Monday, October 29, 2012

Out of The Game (Rufus Wainwright, 2012)

Good morning!

What a weekend! We had people over for dinner on Friday, hit the flea market on Saturday and went to a Halloween party that night...Sunday I worked on my education paper (while, naturally, at work) and carved pumpkins at Matthew's ma's house. This morning, I left my house for work around 7:15, thinking, "How am I even perambulating at this point?" My head is still spinning a little from all the activity, which I'll have to report as soon as I have time to photo-document my finds and mine Bab's iPhone for candid snaps I've already forgotten we'd taken.... in the meantime, let me tell you that the one constant throughout all the hub-bub this weekend was this:

Rufus Wainwright's Out of the Game is his seventh studio album since his self-titled debut in 1998, but I hadn't remembered much of his output since 2002's Poses, including the anthemic-to-my-college-years "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk". There was a whole-kit-and-caboodle cover of Judy Garland's 1961 live album Judy at Carnegie, an album dedicated to the Lulu character of Wedekind and Louise Brooks in Pandora's Box, and a double-album-released-as-two-albums called Want One and Want Two...which all sound GREAT in theory, but ended up a lot of interesting ideas more than things you wanted to listen to in your car. The Judy thing actually irked me so badly I'd mostly given up on RW, stamping my feet in my well known "how dare he!" tradition of what I do when musicians take liberties with pre-existing properties I love (I can get in a froth over practically nothing, but the Judy album really was pretty terrible).  Still, look at this face and superior, dandy-ish clothing choice...I couldn't stay mad for long:

I was reading an article somewhere last week that mentioned Mark Ronson as a producer on this album, famous for helming production on records for Adele and Amy Winehouse, and I went..."All right, let's give it ONE more go". Wasn't I shocked to find myself completely crazy over the record? I mean, you're talking to a girl who never, never likes new releases, always finds out something was great way after the parade has ended...this album came out this year and I'm telling you, it is this GOOD. Strangely sensitive and hummable at the same time, there's just not a bad song on it (except maybe "Rashida", but only because of the cloying subject matter). Particularly stand out tracks on first listen were:

  •  "I'm Out of the Game"
    • Because of Lyrics Like: "Just hanging around/Wearin' somethin' for God knows where..."
    • And Unexpected Touches Like: The verses change really quickly from one tempo to the next with an infectious "Look at you, look at you, look at you, look at you, suckers! Does your mama know what you're doin'?" right smack in the first thirty seconds of the song, and the man's voice just soars. I HAVE BEEN SINGING THIS ALL WEEKEND.
  • "Montauk"
    • Because of Lyrics Like: "One day you will come to Montauk/And see your dad wearing a kimono/And see your other dad pruning roses/Hope you wont turn around and go..."
    • And Unexpected Touches Like: How very eerie and hopeful the repetitiveness of the song's melody and lyric structure is! And the last, turn-around verse about his mother, who passed away in 2010, "living in the sea". Ugh! I love this.
Best part? Unlike in 1998, when you would have ventured $15 bucks out at Media Play to give a new release a shot, the entire album is available streaming on Spotify. I plan on downloading it from iTunes eventually, but not before I've worn out my Spotify feed with listening to it over and over again at work.

Things you may/may not know about Rufus Wainwright:

  • His crazy-awesome famous-people lineage: His father is Loudon Wainwright III (a seventies' folk-ish singer songwriter who I'm personally obsessed with) and his mother is Kate McGarrigle of the McGarrigle sisters (who wrote Linda Ronstadt's hit "Heart Like a Wheel" and had several other Franco-Canadian influenced hits of their own). His grandfather was Loudon Wainwright Jr, a staff writer for Life magazine in the sixties'. His sisters, Martha Wainwright and Lucy Roche Wainwright, are also musicians. He started playing piano at age 6 and was performing with the family by age 13. 

  • All the crazy-awesome famous people he's friends with: Elton John called him "the greatest songwriter on the planet" (which I'm sure didn't win him any brownie points with Bernie Taupin)-- he has a child with Leonard Cohen's daughter, Lorca (named Viva Katherine, was there ever a better name than Viva Katherine Cohen Wainwright?). Guests at his August 2012 wedding to longtime companion Bjorn Weisbrodt (Viva's self described "deputy dad"), included Sean Lennon, Alan Cumming, and Julianne Moore. Sean Lennon looked like this (and his twenty-five year old girlfriend look liked that...dang, girl!):

  • Wherever these two are going, I want to go, too!
    I have to get goin' on this dumb paper again...but I'm telling you, do yourself a favor and listen to this golddurn album. Everytime I think I've isolated the one or two songs I like the best on it, another one becomes my new favorite. It's just delicious.
    Have you had any songs or album catch you by surprise lately? Any go-to music in the car that you can't get over? Share! I need to diversify after three days of solid Wainwright! :)

    Have a great Monday, I'll see ya tomorrow!


    1. I don't listen to too much music that has been produced in the last 20/30 years, but RW has one of the most brilliant voices (writing and singing) that I have ever heard. We saw him in concert a few years ago and it was awesome!

    2. oh man, i looooooooved the whole poses album especially cigarettes and chocolate milk but haven't listened to much after that, other than his great cover of orgin of love from the hedwig tribute album. i'll have to give this new record a listen! and boy is he ever dreamy.



    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...