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New Coat of Paint: Songs of Tom Waits

3.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 30, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Forget that bit about imitation being the most sincere form of flattery: in music at least, an artist truly pays tribute to another by fully appropriating his work and making it his own. Such is the case on Coat of Paint: Songs of Tom Waits, easily one of the best releases in the frequently tiresome genre of tribute albums. Indeed, the late Screamin' Jay Hawkins's delirious take on Waits's voodoo classic "Whistlin' Past the Graveyard" is so dead-on that it's almost inconceivable that he didn't write it. The same could be said for soul-man Andre Williams's sleazy version of "Pasties and a G-String," Flat Duo Jets' Dexter Romweber's manic "Romeo Is Bleeding," and Knoxville Girls' supremely tacky "Virginia Avenue." Lydia Lunch has been rewriting and singing "Heartattack and Vine" for at least 20 years, whether she wrote the original or not. Perhaps the single most impressive act of reappropriation comes from one-man band Christopher Watkins, a.k.a. Preacher Boy, with a mournful, near-orchestral version of "Old Boyfriends." And a trio of torchy ballads from Congo Norvell's Sally Norvell, Geraldine Fibbers' Carla Bozulich, and Eleni Mandell further illustrate the breath of Waits's huge body of work. New Coat of Paint is given an inner cohesion by the incestuous, intermarried connections of several of the acts, all veterans (appropriately) of Los Angeles's outlaw underground music scene. Perhaps the greatest compliment is that most of these tracks don't beg comparisons to the originals at all, but simply stand alone as classic compositions from the songbook of an iconoclastic American master of gutter poetry. --Carl Hanni

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Whistlin' Past The Graveyard - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
  2. Pasties And A G-String - Andre Williams
  3. Heartattack And Vine - Lydia Lunch
  4. Virginia Avenue - Knoxville Girls
  5. Romeo Is Bleeding - Dexter Romweber's Infernal Racket
  6. New Coat Of Paint - Lee Rocker
  7. Broken Bicycles - Botanica
  8. Old Boyfriends - Preacher Boy
  9. Please Call Me, Baby - Sally Norvell
  10. On The NIckel - Carla Bozulich
  11. Muriel - Eleni Mandell
  12. Poncho's Lament - The Blacks
  13. Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis - Neko Case
  14. Blue Skies - Floyd Dixon


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 30, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Manifesto Records
  • ASIN: B00004SWC0
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,698 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Nobody can be Tom but Tom. (Just listen to John Hammond's attempts to sound dangerous, and you'll know what I mean.) That said, these are some damn creative interpretations of Tom's work. Not just creative, because it can be creative and still [bad]. This stuff is creative and sounds good.
In my collection, I have four different covers of Heartattack and Vine, and Lydia Lunch's is still my favorite. Muriel is great done in prayerful whispers, and the guy that sings Broken Bicycles lays down a dirge for a vocal track. Screamin' Jay opens the throttle up wide on Whistlin', and the call-and-answer format of Virginia Avenue is really neat.
I like music that doesn't sound like everything else. That's why I like Tom. If that's why you listen, you owe it to yourself to pick up both this and "Step Right Up," which, in its own way, is even weirder and more wonderful than this one.
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By A Customer on June 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I like Tom Waits' newer (Island years) stuff better than his old, so I was nervous about picking this album up. I'm glad I overcame those fears. The tracks here are closer to the Island material, even though they are sung by a hodgepodge of musicians. Screamin' Jay Hawkins' grooving 'Whistlin' Past the Graveyard' is almost worth the price of the CD in itself. Its motion flows directly into Andre Williams' 'Pasties and a G-String,' a track that makes up the change for the album if Hawkins' effort didn't do it for you. The motion halts and lurches at Lydia Lunch's 'Heartattack and Vine,' but in a good way. Lunch yowls like a wounded cat, always a good tactic for a Tom Waits song. If Tom was born a Tomitta, s/he'd sound a lot like Lunch, I reckon. Dexter's Romweber's Infernal Racket produces, besides a long band name, a great version of 'Romeo is Bleeding.' You can feel the scuz. Other highlights include Lee Rocker's 'New Coat of Paint,' smooth and cool like it should be, Preacher Boy's 'Old Boyfriends,' folky and soulfull, and Carla Bozulich mournful 'On the Nickel.' In short, if you're like me and tired of trying to find rare Waits bootlegs and strapping for something similar, this tribute is a great place to start. I'd never heard of Andre Williams before picking 'New Coat of Paint' up, but now, I'm ready to go out and buy some of his albums.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This collection of songs and the artists that perform them are great! I purchased this for my dad who was praising a song he heard on XM Radio in the cafe music channel. He loves it!! Some rockabilly,some blues, punk interpretation! Some of the best of both worlds are involved with this cd!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The cd has some incredible artists whose renditions of Tom Waits' songs are fabulous. Love, love, love this cd! Screamin' Jay Hawkins rocks!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A few artists don't quite give the same feel to Tom's music, a little disapointed. However, good for a listen.
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