Category Archives: 30Hz Music

The 30Hz music-related ramblings

30Hz Top 100 of 2014 (50 to 1)

Load times on the videos forced me to split this into two posts. Carry on.

best_songs14

Rdio Playlistified:

Spotify Playlistified:

 

50. “Coffee” – Sylvan Esso

My wife and daughter, who will listen to the same song 40 times in a row and not grow weary of it, will not let me play “Coffee” in their presence any more.

49. “Problem” – Ariana Grande (feat. Iggy Azalea)

What song? There’s no Ariana Grande song here. I would not listen to Ariana Grande. Don’t ask me any more questions. (Okay, but there’s some great production going on here that has nothing to do with the artist at all. They’re all just industry puppets anyway.)

48. “Hunter” – Still Parade

I know nothing about this band! I Shazammed this track on one of the music blog shows on XMU.

47. “Weight of Love” – The Black Keys

The Black Keys scale it back for this slow burner after their far more raucous and Top-40-accessible record El Camino. It’s bit of bluesy, guitar-fueled bliss.

46. “Can’t Do Without You” – Caribou

Caribou has a way of turning simplicity into orgiastic electro-pop. Some have argued that “Can’t Do Without You” is the pinnacle of their powers. I’m sticking with “Melody Day” from 2007’s Andorra.

45. “Making Breakfast” – Twin Peaks

Looking at these guys you’d think they were just some stoners that got out of bed one morning, with clearer eyes than usual, and decided to make a record… but this is actually highly competent garage rock featuring a nifty hook. Regarding the band’s name and the potential problems with the new season of the TV show Twin Peaks, frontman Cadien James said, “Luckily, no one’s talking shit about us right now, so that’s chill. I’m pretty stoked for this show. I’m actually not feeling too nervous. I got some trust for my boy D. Lynch.” You know what? I take it back. These guys are just stoners who decided to make a record one day.

44. “West Coast” – Lana Del Ray

I read some quote from Lana Del Ray wherein she made fun of hipsters. Listen, Lana, I’m no friend of hipsters, but you making fun of them has probably opened up some space-time paradox and you’re putting us all at risk of being sucked into a parallel dimension where everyone cures their own meats and wears t-shirts with cereal logos from the 1980’s.

43. “The Hollies” – Patsy Matheson

Nifty vocal harmonies and varied instrumentalism elevate Patsy Matheson above the surging hordes of female singer/songwriters. “The Hollies” doesn’t necessarily reflect her larger body of work, which is more like thoughtful gut punches. But “The Hollies” stayed with me all year, a standout on her second album Domino Girls. For a more representative track listen to “No Contract.”

42. “Mother & Father” – Broods

This New Zealand electro-pop act teased us with a 2013 EP and followed it up with a strong full length that showcases their command melody. I never thought much about Georgia Nott’s vocals until hearing her isolated on the video below without any production. The girl can sing, yo.

41. “Black Moon Spell” – King Tuff

King Tuff (Kyle Thomas) does not prevaricate around the bush. He’s going to play you some guitar and anything else that happens is just gravy.

40. “Kelly” – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Has any indie-pop band been as consistent as The Pains of Being Pure at Heart? Sung by Jen Goma from A Sunny Day in Glasgow, “Kelly” is the indie-pop ideal. Sweet without being saccharine and melodic without falling in love with its own whimsy — or worse — perceived importance.

39. “On the Rocks” – The Rural Alberta Advantage

I’m still not sold on the advantage of rural Alberta, but as long as this band wants to try to convince me, I’ll allow it.

38. “Alexandra” – Hamilton Leithauser

The frontman for the Walkmen goes full crooner, because you should never go half crooner.

37. “Violent Shiver” – Benjamin Booker

This New Orleans guitarist cites The Gun Club, Blind Willie Johnson and T. Rex as influences. He just might be better than all of them. A tremendous blues guitar talent with the ability to crossover into the indie and mainstream.

36. “Queen” – Perfume Genius

This is a ballsy performance from one of the most exciting emerging artists. Perfume Genius wears his heart on his sleeve and challenges us with every disjointed chord.

35. “Sun Went Black” – Springtime Carnivore

A springtime carnivore gets the young, tender meat. Springtime Carnivore (aka Greta Morgan) is far less menacing but proves with this track that she’s got some teeth to go with the pop-sensibility.

34. “After the Disco” – Broken Bells

The album just laid there and died, limp and unwanted… except for this killer jam.

33. “Rather Be” – Clean Bandit (feat. Jess Glynne)

I found this track on somebody else’s Best of 2014 list. If you want to know more about Clean Bandit or Jess Glynne, there’s a search bar right up there in the top right corner your browser.

32. “Beggin For Thread” – Banks

Banks >>> Lorde.

31. “Algiers” – The Afghan Whigs

I remember you guys.

30. “Dripping Down” – East India Youth

The best track on electro-artist William Doyle’s Total Strife Forever is a complex and emotional little ditty that shot up my charts toward the year’s end. I really want to call him “East India Yute” as per Joe Pesci’s character in My Cousin Vinny.

29. “Busy Earnin'” – Jungle

I’ve had an itch for some new “Daytime Disco” since the last Poolside record. Jungle is doing some heavy scratching and hitting all the right goddamn spots.

28. “Small Window” – Luluc

Slow, sad and seductive. Luluc takes some sweet ass time getting where it’s going, but once they get there… it’s heavenly. Dive into the record and just let it wash over you.

27. “Two Weeks” – FKA Twigs

Wait. I know this one.

It’s been two weeks since you looked at me / Cocked your head to the side / and said I’m angry.

Also something about a Chinese chicken.

28. “Somebody’s Talking” – The Preatures

Hey 30Hz, this one should be higher. Jerk. Damn catchy tune.

I’m sorry. I thought I should knock it down a few pegs since The Preatures made a surprise Top 10 appearance last year.

That’s dumb.

You’re dumb.

It’s my list. I can be as f’ing arbitrary as I want.

25. “The Natural World” – The Cymbals

Early in ’14 Cymbals released The Age of Fracture to little fanfare before that album then disappeared from the rader entirely. Opens with a lazy bit of melodic synth that could have been the centerpiece of a Pet Shop Boys jam before escalating into catchy hook that sounds like some lost Dogs Die In Hot Cars. Speaking of disappearing entirely, what the hell happened to Dogs Die In Hot Cars? That was a great record. Don’t let The Cymbals disappear like Dogs Die In Hot Cars.

24. “Maidenhead” – Protomartyr

“Maidenhead” christens Protomartyr’s Under Color of Official Right like a shattered bottle of champagne. A earwormy bass line surrenders to a wall of guitar and droning vocals from frontman Joe Casey. This post-punk band from Detroit borrows from Joy Division and Nick Cave and delivered a timeless slice of Motor City garage rock.

23. “I’ll Get You What You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)” – Bret McKenzie

We may never see any new music from The Flight of the Conchords (though Bret and Jemaine are planning a return to HBO in some form) and Bret’s ode to Lite AM/Lionel Richie/Michael McDonald for the Muppets: Most Wanted only makes me pine for their return even more. Damn you, Bret.

22. “The Wheel” – Sohn

Sohn, aka Christopher Taylor, Viennese-based English ambient/electro artists made a name for himself by working with Lana Del Ray, BANKS and Rhye. That’s gravy, except his 2014 record Tremors might be better than any of them.

21. “Chandelier” – Sia

The song details “the demoralisation and rationalisation of alcoholism through the typical thought process of a ‘party girl’.” Works for me. I dig it because Sia just destroys the vocals in the chorus.

20. “Fiona Coyne” – Saint Pepsi

“Oh darling, won’t you believe me? I’ll love you till the record stops… the record stops.”

A sunny electro/disco jingle with nothing but happy vibes and the above bit of creative lyricism from Ryan DeRobertis.

19. “Class Historian” – Broncho

Elton John playing a sweet ass toy piano made of chickens.

18. “River” – together PANGEA

I’d never heard of these Los Angeles-based garage rockers until I discovered this track two weeks ago. You’ll have to excuse me because I’ve got three together PANGEA records to dig into.

17. “Repeat Pleasure” – How to Dress Well

2012’s Total Loss was a near perfect record. What is This Heart? proves that success was no fluke. Some of the best neo-soul music over the last handful of years has been produced by twentysomething solo white guys. How to Dress Well. Autre Ne Veut. The world confuses me sometimes.

16. “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)” – Chromeo

I’m hesitant to call this a “club banger” because I don’t go to “clubs” and the only “bangers” I really know are Irish sausages.

15. “I’m Not Part of Me” – Cloud Nothings

Part of me just wants to hand Cloud Nothings the banner for Greatest Garage Band in the History of Evar. Can we get that made up? What’s that cost at Kinko’s nowadays?

14. “Left Hand Free” – Alt-J

Though the new Alt-J record disappointed me a bit… two singles, surrounded by filler… this track confounded me with flurries of cryptic, nonsensical lyrics and a slick little backbeat and I kinda love it.

13. “Happy Idiot” – TV On the Radio

This song was almost too perfect so I docked it a few points. C’mon TV on the Radio, you can do worse than this.

12. “OOO AAA” – The Cathedrals

Hey, I just heard this great song on XMU.

What’s it called?

OOO AAA.

Ooooh aaah?

No. OOO AAA.

Well, that’s stupid.

So it goes.

11. “Champions of Red Wine” – The New Pornographers

I am pro-red wine. That means I’m a champion of red wine, and therefore this song is about me. Brill Bruisers is also the best New Pornographers record since Electric Version.

10. “Pools” – Glass Animals

When I first listened to this record it made a sound akin to the air deflating from a latex balloon and then I heard “Pools” and it still sounded like pfpfpfpfftttttttttttttt…… except now I can’t delete it from my iTunes and it’ll continue to take up space because “Pools” is excellent and I’m obsessive about keeping full albums in my collections. Even digital.

9. “Do It Again” – Röyksopp & Robyn

Play “Do It Again” again, Sam.

8. “There’s a Revolution” and “Did We Live Too Fast?” – Got A Girl

You can’t make me pick. Don’t make me choose. I wrote about Got A Girl already so you might as well just read that instead because Dan the Automator retweeted it.

7. “Past Life” – Lost in Trees

Certain songs transfix and paralyze. Whenever I hear “Past Life” I tend to stop what I’m doing and listen, as if for the first time. All productivity slows to a halt. Lost in Trees has been good in the past, but this is the best Lost in Trees has ever been.

6. “Lazaretto” – Jack White

On “Lazaretto” Jack White should be the villain in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because he f’ing shreds.

Get it? Because the antagonist in TMNT is Shredder.

5. “Archie, Marry Me” – Alvvays

“Archie, Marry Me” found its way into a Ben Gibbard live set at the Seattle Arts Festival. If this isn’t the seal of indie-approval, I don’t know what is. The Death Cab frontman sat solo at the piano and played a stunning down-tempo version that showcased Alvvays talent for lyricism. Sadly, only a short clip exists on the Interwebs, but that it happened at all must have been the capper on Alvvays’ breakout year.

4. “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” – Run the Jewels

The second collaboration between El-P and Killer Mike dropped from the heavens, a momentary defibrillator reviving ballsy, old school hip hop. The album also boasts my favorite rap song of the year – “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” featuring Rage Against the Machine’s Zack De La Rocha. There really wasn’t another rap record that came close to Run the Jewels in 2014.

3. “Go” – Grimes (feat. Blood Diamond)

Grimes wrote “Go” for Rihanna to sing. Rihanna turned her down. Indisputable proof that Rihanna is a dunce, but a brilliant dunce; Grimes doesn’t need any other cooks in the kitchen.

2. “Red Eyes” – The War on Drugs

The War on Drugs dresses down perfection with natural simplicity and grungy minor chords. They’re still channeling the Boss on their own terms, twisting Springsteen’s version of Americana into a reflection of our misbegotten new millennium.

1. “Seasons (Waiting On You) – Future Islands

Despite previously delivering two brilliant records, Future Islands failed to achieve any crossover notoriety. Their fans remained of the indie variety – devout and vocal, but lacking that mainstream megaphone and soapbox. 2014 proved to be the year that put Future Islands on the map. “Seasons (Waiting On You)” immediately dominated the blogosphere and independent and alt-rock radio outlets such as XMU, KEXP, etc. And then they appeared on David Letterman where frontman Samuel T. Herring dropped a legendary performance on an unsuspecting studio audience, prowling the stage like a jungle cat and growling the refrain. As of December 15th, the video of that performance had garnered over 3 million views. This isn’t Taylor Swift territory, but we can’t all be Taylor Swift. Fans of this “new” band should do themselves a favor and give Future Islands’ 2010 record In Evening Air a listen. I’m still shocked it didn’t get more play upon its release. There’s always time to make amends.

A radio staple for months and remixed dozens of times… yet I’m still not done with this song. The catchy hook, soulful warbling and synthy introducation made this one a keeper. Make sure to track down the reinterpretation of “Seasons” from the experimental jazz group BadBadNotGood who isolated Herring’s soulful warbling and transformed Future Islands into pitch-perfect 1970’s soul.

30Hz Top 100 Songs of 2014

Lately, I have been weighing the cost/benefit of cloning. The Rumble suffered this year due to a certain Bond-ian syndrome that’s taken hold of my extra time and writing life, those precious, wee hours when I’m not arguing with a 2 year old (about everything) or discussing My Little Pony minutiae with the 5 year old. The good news here is that I’m nearly done with the first draft of my James Bond manuscript of more than 80,000 words. Huzzah! Bad news. Now I need to send some feelers out for publication and start work on revisions so the Rumble will likely still suffer from content jealousy. Somewhere along the way, I listened to a metric crap tonne of music in 2014. And I have to admit that the year merely whelmed. I found the usual handful of albums to adore (nothing swept me up like CHVRCHES’ The Bones of What You Believe), but few standout tracks to call “legit jams.” The last two years have spoiled us all for new music. 2014 brought us all back down to earth. Unless you’re Iggy Azalea, Taylor Swift or Lorde, all of whom were last spotted soaring somewhere near Uranus. Maybe Neptune. Even more damning of 2014 is that I found reason to put two of those artists on my list. (Ugh.)

My playlist containing every track in iTunes from 2014 has 7 days worth of music in it. And that doesn’t even count all the stuff I check out on Spotify and dismiss. But even with all that listening, it’s blind, dumb, stupid luck when a certain song catches my fancy. Consider how much music is released each and every week. The music from major labels, indie labels and everything in between. Some songs are unavoidable. Some songs I hear once, a chance meeting during My Old Kentucky Blog’s noontime hour on XMU. Great songs get left off my list every year just because I first heard them in the wrong frame of mind. There are dozens, nay hundreds, of equally worthy songs that just didn’t catch my fancy when the fancy was loose. I always make an effort to value visceral enjoyment more highly than intellectual appreciation when selecting and ranking these tracks. In a couple of instances over the years I’ve come to regret this plan of attack. Honesty will condemn me before all 100 101 102 of my favorite tracks from 2014 have been weighed and measured. The 30Hz Top 100 Songs of 2014:

Best Songs of 2014

Rdio Playlistified:

Spotify Playlistified:

101a. “Boom Clap” – Charlie XCX

For whatever reason I’ve decided that Charlie XCX has more individual talent than all of the other naked and bouncy pop stars I dismiss without a second thought. I blame her first record, which was actually quite good. Though I like the new one too. (Shit. Am I a Charlie XCX “fan”?) Oh, and this song’s featured in a movie about cancer-ridden teens, so it’s, like, deep, right?

Continue reading 30Hz Top 100 Songs of 2014

30Hz Recommended: Got a Girl

Got a Girl is hip-hop producer Dan the Automator and actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Does this reek of She & Him? Yes. Yes it does. Are you tired of Zooey Deschanel? Probably. This is not She & Him. Now let me give you five six seven reasons you need to pay attention to Got a Girl.

Got a Girl 30Hz Recommended

1. Dan the Automator produced one of the greatest hip-hop records in history: Dr. Octogon’s Octogonecologyst.

 

 

2. The collaboration between Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Dan the Automator came after their meeting on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Dan contributed to the soundtrack and, Mary Elizabeth, of course, starred as Ramona Flowers. If there’s one thing we should all know by know, it’s that only brilliant things come from Scott Pilgrim. Here’s Romona and Roxy’s battle, just because:

 

3. Got a Girl has also created these deliciously retro/mod performance art videos as teasers for the upcoming record. Do I completely understand how this is going to sell more records? No. But maybe that’s not the point. All I know is that I felt compelled to watch all of them. MEW is porcelain perfection in high contrast black & white, and Dan the Automator as Mad Men-era sophisticate sipping wine, drinking scotch and schilling fake cologne strikes a chord untapped by anyone other than the Most Interesting Man in the World. Visit the Got a Girl website to view all of the videos. Here’s one I find especially topical. MEW and vinyl:

 

4. Mary Elizabeth Winstead first showcased her pipes singing a cappella in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. Quentin Tarantino has excellent taste in music. By the reflexive property of approval, Quentin Tarantino approves of MEW.

 

5. The Got a Girl Instagram. This might overlap with #3, but I’m okay with that. It’ll give me a reason to check my Instragram feed again.

 

Got a Girl Instagram

6. MEW said their intentions were to marry “French 60’s pop, Jane Birkin… and Dan’s sensibility, which is his beats and a little bit of that low-key hip-hop vibe.” If all you know about French pop music from the 1960’s is Gillian Hill’s “Zou bisou bisou,” let’s add another name to that list: Françoise Hardy, perhaps the most enduring of all the artists to come out of yé-yé (the French “bubblegum” pop) artists.

 

 

7. Got a Girl is really, quite f’ing good.

 

Quick link to Amazon for ordering artists featured in this post:

Tegan & Sara @ Stage AE – June 19th, 2014

This was me when I found out rain had forced the Tegan & Sara show inside at Stage AE — without the Debbie Reynolds smooching, of course:

 

 

Now for my airing of thoughts, grievances and non-sequiturs to ponder.

[the rumble]

Is it just me, or do lesbians only go see acts featuring openly gay musicians? I’ve never seen such a concentrated population in Pittsburgh before. Though I never went to Lilith Fair — my girlfriend at the time had her foot run over by a Mercedes on the way to the show.

Shows are just better indoors. I’m sorry if that ruins your buzz, man.

Buff dudes with no necks that have jockeyed for position at the front and center of the stage… and then proceed to sing every lyric to every song written by a female pop duo are f’ing awesome. Seriously. I love you guys.

I hate it when I don’t have any major complaints about a show. I feel like I’m not doing my job and resident mehssimist of this here site.

#TeamTegan

[/the rumble]

 

Opening acts aren’t always worth the effort of getting to a show on time. I have two kids I need to throw in bed — I can’t always ditch them with the wife for the witching hour. If I do just hand them over upon the wife walking in the door, you know I’ve been given a stern beatdown by the daughters. When parents talk about their need to drink, I’m willing to bet their born-again alcoholism results, almost entirely, from their children’s behavior between 5pm and 8pm. Thursday, I had one of those days. So I finished dinner, got the nod of approval from the wife and bailed. My reward: hearing My Midnight Heart. I don’t know if it’s wholly accurate but here was my initial response upon hearing the band:

 

I was so smitten with the group I headed over the swag table to pick up an EP. Only, it wasn’t exactly an EP, per say. It was a gold-painted flash drive. I didn’t know how to process that in my matchbook of opinions of methods of media distribution so I walked back to the floor to get a better spot for Tegan & Sara. Before T&S’s encore I wandered back over and had smashing conversation with My Midnight Heart lead singer Angelica Allen about the thumb drive as a method for distributing music (“We can include videos too. And when you get all the stuff off, you can reuse it!”), the venue (“There’s no bad place to watch a show in here.”) and the extremely receptive crowd (“There was a ton of energy, I thought, for an opening act.”). I guarantee you’ll hear more from this band. Allen has a huge stage presence — and a huge voice.

 Here’s “Chest of Hearts” from MY MIDNIGHT HEART:

 

But back to the main attraction: Tegan & Sara.

tegan&sara

 

In case you can’t tell the identical twins apart by their disparate haircuts, that’s Tegan on the left. Sara on the right. I added a helpful guide.

Now that I’m thinking about the mental notes I made during the show, it’s possible today’s Rumble is still forthcoming.

What the hell is wrong with the music industry that Tegan & Sara aren’t one of the biggest acts on the planet? Is it the industry that promotes musicians? Or is it that people who listen to music are deaf? I’m going with a mixture of both. Take a look at today’s Billboard Hot 100 chart. Oh, don’t bother. I’ll do it for you. There are maybe four or five tracks on the entirety of the Top 100 that have hooks as good as anything on Tegan & Sara’s last record. Am I being too aggressive here? I don’t think so. Pick any track off that record — and it’ll be a better pop song than just about anything on the Billboard charts. Let’s give it a try. And we’ll start with the big guns. The #1 song on the Billboard 100 vs. the #1 single on Tegan & Sara’s Heartthrob.

THROWDOWN!

Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” vs. Tegan & Sara’s “Closer”

 

Maybe it’s not a fair comparison because I honestly don’t understand the appeal of the Iggy Azalea track. Sounds like most other slices of summer regurgitation, a bulimic rap backed with lazy synth leading to a rubbish hook. Maybe my point’s overall poorly executed, but you get the idea. The idea is that Tegan & Sara have been banished to Indierockberia when they’re writing pure pop-music. Inherently palatable and easily accessible by all. Is there a ceiling to how good pop music can be? And once you cross that threshhold you become hipster scum? What am I missing here? Is it that they’re Canadian? Or that they play for the other team? That they don’t ride magical flying dildos onto stage?

Probably.

But now about the show.

I’d heard much about their tours. I don’t know how I was never able to catch one of their shows before. I bypassed their trip to Pittsburgh last year because A) they were opening for fun. and B) it was outside. If I’m really into an act, I have no trouble paying a premium to watch them open for someone else. BUT. You compound the lukewarm reception of an opening act with the distracted attentions of an outdoor crowd AND a zeitgeisty headliner that makes me question the extent of humanity’s tone deafness, that’s a surefire recipe for 30Hz rage. Thankfully, T&S deemed Pittsburgh worthy of a return headlining trip. And thank goodness for that.

Some acts force banter. I’ve discussed the importance of banter here and there around the site for some time, but it probably requires some retread here. If you can’t banter, don’t. If you don’t like improvisational anecdotes, don’t improvise. I value an act that gets up there, plays their songs and goes home. It is, after all, all about the music. That said, an act that engages the crowd with earnest appreciation and enthusiasm amplifies the enjoyment of a show. The duo played a handful of songs before breaking for their first bout of banter. Sara does most of the talking, but both radiate off-the-cuff eloquence. During one song (I can’t remember which — shame on me) Sara lost her train of song and just kept strumming her guitar while she tried to figure out where she’d gone wrong. Tegan took it upon herself to shake her tambourine with greater exuberance, a mid-track tambourine jam and a bit of showmanship that allowed her sister to collect herself.

After the song, Sara shook off the misstep by relating songwriting to parenthood. She said she imagined that messing up a favorite song during a live set like was a lot like parenting. (And I’m paraphrasing here… ) You have two children. One destined to be a brilliant scholar. You know they’ll go far and do great things. The other, well, you just hope they eventually move out of the house. And then you just end up dropping the brilliant one on its head and you can’t help but think, as that future Nobel Prize winner tumbled to the ground… why couldn’t I have dropped the other one?

Sara boasts a bit of an edge, like a permanently dissatisfied singer-songwriter stuck on a lyric while Tegan comes off as the free spirit that would make everyone in the audience green tea if she had the opportunity. If I were casting their bio pic I’d go for Ellen Page and Anna Kendrick. But they’d have to be twins, so that complicates everything.

Oh bother.

Was there something more to be said? Plenty. But I’m not a fan of the weather in Indieblogberia. I’ll just half-ass this last bit to make sure I don’t bust through that glass ceiling of quality blog writing.

In closing, here’s a tremendous, acoustic version of “I Was a Fool” from Heartthrob.

…and here’s another clip from the same event that showcases Sara’s humor and eloquence on the mic.

 

The Underheralded 80’s: Rain Dogs by Tom Waits

And now a new series on The Rumble. Since this blog usually returns to the warm fuzzies of nostalgia for fodder, it seemed fitting to dive right in with the underrated records from my favorite musical decade. I solicited submissions from friends and Internet acquaintances and hope this becomes an ongoing series celebrating the best the 1980’s had to offer.

tom-waits-rain-dogs

Rain Dogs by Tom Waits

by Timm Booker

This beauty is what happens when Lower Manhattan meets the Mississippi Delta and the devil makes hay. The 19 tracks range from Polka to Bossa-Nova to Rockabilly and a scant single minute to a solid 4:37 on “Gun Street Girl.” The opening pays off in rum as we get our sea legs with “Singapore.” Ahoy! The dark, coldness of “Clap Hands” then rolls out of the speakers like a surrealistic fog. When it lifts the menagerie of images Tom, the record delivers one of the uncut diamonds of the mid-80’s. Synth-Pop be damned. Keith Richards’ sweet guitar permeates the album throughout. Details were not even missed on the cover which is an homage to Elvis and the Clash, two artists that surely took up bar stools in the saloon of Tom Waits’ palatial musical mind.