Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Review: Tom Waits- Glitter and Doom Live

I am greatly saddened when I think about the fact I missed out on Tom Waits’ 2008 Glitter and Doom tour. Why the show has not been released on DVD I’ll never understand but at least those of us who were unable to attend can now hear what all the fuss was about thanks to the CD release of Glitter and Doom Live.

This two disc set features 17 tracks pulled from Waits’ most recent trek across the U.S. and Europe as well as a thirty minute compilation of the man’s rants and musings between songs known as “Tom’s Tales.”

I popped in Tom’s Tales at the beginning of a five hour Thanksgiving holiday drive to see the family and, half an hour later, I regretted the fact the gravely fabulist would not be keeping me company the full way across the state of Arizona.

So, he’s got the narrative right, but how’s the music?

We’re talking about Tom Waits here. While his gruff versus are a bit hard to understand at times and a couple songs didn’t exactly wow, I consider it a real treat to hear such raw versions of some of my favorite tunes.

From a chop-shop version of Singapore to a wicked retelling of my favorite Waits spoken word bit “Live Circus,” all the way to the emotional Falling Down and romantically sweeping I’ll Shoot the Moon, Glitter and Doom is a top notch collection of rag-tag beats and off-tempo belting that will effortlessly put a smile on your face.

Newcomers be warned: If you are unfamiliar with the man’s work, this is not the place to get started. (See Rain Dogs, Mule Variations or Bone Machine for a proper introduction.) For those who have been listening to the howling madman of music for a while, though, Glitter and Doom is exactly what you hoped it would be- Tom Waits in his purest, most unrefined glory.

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