Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back with the old

So I'm back. I'm not going to apologise for not updating the blog for the past three and a bit weeks, because that was my intention. I wanted to take some time away from The Daily Growl, to avoid the self-imposed tyranny of daily updating, to take some 'blogging time' to do other stuff I need to do, and (something I've wanted to do for ages) to re-design The Daily Growl, including moving from Blogger to a self-hosted Wordpress blog. Needless to say none of that has happened. I've spent time fannying about, and found the Wordpress set-up process horrendously complicated. So much for their 'famous 5-minute installation'. More like 5 days. I'm going to have this as a much longer-term project, and be content in the meantime with a re-jigged Blogger template. Let me know what you think.

Anyway, in the time I've been away, I haven't been listening to very much new music. The promo CDs and mp3s have been piling up, and all I've wanted to listen to is old stuff. So I've been spending time with...

Some old Gospel:

A bit of Sister Rosetta Tharpe


mp3: Sister Rosetta Tharpe - This Train

a load of Washington Phillips


mp3: Washington Phillips - Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave it There

A heap of Dennis Wilson


mp3: Dennis Wilson - River Song


But most of all - by a long way - Tom Waits. It's incredible to think that it's only just over a month since I started listening to this all-time great. I can't believe I never listened to him much before, but in the past few weeks, his songs have been on constant rotation on all my listening devices. Some proof of this can be found at my last.fm where Tom has come from nowhere to near the top of my artists charts, but that's only half the story. I'm enthralled, amazed and delighted every time I hear one of his albums. The only problem I've had is discovering his greatness at the same time as his only UK shows for another five years or so. People like this really make me jealous! Anyway, here are some tunes and I'll no doubt return to new music sometime soon.

mp3: Tom Waits - Singapore
mp3: Tom Waits - Earth Died Screaming

10 comments:

saam keephopeinside said...

New template looks nice and uncluttered but not sure about the green headings. I find Worpress a little confusing and Blogger does okay - what are the actual advantages of moving over?

The Daily Growl said...

I've found the Wordpress interface a lot more flexible and generally pleasing, their designs are better and by using a self-hosted blog, I would get to use my www.thedailygrowl.co.uk domain as an acutal website address, rather than just somewhere to host my mp3s. The free Wordpress blogs are great and very easy to use, but I see little advantage moving there now, because if I'm going to change my blog address, I'd want to keep in simple.

We'll see how it goes...

I'll most likely make more changes to this current Blogger one too.

Campfires and Battlefields said...

I've experienced a similar Tom Waits epiphany over the last few months. I remember back in 1986 being very taken with Rain Dogs but for one reason or another I have never been able to completely embrace his rest of his output. Perhaps I was intimidated by its sheer breadth? But in the last few months it has all just started to "click," as it were, and now I'm hearing these incredible deep melodies where once I only heard dissonance. Getting older has its advantages I suppose.

The Daily Growl said...

the age factor could well be the reason. Or maybe my ear is just getting a bit rougher. Some of Waits' more abrasive material (like Bone Machine) put me off in the past, but now I love it. Something's changed with me and it's definitely for the better...

Katie said...

I've been meaning to tackle Tom Waits for a while now but have no idea where to start - any recommendations? Where did you start?

p.s. The new style is looking good.

The Daily Growl said...

I'd start with Rain Dogs. It's a bit of a cliche that it's his best album, but in my view true. In fact it's hard to beat the 80s tryptych of Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs and Franks Wild Years. Though recent albums Alice and Orphans are up there with his best ever. Check the Quietus link on the latest post - that's a decent guide.

Campfires and Battlefields said...

I'm with Tim. Rain Dogs is probably the best place to start. The beauty of that record is that it shows all the different Toms at their absolute peak. There are the truly mental tunes like Singapore and Cemetery Polka, the gorgeous ballads like Time and Hang Down Your Head, the transcendent old-bone folk tunes Clap Hands and Gun Street Girl, and finally the tunes where MArc Ribot steps forward with some of the most brilliant guitar playing every recorded, like Tango Til They're Sore and Rain Dogs. One of the truly great records ever produced.

Campfires and Battlefields said...

Actually the great Marc Ribot tunes are Jockey Full of Bourbon and Rain Dogs, not Tango Till They're Sore. Pity the poor elderly.

Katie said...

Thank you! I shall get on the case.....

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