Saturday, 2 October 2010

Townes & The Tanyas - Waitin' Around To Die

I've been watching the second series of the excellent chemistry-teacher-turned-crystal-meth-cook drama Breaking Bad this week. One episode featured The Be Good Tanyas cover of Townes Van Zandt's Waitin' Around to Die. It's from their second album Chinatown which I'd not given a spin for some time and thoroughly enjoyed listening to again.

MP3: The Be Good Tanyas - Waiting Around To Die

But it! Chinatown (Amazon)

Townes claimed that this was the first proper song he ever wrote and anyone familar with his biography won't be surprised that he penned such a fatalistic song at a young age.

The original version that's on Townes' first album For the Sake of the Song is regrettably overproduced. This stripped-down version from the Live from the Old Quarter album is miles better.

MP3: Townes Van Zandt - Waitin' Around to Die

But it! Live At The Old Quarter (Amazon)

The Old Quarter album is probably the best starting place for Townes novices. Those who want to dig deeper should certainly seek out the superb documentary Be Here To Love Me. That film uses a fair amount of footage from Heartworn Highways, another must-see movie for twang fans.


Matt said...

Two bloody months and no Carnival Saloon! It's an outrage, don't you listen to music anymore?

Nigel Smith said...

Matt - It's not good enough is it? I have not abandoned Carnival Saloon but your question hits the nail on the head. I haven't listened to as much music, new or old, since I started work at 5 live. I have a pile of CDs I bought a few weeks ago that I've barely played. Also, there's no music playing in my new office, no music on my headphones at work and very few conversations about music there either. I think I'm probably more knackered too which makes me less inclined to come home and hunt down obscure twang or find out odd facts about Minnesota (state bird, the loon). I'll hopefully get a new post or two done before Christmas and endeavor to get back on track in the new year.

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