Listen to a New Album Featuring Tom Waits Songs in Hebrew (2013)

גירסת-בני-1Tom Waits is a rare breed of per­former, hav­ing attained vast com­mer­cial suc­cess with­out hav­ing had to pan­der to a mass audi­ence. His gruff voice—the vocal equiv­a­lent of too many late nights, strong scotch, and a pack-an-hour habit—has become the hall­mark of a sort of grimy, out­sider cool favored by Jim Jar­musch and John Lurie. His career, which has spanned four decades and includes the­atre, film, and the icon­ic inter­view that inspired the char­ac­ter of The Jok­er in The Dark Knight, is the envy of most musi­cians. It was only fit­ting, con­sid­er­ing his prodi­gious out­put, that Waits would become the sub­ject of a cov­er album. Unsur­pris­ing­ly, it comes with a twist—it’s in Hebrew.

Heeb Mag­a­zine recent­ly post­ed a link to “Shir­im Meshu­mashim” (“Used Songs”), pro­duc­er Guy Hajjaj’s four-year project where Israeli musi­cians recre­ate Tom Waits’ back cat­a­log. The 22-song album draws wide­ly from Waits’ career, includ­ing songs from clas­sic albums such as Rain­dogs (1985) as well as the more recent Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bas­tards (2006) and Glit­ter and Doom Live (2009). While more zeal­ous fans will undoubt­ed­ly claim that Waits’ orig­i­nal deliv­ery can nev­er be matched, those with an open mind will like­ly find a num­ber of gems. Some of our favorites include “Clap Hands,” ide­al­ly suit­ed to Hebrew’s harsh, grav­el­ly sounds, and the lighter, yet unmis­tak­ably Waits-writ­ten, “Dirt in The Ground.”

You can stream the album above, or buy the album (down­load­able on a pay-what-you-wish basis) here.

Via Heeb Mag­a­zine

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

Tom Waits’ Clas­sic Appear­ance on Aus­tralian TV, 1979

Tom Waits Reads Charles Bukows­ki

The Black Rid­er: A The­atri­cal Pro­duc­tion by Tom Waits, William S. Bur­roughs & Robert Wil­son (1990)

Ilia Blin­d­er­man is a Mon­tre­al-based cul­ture and sci­ence writer. Fol­low him at @iliablinderman.

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