After completing the famed "trilogy" that consists of SWORDFISHTROMBONES, RAIN DOGS, and FRANK'S WILD YEARS, Waits took his time following it up. At the time, it was hard to imagine what crazed, exotic sonic vistas Waits had left unexplored. Further proving the mettle of his artistry, Waits pulled a masterstroke on BONE MACHINE. Instead of trying to reach new heights, he effectively plumbed the depths, stripping his sound down to the bare essentials (hence the title). At times, he sounds like a cross between an even more avant-garde Captain Beefheart ("Such a Scream") and a hip caveman banging out a song on a row of tuned skulls ("Earth Died Screaming"). Despite all this willful primitivism though, his craftsmanship is at a peak, with his thoughtful lyricism shining throughout.
Tom Waits, raconteur, poet, singer, pianist, writer, genius and one-man revivalist of a bygone world, in a 1978 concert from Austin, Texas. Hear the emerging star, strikingly young and self-assured in his compelling skid-row persona, as he takes us on a series of amazing journeys, at once comic and poignant, and full of the down-at-heels characters only Mr. Waits can bring to life. In songs like "On The Nickel," "I Wish I Was In New Orleans," "Romeo Is Bleeding," "Small Change" and others, Waits conjures up an entire universe all his own. One of the most idiosyncratic writers and performers is captured at an early moment in his amazing and influential career. Recorded Live on December 5, 1978 in Austin, Texas.