254 episodes

Podcast by Song by Song podcast

Song by Song Song by Song podcast

    • Music Commentary
    • 4.6 • 37 Ratings

Podcast by Song by Song podcast

    Eyeball Kid, Mule Variations, Tom Waits [264]

    Eyeball Kid, Mule Variations, Tom Waits [264]

    As Tom Waits explores his frustrations around the business of music/entertainment, Amrita shares some of her own experiences with Martin and Sam. We discuss the managerial perspective of the song, how that compares to Wait's own position in the industry, and the different strategies The Ting Tings use to express similar sentiments.
    Note: Sam refers to Eddie Campbell as Australian; he is actually Scottish and just lived in Australia for a number of years.

    • 21 min
    Black Market Baby, Mule Variations, Tom Waits [263]

    Black Market Baby, Mule Variations, Tom Waits [263]

    Images of illicit women blur with dangerous spousal descriptions, as Amrita rejoins Sam and Martin for a second Mule Variation. The value of heartbreak in the production of art, the prevalence of the male gaze in popular music, and feline solutions to romantic difficulties all feature in our discussion this week.

    • 18 min
    What's He Building?, Mule Variations, Tom Waits [262]

    What's He Building?, Mule Variations, Tom Waits [262]

    Actress Amrita Acharya joins Martin and Sam to kick off the new year with voyeurism and construction in this creepy Mule Variations classic. We chat about musical intention, whether Sam is funky (spoilers; he's not), and images of neighbourhood in 1970s America.

    • 20 min
    Mailbag Episode #4

    Mailbag Episode #4

    A brief seasonal diversion into listener mail sees Martin and Sam discussing Elton John, winters in South London, and of course the second SbS appearance of Australian spin-bowler Mike Whitney . Nothing says Christmas like Mike Whitney. Happy Holidays all - we'll see you in 2021 for the second half of Mule Variations!

    • 38 min
    Pony, Mule Variations, Tom Waits [261]

    Pony, Mule Variations, Tom Waits [261]

    Martin and Sam fly solo this week, discussing Waits reaching back to his hyperbolic storytelling style of the 70s, how mixing draws the eye and ear to certain elements of film and music, as well as the mechanics of equine taxonomy.

    • 20 min
    Cold Water, Mule Variations, Tom Waits [260]

    Cold Water, Mule Variations, Tom Waits [260]

    Waits returns to stories of wandering America with a chainsaw guitar and a towel in this sleeper hit from Mule Variations. Justin, Sam and Martin discuss the revivalist gospel sound, the image of water in this and other music, and take an extended diversion into possible Tom Waits/Guillermo del Toro collaborations.

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

tombartos ,

I'm enjoying this!

Two guys, sometimes joined by guest hosts with varying degrees of Waits-ian knowledge/enthusiasm, go into deep dives of Tom Waits's discography, song by song, in the order in which they were released. Each episode is roughly 16 minutes or so.

I also enjoy their "interval tracks" which are used to further discuss a particular Waits track for that episode. It's helped me discover some amazing new (to me) songs.

As for the reviewer who would rather leave deciphering TW's lyrics to Americans because two British musicians don't know what the RTD is (something I'm pretty sure most Americans don't know either)... that's fine, but isn't one of the joys of being a fan seeing/hearing someone else's discovery of something which already makes you happy? I find their non-American perspective helpful in getting me to listen to each song in a new way.

incrediblewat ,

Like a DVD commentary track -- but for songs

Although I'm not as seasoned a Tom Waits fan as many are, I thoroughly enjoy the analysis of lyrics I might have otherwise let slide by me, the guest voices bringing in additional perspectives, and (as a detail-oriented organizer) the sheer pleasure of having a podcast go through one interesting subject chronologically.
This podcast is very well produced, and episodes are the perfect length. A particular favorite of mine was the "Gun Street Girl" episode with Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spore from Criminal discussing murder ballads in general, as well as digging into some of the mysteries of that particular Waits song.

Adrian Marcado ,

Great show

I'm obsessed with Tom Waits so a song by song discussion is tailor made for me. Sometimes these guys go a little overboard with their analysis of the lyrics but overall an enjoyable listen.

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