Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy birthday you old bum...

Okay, Tom Waits does not do disco. Yet. But posting here nonetheless because the Great Man just hit 60 and that's something to celebrate. It doesn't all have to be about dancing music here, right?
     Saw him last year for an exorbitant price in a big tent in Phoenix Park but it was worth it alone for the unexpected pleasure of witnessing Waits solo at the piano, crooning one of my favourites: '(Looking For) The Heart of Saturday Night' and God knows I may not get the chance again seeing as he probably prefers to spend most of his time cooked up in the house mysteriously mucking with machines and music. Plus he was bloody hilarious (wish I could remember some of the stage patter here but I know the live album just out for the tour a features a bonus disc collecting his non-musical musings so I  an remind myself later maybe).

I won't say much else other than earlier today I read that he might do some more acting and stick on the latex socks to play a hobbit next year. Can't wait. Here's some more choice vids:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Remix of the week: XX + Florence + the Machine = Genius

Next one in a nominally weekly series. We take a remix, re-work, re-edit, whatever and big it up so you might then listen to it. The track doesn't have to be new or anything but it should stand-up to or even better the original. Usually it'd be a track we'd spin on a TomTom night - but don't hold us to that either!

The next one we're bigging up here is very arguably not a remix, but sure we're not into strict definitions here on the TomTom blog. What we're talking about here is a full-blown cover of a cover that's already been covered many times (as the Guardian have recently detailed) that samples a small part of one of the covers (by Florence + the Machine) and does a lot more besides. Funny thing is, if you buy the new Florence 7 inch of 'You've Got the Love' the b-side has the Jamie XX re-work Feat. The XX on the flip so technically the artist is Florence + the Machine, which is a bit stupid; but anyway, like strict definitions, we won't get bogged down in the details. [note: I just played the Florence version on 7 inch at 33 rpm (i.e the wrong speed) and it's a disturbingly listenable slow-burner torch-song - kind of sounds a bit like Antony Hegarty's younger, slightly butcher brother who's realy into Scott Walker. I'm sorry I can't be arsed recording this to digital right now so you can hear it here but if someone is intrigued enough then give me a shout in the comments and I'll see what I can do].

Florence Welsh's take the on the 1986 The Source featuring Candi Staton original is not bad, but it's a bit of a no-brainer easy-fit for someone with such a soulful voice and is obviously indebted to later interpretations of the original; saying that it's probably amazing live when she lets rip. South-west Londoners The XX (pictured above) come up with one of the year's most memorable "remixes", refashioning it as a sexy duet prefaced in the intro by a dreamy harp sample, and then blasted with 2-step precision, then something marimba sounding and choppy ticks and snares ducking in and out of the sensuous assault; it all culminates to reinvent this song in a way Florence did not. You need to hear this and if you haven't heard The XX's debut album then you have even more work to do.