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on 26 October 2010
Listen to the most original singer/songwriter,...live!
Enjoy,all you Tom Waite fans.I know I did!
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on 5 April 2017
Beautiful and funny!
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on 23 November 2009
"Glitter and Doom Live" is the third live album of Tom Waits' career, and his first since 1988's "Big Time". It gathers recordings from various performances on Tom Waits' 2008 summer tour, with a bonus disc compiling spoken word riffs and anecdotes that served as interludes during the shows. The album's title references an art exhibition, by various painters, which portrayed the decadence and destitution of German society in the aftermath of World War I - an exhibition which most likely appealed to Waits' trademark fascination with the broken and the grotesque.

As opening track "Lucinda" staggers to its feet, Waits' incomparable vocal tone shocks the listener into immediate attention - a sound fired and hardened in the kiln of Wait's basement bar belly, cracked and ground to coarse dust in the throat, and finally expelled in plumes of sonic smoke through the mouth. As he nears his 60th year, Waits continues to grow into his voice at an age when nature typically arrives to steal it away - hearing him sing today is a more compellingly visceral experience than ever.

In a live medium, Waits' extraordinary growl can and does occasionally obscure the handiwork of one of the 20th century's greatest lyricists - the studio versions of these songs, for the most part, are kinder to the exquisite detail of Waits' words. In exchange, Waits is not afraid to be too rough when he plays with his toys, and this loose approach reveals wonderful new colours in old material - listen to the mournful bell toll in "Dirt in the Ground", or the delightful homage to James Brown's "Soul Power" in "Such A Scream"'s funky guitar.

The setlist takes you through each of Waits' favourite guises - the wistful balladeer ("I'll Shoot The Moon"), the bizarre storyteller ("Live Circus"), and the crazed, barking bluesman ("Goin' Out West"). However, some fans may lament the apparently random song choices - several classic tracks from "Mule Variations" are overlooked in favour of the relatively pedestrian "Get Behind The Mule", while "Blood Money" would have been far better represented by "Starving In The Belly of a Whale" than "This Is The Part You Throw Away".

Then there's "Tom Tales": a bonus disc of Waits' musings on everything from the Nazis' answer to alphabet soup ("Pastikas") to the law against eating in a burning building in Oklahoma, and how male spiders strum their webs to make "spider music" for their prospective mates. Although each nugget would probably be better enjoyed in its natural habitat, nestling in between Waits' songs, his comic timing is so sharp, and his subject matter so uniquely fascinating, that this disc could easily sell itself as one of the best stand-up routines you've ever heard. Is it really that good? When Waits asks the audience: "What do you want to hear, songs or stories?", there are equal shouts for both.

Whether "Glitter and Doom Live" is a good choice for a newcomer's first purchase is debatable, but this question is almost beside the point. Rather like pondering which entrance to use to enter a labyrinth, you will get lost regardless - and in Tom Wait's labyrinth, you will be very glad you did.
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on 4 June 2011
Hate to say it, but this album ended a period of about four years when I loved pretty much everything Tom Waits threw at me. And how spectacularly. This album has poor sound quality, and the gruff bark of his voice reduces all variety in musical arrangements to a singular, tobacco-spittle-brown tone. Quite tedious, to be honest. Worst of all this album made me think TW has fallen into a kind of parody of a parody (because, let's face it, TW begins with parody), self-imitations and predictability. I think this is partly because he's the victim of a press that laud pretty much anything he does.

The extra CD of tired old jokes is poor, and really it feels as if the marketing department have finally got to him.

A great, great artist. But he deserves an honest review of this poor piece of work. I think maybe some of the thin, limited textures of this album could be down to that sound quality, and perhaps in concert it was far superior, but this is a review of the CD and it's not good at all.
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on 7 January 2010
The music here is obviously great (or if you are not quite a Waits convert then at least unique!) but the album would have been more effective had it been a single show with all the variety contained in the full 2 1/2 hour show (like the one from Atlanta that's still on NPR music). It's really a shame that although we have 2 CDs here one of them is just 30 minutes worth of the bits in between the songs, which although amusing once will not bear repeated listening. Although he's a funny guy, people go to hear Tom Wait's songs not his stand-up routine. Anyway, if you haven't heard this stuff it's worth a go but it's a bit of a missed opportunity to me.
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on 25 November 2009
I was lucky enough to be at the second night in Edinburgh on this tour: just fantastic, probably the best gig I've ever attended. So why only 4 stars?
Well, I think the 2 discs would have been better used to give more music, with the stories interspersed between songs. It would have been more like the "real thing" then.
Then there's the tracklisting. I know that when you have an artist with such a strong and varied catalogue there will always be favourites that don't make it onto the CD, but how did "Hoist that rag", one of the real high points of the evening, not make it!
And why not a DVD anyway? I can't help but feel there's been an opportunity lost here to leave a record of one of the finest live performers ever.
Having said all of that, what is there is very, very good.
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Let me start by saying that I am a huge Tom Waits fan. Unfortunately I missed seeing him live but my friend caught him and said that it was a fantastic gig. So I waited, impatiently, for this CD to be released...

To be honest I would have been better off tearing up the money and pissing on it.

Tom is an acomplished artist with a great many albums under his belt... He, of all folk, should know the importance of having quality recording made of his live shows.

The sound quality here is appaling, so much so it has completely ruined the CD for me. Karl Derfler is credited with the recording of the gigs... I can safely assume he is either a college student or a relation to Tom and either way it is clear he worked for free because there is no way the job he did (or rather didn't do) is worth any kind of wage.

Tom is ultimately to blame though. He has enough creative control to ensure that he gets the very best live sound quality, a prime example being "Nighthawks at the diner" where you actually felt as if you were in the room with him as he croaked his way through his songs and stories.

Comparatively this is a bootleg copy of a substandard gig, recorded at the back of the venue on Karl's mobile phone.

Tom Waits fans will probably buy this anyway and good luck to you if you do, you clearly have more money than sense.

This is Tom's lowest ebb. Avoid!
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on 4 November 2009
I saw the show in Dublin and it was the most spellbinding thing I have ever seen. His stage persona is massive that of an opera singer but his vocal range is far greater than most people think and this album demonstrates the fact. The backing band were excellent and it sounded like "electric sugar" at times. The first 8 tracks were made available free on line but the album contains many other gems and a bonus disc of Tom's tales (much of his between song banter during the tour). It does have some dark moments, however, I think there is more glitter than doom overall here. It contains some suprisingly uplifting moments with different and perhaps more coherent arrangements to some of the original songs and demonstrates how his older music still has relevance today when re-worked lovingly. Stand out vocal performances from Mr Waits throughout but never better than on Lucky Day.
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VINE VOICEon 24 November 2009
Glitter and Doom Live collects together songs from last year's tour of the same name. The track list was chosen by Tom Waits himself with the intention of making the disc sound like a complete show. This is where the problem lies for me - it never quite gels together. Each song individually is excellent; there is a mix of tracks from all of his Anti records as well as some tracks from Island, such as a revamped version of 'Singapore'. The band is in top form too, switching effortlessly between dirty blues on 'Lucinda' to strange polka and muted jazz. Despite this, it feels somewhat disjointed and set in one mood. There are notable omissions of songs that are regularly played live, such as 'Chocolate Jesus' or 'Jesus Gonna Be Here'. Yet the quality of the band and the songs doesn't make it feel like a live show. Even the best efforts of the mixer cannot cover up some of the jumps between track/venue (on at least two occasions there is a noticeable volume change) and the decision to remove Waits talking on the first disc leaves it feeling more like a compilation than a live show.

I found the inclusion of Tom's Tales a strange choice too. These shows were almost two hours long so it would have made more sense to include a second disc of live tracks. It is great to hear Tom talking, but it doesn't work as a stand-alone cd. Several jokes are repeated in slightly different form and I doubt I will listen to it again. The banter should have been left with the songs, as in the last two tracks on the first disc.

While we hear Waits in many of his guises - from circus ringmaster, balladeer and so on - these are only fleeting glimpses, and I feel that it is impossible to represent his live persona on a single disc, without any banter. It is by no means a bad album, only a little disappointing in its delivery, a missed opportunity really. For a better idea of his live shows, it is worth looking for NPR's broadcast of the July Atlanta show which is available for free. This has both a larger setlist, and improved performances of some of the songs on this album.
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on 14 September 2010
I've been listening to early tom waits for a long time. Like many others,I find his lyric writing pure genius.But this live album is very disapointing : I can't follow the lyrics at all, nothing is provided in the album to help that. After several listens I gave up trying as it simply feels like an assault. To add insult to injury: I managed somehow to to order 2 copies, does anyone want them??
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