Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
When Tom Waits was in his 20s, he was straining to be the artist he is now in his 60s. Although it's been seven years between albums of original material, the glorious gumbo of blues and balladry that is Bad As Me sounds as effortless as anything Waits has ever done. While some may not describe it as the most challenging work in his catalogue, Waits certainly has nothing left to prove after redefining himself so convincingly so many times over the past 40 years. Yet Bad As Me is far from derivative. It's only the legions of Waits imitators who have never been able to replicate the graveyard rockabilly of tracks like "Raised Right Men," and "Get Lost" that he's been perfecting since the early '80s. The amount of notable guests on the album is in some ways a tribute to Waits' persistence with that approach, and it's especially significant that Keith Richards contributes more than he has on any previous Waits album on which he's appeared. They sound like soul mates on both the rockers ("Chicago") and the album's designated weeper ("Last Leaf") to the point where it seems as though Keef wouldn't hesitate to become Waits' full-time henchman if only he could somehow divorce himself from Sir Mick. What he must surely recognize is that Waits at this moment is the embodiment of American music's renegade spirit, and Bad As Me puts all of those elements on full display.
FeaturesJul 29, 2015
Titus AndronicusAmbition In Five Acts
Since Patrick Stickles rose up with fists held high in July 2005 as frontman for Titus Andronicus, he and the band have done nothing half-as...
StreamsJul 22, 2015
The Lonely Parade"Girl" on Exclaim! TV
Augusta Veno, Charlotte Dempsey and Anwyn Climenhage are the Lonely Parade, a punk-y indie rock trio from Peterborough, ON. Their debut albu...
StreamsJul 21, 2015
Elliot Maginot"Monsters at War" on Exclaim! TV
After spending his teen years playing in skate-punk garage bands, Montreal musician Elliot Maginot's debut LP might come as a surprise. Insp...
FeaturesJul 21, 2015
Conor OberstFolk In Many Guises
Conor Oberst is many things to many people. Emo wunderkind, folk troubadour, rock'n'roll saviour — he's been called it all. Yet for so...
NewsJul 21, 2015
Titus Andronicus Dissect the Epic, Emotional 'Most Lamentable Tragedy'
"By the way, all my tears are on the record," Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles tells Exclaim! over the phone from his NYC home. "T...
ReviewsJul 20, 2015
Hundred WatersBass Camp Stage, Pemberton BC, July 19
Falling right into the beautifully crafted "Out Alee," Hundred Waters graced the Bass Camp Stage on the last day of Pemberton (July 19). Cup...
StreamsJul 17, 2015
The Muscadettes"Growing Pains" on Exclaim! TV
Twin sisters Chantal and Kathleen Ambridge are the Muscadettes, a band whose sun-drenched, reverb-laden sound reflects an upbringing on '60s...
NewsJul 17, 2015
Left and Leaving: An Essential Weakerthans Playlist
Earlier this week, beloved Winnipeg indie rockers the Weakerthans broke the hearts of Canadian music fans everywhere when drummer Jason Tait...