Saturday, April 28, 2007
The Rufus is Coming!!
To the Belly UP in my fair city...TONIGHT!!
My dear friend Laura is taking the train up from L.A. today.
We plan on waiting in line for a good two hours before the door opens to get front row spots.
Even my husband (my "Rufus bait" as I jokingly refer to him) is excited!
The club is pretty small, it has a 600 seat (er standing) capacity.
They will be selling his new cd Release the Stars tonight and he will be signing them after the show! However, rumor has it that he will only sign the cd booklet and no pictures are allowed...but that's where cell phones come in handy..aw but no posing pics with Ru I guess.
Looks like Laura and I will have to stalk him again! We know the drill, right Laura?
We usually bump into him before his shows anyway. You know how easy it is to bump into an artist NEXT TO THEIR TOUR BUS!! Hee hee. Nah - he usually bops around before the show...and we just giggle like teenagers, trying not to faint (or stare).
I caught about half of his performance last night at the Coachella Fest...which is streaming live all weekend HERE. I was quite pleased to see that he is touring with a kick ass horn section!! Alright! I am sure most of you aren't familiar with his music, but he ended (before the encores) with "Beautiful Child" from Want One and it sounded FANTASTIC. I am beside myself and have goosebumps already thinking about hearing it live in a tiny club tonight.
If you haven't heard Rufus, then what are you waiting for? Check out this amazingly gifted singer-songwriter HERE!! and at: Rufus Wainwright.com
From last night's show at Coachella...Who has nicer legs, Martha or Rufus???!!!!
Here is a recent article from Uncut:
CHAOS! DESTRUCTION! ENNUI! AN OPULENT MASTERPIECE FROM POP’S JADED BOHEMIAN
In 1821, Thomas De Quincey compared opium addiction to being trapped in a “castle of indolence.” An opium eater, he wrote, “lies under the weight of incubus and nightmare…He would lay down his life if he might but get up and walk, but her is powerless as an infant, and cannot even attempt to rise.”
Forgive the pretension, it’s just that Rufus Wainwright drives you to these sort of lofty references. Release the Stars as Wainwright tells UNCUT on the next page, was recorded in a state of extreme purity, the lavish drug binges long behind him. It’s not so easy, though, to escape that castle of indolence.
For nearly a decade, now, Wainwright has proved himself to be one of the most gifted songwriters in America. His erudition, wit and general gayness have been so pronounced, we’re technically obliged to call him Wildean at every opportunity. He has a magical way of joining the dots between Cole Porter and Thom Yorke, between David Ackles and Jeff Buckley. He’s a serious artist though, on e with a keen sense of his own absurdity: the cover of 2005’s Want Two found Wainwright posing as a Pre-Raphaelite Ophelia, all dressed up and ready to drown.
Still, it is his voice, so extravagantly mournful, so luxuriously torpid, that suggests he must always remain The Jaded Bohemian, even without the drugs. Release the Stars his fifth and possibly best, album, should be the record where he escapes such stereotypes. But curiously, he sounds more opulently wasted than ever as if he’s realized that ennui, in the right hands, can be a creative attribute rather than a professional curse. “Going to a Town” might be the angriest lyric Wainwright has written an indictment of the country of his birth that hinges on the refrain, “I’m so tired of you America.” that “tired” is the key, though: rarely has a protest song been so dolorous. Like De Quincey, he’s start a revolution if he could only get off the chaise longue.
The effect is striking, not least because “Going to a Town” sounds something like Radiohead’s “High and Dry” rescored as a torch song. Release the Stars is full of lovely tunes, but it’s the imagination with which Wainwright tackles them that raises this album above his previous work. While Want One and Want Two were slightly marred by a glossy pop finish, Release the Stars has a wood-paneled classiness, and arrangements whose complexity augments the tunes rather than overwhelms them.
Neil Tennant is listed as Executive Producer, but it is Wainwright himself who actually produced these 12 songs, and who navigated his own path from studio to studio, picking up an ever-more bejeweled coterie of musicians along the way. If the vocal tone might often be one of somnambulence, the practicalities of making Release the Stars suggest a very clear head. The cast list includes regulars like sister Martha, mother Kate McGarrigle and Teddy Thompson, venerable actress Sian Phillips, Tennand ton synths, sundry orchestras plus, on lead guitar, Teddy’s father Richard Thompson.
Fortunately, Wainwright is adept at finding grace and space where others would be swamped. The opening “Do I Disappoint You” sees him present a withering defense of his own human frailties, while one orchestral battalion after another mount their attacks and Martha Wainwright (a much stronger singer than her brother, by the by) summons “CHAOS!” and “DESTRUCTION!” like a marauding Fury. The title track, meanwhile, has a brassy Broadway swagger – the result, presumably, of Wainwright immersing himself in that world for his Judy Garland tribute concerts (the song’s lyrical inspiration comes from Lorca Cohen, Leonard’s daughter, missing the New York show). Wainwright, though, is not a belter, and it’s his unsuitability to the top hat and high-kicking routine that makes this grand, flawed finale so compelling.
“Slideshow” is even better, a masterpiece of wry emotional dithering that begins, pointedly, “Do I love you because you treat me so indifferently? Or is it the medication?” Pursued by 14 musicians and the London Session Orchestra, he moves at a languid pace through a sequence of euphoric crescendos until, after four minutes, Richard Thompson cuts through the melodrama with a clean, needling solo and Wainwright is left in a lucid reverie, realizing, “Do I love you? Yes I do.”
It’s a rare moment of resolution on an album filled with romantic indecision, with dreams of travel and leave-taking, “Between My Legs” is sprightly and uncharacteristically rocking, describing a dysfunctional relationship that can only be consummated with an escape from the city. There are apocalyptic overtones, too, as Wainwright describes a frenzied mass evacuation, then employs Sian Phillips to incant his words like a spell over another ravishing climax.
If these set pieces initially gr5ab the attention, Release the Stars has other pleasure that reveal them selves more discreetly. “leaving for Paris” is an end-of-the-affair piano ballad which intimates that Wainwright’s may yet be solemn and minimal. There’s a baroque, Brel-like trinket called “Tulsa” that claims Brandon Flowers “tastes of potato chips in the morning.”
And finally, amid all the gilt, theratre, recherche poses and brilliant music, there’s a hint that, without the drugs, the castle of indolence might not always be a rewarding place to hang out. “I’m tired of writing elegies to boredom” he writes in “Sanssouci,” “I just want to be at Sanssouci tonight.” “Sans souci” translates as carefree and, of course, the promise of happiness – “the boys that made me lose the blues” – turns out to be an illusion. When Wainwright arrives at the club it is deserted, and terminally world-weary, he can only retreat to his melancholy boudoir. If he keeps making albums as good as this, we should wall him up in there forever.