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Visit locales featured in Tom Waits’ songs with the Tom Waits Map

From New Orleans’ Ninth Ward to Wazee Street in Denver, Tom Waits often grounds his musical storytelling in a specific place. Listeners might not be sure why “when she got good and drunk, she would sing about Elkheart, Indiana” but the specificity is important to songs like “First Kiss.” Many of Waits’ characters are defined by geography; loners who drift from state to state, wistful folks who remember happier times in distant locales, and hardscrabble workers who are stuck, grinding out a living just where they’ve always been. Now fans can get a new perspective into the locations that Waits has referenced with the Tom Waits Map, created by @windyjonas.

In addition to a map’s-eye view of the world through Waits’ songs, the site offers listings by song and geography. “Without A Suitcase,” and “Home I’ll Never Be,” for instance, each feature 15 destinations per track. Conversely, New York and L.A. get some of the most frequent mentions. And South America appears to be the continent with which Waits is least familiar (not counting Antarctica).


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