"Glitter and Doom Live" by Tom Waits (2010)
Tom Waits is "the Dude." Jeff Bridges just portrayed him.
Just like Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and in particular his voice, are both an acquired taste, ESPECIALLY in a live setting. To call Waits' voice gruff would be like calling vanilla plain and Waits' voice live is like sandpaper on the ears. Some people (my wife comes to mind) can't stand him, but I find Waits to be an American legend and icon. Since I regretfully missed his last tour, I am grateful that the Glitter and Doom Tour has made its way to CD and it's also Waits' first live album of any kind since Big Time was released in 1988.
Big Time mainly focused on Waits' mid-80's masterpieces Rain Dogs, Swordfishtrombones and Frank's Wild Years so it isn't really a surprise that Glitter and Doom would focus on everything that has come afterword. The only pre-Big Time track to be found here is "Singapore" from Rain Dogs and the version here is wildly different from the studio version. Surprisingly, the album that gets the most revisited love on Glitter and Doom (besides his last studio album Real Gone) is Waits' 1992 album Bone Machine which sports revamped versions of "Dirt in the Ground," "Such a Scream" and my personal favorite of the bunch "Goin' Out West." My two favorites though from Glitter and Doom would have to be the radically different version of "Get Behind the Mule" from my all time favorite Waits album Mule Variations and "I'll Shoot the Moon," the bizarro, almost Andy Williams style crooner track from the often overlooked 1993 album The Black Rider.
The other great treat on Glitter and Doom is all the stories that Tom Waits tells on the bonus disc Tom Tales; a 35 minute disc where Waits rambles on about…well I don't want to spoil any of the fun, you'll have to find out for yourself. If you've never seen Tom Waits live or if you want to get an overall view of what Waits has been up to musically for the last 20 years, Glitter and Doom is an incredible culling and is probably the best live set to be released by any artist in 2009.
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