My high school boyfriend was a Tom Waits fanatic, renting Down By Law on date night and arguing for “Jersey Girl” as the ultimate in balladry. Thanks to him, I had Waits’ boozed wordplay memorized before graduating, but “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy” is a line better utilized at The Tom Waits Cocktail Club than uttered by an abstinent 17-year-old.
So much of Waits’ oeuvre seems to transpire in the dim of a bar, it’s fitting that Radio8Ball host Andras Jones will call the club to order every Monday at The BottleNeck Lounge, where imbibing occurs against a mix of gravelly-voiced Waits and the icon’s favorites (Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Sinatra). Jones has assembled a special Rain Dog Spirits Menu, including cocktails concocted of Magic Kombucha, but Waits has always seemed like more of a whiskey straight-up man to me—swigging from the bottle when necessary—and the harder stuff is there, too.
The Tom Waits Cocktail Club, 8 p.m.
The BottleNeck Lounge, 2328 East Madison St.