Tom Waits. Many people know the man because he’s done many things. He was R.M. Renfield from Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’. He’s the gravelly voice that you hear singing about a little drop of poison during Shrek 2. He wrote and sang “Downtown Train” that was later covered by Rod Stewart and put Stewart into millions of hearts. Artists have covered his work for years because his talent is as wide and intense as the interwebs themselves. His music, his art, his acting are all beyond brilliant and he is about as surprising as he is interesting.
Today, he drops a photo of him wearing an eye-patch, wielding a cutlass over his shoulder with a rounded fedora raked on his head and a lit cigar pleasantly wedged between his locked maw. Tauntingly, the words “Coming August 7th” is placed to his left, our right, with the caption, “Permission to Come Aboard.”
The mind boggles.
It boggles because it could be anything. Many industry outlets are all over themselves attempting to figure out what it could possibly be because the man grows creativity like Nebraska grows corn. Suggestions have ranged from the following:
A tour with an amazing kick off – Since he hasn’t done a proper tour, maybe this is his way of generating buzz before hand and really stirring the pot or in his case, it would be a cauldron because his fan base is flipping over itself.
A cruise – Because of the Pirate reference and the running interest these days in cruises, there was a suggestion that perhaps this is a kick off for a cruise. Whereas I can see where people may think that, I really don’t think that this is Tom’s style and it would come off far too cheesy than it would be provocative or stylish.
A short movie/movie – This is as possible as a new album/concept album dropping, considering the lighting and the style of the photo, I could easily see it being a still from an astounding piece with a matching soundtrack to back it up. He’s done several shorts in his time so this is completely an option but I don’t know if it would be a short because this is pretty heavy for something so brief. Perhaps a great concept piece but one I’m leaning towards personally (wishful thinking barely withheld…)
A new album, potentially a concept album – This could go either way; the timing would be just about right if he wanted to capture some of the pop culture interest with pirates these days but not lean into the wind of the Pirates of the Caribbean. Moreover, he did an amazing track called “Singapore” off of his Rain Dogs album many years back that fans are still spinning on digital media decades later so he could be tapping back into this or perhaps not since he’s not the type to dupe work.
As painful and hackneyed as it is, only time will tell. Until 8/7 (which happens to be a Tuesday, which is the standard drop date for new video/music releases), Tom is going to make us Wait.