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Song by Song

Mar 10, 2021

Sam and Martin return for a bonus episode and a bonus track, as Waits collaborates for the first time with his son on this short explosion of music from the special edition of Mule Variations. We also look back at our feelings on this fin de siècle album, consider the positives and the negatives and try to put them in...

Mar 3, 2021

We're a bit mixed on this final Mule Variations track, with Shelley questioning whether Waits completely captures the gospel sound and energy. We compare it with older revivalist music, talk about the earthly imagery in songs about the afterlife, and discuss the presence of onanism in the work of Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Feb 24, 2021

After a week away, Shelley Maxwell returns to celebrate this emotionally affecting track with Martin and Sam, one that seems to hit both the personal and the universal. We dig into the specifics of the lyrics, the memories linked to physical sensation and activity, and different ways "end of life" songs can be heard.

Feb 17, 2021

Helen Rosner returns after a week away for one more episode with Song by Song. She brings her culinary expertise to the party, explaining for Martin & Sam (and the audience) some of the gastronomic details Waits is bringing in this Bone-Machine-era rework. We discuss the musical and geographical locators in the song,...

Feb 10, 2021

Shelley Maxwell joins Martin and Sam to discuss the haunting and brutal true story of Georgia Lee Moses, and Waits's description of circumstances surrounding her death.

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Music extracts used for illustrative/review...