Friday, 16 April 2021


This week I have been watching a couple of music programs / documentaries that I noticed on Amazon Prime. They were "Tom Waits : Under The Influence" and "Captain Beefheart: Under Review" . I am still working through the Captain Beefheart one which is is an in depth take on his development and influences with input from band members and music critics.

The Tom Waits one is an interesting one because it concentrates on the influences on Tom Waits' music by giving you potted histories of the artists that influenced him (sorry about the repetition of the word influence there ) . This has the effect of introducing you to each of these artists by sharing interviews , live video , music and text.

So we see Jack Kerouac , Frank Sinatra , Lord Buckley , Captain Beefheart (he an Tom have more than a passing visual resemblance)  , Ken Nordine who made his way doing voiceovers but also rapped as well as Kerouac and the beat poets but Nordine was low in his delivery letting the listener have time to take in the verbal images he was sharing. This documentary packs so much into it that you want to find out about the artists who influenced Tom Waits. 

As well as these Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht surface in the "SwordfishTrombones" universe with songs like "Underground" confirming this.

Beefheart's marimba influence appears on "Sixteen Shells" but the sound is undoubtedly Tom Waits.

Waits took things on board and progressed the ideas to make a decidedly Waitsian sound  and in that he has become an influence for many artists going forward , being covered by artists as diverse as The Eagles , Rod Stewart , Screaming Jay Hawkins and The Ramones.

Bothe documentaries feature the very articulate John French , "Drumbo" drummer and guitarist with various incarnations of Beefheart's  Magic Bands,

"Captain Beefheart: Under Review" concentrates on Beefheart and his music and bands and while challenging, is a great primer for the music , how he reinvented the standard song structures resulting in sounds that are most definitely challenging to the ear.

So what songs do we go with , well for Tom Waits it's "Sixteen shells from a thirty ought six" and Captain Beefheart "Big Eyed Beans From Venus" . If you can watch the documentaries , but check out the music. You never know you may discover something you like.

On a side note if you do blog you can earn a little pin money by advertising various things like the music links below and adsense to the right. , or direct links such as tattoo style fonts online which have some snazzy music related fonts to featuring in your work.

I am still writing "Mitarantula" so again that might be another repostory to use some eye striking fonts, although just on the front page rather than the whole book or document. The right font in a book can drag the reader in or throw the reader out. 

Good fonts should be easy to read and should not  put the reader off. I think most of this is plain Ariel.

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