Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Glitter & Doom preview

The upcoming release of the Glitter & Doom live album is celebrated by a complete overhaul of Tomwaits.com, 'Tom’s first ever official website'. You can download a free preview of the new album, pre-order the cd's and lp's and find 'all things Waits' there: news, releases, tours, films and more.
'A resource for lyrics, photos, wit and wisdom, strange but true tales, and more imponderables on topics as far ranging as the origin of consciousness, the sexuality of Christ, and the lonely journey of the male seahorse.'
The album comes in cd and lp format and can be ordered (or here for EU countries) with a t-shirt and/or the booklet 'True confessions', which was available at the G&D concerts last year.

About the recordings the site says the following:
'Glitter and Doom is a two disc collection of tracks from Waits’ recent Glitter and Doom tour of the US and Europe. The first disc recreates an evening’s performance with 17 tracks are selected from 10 cities. The second disc is a bonus compendium called TOM TALES, which features the comic bromides, strange musings, and unusual facts that Tom traditionally shares with his audience during the piano set. The topics range from the ritual of insects to the last dying breath of Henry Ford.
The album features all eras of Waits’ as he shifts from an array of characters: carnival barker, preacher, country singer, soul balladeer; cabaret singer and storyteller. Backed by a versatile band, Waits departs from the songs’ original incarnations. The songs instrumentation and rhythms are rearranged and reimagined. There are swampy tribal rhythms, ominous hymns, gypsy flavored ballads, searing rhythmic r&b, and blues boogies.. As expected, the songs are about hanged men, woebegone sailors, sword swallowers, fugitives, shamans, ghosts, dance instructors and prison guards. Enjoy.'
But why read about it, when you can actually listen? Entering your e-mail address in the widget below or on Tomwaits.com, lets you download a 78 mb folder, containing 8 mp3 songs.

And if that doesn't wet your appetite, then maybe this trailer will:


Martin Lennon said...

Probably a forlorn hope, but do we know if there's a DVD in planning?

Dr Pod said...

And who noticed that Bounced Checks and Night on Earth are on sale through the site too? :-)

Black Swede said...

When the news broke that there's going to be an official live album to immortalize the Glitter and Doom tour, I immediately set the table for what was in store for the listeners. You know, I have heard majority of the shows and took a stab at sequencing an ideal live compilation of the tour. My choice sequence can be viewed elsewhere on this blog. As it turned out, none of the tracks I would have chosen were eventually used for the official album.

Yeah, the finished album holds a few surprises. First of all, just one track each is included from the last night in Dublin and the first show in Edinburgh. Second of all, no tracks from the superb Dallas show. Third of all, no "Hoist That Rag". "Hoist That Rag" was one of the key performances thoughout the tour.

What is included are stunning versions of "Lucinda / Ain't Goin' Down To The Well", "Singapore", "Get Behind The Mule", "Dirt In The Ground", "Such A Scream", "Circus / Sous le ciel de Paris", "Trampled Rose" and "Make It Rain". The chosen Jacksonville performance of "Circus / Sous le ciel de Paris" is much rawer and chaotic than the more superior Edinburgh performance, but is does have that oddball charm in bundles. The big drawback is, this way we lose the medley with "Table-Top Joe" and the startling back-and-forth dynamics present in the Edinburgh performance.

Totally stupid is the inclusion of "Fannin Street" from Knoxville. What we get is an average performance of a mediocre song. Perhaps "Fannin Street" is included because of the lyrical reference to "the glitter and the roar", I don't know. "Lucky Day" is definitely included because of the lyrics, not the performance, as it is sequenced to end the imaginary show. It's a farewell song, after all. The performance of "Green Grass" on the first night in Edinburgh was good, but not all that special and it would have been better left out as well. Exactly the same applies to "The Part You Thow Away".

Still, this is a landmark live album that is going to set a standard for live compilations to come. Overall, it's wonderfully compiled and will be an absolute thrill to put on and sway to.

Jollymon said...

Coolio. Thx for the news + details. I keep hoping we'll get another tour soon, bu this will more than do in the meantime!

Nigel Smith said...

Thanks for this. It's also worth saying that the new tomwaits.com is very good. Nice to see that they've included a link to the Eyeball Kid and Tom Waits Library too.

I've posted a few thoughts on my blog Carnival Saloon:
Carnival Saloon: Tom Waits 2.0

Anonymous said...

I agree that these are not the tracks that I would include on the album, either--they are not the "best" ones of the tour, but they are the ones that are somewhat "different." Maybe that explains the inclusion of "Fannin Street?"

It seems to me that both this album and the Orphans album are kind of "last hurrahs." Both of them are compilations of things that were already recorded and then just compiled together and sold as albums. I realize that alot of Orphans' tracks were rerecorded, but they were still rerecordings of songs that already existed in one form or another. Just an observation. Actually it is a smart business decision.

A DVD offering would seem to be a better choice than a CD, but maybe not the better choice from a business standpoint (too expensive to produce). I could be wrong about that. Tom has always been something of a "performance artist," who is more outstanding if you can both see him and hear him in a live theater setting.

Unknown said...

Only 17 tracks?! That's not even a full show's worth! And not much of a sampler considering that he performed over 60 diffeent songs over the course of the tour. I guess the second cd must be just the between songs banter.

Have to agree with the person who said that the Edinburgh version of Circus was infinitely better. From the sampler i have to say that Tom's idea of what his better performances are dffer from mine :)

Black Swede said...

I guess the guiding light in choosing the performances for inclusion on this live album seems to be the very chaotic polyrhythmic nature of some performances.

"Get Behind The Mule" is presented as a voodoo medley of sorts with the added beatboxing and some positively spectacular acoustic guitar picking by Omar Torrez. The song seems to be tearing its way to four different directions at once. Vincent Henry plays harmonica like a man possessed with cut-like phrases and force. The slightly more impressive Edinburgh take of "Get Behind The Mule" is much more straight-on with, this time, Omar Torrez on electric guitar and no beat-boxing. Vincent Henry was real low-key in Edinburgh up to the point when it was his time to blow on "Get Behind The Mule". When it was his turn, he blew the house down!

"Such A Scream" is presented in similar setting. The song begins with mesmerizing twin-guitar approach from Omar Torrez and Vincent Henry playing in unison. After the intro Henry switches to saxophone and just takes off. Casey Waits plays the drums with much gusto, I'm delighted to add. The chosen take is hands down the best performance of the song from the tour.

"Circus / Sous le ciel de Paris" again has that raw emotive quality you can't help but love. Tom Waits even pauses to laugh "with mouth full of gold teeth" flashing without missing a beat. The Edinburgh performance was linear, this Jacksonville performance of the same song seems to go this, there and everywhere. It's truly amazing how different the arrangements can be from one night to the next. The Jacksonville performance reminds me of a funeral procession, except everyone's drunk, the sun ain't shining and nobody's quite sure who they're burying.

As far as the DVD hopes go, I wouldn't hold my breath. After all, the shows very videotaped with two static cameras, each shooting one side of the stage. So, for the DVD you could only ever have two angles and no close-ups or camera runs. I personally think that releasing a DVD like that would really set it part from the pack, but I doubt that what they had qualifies as a professional set-up.

Black Swede said...

And then there's the bonus disc or download of "Tom Tales". The transcription of the whole set is available on the official site.

I have to say, this collection of stage banter is everything you'd want it to be. 34 minutes, 19 spoken interludes. Majority of the tour stories recycled from show to show are present in one form or another.

One of the very best of the entire tour is the one recorded in Jacksonville. This one starts with being bamboozled, continues on with Sara Bernhardt's leg and finishes off with one (male) audience member wanting to have Tom Waits' baby. "See my manager, Stuart Ross, but I gotta tell you, my sperm is very expensive now."

All in all, a classic set of spoken word with slashes of stand-up comedy thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately for us vinyl buyers, "Tom Tales" is available only as a bonus download with the double album. I'd much prefer to have it on LP...

It's probably worth repeating here that the "Orphans" vinyl set is now available for pre-order from the official site. In Europe, it retails at £109 and is released on December 7. Also, the tour T-shirts are available and this time they stock XXL as well. Many of you probably remember that the sizing of the shirts was way off, so, XL was actually L and L was actually M. By the time tour hit Edinburgh, they were fresh out of XXL (XL). This is my chance of scoring a T-shirt that actually fits. If you're so inclined double check the measurements in the Tom Waits store portion of the site.

Anonymous said...

as a respond to Dr Pod: i ordered both Bounced Checks and Night On Earth, as I was so amazed that they actually listed it. I had no idea BC even existed on CD, as I only own it on vinyl. it'll be exiting to see if and when it arrives what it looks like.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I've been enjoying the NPR presentation of the Atlanta show (All Songs Considered). I was lucky enough to be there, and it really swings; great quality recording and great set list. I can't wait to own the live CD.

Black Swede said...

Anyone who has heard the NPR podcast of the Atlanta show recorded during the Glitter & Doom tour, do compare that performance of the show starter "Lucinda / Ain't Going Down To The Well" to the one performed in Birmingham, included on the upcoming live album. The difference is huge, like night and day.

The Atlanta performance is very nice in it's own right, but compared to that, the Birmingham version is simply out of this world! It portrays some raw emotional power. Accordingly, the Milan performance of "Such A Scream", chosen for the live album, is miles ahead of the one performed in Atlanta.