November 5, 2011

Playlist Week of 11-05-11

Tom Waits - Bad As Me

* Marais: Pieces De Viole des Cinq Livres (Savall, et al.) (d.3) (Alia Vox 5SACD)
* J.S. Bach: Motetten (Collegium Vocale Gent/Herreweghe) (PHI/Outhere CD)
* J.S. Bach: Violin Sonatas (Manze/Egarr/ter Linden) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)
* J.S. Bach: Suites for Violoncello (ter Linden) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)†
* J.S. Bach: Sonatas for Viola da Gamba (Pandolfo/Alessandrini) (Harmonia Mundi CD)†
* Miles Davis: Complete Live At The Plugged Nickel (d.1-2) (Columbia/Legacy 8CD)
* John Coltrane: Live Trane: The European Tours (d.2) (Pablo 7CD)
* Grant Green: Idle Moments (Blue Note LP)
* Sun Ra: The “New” Five Spot, New York, NY 6-11-75 (AUD CDR)
* Bill Dixon & Tony Oxley: Papyrus Volume I (Black Saint/Soul Note CD)
* Bill Dixon & Tony Oxley: Papyrus Volume II (Black Saint/Soul Note CD)
* Ingrid Laubrock Sleepthief: Sleepthief (Intakt CD)
* Sylvie Courvoisier: Lonelyville (Intakt CD)
* Mephista: Black Narcissus (Tzadik CD)
* Mark Nauseef/Ikue Mori/Evan Parker/Bill Laswell: Near Nadir (Tzadik CD)
* David Torn: Prezens (ECM CD)
* Tortoise: It’s All Around You (Thrill Jockey CD)†
* Tortoise: Beacons Of Ancestorship (Thrill Jockey CD)†
* Grateful Dead: Olympia Theatre, Paris, France 5/4/72 (GDP/Rhino 4CD)
* Led Zeppelin: I (Atlantic CD)†
* Led Zeppelin: II (Atlantic CD)†/‡
* Led Zeppelin: III (Atlantic CD)†/‡
* Led Zeppelin: IV (Atlantic CD)†/‡
* Led Zeppelin: Houses Of The Holy (Atlantic CD)†/‡
* Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti (Swan Song/Atlantic 2CD)†/‡
* Led Zeppelin: Presence (Swan Song/Atlantic CD)†/‡
* King Crimson: Heavy ContruKction (d.1-2) (DGM 3CD)†
* Fleetwood Mac: Rumours (Warner Bros. 2-45RPM LP)
* Emmylou Harris: Wrecking Ball (Asylum CD)
* Tom Waits: As Bad As Me (Anti-/Epitaph LP/1+1CD)
* U2: Achtung Baby (Deluxe Edition) (Island/Universal 2CD)
* Phil Collins: Face Value (Atlantic/Audio Fidelity CD)
* U2: Zooropa (Island CD)
* Tool: Opiate (Zoo/BMG/Volcano CDEP)†
* Tool: Aenima (Zoo/BMG/Volcano CD)†
* Tool: Lateralus (Volcano/Tool Dissectional CD)†
* Tool: 10,000 Days (Volcano/Tool Dissectional CD)†
* The Flaming Lips: The Soft Bulletin 5.1 (stereo) (Warner Bros. CD/DVD-A)
* Robert Pollard: Robert Pollard Is Off To Business (GBV, Inc. CD)†
* Robert Pollard: Moses On A Snail (GBV, Inc. CD)†
* Circus Devils: Capsized! (Happy Jack Rock Records LP)
* Beck: Sea Change (Geffen/MoFi 2LP)
* Wilco: The Whole Love (dBpm/Epitaph 2LP)
* Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop 2LP)
* Broken Bells: Broken Bells (Columbia LP)
* Broken Bells: Meyrin Fields EP (Columbia EP)



The release of Tom Waits’s first proper album in seven years is reason enough for celebration for his fans, yet Bad As Me is such a good record that newcomers may well become converts. Waits’ gravelly voice has been described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in a smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over by a car” but, as with Bob Dylan’s distinctive croak, it seems to get more expressive with age. Waits sounds better than ever, even stretching to a sweet falsetto on “Talking At The Same Time” or a crooning tenor on “Pay Me.” In contrast to the clattering, politically-charged Real Gone from 2004, Bad As Me is mostly a collection of semi-conventional love songs like “Back In The Crowd” or “Kiss Me”; lost-love weepers like “Face To The Highway”; and earnest homages to domestic bliss like “Raised Right Men” or “Satisfied.” Shockingly, Waits sounds almost downright happy! However, the penultimate track, “Hell Broke Luce,” is as bracingly avant-garde as anything he’s ever done: Told from the point of view from a war-damaged soldier, Waits barks out the embittered words in a frantic military cadence while the sound of helicopters, bombs and machinegun fire threatens to engulf the roaring electric guitars and pile-driving percussion. Whew! A truly harrowing listening experience! Stylistically, the album surveys the wide range of Waits’s obsessions from pre-War Americana to Tin Pan Alley torch songs; Brechitian theatrics to dissonant industrial noise—all of which he has managed to subsume into his own inimitable musical persona: the bard of Skid Row. And, as usual, he’s accompanied by a stellar line-up of musicians, including Marc Ribot, Keith Richards, David Hidalgo, Charlie Musselwhite, and Gino Robair. “Hell Broke Luce” aside, this is possibly Waits’s most accessible album in years.

The vinyl is beautifully pressed and packaged and seeing as it contains a copy of the CD, it’s definitely the way to go. But true fanatics and record collectors should seek out the limited edition 2-compact disc version which contains three additional songs and a handsome, hardbound book; the touchingly childlike “Tell Me” is well worth the cost of admission. Either way, fans will be pleased and the merely curious will be amply rewarded with the best of what Tom Waits has to offer. Highly recommended! Check out this video for the title track and see for yourself:


Sam said...

What, no "SMiLE"?!! :)

Here's my lists from last week. As you can see, I'm on (yet again) another little "Dark Star" kick. Not getting tired of it yet!

Playlist 2011-11-07:

*Anthony Braxton: This Time
*Anthony Braxton Small Ensemble: 2009-04-30 Echo Echo Mirror House Music world premiere, Wesleyan, set 1
*Muhal Richard Abrams: Lifea Blinec
*Muhal Richard Abrams/George Lewis/Roscoe Mitchell: 2009-08-29 S. Anna Arresti, Italy (CDR)
*Charles Mingus: Mingus Moves
*Charles Mingus: Cumbia & Jazz Fusion
*Jelly Roll Morton: The Pianist and Composer
*Tom Rainey Trio: 2011-05-06 Firehouse 12, New Haven, CT (CDR)
*Various artists: That Devilin' Tune (Vol. 2, disc 2)
*Beatles: Rubber Soul (2009 stereo remaster)
*Caravan: In the Land of Grey and Pink
*Grateful Dead: Dick's Picks 16 (Fillmore 1969) disc 2
*Grateful Dead: 1970-02-02 St. Louis "Dark Star" (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1970-02-08 Fillmore West "Dark Star" (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1970-02-13 Fillmore East "Dark Star" (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1970-04-24 Denver "Dark Star" (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1970-05-08 SUNY "Dark Star" (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1970-05-15 Fillmore East "Dark Star" (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1970-09-17 Fillmore East "Dark Star" (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1970-09-19 Fillmore East "Dark Star" (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: Steppin' Out With the Grateful Dead (disc 4) selections
*Grateful Dead: 1972-04-14 Copenhagen "Dark Star" (CDR)
*Hella: Church Gone Wild/Chirpin' Hard
*Jimi Hendrix: In the West
*Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Music
*Jimi Hendrix Experience: San Francisco 1968
*Jimi Hendrix Experience: Winterland (disc 1)
*High Llamas: Hawaii
*Isley Brothers: It's Your Thing: The Story Of The Isley Brothers (disc 3)
*Miriodor: Jongleries Elastique
*Prince: 1999 Homemade Deluxe Edition (boot CDR) disc 2
*Prince: Emancipation (disc 1)
*Red Button: She's About to Cross My Mind
*Rolling Stones: Some Girls Sessions (Compilation) (CDR) disc 2
*Shipping News: Flies the Fields
*Tad Thaddock: Liquid Kentucky Pie
*Tad Thaddock: Baby Think
*Thinking Plague: In Extremis

Reading List 2011-11-07:

*Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games (started/finished)
*Mieville, China. The City & the City (started/finished)
*Morgan, Richard K. Market Forces (finished)
*Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights (transl. Malcolm C. Lyons) Vol. 2 (in progress)
*Borges, Jorge Luis. Selected Poems, 1923-1967 (in progress)
*Bradbury, Ray: Bradbury Stories (in progress)
*Bride of Dark and Stormy, compiled by Scott Rice (in progress)
*The Complete Shock SuspenStories (EC) (in progress)
*Draper, Jason. Chaos, Disorder, and Revolution (in progress)
*Lambert, Philip. Inside the Music of Brian Wilson (in progress)

Netherland said...

This is the best Stones album of all, and the best album of the 70's. Three things helped it 1) New guitarist Ron Wood injected some life into the band 2) Keith was finally kicking heroin after a decade of abuse 3) Punk rock had come along, and Sex Pistol's lead singer Johnny Rotten--still then a teenager--was slagging the Stones off for being old fogies. The Stones felt the threat of this new musical movement, and felt they had something to prove.