Blog Article / / Writing: Journalism

In praise of Tom Waits and Spotify

Having been bedridden for the last couple days, I thought I’d use the opportunity to thank an incredible Internet program, and my favourite musician of all time: Spotify and Tom Waits.

Music is one of my main writing inspirations, and also a huge part of my life. There is nothing better to drag me out of a bad mood or trigger a long-forgotten memory of a place or person, and the advent of Spotify has only made my life better. The ability to listen to nearly any piece of music, in full, without paying for it, is such a beautiful gift, and I don’t even mind the occasional ads. It completely fulfills the concept of online copyright mentioned in the last article: the advent of the Internet means that everything and anything is available online, so why not just make it available through a well-maintained and easy-to-use program? I cannot praise Spotify enough… and encourage everyone out there to download it! Keep music free.

Free music is all well and good, but it has to be the right kind. Now, I’m a big believer in letting all styles coexist: there is musical talent in Chopin, just as there is in Dizzee Rascal, just as there is in Britney Spears. For example, I know that I find cheesy pop overbearingly so, but still appreciate its existence. However, despite my ‘why-can’t-all-styles-of-music-just-get-along’ state of mind, one man in particular stands above all others, by a head, shoulders, and most of his torso: Tom Waits.

Tom Waits combines everything I love about music: raw passion and talent, jazz and other off-kilter rhythms, interesting and exciting instrumentation, and brilliant lyrics. His voice can be harsh, acerbic and frightening, or sweetly, painfully rough and gravelly; either way, whatever he says and sings either excites me or tears a hole in my heart. I could wax lyrical for a suitably long time about his musical talent, but it pails next to his lyrics. Listening to Tom Waits changes my diction: I become happier to be poetic, happier to let sentences slop and spill along, happier to write like the artist I try to be. Forever inspirational, a heady thanks to Tom Waits for always pushing my writing along.

One little AOB as well: I’m currently working on publishing my two big scripts from this year, Oedipus and A Fistful of Snow, on, and I hope to have them published by Christmas. Oedipus was performed at the Brighton Festival, outdoors in Jubilee Square, to rave reviews, all published and available to read on just search for “oedipus”. A Fistful of Snow had even more success at the Brighton Festival, with even more rave reviews and an award for Best Male Performer from Latest 7 Magazine. It then did very well at Edinburgh as well: again all reviews have been published on, just search for “a fistful of snow”.


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