The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Loudon Wainwright III


4-15-08 Loudon Wainwright III

Not to be confused with his son, Rufus (as in “Rufus Is A Tit Man”).

LP ALBUM II ATLANTIC US SD 8291

LP ALBUM III COLUMBIA US KC 31462

CD ATLANTIC SESSIONS, THE (1st two albums) RHINO HANDMADE RNM2 7709

LP ATTEMPTED MUSTACHE COLUMBIA US KC 32710

7" BICENTENNIAL (Mono) / (Stereo) promo ARISTA US AS 0174

LP LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III ATLANTIC US SD 8260

LP MORE LOVE SONGS DEMON UK FIEND 79

LP T SHIRT ARISTA US AL 4063

LP THERAPY SILVERTONE UK ORELP 500

LP UNREQUITED COLUMBIA US PC 33369

I first heard LW3 on KPFK-FM, probably about 1972 or so. There was a radio documentary that used “Be Careful, There’s A Baby In The House” as a narrative tool. I went out and found “Album II” on Atlantic. For guitar-playing singer-songwriter stuff, it’s wonderful. You have to love his voice – and he is certainly a funny and charming vocalist (this becomes more evident, once you see him perform!).

I really got into that 2nd album – really listened to it. It may have even been the first SSW ( = Singer-songwriter) album I digested after being so into Bob Dylan, when I was a young teenager. But it really spoke to me.

I bought more albums and singles – it was a little difficult to bear when he had a ‘hit single’, “Dead Skunk”. I never knew much about his private life – who he married etc. – until much later. I can state with honesty that I prefer Rufus to Martha – and like LW3 better than either of them!

Rhino Handmade must be commended for making that 2-on-1 CD of the first two Atlantic albums – just wonderful. The previously unreleased song (on the topic of being drunk) is lovely – but I can see why it wasn’t on “Album II”.

I guess I was always expecting him to write a book – perhaps an autobiography. Or maybe to turn up as a comedy actor, in some film. But, no. He stuck to the life of the troubadour, as it were. Did you ever see his very funny music video, “TSDHAV”? ( = This Song Don’t Have A Video ).

The tides of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s all come and go – and LW3 is still LW3. When I finally got to see him live, it was in an optimal setting, McCabe’s Guitar Shop, in Santa Monica, CA. I think it was before his kids were upstaging him. He was very amusing, it was real good. Very funny.

So, I really recommend his first two albums (the ones on Atlantic) to you, but I am good with his next few, the ones on Columbia. And I’ll pick up just about any others that grace the bargain bin. Thanks for the music, Mr. Wainwright!

1 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Holy crap! I had no prior knowledge of Rufus Wainwright to the first time we saw him opening for Roxy Music's 2001 US tour in New Jersey. I disliked him but my wife flat out hated him! We saw the tour a week later in Atlanta [worth it if only because Ms. Yannick Etienne reprised her Avalon vocal solo at this show] and carefully timed our arrival to give the Wainwright pup a big miss.

I next encountered RW on the misbegotten "I'm Your Man" Leonard Cohen "tribute" film! Rufus was not the worst singer in that horrid film [Antony was a strong first place] but was a clear second worst! And have I ever seen such a mincing gay stereotype in my life?! Rufus Wainwright - stop singing now. Remove yourself from the public eye.

Please!

As for Loudon - I'd give him the time of day any time. Too bad about the kid!

7:37 AM  

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