Archive for Rufus Wainwright

Review: “War Child Presents: Heroes”

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2009 by 30daysout


This cool little compilation has, at its heart, a pretty interesting idea: take a handful of legendary singers/bands and ask them to identify a current artist to perform cover versions of their songs.  The result is War Child Presents: Heroes, a 16-track disc that aims to benefit children affected by war.  Although the album is a bit uneven, it rocks in its best parts.  So Beck’s garage-rock dismantling of Bob Dylan’s “Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat,” the Kooks’ faithful rendering of “Victoria” by the Kinks, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs channeling the Ramones in “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” are successful because each of these artists understand the context (and the era) that fuels these classics. 

When the performer imposes too much of his or her personality on a song, the result is less satisfying: Rufus Wainwright turns a medley from the Beach Boys’ Smile into a long whine, and Duffy’s too-sultry reading of “Live And Let Die” drains all the excitement out of the song.  And a few choices couldn’t be more right: Bruce Springsteen is dead-on with his choice of The Hold Steady to do “Atlantic City” and TV On The Radio is a perfect fit for David Bowie’s “Heroes.”  I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this album – try it and you will be too.

MP3: “Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat” by Beck

Stream songs from War Child Presents: Heroes at this MySpace page

Review: “I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too,” Martha Wainwright

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 14, 2008 by 30daysout

I was in Melbourne, Australia about ten days ago and I was watching a game show called “RocKwiz.” They take four people from the audience, divide them into two teams of two, and then match them up with a rock star. They answer questions, guess guitar riffs, and do other music type stuff. Overall, a very entertaining show. The episode I saw featured singer Martha Wainwright, daughter of Loudon Wainwright III (who she doesn’t thank on her new album, which leads one to think she’s not a big fan of “daddy”) and sister of Rufus, who is such a big Judy Garland fan, he recreated her concert at Carnegie Hall. Anyway….

While shopping one day, I decided to pick up Wainwright’s latest, I know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too. I really liked her voice, she was kind of sexy and I thought I would give it a shot, even though the Australian-only release cost $19.99 for a single disc (Bruce Springsteen’s Magic was selling for a whopping $26). The good news is the store was packed, which was encouraging for all of us fans of record stores, but I digress.

The disc turned out to be very entertaining. Wainwright sings about being unlucky in love with a married man on the sad, and best track, “Bleeding All Over You.” “You Cheated Me,” which is self-explanatory, is another excellent tune about the men in her life being unkind. Other tunes like “The Tower” show off her unique vocal stylings and she rounds out the disc with excellent covers of the Syd Barrett-penned “See Emily Play,” and the Eurythmics “Love is a Stranger.”

There are some slow moments throughout the 14 songs, but overall Wainwright’s second effort is a good one. I just wish the price was a little lower.

MP3: Bleeding All Over You

MP3: You Cheated Me

Martha Wainwright Official Website