For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been receiving emails with “Tom Waits” in the subject line. Anything to do with Tom Waits is enough for us to get excited. Attached to the email was nothing but a photo of Mr. Waits and some script that read “coming August 7th.” The suspense has been killing us, and finally the time has come. Now that the anticipation has come to an end, the hype begins to build. The news was to tease us of Tom’s new music video for “Hell Broke Luce,” off the album Bad As Me, released in 2011 on Anti Records.
In a 2011 interview, Waits explained that the spelling of “Hell Broke Luce” came about during a visit to Alcatraz. During a prison riot in the 1940s, a prisoner etched “hell broke luce” onto a cell wall with a knife. Waits separated from his group during the tour and sat in that cell as the others proceeded, later to name this song after the etching.
The video, directed by Matt Mahurin, depicts Tom Waits in his usual black silhouette attire, tirelessly dragging a small shelter across a desolate land filled with vultures and other nightmare-like imagery, as Tom exclaims “I had a good home, but I left!” The video does a wonderful job emulating the emotion that the music and lyrics provide to us all. Overall I’d say it’s a pleasant surprise from our friends over at Anti Records.