Oh Yeah! Tom Waits! But he doesn't really fit either mould.
As I remember the story, he was a pretty mellow Randy Newman style singer-songwriter until his wife noticed that Captain Beefheart had retired and a gap had opened in the market. So then you got "Swordfishtrombones" and the rest of history. And it's mostly been pretty great stuff, funnily enough. He through his heart right into it and he never let up. I heard a bit of the new album the other day and it sounded like Neubauten! A unique figure to be sure.
Been going to lots of show this week. Fantastic P:ano show at the Railway (the best ever!) which featured a line up of ukelele, bass clarinet, accordion and floor tom. The Great Aunt Ida at a little cafe on Main. Great stuff and why not better known? Tonight Pan Sonic and Outhern Acific at Richards of all places. And then the next day (maybe) John Renbourn and Jaqui Macshee!