If you’re like me (and God knows you probably aren’t), you’ve spent over a year now enchanted at the possibility of a Tom Waits cover album produced by Scarlett Johansson. Ever since it was first announced in October 2006, I’ve been hankering for a release date, a title, a track listing (oh, for a track listing!). Just think about it. Johansson is awesome and has a great voice (previously lent to the Jesus & Mary Chain), Tom Waits is the greatest American singer/songwriter whose last name is not “Zimmerman” (though Johansson’s associated herself with that guy too): what could go wrong? Nothing, that’s what.
Now, via Pitchfork, we at least have a release date and a title (and implied title track!). Anywhere I Lay My Head by Scarlett Johansson will hit the shelves on May 20th. There’s no track list available, but presumably the epic title track, the last cut on Waits’ career best Rain Dogs, will be on there, and Pitchfork claims there’ll be an original as well, which should be interesting at the very least. I imagine that she’d do well with Waits’ ballads, such as “Anywhere I Lay My Head”, so hopefully “Time”, “Downtown Train”, and “Jonesburg, IL” will be on there. But I think she could tackle the weird stuff, too. “Swordfishtrombones” and “Goin’ Out West” would sound great in her voice, especially the latter. “West” has a seductive overtone that’s intentionally ridiculous with Waits singing but which could work earnestly with her. And “Big in Japan” has an obvious Lost in Translation connection. Anyway, I plan on buying it regardless of what she covers.