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Update: I never got the photos up yesterday of Tom Waits and
the Kronos Quartet at the Bridge School Benefit this weekend. Here they are:

So what’s next for the junkyard maestro? Word has it he’s forsaking
analog for digital. After recording all over the North Bay – from Prairie
Sun in Cotati to In the Pocket in Forestville and Bay View Studios in Richmond,
he’s building his own studio somewhere out on Hwy 116 amid the Sebastopol antique
shops and knick-knack wagons, never far from the dump.

And, proving the family creative streak runs strong, his
daughter Kellesimone Waits has an exhibition, “Men in Power,” opening Nov. 17 at Luscious Garage in San Francisco.

Here’s a teaser:


Tom Waits@Bridge School review:

Halloween is drawing near, but the fire-and-brimstone preacher lurking outside Shoreline Amphitheater with a bullhorn and a “Jesus Hates Sin” T-shirt doesn’t seem like he’s in costume.

Security has made him stand across the street, but it’s nothing the bullhorn can’t handle.

“You will be judged,” he warns the captive crowd filing into the Bridge School Benefit.

The creeped-out indie-rock girl behind me tells her friend, “What a f—ing idiot. I can’t believe they allow that.”

Then, three hours later, midway through the show, some guy takes the stage and starts wailing on and on about how “you gotta keep the devil way down in the hole.”

You do a doubletake. Borrow binoculars from the guy perusing an L.L. Bean catalog in front of you. Squint at the Jumbotron.

Has the bulhorn proselytizer hijacked Bridge School?

Oh, it’s just Tom Waits.

Two songs later, the West County growler ponders “Did the devil make the world while God was sleeping?”

A recurring chant: “God’s Away on Business.”

His answer to the latest Iraq occupation, “Day After Tomorrow,” poses: “Don’t they pray to the same God that we do?/Tell me, how does God choose?/Whose prayers does he refuse?”

What’s the difference between this and the sermon at the gate?

Then, just as you’re ready to repent, Waits turns the screw for the satirical “What Keeps Mankind Alive”:

“You gentlemen who think you have a mission
To purge us of the seven deadly sins
Should first sort out the basic food position
Then start your preaching, that’s where it begins…”

Take that bullhorn guy at the gate!

“You lot who preach restraint and watch your waist as well
Should learn, for once, the way the world is run”

Come to think of it, bullhorn guy was kind of trim…

“However much you twist or whatever lies that you tell
Food is the first thing, morals follow on.”

With the smell of $7 garlic fries wafting all over the park, Waits eventually gives way to Metallica who – surprise! – cover Nazareth’s “Judas” in the closing set.

Eight hours later, by the end of the show Sunday, the only thing missing: a closing sermon from Mr. Bullhorn on the way out. Even he’d had enough.

Random Waits observations:

When his maracas fell apart near the end of “Little Drop of Poison,” Waits bent down to pick up the pieces and kept on shaking.

Lamest joke: Why do shrimp and lobsters never give to charity? They’re shellfish.”

Best confession: “I bought the dying breath of Henry Ford trapped in a Coke bottle.” Turns out he paid $5k on eBay.

Best bird joke: “I bought some parrot diapers. I don’t even own a parrot, but I plan on getting one.”

Number of whistles: 4.

Duly noted: Waits was the only performer of the day to take the time to shake the hand of every Bridge School kid on stage.

Setlist:

“Way Down in the Hole”
“Cold Cold Ground”
“Little Drop of Poison”
“The Part You Throw Away”
“God’s Away on Business”
“Day After Tomorrow”
“What Keeps Mankind Alive”
“Diamond in Your Mind”

AP photos

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