Tom Waits must have the best, or at least the bravest, publicist in the business, because he’s not afraid to antagonize his audience or hold them in suspense. He’s a noted critic of file-sharing, so in advance of his most recent album Bad as Me (my review for Tiny Mix Tapes here) he released this goofy video of a ‘listening party,’ in which he starts playing the album then stops, saying he’s afraid of leaks. Or this one, from a tour several years ago, that looks like a press conference until you get to the end and realize nobody else is in the room.
For the last week or so, he’s been hinting at something new, and this morning something new arrived. It’s not a tour, and it’s not really pirate-y either. It’s a video for the penultimate track from Bad as Me, “Hell Broke Luce,” a scathing indictment of post-9/11 wars. I hate to pigeonhole an artist as ‘antiwar,’ and musically it doesn’t fit at all with most folksters to whom you’d append the label, but watch the video and you’ll see what I mean (n.b.–there is some profanity):