Rufus Wainwright - Classic or Dud?

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Neo-Tin Pan Alley Triumph or Fey Adult-Alternative Naive? You be the judge!

Jason, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I wanted to love him
I love fey neo tinpan alley ( see Stephen Merrit, Pulp, Momus etc)
He has family that knocks me over. (Kate and Anna McGarigle , Loudon Wainright III, Martha Wainright)
His lyrics contain all the right refreneces put cleverly
His interviews are hysterically funny and insightful .
But i don't. I really don't know why but i suspect it may be the production. BTW Jason, i love your email handle , are you in the cult of marcel as well .

anthony, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Classic. The thing I like about him is that he's much more flawed than the neo-fey people Anthony mentioned, he has a few lyrical clunkers and aimless moments that just add to the charm for me. I don't think he has much of an awareness of post-Tin Pan Alley pop, which is unique in a singer his age, but he *really really* wants to be a pop star. And on his own terms--he's such a little blabbermouth queen, so ridiculously narcissistic but goofy about it, he just makes me laugh. Can't think of anyone quite like him out there. Fran Drescher, maybe. Have you ever heard him laugh at his own jokes?

I definitely prefer the first album to the second one, love the Van Dyke Parks strings on "Foolish Love" and "Millbrook." Poses is good, but it has his first truly abysmal song, "Shadows". Sounds like the some awful K.D. Lang adult contemporary outtake. I heard he wrote it with the Propellerheads guy, let's blame him. I wonder how he'll pull off playing for arena size crowds at Wotapalava? Maybe they'll have him and the Magnetic Fields on a smaller stage.

I used to hate his voice, reminded me too much of Gordon Gano from the Violent Femmes, but now I love it. Maybe that's what's bugging you, Anthony.

And you like Martha Wainwright? I saw her about three years ago and didn't care for her much. It was rambling storytelling folk stuff without much focus, kind of Jewel-ish. But she was probably about nineteen. What's she like now?

Arthur, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Martha Wainwright is alot like her mother.
This incredibly warm alto that sings acapella mostly but sometimes with an acoustic guitar
. The production is eqaully simple
really hard to describe , but nothing is better then a girl who has brains and a guitar.
As i said i just dont know why i don't like Rufus , its completly random . I will try that 12 times again.

anthony, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

The first time I was exposed to him was playing live, supporting Sloan in giant Canadian stadium with no ambience, just him and his piano and his fey singer-songwriter lounge act, and I fucking HATED him.

But then I got back to the UK, and a friend *made* me listen to a CD, and I was utterly charmed. There really was something magical, and warm, and lush to the arrangements, the melodies were jaunty and pretty, and the lyrics trod just the right balance between being "too clever by half" and being disarmingly charming.

So I gave him a second chance, and I was well rewarded

And he has great trousers.

masonic boom, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I like d him at first but I got sick of his voice and his elton john dopppleganger ways. Also I hate the way his first album is produced. Puch the vocals back into the mix! DOwn boy down! I like Van Dyke Parks' contributions. All in all I like his stuff but it tends to grate on me if I listen for too long. Has anyone heard his new album?

Mike Hanle y, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I think Rufus is well on his way to being Classic. 'Poses' took me a while to get into, but now the album and I are friends. I just hope he doesn't die before he writes a *great* album. But look what it did for dud Tim Buckley...

matthew, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I didn't think he was that self-destructive? Although his antics earn him a few write-ups in NYPost (mostly sensationalized), I didn't think him to be the comi-tragic Callas in his songs...

(To answer your previous question, Anthony - not a cult of marcel, but more of an absurdist junior league.)

Jason, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

It's a bit early to call him "classic", but he sure ain't a dud. I like his new one even better than the debut--not as tortured and melodramatic, which isn't to say its NOT melodramatic. I know there have been lots of printed reports of seeing Rufus drunk in public... I saw him recently in a bar in San Francisco, and he was trashed!

Sean, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Dave Douglas does a wonderful version of 'Poses' on his alb 'The Infinite' so I picked up the Wainright alb when I saw it ultra-cheap. Unfortunately after a cpl of listens the title track is the only one that really grabs me. Also, he slagged off Van Dyke Parks in an interview I once read, which seems a bit rich to me.

Andrew L (Andrew L), Saturday, 8 March 2003 08:26 (eighteen years ago) link

I like Rufus. Good songwriter, though I agree Shadows is god-awful. I'm a Van Dyke Parks fan, but I prefer Poses - better songs overall, I think.

roger adultery (roger adultery), Saturday, 8 March 2003 08:37 (eighteen years ago) link

Oh, I like Rufus a lot.

He writes great songs, he uses great arrangements, he gets the best production money can buy (Alex Gifford Poses PropellorheadZ production surprise!). Live he is a treat, a true drama princess in the best old-school mold. If only he could sing like Freddy Mercury he would be godlike, but perhaps that is the beauty mark.

felicity (felicity), Saturday, 8 March 2003 17:15 (eighteen years ago) link

Bitchily asking the air-hockey players to stop for the duration of his set at First Avenue = classic

"April Fool" = classic

his voice = classic

I think he should be leading the Strokes.

Pete Scholtes, Saturday, 8 March 2003 17:49 (eighteen years ago) link

classic classic classic. I like him better than almost anybody working. Rampant emotionalism with the chops to back it up will get me every time. The hooks are better on the first album but it's true that the all-up-in-yer-face of the vox there began to grate after a while; four of its songs might have made the greatest EP of all time. I suspect the fourth album will be the one that stops time, raises the dead, etc.

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Saturday, 8 March 2003 17:58 (eighteen years ago) link

He has a really nice mom.

Amateurist (amateurist), Saturday, 8 March 2003 18:01 (eighteen years ago) link

I think he's terrific, just thoroughly great. Two notes:

(a) He's been to an ILX FAP! Okay, not really. But last February, when Ned and I were in New York, we were walking from one bar to another in the early evening and I very nearly bumped into Rufus. No one else really noticed: a few steps later I said "hey, everyone, that was Rufus Wainwright just then!" and then Ned threatened to go back and beat him up, which slightly lowered my opinion of Ned (sorry Ned but he's just wonderful!).

(b) Is it just me or are people starting to sing like him now? That Walkmen single features some Rufus-izing (in the phrasing and voice modulation) that's pretty out of proportion to a lot of the rest of the album, and I heard something at a cafe the other day that was trying on Rufus's vocal clothes for size.

nabisco (nabisco), Saturday, 8 March 2003 21:23 (eighteen years ago) link

two months pass...
I'm really looking forward to the new album!

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 9 May 2003 10:35 (eighteen years ago) link

Ooh! I was lucky enough to be in the company of friends who dragged me back to White Stripes' dressing room after their show a few weeks back and who should turn up like a stage door Johnny but Rufus, who was alone or had left his VIP-pass-less friends. I'd interviewed him once and so friend and I approached, and he told us nobody would ferry him backstage. So we clued in the WS minder (appealingly clad in zoot suitage) and led him back to help us with our evening of debauchery.

He has been recording here in London, but I forgot to ask him where or with who. And he was a very engaging interviewee. ALL cute gay boys I know claim him as one of their own.

suzy (suzy), Friday, 9 May 2003 10:48 (eighteen years ago) link

Yes, he has been recording in London - article in The Independent. The alnum may or may not have 29(!) songs.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 9 May 2003 10:51 (eighteen years ago) link


Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 9 May 2003 10:51 (eighteen years ago) link

ha! second everything Mr. Scholtes said a month ago. Midsong: "okay I'm sorry but what is that fucking clicking sound? Does everyone hear that?"

I'm a sucker for his kind of thing.

g--ff c-nn-n (gcannon), Friday, 9 May 2003 13:47 (eighteen years ago) link

(a) He's been to an ILX FAP! Okay, not really. But last February, when Ned and I were in New York, we were walking from one bar to another in the early evening and I very nearly bumped into Rufus. No one else really noticed: a few steps later I said "hey, everyone, that was Rufus Wainwright just then!" and then Ned threatened to go back and beat him up, which slightly lowered my opinion of Ned (sorry Ned but he's just wonderful!).

My opinion remains unchanged. ;-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 9 May 2003 14:31 (eighteen years ago) link

I eat him up like chocolate pudding

James Blount (James Blount), Saturday, 10 May 2003 07:28 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah, he's really great. Really really. "Poses" is one of those albums that puts me somewhere specific -- February 2002, and I just moved in with my girlfriend. It's cold outside, so we don't get out of bed much.

And I love the line about being "drunk and wearing flip-flops on 5th avenue." Is that rock-bottom or just a charming little low?

Kenan Hebert (kenan), Saturday, 10 May 2003 07:36 (eighteen years ago) link

I liked the first album a lot, but the second did nothing for me -- it was just a big NPR ego-stroke.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Saturday, 10 May 2003 14:03 (eighteen years ago) link

I agree that the first album is just classic, don't even like "Rebel Prince"??

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Saturday, 10 May 2003 14:06 (eighteen years ago) link

1st album is classic, but the only track on the last one i enjoyed was cigarettes and chocolate.

and about the ny citing - does he live there now¿ i thought he was a montreal boy still.

dyson (dyson), Saturday, 10 May 2003 14:34 (eighteen years ago) link

he sucks

chaki (chaki), Saturday, 10 May 2003 22:51 (eighteen years ago) link

I loff him. The hate is too strong in here. Must go outside. He killed live, tho' his inter-song banter was cringey.

SFJ (SFJ), Saturday, 10 May 2003 23:13 (eighteen years ago) link

Live the band?

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Sunday, 11 May 2003 00:33 (eighteen years ago) link

That would be a beautiful dream.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 11 May 2003 00:56 (eighteen years ago) link

I listened to Poses tonight. I have to comment about "Shadows" sounding like a kd lang song; while I can sort of see that in the chorus, kd lang cool as she might be, would never sing the kind of melody the verses have.

Sean (Sean), Sunday, 11 May 2003 03:26 (eighteen years ago) link

Mark Eitzel minus Nick Cave plus Liza Minelli divided by Jim Carrey = Rufus Wainwright.

Daniel (dancity), Tuesday, 13 May 2003 23:27 (seventeen years ago) link

PS What a cracking gig tonight. Such charm!

Daniel (dancity), Tuesday, 13 May 2003 23:27 (seventeen years ago) link

Wasn't it fantastic? I've always thought a lot of the genius of 'Poses' lay in the arrangements, but I was so very, very wrong (although glad he didn't play 'Rebel Prince', because I don't think that would have worked). And, oh, the man takes shameless audience manipulation to new heights.

cis (cis), Tuesday, 13 May 2003 23:46 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm now tempted to talk about the good ol' days in Mtl. but I won't

slutsky (slutsky), Wednesday, 14 May 2003 00:02 (seventeen years ago) link

"Dave Douglas does a wonderful version of 'Poses' on his alb 'The Infinite' "

Agreed, absolutely gorgeous.

ArfArf, Wednesday, 14 May 2003 08:14 (seventeen years ago) link

cis, on the subject of audience manipulation, I liked his asides and his gentle pricking of the seriousness of melancholy music. I thought he just about got the balance right. There were one or two occasions when I thought, Give it a bit of reverence, don't just take the piss every time, please.

Daniel (dancity), Wednesday, 14 May 2003 08:59 (seventeen years ago) link

He definitely prevented it from being the po-faced, MTV Unplugged kind of concert it really could have been (the adoring audience, the cushions on the floor...).

cis (cis), Wednesday, 14 May 2003 22:39 (seventeen years ago) link

four months pass...
So Want One is out, what's the ILM verdict?

scott m (mcd), Thursday, 25 September 2003 14:42 (seventeen years ago) link

I was disappointed but I'll give it another shot.

cinniblount (James Blount), Thursday, 25 September 2003 14:47 (seventeen years ago) link

funniest album cover of the year -- haven't listened to it yet.

chris herrington (chris herrington), Thursday, 25 September 2003 15:48 (seventeen years ago) link

is it on soulseek yet ?

piscesboy, Thursday, 25 September 2003 16:19 (seventeen years ago) link

It sounds nice on first listen. The girl in Mod Lang practically forced me to buy it.

adaml (adaml), Saturday, 27 September 2003 00:14 (seventeen years ago) link

three months pass...
I've finally figured out why I don't like him all the more clearly, based on the two random encounters with his recent album in record stores lately. He sounds like Thom Yorke but all wrong with suck arrangements (and anyone who does like him who doesn't like Yorke's voice, I MOCK THEE). I'd rather listen to Chris Martin, for crying out loud! DEATH DEATH DEATH. There, vented for now.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 7 January 2004 03:18 (seventeen years ago) link

Live, his voice fills an opera house, but on record, he likes to bury it. So frustrated was producer Alex Gifford with this strange insistence of his, he swore never to work with him again after Poses.

Kenan Hebert (kenan), Wednesday, 7 January 2004 03:55 (seventeen years ago) link

I cannot get into Want One. Maybe that's because my hatred of Thom Yorke won't allow my unconscious to enjoy it?

@d@ml (nordicskilla), Wednesday, 7 January 2004 04:40 (seventeen years ago) link

Or maybe it's the way that first track bites fucking "Bolero." Sheesh. What a drama queen.

Kenan Hebert (kenan), Wednesday, 7 January 2004 04:45 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
UK people, there is a documentary on Channel 4 about him right now. Sting is singing his praises, and so is the guy from Keane, which wouldn't encourage me to investigate further.

ailsa (ailsa), Sunday, 13 March 2005 00:00 (sixteen years ago) link

Marc Almond and Siouxsie love him, though. This makes me despair. They could be loving Romanthony instead or something.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 13 March 2005 00:07 (sixteen years ago) link

Read a good review and reserved it at the library for a trial run. If great, will end up picking it up. Haven't heard anything since "April Fools", tbh.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 14:42 (nine years ago) link

i too am a lapsed fan who's only heard one of the albums since Poses. so far this suonds pretty good, though. am going to try to listen to his dad's new one too since they released albums a week apart.

some dude, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 14:49 (nine years ago) link

Want One is still one of my fave ever albums by anyone but he's not done much i've liked since weirdly. i still love him tho.
looking forward to him in upbeat mode again, the last one was teh bleakness (understandably given the subject matter).

piscesx, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 15:17 (nine years ago) link

I've listened to this once, it was better than I was expecting. He's really gone for that 70's pop sound and mostly pulled it off. The single is by far the worst thing on there.

I was a massive fan around Want One but I've just lost interest since then. Want Two was half brilliant (Art Teacher, Gay Messiah, Memphis Skyline) half rubbish (Old Whore's Diet, Little Sister) Release The Stars had one great song (Going to a Town) and a lot of songs that sounded like tired retreads of his earlier work. I can't remember a single thing about the last album. It's nice that he finally seems to have woken up.

Kitchen Person, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 15:45 (nine years ago) link

it's interesting to me that he seems to have picked up a lot of fans mid-career since for me the first album was a front-to-back classic and it's just been a lot of hit and miss since then. this album sounds really good, though, yeah.

some dude, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 15:46 (nine years ago) link

i'd pretty much agree with every word re his post Want One stuff there Kitchen Person. i'd like to forget Release The Stars ever happened and the less said about his embarrasing Glastonbury appearance the summer it came out the better. the last album had So Sad on it which is amazing i think but little else.

piscesx, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 15:54 (nine years ago) link

I bought the first album a few months after its release, and while it meant a great deal – I was just coming out - quite a few songs are loaded with arrangements that Wainwright's voice wasn't up to singing. Poses was a huge improvement, and the MIami date on that tour was one of the best shows I've seen in ten years. Since only 60 people came we were shouting requests and he was shooting the shit with us.

Little since 2003 has moved me.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 16:24 (nine years ago) link

the debut was audacious and heartfelt and overreaching just as a good debut should be. Poses has some great songs but i think maybe the pop stardom he was still somewhat plausibly aiming for that point take it in a slightly blander direction.

some dude, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 16:32 (nine years ago) link

This radio session is good:

caro's johnson (Eazy), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 16:36 (nine years ago) link

i just don't like his voice unfortunately. i'm working his concert next wk, wish i was excited.

surm, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 16:38 (nine years ago) link

xxxp yeah i've seen him maybe half a dozen times and live at his peak (just post-Want One IMO) he was one of the best things i've ever seen. the Liverpool '04 gig was like a carnival, i've never seen a seated crowd go so crazy. i didn't know you *could* go that crazy sitting down, even he was shocked.

piscesx, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 16:45 (nine years ago) link

the debut was audacious and heartfelt and overreaching just as a good debut should be.

oh yeah I agree - it's a classic B+ type debut.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 16:47 (nine years ago) link

i saw him in the 9:30 Club opening for lol Sean Lennon right after the debut dropped, he was a pretty solid performer right off the bat. was a bit more drunk and full of himself when i saw him again circa Poses.

some dude, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 16:49 (nine years ago) link

he was pretty hammered and god knows what else when I saw him. Oh! He also dedicated a song to "Neil and Chris." When we looked at the balcony there were Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, in town a few days early rehearsing for their concert the next week.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 17:05 (nine years ago) link

he's a great live performer - holds my attention in a way he doesn't always on record.

almost every one of his albums has been just good enough, just interesting enough, containing just enough killer songs to keep my overall feelings about him positive, but all of them have suffered from stretches of...blahhhh, really. he always sounds like he wants to only dip his toe into songwriting. i do think want one is as close as he's come to a coherent statement album, though "cigarettes & chocolate milk" is my favourite song he's done.

new one sounds decent as they all do initially

liberté, égalité, beyoncé (lex pretend), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:20 (nine years ago) link

My theory is he was pushed or pushed himself into recording an album before his songwriting chops had gelled. The boy had the connections (Waronker, Dreamworks, semi-famous dad).

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:21 (nine years ago) link

pshhh musicians should learn on the job imo. the idea of woodshedding in private for some magical moment when you're "ready" is foreign to me.

Neil Young’s social media channels (some dude), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:24 (nine years ago) link

that'd explain the first album being not quite there but not the 7 or 8 or however many it's been since!

liberté, égalité, beyoncé (lex pretend), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:28 (nine years ago) link

i just don't think he's got a great sense of melody, and/or it's not something he particularly prioritises, and when he lands on one it's kind of almost as a joke

liberté, égalité, beyoncé (lex pretend), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:29 (nine years ago) link

pshhh musicians should learn on the job imo. the idea of woodshedding in private for some magical moment when you're "ready" is foreign to me.

Never said this!

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:30 (nine years ago) link

"not ready to record" /= "shouldn't have recorded it"

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:31 (nine years ago) link

eh when you say premature "pushing" was involved it sounds negative. in any event imo his aesthetic and his sensibility as a lyricist and melodist were pretty well formed by '98 and there's not really that much of a difference between his stuff then and his stuff now, so i have no idea where you're even coming from.

Neil Young’s social media channels (some dude), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:35 (nine years ago) link

Aesthetic – formed, craftsmanship – still had a way to go.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:36 (nine years ago) link

song for song Poses is the stronger record, maybe the one least afflicted with what lex called stretches of...blahhhh

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:39 (nine years ago) link

Sings with his mouth shut DUD

Morrissey & Clunes: The Severed Alliance (PaulTMA), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 21:48 (nine years ago) link

I like his voice. He has songs in the key of me

I've noticed the stretches of blah. I liked "Little Sister" because it was stark contrast from a lot of blah, not that it's a favorite of mine. Poses is my favorite album by him

we gotta move these refrigerators (CaptainLorax), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:17 (nine years ago) link

after three full listens I agree with the enthusiasm for the album. Keepers: ""Montauk," "Out of the Game," "Bitter Tears," "Jericho."

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 12:36 (nine years ago) link

I love this thing -- one of the year's best. Never thought I'd say it again about a Wainwright record.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 5 May 2012 16:54 (nine years ago) link

I love this as well, and playing it continuously.

I can't quite pin down what it reminds me of exactly, but it has a nostalgic feel that takes me back to the 70s.

Bob Six, Sunday, 6 May 2012 09:06 (nine years ago) link

On first listen I was entirely underwhelmed. Much more soft rock than pop. And it's not the sort of soft rock that I find moving ('Art Teacher' was moving).

we gotta move these refrigerators (CaptainLorax), Sunday, 6 May 2012 14:14 (nine years ago) link

I really like this new one and I haven't even been remotely excited for him since the Want One/Two days. I love the 70s AM rock touches, I think they work pretty well. Kinda wish he'd lay off the gospel backing choirs on some of these though.

heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 8 May 2012 14:11 (nine years ago) link

four weeks pass...

huh, had no idea that Nels Cline plays on this album, i wonder what tracks. (some dude), Wednesday, 6 June 2012 13:42 (eight years ago) link

three years pass...

to have been a fly on the studio wall when rufus recorded william shatner reading sonnet 129

reggie (qualmsley), Sunday, 24 April 2016 17:10 (five years ago) link

four years pass...

Enjoying the new album, maybe more than I was expecting to.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 14 July 2020 15:26 (nine months ago) link

So.. this album and Release The Stars are really good, despite critical consensus that they are really not good

wet pockets (flamboyant goon tie included), Tuesday, 14 July 2020 15:30 (nine months ago) link

Are people saying the new album isn’t good? That’s a damned lie. It’s not his best but it’s an absolute pleasure to listen to.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 15 July 2020 01:50 (nine months ago) link

I've always had to adjust to his voice like a car adjusting to new air tire pressure

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 July 2020 01:52 (nine months ago) link

When I was in my early 20s I had a fantasy that I would one day meet him and say "your songs start and immediately you start singing and then you continue singing right up until the moment the song ends and it doesn't always have to be this way" but I learned pretty quickly that even close friends don't listen to criticism

wet pockets (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 15 July 2020 10:54 (nine months ago) link

In my head I am scripting a short film around the above exchange

Tim F, Wednesday, 15 July 2020 11:05 (nine months ago) link

lol fgti I'm never gonna unhear that now

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Wednesday, 15 July 2020 12:27 (nine months ago) link

His first album is absolutely glorious. Haven’t really dug anything else for some reason.

brimstead, Wednesday, 15 July 2020 18:25 (nine months ago) link

Poses is its superior but I've got emotional attachments to the debut.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 July 2020 18:29 (nine months ago) link

I never liked the debut but think Poses onward is pretty untouchable

He’s not especially “for me”— I adore Martha tho— but certain moments (“The Art Teacher”) knock me flat

wet pockets (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 15 July 2020 19:06 (nine months ago) link

I always feel a bit guilty that his version of "One Man Guy" is maybe the recording of his I return to most regularly (even though LWIII's own stuff leaves me totally cold from what I've heard)

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Wednesday, 15 July 2020 19:22 (nine months ago) link

Debut, Poses, and Want One are all classics to me. Subsequent proper albums are all good or great. And his tangents—Judy covers, opera, sonnets—are so wild that I respect the guy for going for what he’s passionate about even if I don’t love it.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Thursday, 16 July 2020 03:54 (nine months ago) link

four months pass...

Prefer Martha usually (Lucy's most recent solo alb was pretty amazing, though solo live sets I've heard seem oddly self-effacing, esp considering those of her relatives who have NO PROB coming out shells)*. Was thinking there was a more gathering of the tribes/family tree thread, but didn't find it, so here's this:
Siblings Rufus, Martha and Lucy Wainwright bring their beloved Christmas show ‘A Not So Silent Night – Virtually Together’ to a global audience for the first time streaming live on on December 20th at 12PM PST, 3PM EST, 8PM GMT from Los Angeles, Montreal and New York. They will be joined by aunts, mothers, fathers, nieces, cousins, sons and daughters of the acclaimed musical clans of the Wainwrights, McGarrigles and Roches.

First performed in 2005, this holiday celebration is equal parts concert and family reunion. Due to COVID-19, this year the family reunion will be a virtual one with different strands of the family and musicians coming together in Rufus’ living room in his home in Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles, Martha’s arts and community center “Ursa” on Montreal’s Parc Avenue, and City Winery in New York for Lucy Wainwright Roche and her mother Suzzy Roche and their dad Loudon Wainwright III. The live stream will switch between these three locations and take this family tradition to its roots back to Rufus’ and Martha’s childhood where they would perform Christmas carols and songs with their grandmother, mother, aunts and cousins in the living room of their St. Sauveur weekend cottage and give it a 21st century digital twist. Everyone’s living room, audience and performers alike, is now the internet. Unlike in previous years, where the family gathered special guests to perform alongside them, this year all songs will be interpreted by family to minimize social interaction but maximize intimacy.

“Eleven years ago, our mother Kate McGarrigle played what was to be her last performance ever at the Royal Albert Hall which was one of the most beautiful and emotional nights of my life,” Rufus Wainwright recalls. “Last year, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of this show for which she wrote the song “Proserpina” with three sold out shows at the Royal Festival Hall in London and the National Concert Hall in Dublin. We have brought the Christmas show to Montreal, to Carnegie Hall and Town Hall in New York, to the Ryman in Nashville, to Royce Hall in Los Angeles. Each year I hear from fans why we are not doing the show in Germany, Paris, Spain or other places. During these times where people are craving more and more the comforts of things that have become impossible, we decided we could not skip this year and decided to bring the Christmas show to potentially every fan around the globe virtually from our homes in LA, NY and Montreal.”

Tickets start at USD$20 and USD$25 for day-of-show on VEEPS or go to Special experience packages are also available. This live streamed event is presented in collaboration with previous McGarrigle/Wainwright Holiday Concert presenters UCLA Center for the Art of Performance, Town Hall in NYC, City Winery, and the Southbank Centre.

Rufus, Martha and Loudon Wainwright
Lucy Wainwright Roche, Suzzy Roche
Sloan Wainwright, Jane and Anna McGarrigle
Lily Lanken, Sylvan Lanken, Chaim Tannenbaum
Jorn Weisbrodt, Gigi and Islay McMillan
Arcangelo and Francis Albetta
Brian Green, Jacob Mann

The show will be accessible for purchase and stream until January 6th 2021. On January 8th 2021 at 2PM PST, 5PM EST Rufus Wainwright will continue his Rufus-Retro-Wainwright-Spective with the first part of his album “Release the Stars”.

Special Christmas merch items are also for sale at Rufus Wainwright’s UK merch store:

The new signed vinyl edition of Northern Stars is available at the US merch store:

The concert will benefit the Kate McGarrigle Fund, a collaborative program from Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and the Kate McGarrigle Foundation that aims to provide music therapy resources to cancer patients with a passion for music, as well as much-needed funds for sarcoma research.
For more information about the Kate McGarrigle Fund, please visit
Jim Merlis
jim at

*posted about virtual live Suzzy and Lucy last week, show may still be available:
The Roches
Their recent album is here---stream, download etc.:
(sry didn't feel like fw all those links in press release)

dow, Monday, 23 November 2020 23:28 (five months ago) link

three months pass...

just saw a pic of rufus with a full beard and thought "oh james murphy's slimming down"

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Sunday, 14 March 2021 17:22 (one month ago) link

anyway it's spring and that means poses sounds great again

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Sunday, 14 March 2021 17:23 (one month ago) link

one month passes...






The first complete performance of the Rufus Does Judy tribute in five years, Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios will be commemorated with a limited edition t-shirt created for the occasion in partnership with Wainwright’s longtime friend, legendary designer Michael Kors. The t-shirts will be available via Rufus’ Merch Store and in Michael Kors Collection stores nationwide, with all proceeds benefiting LGBT human rights organization OutRight Action International through June – Pride Month 2021 – or while supplies last. The t-shirt marks the latest collaboration between Kors and Wainwright, whom earlier this month performed music for the blockbuster launch of Kors’ 40th-anniversary collection for Fall/Winter 2021.

Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios – which marks a rare complete performance of Wainwright’s now-legendary homage to 1961’s Judy Garland At Carnegie Hall – showcases more than twenty-five American standards spanning swing, jazz, and pop, including three songs by George & Ira Gershwin, two Rodgers & Hart classics, two from Howard Dietz & Arthur Schwartz, plus favorites by Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg, Irving Berlin, Noël Coward, and more. Among the highlights are such Garland signature songs as “The Man That Got Away,” “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,” “Swanee,” and of course, “Over The Rainbow,” along with a special bonus rendition of “Get Happy,” which was not performed by Garland at the original 1961 concert.

Wainwright’s sixth full-length release and first live album, Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall was recorded and produced by Phil Ramone over two sold-out nights at Carnegie Hall, backed by a full 36-piece orchestra and special guest appearances from his sister Martha Wainwright, his mother Kate McGarrigle, and Garland’s daughter, Lorna Luft. The album proved an immediate cultural landmark, feted by worldwide media attention and critical acclaim while earning Wainwright his first-ever GRAMMY® Award nomination (for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album”).

Due to popular demand, Wainwright recreated his momentous tribute to Garland with sold-out, star-studded performances at such renowned venues as Paris’ L’Olympia, Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl, and the London Palladium, the latter of which was filmed and released on DVD as Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy!: Live from the London Palladium.

Wainwright’s ninth studio LP and first new pop album since 2012, Unfollow The Rules finds the multi-faceted artist at the peak of his powers, entering artistic maturity with passion, honesty, and a newfound fearlessness while remaining as creative, bold, and mischievous as ever. Produced by Mitchell Froom (Crowded House, Paul McCartney, Randy Newman) at a variety of legendary Los Angeles studios, the album proved among last year’s most honored releases, earning a prestigious GRAMMY® Award nomination for “Best Traditional Pop Album” as well as a Juno Award nod for “Adult Alternative Album of the Year.”

Unfollow The Rules was further met by ecstatic critical acclaim from high-profile publications around the globe, with Uncut declaring it “a spectacular return to the tower of song and the game (Wainwright) plays best…brimming with memorable melodies, swooning arrangements and smart lyrics dreamily sung.” Unfollow The Rules is “a stately pop throwback full of (Wainwright’s) signature vocal grandeur,” enthused Rolling Stone, while Pitchfork praised the album as “an opulently crafted highlight reel, a career-spanning sampler of Wainwright’s styles and guises… his songwriting is as sharp and cheeky as ever.” “A timely reminder of everything that’s wonderful about Wainwright,” wrote CLASH’s Mat Smith in a 9/10 rave, noting the artist’s “effortlessly towering voice, taking on a spinetingling profundity and emotiveness reminiscent of The Righteous Brothers (both of them; together; at once!).” PopMatters praised Unfollow The Rules as “a lush and detailed sounding album,” adding, “It’s good to welcome the return of the new, improved, old-school Rufus.” “Unfollow the Rules marks a welcome return to the opulent orchestration of Wainwright’s early albums,” wrote The Guardian in its 4/5-starred review. “Wainwright’s ninth studio album is a lush, engaging study in domestic bliss…It’s good to have him back.” “(Wainwright) sings with contentment, not complacency, as he saunters through the corridors of his life,” applauded The Independent in its own 4/5-starred review, noting simply, “This is one of Wainwright’s finest albums.”

Last year saw Wainwright offering fans solace with his trailblazing #Quarantunes series of #RobeRecitals, presented daily via Instagram Live. The intimate performances – which saw the singer-songwriter supreme performing new songs from Unfollow The Rules alongside classic catalog favorites, surprising rarities, and beloved cover versions – were followed in June by Unfollow The Rules: The Paramour Session, a complete acoustic performance of the new album filmed live at the ballroom of Hollywood’s famed silent movie mansion, The Paramour Estate.

The first leg of A Rufus-Retro-Wainwright-Spective! kicked off in September, presented live from Wainwright’s living room in Laurel Canyon, joined by a weekly micro-audience that included Jamie Lee Curtis & Christopher Guest, Darren Criss, Joel McHale, among other icons and famous friends. The virtual tour of his wide-ranging catalogue earned applause from such media outlets as, which hailed the concert series as a “deliciously casual offering to dedicated fans; an exclusive club for Wainwright enthusiasts to gather and exchange memories about their shared passion for his music. The live audience chat was a haven for nostalgia, sprinkled with the disparate musical experiences of followers around the world.”

An ingenious, compellingly charismatic live artist, Wainwright hopes to see his fans in person later this year on his long-awaited Unfollow The Rules Tour. For scheduled dates and other information, please visit

dow, Monday, 3 May 2021 18:35 (one week ago) link

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