OITNB Music: Tom Waits
by Walter Price
I’ve been on a catch-up marathon of Orange Is the New Black. Great soap opera that keeps my newsfeed stacked and a show media outlets are calling all sorts of “groundbreaking” and other this and that’s. I agree to a degree but I seem to remember The L Word being breaking ground first but that is for another day…What I fully believe in is the music selections. Not just the uber-addictive theme song by Regina Spector but deeper in the undertones of the show. The soundtracks that in most cases drive the storylines home and this is harder to do than you think. It would seem to go full indie sounding rock in most cases but the producers (or whoever) know their sounds. Ranging from Pantera, Kelis and The Staple Sisters pepper the episodes but the song that has had my senses crawling back to life is the use of the often forgotten Tom Waits masterpiece in trying to find heaven when living in hell on earth tune “Come On Up To The House”.
The last track on his 1999 album Mule Variations, an album that confused more people than need be found the graveled toned blues-folk master etching his emotions in stone as only a few artists can. It was and still is the track on the album that smashes all notions that Tom Waits could only be for the elite music snobs out and about. A timeless classic that is seeing the light of day once again do to OITNB’s placement in that episode where Piper gets out on furlough (as if this would happen) and has a new generation of people posting never gonna get it right covers of the track. And that is cool. I think you fully need to understand the man and the album the song came from to even get close but it is being heard and learned and this means there is hope for the future of music. A slight one but one all the same.