Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Glitter and Doom Live

by Tom Waits

I recognize that Tom Waits doesn't really fit with the rest of the music that I write about on this blog (even if he did do some beatboxing on the last Atmosphere album and did a duet with Kool Keith), but he is, and pretty much always will be, one of the coolest artists that I listen to.

This album is a collection of live recordings from a variety of cities, covering a wide sampling of Waits's career. Strangely, he manages to include hardly any of my favourites, although I still love this disk.

Generally, the songs on here are the larger, louder, more performance-based pieces. Things like 'Such a Scream' or 'Get Behind the Mule' are designed to be sung in large venues. Waits's quieter, darker pieces need an intimate setting to be effective, and that's not what this album is about.

Included on the disk are a few examples of Waits's concert patter, which is as witty as it is occasionally surreal. A second, bonus disk, consists entirely of 'Tom Tales', more jokes and stories from a variety of concerts edited into a continuous monologue. It's funny once, but doesn't really hold up to repeated listens.

This entire package really only creates more demand for live Waits recordings. He has such a rich catalogue of songs to mine, I would love to hear more, especially as his voice continues to develop into something ever gruffer and more wonderful.

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