I’m presently doing a bit of music supervision for an independent film, set in west Texas, and have been looking for the right mood for certain scenes. Not so much the exact song that will be accompanying the scene, but more so music that captures the essence of what the the narrative wants/needs/deserves…the nuance of a moment. Townes Van Zandt knew all about nuance.
If you’ve followed Aquarium Drunkard for any length of time, you’re well aware that Townes Van Zandt is a giant around these parts. The emotional depths he reached, and somehow conveyed in his material, is something to truly marvel at. Townes albums have gone in and out of print for years now, so for a long time the sure bet was the Texas Troubadour box set that compiled Van Zandt’s music within the span of four discs. Included within are tracks from Townes self-titled debut, which is home to “Waitin’ Around To Die,” the first tune the songwriter ever penned. Somehow, the album version, with its additional instrumentation manages to sound even darker than the sparse, acoustic version (see below) found on the soundtrack to the documentary Heartworn Highways, which, as Townes fans will attest to, is no small feat. Even the drums in the song’s intro feel restless and forlorn. They also happen to capture the exact feeling I am looking for in the scene.