For he is a Rain Dog too: Peter Mulvey performs Tom Waits’ ‘Rain Dogs’ at Oberon

ENTB_RainDogs_0508

In between moves from the Midwest to Ireland and back again, Peter Mulvey came to rest briefly in Boston, where he found a home for his music.

“I moved to Boston in the autumn of 1992 and became a regular busker at the Davis Square and sometimes the Harvard Square T stops,” says Mulvey. “I quickly got things up and running. My touring life began right around then and I went on the road full time in 1994-1995 — and moved back to the Midwest — but ever since then I’ve always thought about that time.”

Despite his departure, Mulvey has always referred to Boston as his musical headquarters. His 2002 record, “Ten Thousand Mornings” was recorded entirely at the Davis Square T stop, and the members of his backing band, the Crumbling Beauties, all hold Massachusetts zip codes. “It’s become a second home,” says Mulvey. “I live in Milwaukee, but my career lives in Boston. Once you’re on the road, you can live anywhere.”

Though he’s touring across the country promoting his own work, Mulvey returns to town this week to play the Tom Waits’ masterpiece, “Rain Dogs” in its entirety in a special two-day stint at Club Oberon.

“We enjoy this record so much,” says Mulvey. “It’s like a Shakespearean play. No matter how many times you do it, you’re still going to discover something new. There’s a whole world in this record. Have you ever been to a museum and seen people painting a Picasso? That’s kind of what happens when you sit down and learn these tunes. Part of it is the mechanical fascination of this crazy chord progression. Then you get dazzled by all those couplets. In some ways it’s just a songwriter boasting and telling a tall tale, but then there’s a metaphor that goes into surrealism.”

Released in 1985, “Rain Dogs” is Tom Waits’ eighth record — and his biggest push away from traditional piano balladry to avant garde songwriting and obscure instrumentation. It would become the album that provided a new beginning and an artistic redefinition for Waits that would forever alter his work to come.

Mulvey and company have performed the record yearly, and somewhat secretly, at Atwoods Tavern since 2007, but this marks the first time the gang will be backed by the burlesque dancers of Babes in Boinkland — and their first time performing the endeavor at the high-profile Oberon. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to do anything different.

“We don’t rehearse,” admits Mulvey. “We’ve done one rehearsal in our lives. We don’t play the record identically to the way it was recorded. I don’t sound like Tom Waits. The instrumentation is all over the place and our ensemble is just six people. In a way, we approach it like an improvised story. We’re not just playing the songs; we’re trying to capture the spirit. We’re not out to be a tribute act, if that makes sense. It’s more like this is what we do.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…

National

The best places to see the Northern Lights…

A large solar storm hit the Earth's atmosphere and will tonight illuminate the skies with aurora borealis -- also known as the Northern Lights.

Local

Police officer killed Sunday morning Bronx crash, 8…

One NYPD police officer was killed and eight other officers were injured early Sunday morning when the van they were traveling in crashed  in the…

National

Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.

Television

'How to Get Away with' mischaracterizing Shondra Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes read Alessandra Stanley's New York Times piece about her being "an angry black woman" and "a romance writer" and it did not sit well with her.

Gossip

New nude celebrity selfies leak … and Clay…

A new batch of nude selfies of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Lake Bell and Avril Lavigne hit the web and Clay Aiken has something to say!

Television

James Spader's route to villainy on "The Blacklist"

In honor of the second season premiere of "The Blacklist" tonight, where James Spader plays good guy/bad guy Raymond “Red” Reddington, it’s a good time to look back at Spader’s…

Television

True Detective

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

NFL

Jets vs. Bears: 3 things to watch

Jets fans likely chalked up Monday's matchup with the Bears as a loss when the NFL schedule came out. But given their team's play so…

NFL

Rashad Jennings carries Giants in first win this…

Rashad Jennings, who came to New York from Oakland last year, by way of Jacksonville, was highly coveted this offseason by general manager Jerry Reese.

NFL

3 things we learned as Giants pick up…

The Giants picked up their first win of the season over the Texans.

Career

Here's how to make the most of visit…

You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind…

Education

Learn how to study effectively and stop cramming…

Picture this: It’s midterm week, and college students everywhere are trying to frantically memorize all of the math formulas, political theories and historical facts that…

Parenting

How motherhood inspired Bethenny Frankel's new book

Bethenny Frankel's new children's book is about how her daughter and dog didn't always get alone.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.