“I’ve already laid out my concerns about Tom Waits. His stuff often feels more like he’s acting, playing a part, than presenting genuine boosey, bluesy decadence and decay. But it is a hell of fine act, and Step Right Up, from 1976’s Small Change, is standalone genius anyway, a full-on Beat-skewering of everything that was ever phony, skin deep and ultimately ugly about consumer culture past, present and future. Always some asshole trying to sell you something you don’t need, trailing an oil slick wherever he goes.” (Philip Random)
These 12 Mixtapes of Christmas have got nothing to do with Randophonic’s other 12 Mixtapes of Christmas from two years ago, or even with Christmas (beyond being a gift to you). And they’re not actually mix tapes, or CDs for that matter – just mixes, each 49-minutes long, one posted to Randophonic’s Mixcloud for each day of Twelvetide (aka the Twelve Days of Christmas).
There’s no particular genre, no particular theme or agenda being pursued, beyond all selections coming from Randophonic’s ever expanding collection of used vinyl, which continues to simultaneously draw us back and propel us forward (sonically speaking) — music and noise and whatever else the world famous Randophonic Jukebox deems (or perhaps dreams) necessary toward our long term goal of solving all the world’s problems.
Bottom line: it’s five hundred eighty-eight minutes of music covering all manner of ground, from Roy Orbison to Curtis Mayfield to Can, Bob Dylan, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Kraftwerk, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and beyond (and that’s just from the first mix) — anything and everything, as long as it’s good.
The seventeenth of a planned forty-nine movies (without pictures), each forty-nine minutes long, featuring no particular artist, theme or agenda beyond boldly going … who knows? Or as Werner Von Braun once put it, “Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” And we definitely have no idea where all this will take us.
17. Invisible Cities
Tom Waits – clap hands
Fred Frith – Navajo
Invaders of the Heart – good ghosts + invisible cities
DS Crew – frontier
Passengers – Plot 180 
Love + Rockets – all in my mind [acoustic]
Bauhaus – exquisite corpse
Olivia Tremor Control – late music 1
James – DVV
Man – c’mon 
Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark – architecture + morality
Can – Come sta, la Luna
Further installments of the Research Series will air most Sundays at approximately 1am (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with Mixcloud streams usually available within twenty-four hours.
“I said my piece already on why there’s probably not enough Tom Waits on the list. Basically, I think of him as a character actor working a particular role (blue and boozy and nicotine infused), whereas in real life, he just mows his lawn and reads his morning paper and shouts at his kids like the guy next door, and the guy on the other side as well. But it is a strong act, I’ll give it that, and it really had me with Rain Dogs, in fact that whole prolonged mid-eighties moment he had. Like it’s 3am and you’re miles from home, polluted drunk, getting rained on. Except it’s not real rain, is it? It’s Hollywood rain, and Hollywood lights, too. Probably wasn’t even real whiskey. Am I allowed to say that? Clap Hands is great whatever the real story.” (Philip Random)
“I stumbled onto Tom Waits through the movies (the songs he did for Francis Coppola’s One From the Heart mess, the beat hipster he played in Coppola’s Rumblefish, the idiot on the run in Down By Law) so I guess it makes sense that I think of him more as a showbiz guy than the essential musical force that some seem to. Yeah, he can lay down the gravely depths, but how much of that is just acting, pretending, NOT real blues, soul, whatever. But then you hear something like Hang Down Your Head, which is the kind of song Bruce Springsteen only wishes he could write, and you realize you’re probably wrong.”