(The timestamp is wrong, this was published at exactly 1:08 on a Saturday morning in Texas, torrents of rain pouring down)
Been listening to so much wonderful of late, only just now discovering Tom Waits: Year One and onward, which, such a revelation those torch songs, brilliant instrumentation, of course MULE VARIATIONS came from tradition somewhere way back, it was just subjected to a steady quarter century of mutation by whiskey, then also been hitting those Berlin albums Bowie did with Eno (even the one that’s not, yah), but just finally right now sat down with my man Rufus Wainwright’s sixth studio album in the correct manner, meaning solo bottle of wine candlelight headphones, let the sentiment wash over, and am crushed at what has happened. More coherent reporting from the front lines later, though that’s a lie probably not, but just wanting to get on the record, way to do this is what I said before: candles, wine, headphones. Maybe some kind of aching yearn, too, but certainly not a BYO situation there, that business will take care of itself before too long.
All right, and that was supposed to be the flippant way to cut this short, but also apparently needing it on the record that, due to my man’s brilliance and let’s call it nakedness as a songwriter, lo these many years, multiplied by appreciation/adoration of his entire family (though mainly here factoring in Martha, because, come on, those are two serious albums)(particularly if one wades in by way of Rufus, expectations unavoidably influenced/bar set pretty high by same), but all right let’s all take a deep breath and just hear me say: these folks’ songs have let us into their lives, but let's be honest, it’s not like I have in any way even a 15% accurate vision of what Nuclear Family Life was like for Loudon, Kate, Rufus, Martha, etc, but I’m STILL AWARE of all these individuals, the small slices of themselves that they’ve cut open and bled out for us, and so can’t help but having constructed a working model of family life for them, with the extra wonderful weirdness factor that it all took place north of the border, which mainly Southpark has ruined for me, though I want to emphasize in the best possible way.
Simply: we get Loudon’s “Rufus Is A Tit Man,” so great in hindsight, obv, then jump to Rufus’s first album with Brion in ’98, such a precocious little 24 year old fellow, then that so archetypal “Dinner at Eight” story, such classic Greek shit between father and son, but then we step back, listen to the beautiful music put out by the entire family, it’s like the best kind of serial, call it a sitcom if you want, but I’d rather not, point is, that DFW exclusion principle, the spaces in between that we fill in for ourselves, we get these characters living in our heads but forego the laugh track or shitty writers or anything else, the only record that we have, the only means by which we might project and really reverse-engineer images of their lives is their one primal release, and yes I know, I kennit, circling and circling round the point with circumference seemingly remaining fixed, all I really wanted to say is I saw Rufus play half of this in November and the songs bowled me over, but I had no idea his mom was dying, and that development, scored by this, the soundtrack inspired by the tragedy WHILE IT WAS UNFOLDING, man and my God, devastate is the only verb that will do. Martha, the child, and dear, sweet Kate. The damn liner notes for RELEASE THE STARS. I’m so sorry that the pieces fell where they did, so so sorry, but am certainly richer for the Wainwrights having let me, all of us, into these slivers of their lives.
Richer and so grateful.
All of which to say, if it isn't already apparent, was just a mass of meltdown on the couch for tracks 3 and 12, splashing all around. That perfect, just almost perfectly crystallized though still somehow undefined ache.