It came about about a month ago, but if you haven't gone out and got it yet, Tom Waits' new disc, "Bad As Me" is his best in over a decade. Featuring all the raspy-voiced Satan-cum-bluesman tirades and hollers, boozy balladry, and twisted philosophy that Waits is known the world over for, Bad As Me kicks down the monotonous castle walls of mediocrity with a galloping stampede of drunken Don Quixotes. Here's Waits previewing his album:

For those in the know of Waits' style and aesthetic, the disc fulfills any and every hope of a return to what we all know and love about his work. 50's jukebox rockers like "Get Lost", midnight swooners like "Kiss Me (Like a Stranger) and hair-raising war commentary in "Hell Broke Luce" not to mention eight other brilliant and grimy panoramas of haunting humor, tender cynicism, and fist-pounding rhythm and blues deliver unto thee a baker's dozen of rum-spiked rock and roll tyrannies. And by tyranny we mean that it won't let you listen to anything else for at least a week.

Behind the music and hidden in the lyrics is Waits' personal style: dark, funny, strange, appropriately inappropriate, and always friendly. Hey, that's us too! If you're already a fan, pardon the sermon. If you haven't checked this album out yet however, go get it now. Or kidnap a reindeer and send Santa a ransom note demanding it. It's worth the risk.

And don't forget: Tonight, Friday, Dec. 9th is the 5th annual Tom Waits Tribute Night at the Conor Byrne Pub here in lovely Ballard. Festivities begin at 9pm. See you there!