows he’s being a creep. Just like Gershwin, right? Right? Wait, why are you making that face?

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/01%20Alice.m4a]


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