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Song by Song


Podcast by Song by Song podcast

Popular episodes

The Alice Demos, Tom Waits [301]

Sep 15 • 38:58

Sam and Martin re-reconvene to dig into the Alice material that doesn't appear on the studio album. Great… because this show wasn't niche enough… We explore Waits's interpretation of Jabberwocky, his field-recording improvisations, the possible use of instrumentals in the play, and look back at the album as a whole....

Fawn, Alice, Tom Waits [300]

Sep 8 • 16:29

Sam and Martin reconvene for their third centenary, concluding Alice with this delicate, pretty-yet-textured instrumental. We've got discussion of mythical creatures, we've got an unpacking of the value in novelty songs, and we've got a hard left-turn in the interval track choice....

Barcarolle, Alice, Tom Waits [299]

Sep 1 • 23:41

Waits struggles against the passing of time (and perhaps the classical form of the song) this week, as Celine chats with Martin & Sam about beauty and clarity, song forms versus meaning, and why we don't do more opera on the show....

Fish and Bird, Alice, Tom Waits [298]

Aug 25 • 21:11

Sound the klaxon; Martin reaches the apex of his Song by Song journey, as his discusses the beauty and elegance of this track with Celine and Sam. The contradictions of the narrative, the expression of the impossibility of (some) love, and a key link to Waits's collaboration with Brennan all feature in our conversation....

I'm Still Here, Alice, Tom Waits [297]

Aug 18 • 22:39

Things get a little meta this week, as guest host Celine Teo-Blockey discusses with Sam & Martin the way that this song exemplifies the ways women are seen and perceived in art and culture, and in the world in general. We chat about storytelling, being trapped in roles, and the buddhist attitudes of Bill Murray....

Reeperbahn, Alice, Tom Waits [296]

Aug 11 • 19:41

Waits leaves the theatre and heads out to the streets, with Sean, Sam and Martin (as well as Udo Lindenberg) in tow. Discussion ranges from the image of Hamburg’s red-light district across the last 50 years, German re-purposing of US rock (and vice versa), and locational nostalgia from around the world....

Watch Her Disappear, Alice, Tom Waits [295]

Aug 4 • 20:52

Sean Real returns for a second week with Martin and Sam, to discuss a song that faces the complex and perhaps uncomfortable relationship between Dodgeson and Alice head-on. We talk about the intensity and intimacy of the recording sound, as well as the intensity and intimacy of naked women running through the streets of Coventry....

We're All Mad Here, Alice, Tom Waits [294]

Jul 28 • 21:07

Multi-instrumentalist and 99pi music producer Sean Real joins Sam & Martin to discuss coherent and incoherent images of madness. Our discussion revolves around the song's gothic viscerality, the texture of both album and demo versions, and head back to a late 60s' image of the madness in Wonderland....

Lost In The Harbour, Alice, Tom Waits [293]

Jul 21 • 20:26

Never lost for a conversation, Jo, Miranda, Martin and Sam take a look at the theatrical and political context of Waits's less-mannered song of longing. We return to some conversations from recent episodes, consider Kathleen Brennan's presence in these songs, and break SbS rules to revisit Lotte Lenya's presentation of the music of Kurt Weill....

Table Top Joe, Alice, Tom Waits [292]

Jul 14 • 17:52

Miranda returns alongside Jo (not currently available on table-tops) to talk about parody and joy in this Waits track as well as it's 1992 demo version. We dig into a discussion of the entertainment industry, images of American exceptionalism, and the presence/absence of women in music....

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