Loudon Wainwright III/Lee Ranaldo
What Do You Mean You're an Old Man? I'm the Old Man Around Here.
Loudon Wainwright III: Older Than My Old Man Now (2nd Story Sound)
A reluctant 50, he started playing the Old card with the adulthood album Grown Man; now, a saggy stripling of 65, he trumps himself with a mortality album. Wainwright has been writing death songs for years, of course, but on his eighth album and label of the young century the theme turns concept. In one song he's a ghost; another features a reflection his late father wrote about his own late father; the one that begins "Somebody else I knew just died" is followed by the one called "The Days That We Die." Family members abound, including the late Kate McGarrigle in a remake of her sole co-write with her husband, from before either was 30, which happens to be called "Over the Hill." There are cameos from Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Chris Smither, John Scofield, the winsome Dame Edna Everage; Tom Lehrer declined but loved how Wainwright fit the word "Mercurochrome" into "My Meds." With Elliott, Loud-O bids for a do-over: "You don't know what you're doin' and you can't just wait;/You go ahead and do it and then it's too late/You need a double lifetime." After he goes down on his knees and prays, as he promises he will, this album will be Exhibit A on his application. A
Lee Ranaldo: Between the Times and the Tides (Matador)
Never much of a singer even by Sonic Youth standards and always abrasive solo, Ranaldo applies his best-in-band chops to riffage and filigree so lovely his well-meaning and far from altogether tuneless plainsong has the welcome effect of situating the guitar in the same reality occupied by his lyrics, which always make sense and often seem a mere detail away from total lucidity. Throughout he recaptures the repose of A Thousand Leaves's "Hoarfrost," his will to reconciliation and renewal always palpable whether the songs reach out or recalibrate his options. Just the album you'd hope from a thoughtful 56-year-old after his band of 30 years breaks up. Best in show is "Angles," a love song to someone he knows well and can always stand to know better. Not a bandmate, either. A MINUS
The Lee is a surprise. The Loud-O is not--this old fart had an immediate positive reaction to that one.
Anyway, thanks, Bob. And many happy returns to you and Carola.
I'm curious if Christgau heard Loudon's last one, the short 10 Songs for the New Depression. I believe it was import-only as a CD, but can be bought as a download for a fair price.
Another A record, go Loud-O.
So last night was my Todd Snider concert. i enjoyed it quite a bit even though he didn't play some of my favorites. At some point during the show he actually apologized for playing so many new songs. "But the new ones are so good" I yelled. Anyway it was great and the venue, The Triple Door, is a great place to see a show. Great food brought to your table during the show. A lot of the artists that play there aren't my style but then I see May 20th, Loudon Wainwright III. I quickly buy a front row table table, cheering my good fortune. It's only then a realize that last month I bought a ticket to see Freedy Johnston the SAME damn night. Cancelled the Loud-O reluctantly. Now his new one gets an A, oh well, I've seen him before and the Freedy, who I've never seen is at an excellent venue.
Was in Woodstock-I'm sure it was the year following THE
concert. In a country general store kind of place-checking out this cowhide
rug or throw--Levon Helm and Garth Hudson walk in-say hello to the
proprieter-he hands the rug/throw to Garth-they say thanks and leave. I wanted
that cowhide thing. End of story.
Saw The Band at THE concert- I guess the previouis year. They perfomed "The Weight"
on a beautiful Saturday night with 400,000 or so people sitting in peace- even the moon was
The next day the rains came-such is life. RIP Levon and your Band-mates who left us way too early.
Greg M.- sounds good. I know you'll have a great time. The food at the Triple Door is excellent and you'll get to hear all the great songs he didn't play last night. Hopefully for you "America's Favorite Pastime" since we're talking baseball.
In order to get my Loud-O fix I'm seriously considering a ferry trip to Victoria B.C. to see him the next night. It's a lovely city only about 3 hours from Seattle. we'll see.
Wife is ready, I'm on line. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.
Happy Birthday, Carola!
I don't know if this is tacky or well-timed, but I plan on listening to the new LWIII en route to visit my own father who just turned 70 this year.
Happy Friday, everyone!
Many happy returns, Carola! Enjoy your day!!
I was wondering if Wussy had added a Chicago date to their tour so I checked out their website. The answer (so far) is no. But...they are playing two shows with Low Cut Connie on 8/10 (Philly) and 8/11 (NYC). Venues TBA. Out-of-towners: Start planning your road trips.
In all seriousness, this is A-range material, I think, but it's only one track, so how that effects the grade, IDK. Don't know when or if there is anything else coming out--this year or otherwise--but I am seriously interested, in what this guy has to offer!
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.