As tour guide on a trip through the midnight-to-dawn streets of Los Angeles that the beautiful people never see through the smoked-glass windows of their limos, Waits details the lives of hipsters, down-and-outers, and lost causes in latter-day beat poetry and small-jazz-combo arrangements. This live album from 1975 almost has the quality of standup comedy, but the routines are richer and more carefully drawn. Check out the vivid detail, low humor, and hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold emotionalism Waits brings to songs such as "Nighthawk Postcards," "Putnam County," and a memorable reading of trucker poet Red Sovine's "Big Joe and Phantom 309." --Daniel Durchholz
Tom recited his evocative jazz poetry (and fired off new rounds of wicked humor) for a live in-studio audience on this 1975 double-LP. He introduces the songs and digs into details of late-night life in LA as you hear Nighthawk Postcards; Putnam County; Emotional Weather Report; Better Off Without a Wife; On a Foggy Night; Warm Beer and Cold Women , and more. His first charting album, now available on CD or double-vinyl!