I downloaded this concert–which was recorded at the Fox Theater in Atlanta Georgia from NPR. In the introduction, Bob Boilen says the concert is over two hours, but the page says (and the download comes in) at about 1 hour and 45 minutes, which is still plenty of Tom Waits.
This is a great show. Although it focuses on the more recent albums, the show covers quite a span of his career: from Real Gone (“Hoist That Rag”) and Bone Machine (the album that introduced me to Mr Waits), all the way back to Heartattack and Vine (“On the Nickel”) and even three songs from Rain Dogs.
His band sounds great, tight as a drum, even playing Waits’ off musical assortments with no problem (is Casey Waits on drums Tom’s son?). There’s clearly some visual stuff going on that we are not privvy to here–the band has a good time towards the end of the set with some musical jokes. And there’s some fun vamping and a number of good Waits stories (including the “pastika” one from the live album, see below). He doesn’t play “Day After Tomorrow,” one of the most moving war songs I’ve ever heard, which I think is good. It is so emotionally charged (unlike his other ballads which are moving but not quite so powerful) that I thin it would bring the whole set down. Rather, this is more of a rumpus-filled show. And we’re all the better for it.
All in all, this is a great document of Waits’ live shows. His voice sounds great and the band (including a few special guests) is fantastic.
Later in 2009, Waits released Glitter and Doom Live, a document from this tour. What’s nice in terms of this show is that the setlist is different for this show than it is for the album. The album has songs from various venues on the tour, so you get different performances anyhow, but quite a lot of the songs are new here. So even if you have the album, this is a unique experience.
Also, check out this amusing video interview:
[READ: September 20, 2011] “Dear Life”
This kind of piece is one of the reasons I don’t write about nonfiction that much. How do you review someone ‘s life? More specifically, how do you review a short excerpt about someone’s childhood (is this leading to a full length memoir?). Nevertheless, I love Alice Munro, and this look into her childhood in Wingham, Ontario is fascinating. I never really conceptualized that Munro is 80 years old. She grew up with an outhouse and what seems like a one room schoolhouse.
What’s more interesting is that the town where she grew up more or less disappeared once people started building houses on the other side of the river (higher up the hill). All but the poorest people moved to the new higher elevations, thereby evacuating the town and leaving only the tiny school left (the school she was so excited to get away from!). Munro remembers many of the bad things in her life–getting whipped by her father for disobeying, walking to school and being teased and even not being allowed to go to a new friend’s house because the friend’s mother was prostitute! But unlike in a full length memoir, Munro is able to skip past these memories pretty quickly by talking about how when she got older things were smoother (and the room where the whippings took place was converted into something else). (more…)