ID a non-Waits song on Tom Waits Pandora station
January 28, 2013 12:57 PM   Subscribe

Last week a neighborhood bar played a song I loved, and trying to identify it has been driving me crazy ever since. Details: - Chorus has the solo female voice (second soprano?) singing something very close to "I dream in alcohol" and then another phrase with the same rhythm & number of syllables. - Backing music is somewhat like a musette, husband says (He's a fan of gypsy jazz.) - I believe the rest of the song was in English too, but I wouldn't swear to it because of bar noise. - Other music heard on this station: Waits (obviously), Tiger Lillies, musettes, modern chansons. - Bartender said "It's the Tom Waits station on Pandora." - Definitely not a Tom Waits song.

This bartender was about-to-pop pregnant and won't be working again for a while. Pandora was on her phone, so no one else there knows what it was.

Obviously you can customize Pandora to the point that you could hear just about anything. I've listened to the uncustomized Tom Waits station on Pandora and am getting mostly blues as related songs. I'm now trying Spotify using Tiger Lillies as the base, no luck.

As you can imagine, "dream in alcohol" or "dream of alcohol" or "dream alcohol" are giving me nothing workable in Google. The first two are too precise, and the last, without quotes, is way too general.

I must know what song this is. Please help me not feel like a middle-aged person who never discovers new music!
posted by ImproviseOrDie to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Asylum Street Spankers: D.R.I.N.K. ?
posted by ghharr at 1:12 PM on January 28, 2013

Home, by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros? It doesn't have the lyric you mention, but I think it has lyrics that could be misheard that way, it has a female singing the chorus, and the music has a folksy vibe to it. A long shot, perhaps.
posted by codacorolla at 1:19 PM on January 28, 2013

Are you sure it wasn't "dream in color"? I can see that being misheard as "dream in alcohol" and it makes more sense. There are several songs with this phrase.
posted by valeries at 1:19 PM on January 28, 2013

The delightful Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men? The female lead sings "the screams all sound the same" during a parallel-ing verse in a way that could be mistaken for "dreams". (lyrics)
posted by juliplease at 2:38 PM on January 28, 2013

Not Asylum Street Spankers, but thanks for turning me on to them. The song in question doesn't have this Americana, folksy feel. Also definitely not Home by Edward Sharpe. I've listened to that song fondly for a couple of years now. Not the same band. And not Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men. I also know and like this song.

Now I'm doubting myself and I'm not at all sure it wasn't "dream in color" or "sleep in the wet spot" or "peed in the crockpot".

The song we heard sounds like an English speaking version of Edith Piaf songs if she sang now. Take an English speaker, put her in a French nightclub, (think violin, not mandolin) have her sing the vowel sounds "I eeeeeee a ah uh uh" and you've got it. Maddening.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 4:17 PM on January 28, 2013

Could it have been a cover of Waits' "Innocent When You Dream?" There are more than a few, according to Allmusic.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:28 PM on January 28, 2013

Forgot to add that Shazam wouldn't tag it when we were in the bar.

It's not Innocent When You Dream, but I've spent the past half hour searching Tom Waits covers.

And making this video, wherein I sing what I can remember hearing. To my cute dog. As you can plainly see, I am desperate for your help.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 5:09 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

From the clip you posted, that sounds so familiar, but I can't place it. I probably would have heard it on Radio Paradise, and they have a twitter - maybe send this post along to them and see if they recognize it?
posted by cmyk at 5:25 PM on January 28, 2013

The humming in your clip sounds like Phantom of the Opera.
posted by celtalitha at 8:02 PM on January 28, 2013

Something by Jolie Holland, maybe? Or Madeleine Peyroux?
posted by exceptinsects at 12:18 AM on January 29, 2013

Hmm, hearing your video also sort of reminded me of Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant.
posted by exceptinsects at 12:28 AM on January 29, 2013

Thanks to YouTube user Andrea F, who correctly pointed me to a cover of the Kinks' "Oh Demon Alcohol." The version we heard is by Debra Cowan.

Thanks to all!
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 2:51 AM on January 29, 2013 [4 favorites]

Sorry, the title is actually just "Alcohol." The first line of the chorus goes "Oh demon alcohol."

Thanks again! This was a hard one.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 3:05 AM on January 29, 2013

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