Beck and Tom Waits Have Conversation About Nothing

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You never quite know what Beck is going to throw at you. Whether it’s writing songs with titles like “MTV Makes Me Want to Smoke Crack,” or starting a Record Club that covers classic albums in only a day’s time, the eclectic rocker wants to keep people guessing.

Beck’s latest project is an interview series bluntly titled “Irrelevant Topics.” It’s pretty self-explanatory—he initiates conversations with fellow musicians, writers and other generally artsy types and lets the dialogue go as it pleases. Not surprisingly, that kind of no-holds-barred approach to interviewing can yield some pretty entertaining results.

Tom Waits is “Irrelevant Topics’” first subject, popping Beck’s journalistic cherry, if you will. The conversation goes all over the place, from Richard Nixon’s family market to how hard it is to rhyme anything with Los Angeles and everywhere in between.

When two minds as eccentric and innovative as those of Beck and Waits collide, though, it would be surprising if the results were anything close to ordinary.

And while I don’t think the New York Times will be picking up the technique any time soon (although with the steady decline of newspaper subscribers, maybe they should give Mr. Hansen a call), the conversation definitely makes for an interesting read. Who knew Tom Waits was a fan of the wiener mobile?

Similar to what Jerry Seinfeld did for everyday situations on his “show about nothing,” Beck’s first interview about nothing gives readers a different perspective of the real workings of two artistic minds in a raw and unscripted setting. Hopefully the next edition of “Irrelevant Topics” will be just as, well, irrelevant.

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