as picked last week, i’m reviewing Tom Waits’ 2009 live record, Glitter and Doom.

this record opens with Lucinda/Ain’t Goin Down To the Well, which languishes during the verses and get loud and rowdy during the choruses, this one’s a toe-tapping good time. a neat way to fuse two different tracks for sure, and these work really well together. i’m familiar wirh Singapore from a Rain Dogs, ans this is a really nice performance of it. “in the kingdom of the blind the one-eyed man is king” hits so good here. the percussion, the harmonica, and the scattered vocalizations on Get Behind the Mule are great – as is Waits’ vocal performance here. a lot to like here. Fannin Street is a nice uh… ballad? here after the first few songs are all upbeat and jammin’. its p good. i LOVE the transition from Fannin Street to Dirt In the Ground. i know these are all from different shows but man that’d be a hell of a transition up on stage. on repeat listens i really latched onto the mention of Cain and Abel because of where it comes up elsewhere on the record. Such a Scream brings the vibes back up with some fun horn work, plus i love the guitars on this one. simple but very effective. this track’s humor and style reminds me a lot of Oingo Boingo. in looking up lyrics for this its interesting that he rearranged the verses from the original. Live Circus is a real neat story track – feels a lot like him just hanging out and talking shit on the mic. another place where the live setting allows a change, in looking up lyrics in the original – i love the part where he turns to the band and asks them to play a bit of the song he was talking about. a very sad track ngl. Goin’ Out West evokes the same kinda rambling vibe of Get Behind the Mule. Falling Down is a good time – it reminds me a lot of Nighthawks At the Diner. The Part You Throw Away is aight. Trampled Rose is interesting. wild to find out that on the record it’s from it comes right after Circus, but is not next to Metropolitan Glide, which follows it here. interesting ways to recontextualize the tracks. i love the saxes and little bit of organ on Metropolitan Glide. such a fun track. not a huge fan of I’ll Shoot the Moon. the bit about his phone number is hilarious tho. feel kinda just okay on Green Grass. Make It Rain is soing some extremely fun stuff here leading towards the end of the record. i’ll mention some more thoughts related to Story below in the full record discussion but needless to say, i dig this track. disc 2, the last track, Tom Tales, will address some of those concerns but… you’ll see. the last track of disc 1, Lucky Day, is p good. i will say here in the track by track that the friend that recommended this pointed out going in that Tom Tales is deliberately strung together like he’s delaying starting a song, which obv is addressed in the track but it’s still incredibly funny seeing all those false starts and false endings.

faves – Lucinda/Aint Going Down To the Well, Singapore, Get Behind the Mule, Make It Rain, Story

dislikes –

there’s probably a couple more tracks on this record that could easily be faves, ngl. really enjoyed sitting down with the record – Waits’ vocal performance is fantastic as always, his gravelly voice is fantastic here and he shifts effortlessly between calm, reflective, humorous, and grim over the hour of performances here. musically, it’s great! theres some fantastic bits of guitar and piqno works here, some great horns, a lotta harmonica, its a good time.

i will say though, that in my head i kept comparing this record to Nighthawks In the Diner, partially because its one of his LPs im most familiar with but also because that record had a similar vibe, of stitching together many different performances (even if they were staged) to create a single “live” experience. gotta say, the thing i missed most here was the banter. i know there’s basically no room for it. disc 1, the musical component, clocks in at over an hour with 16 tracks and nearly all the stage banter is in that 30 minute disc 2. it would’ve been nice to have a bit more transitional space between the tracks and i think Tom Tales have so much spirit and energy to them. its not like the transitions were bad or anything, the record’s got a good variety of moods and i felt it was sequenced pretty well but it just felt like something was missing here with all the banter stuck on the end.

Glitter and Doom – 6/10

support the band by buying this record on Bandcamp

and that’s that! make sure to check out the other album that’s kicking off our weekly reviews, Couer de Pirate. the winner of this week’s suggestion pool is Green-House’s Six Songs For Invisible Gardens, so swing back by next Friday, Mar 25 for a review, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (one suggestion per person pls, drawing will happen when the review goes up next Friday)