Tuesday, November 24, 2009

G&D streaming

The bad news is the Glitter & Doom Live album was streamed on KCRW's Eclectic yesterday - so I missed that one. The good news is, it will be available on-demand through December 22.

14 comments:

Dan said...

I just got a copy of the CD...in my opinion, the sound quality is very poor...very condensed. Still great to have an official document of the tour, but a little disappointed.

Great Big Faces said...

I wish Anti had instead chosen just one night of the tour. But which night to choose?

Suzanne said...

You can still listen to it, the album is still there.

Dan said...

Totally agree that the sound quality leaves much to be desired.

But good to see it get released, nonetheless.

Now I can play the live Get Behind The Mule on the jukebox at the local bars...!

Jack Calabrese said...

I published my comments elsewhhere but I'm in agreement on the sound quality. the Atlanta recording was better (in my humble opinion.)

Black Swede said...

I can't help but notice that the reviewers seem to be heavily preoccupied with beside-the-point issues like:

1. Why does he sing like that?
2. Why isn't there a DVD companion?
3. Why isn't this a greatest hits
compilation?

The journalists just don't seem to have time or enthusiasm to actually listen to the albums they're supposed to be reviewing.

Regarding mastering issues on the CD, I'm really surprised to hear that people on this blog find the sound quality to be below the par. After all, according to the Anti press release "sonically the album is superb and has been beautifully recorded and meticulously mastered". As of now, I haven't heard the CD but my LP copy is in the mail. I'll let you folks know how the vinyl edition sounds like.

Dan said...

Regarding sound quality, I would say that it sounds like a low-quality mp3 disc...very muddy. There is very little dynamic range. The performances are very good indeed, though it is obvious to anyone that they are ungracefully edited (hear the thunderstorm effects and blatant acoustic guitar overdubs on Singapore). I would agree with others on this site that the NPR Atlanta broadcast, or especially the Akron broadcast from the 2006 tour, make for a preferable listen (as a concert document of a band performing live on tour).

Great Big Faces said...

The Akron 2006 show really rocks. Does anyone know if a recording of the entire show exists?

Black Swede said...

Those not overdubs, Dan. That's Vincent Henry on acoustic rhythm guitar and the thunderstorm effects were actually used in the show. They used a few prerecorded things on the tour.

Dan said...

Hmm okay--I don't remember the thunderstorm effects at the show I saw but I do recall Vincent Henry on guitar now that you mention it. I guess the acoustic guitar seems very "up front" in the recording...

Black Swede said...

Well, the acoustic guitar really comes to the front during the instrumental break, that is, when the "ship is rocking", for those who were in the shows. That's when Vincent Henry revs up to catch up with the rest of the band in improvisation.

I think that the thunderstorm effect might have been used just in Edinburgh. Nevertheless, the effect is clearly heard on an audience recording as well.

Dan said...

Thanks for the info, Swede, No matter what this album sure does collect some absolutely kick-ass performances....

Black Swede said...

It does just that, Dan. It's a killer set. As far as live albums go, I haven't heard anything quite as good as "Glitter And Doom" since Philip Cohran's "The Malcolm X Memorial" album. John Coltrane's "The Olatunji Concert" is also a stunner. And, hey, both of these sets are free jazz albums that date from the 1960's.

In Tom Waits' personal ouvre, this live album is comparable to "Rain Dogs" and "Bone Machine" as a collection of performances. It's that good.

In fact, the "Glitter And Doom" tour was Tom Waits's best tour to date. The only live set-up that I can think of in his career that comes even close was the "Rain Dogs" tour back in 1985. That one had the studio band in a live situation and they really stormed. Still, the "Glitter And Doom" band was able to cast out superior performances from one night to the next, throughout the whole tour. All that culminated with the sensational August 1 performance in Dublin.

If Waits will be able to put an ounce of that to the new album that's coming out in the spring, that album could be one of his best.

Black Swede said...

Hey folks! I've just been listening to the vinyl edition of "Glitter And Doom" today and, guess what, it doesn't sound compressed at all. The overall mastering quality is good, but nothing spectacular. It is of the same quality as the earlier Anti Records vinyl releases. These are not audiophile records.

If there are compression problems with the CD release, they're probably due to the CD mastering rather than the original recording quality. After all, it's common business practice to make music more commmercial by compressing it in mastering.

Still, the original live recordings do have quite a few flaws and some of these flaws have obviously been compensated in vinyl mastering. For example, on many tracks, the lead vocals sound thin and tinny and on "Lucky Day" Tom Waits' vocals are marred with tedious echo. On the other hand, "Green Grass" sounds wonderful, actually better than it did with the live sound at the venue in Edinburgh.