Stream New Rufus Wainwright Tracks

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Let the feasting begin! Stream clips of three brand-new Rufus Wainwright tracks on a "Release The Stars" e-card, including the single "Going On A Town."

April 10, 2007 in Audio Streams, GLBT Artists, Rufus Wainwright | Permalink | Comments (1)

Rufus Wainwright Sings About Brandon Flowers

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Here's a cute little tidbit for you that I found on the KillMeNow fan board. Crooner Rufus Wainwright gives in to his Killers obsession and has written a song about Brandon Flowers titled "Tulsa." The track will be included on his new album "Release The Stars" that is partly produced by Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys.

"I don't know [Brandon] that well," Wainwright admits in an interview with Time Out, "but I wrote this song about him which is kind of hilarious - it says he tastes like potato chips in the morning." Cripsy and salty? I'm intrigued. Love to see those two on stage together sometime. That would be a slightly odd but very melodic pairing.

[Update #1] A reader of OklahomaRock.com writes how the song came about. "The story goes that Rufus went with a fan to a gay bar in Tulsa after his last show here only to be turned away because he didn't have his ID. They then went over to Caz's where low and behold, Brandon Flowers and the rest of The Killers walked in and that night is where this song stems from. The picture on [Arjanwrites.com] was taken at the bar."

[Update #2] Some Killers fans found the lyrics on the Rufus Wainwright messageboard and they are sooo sweet:

"You taste of potato chips in the morning.
Your face has the Marlon Brando club calling.
And then the thought that I owe it all to Tulsa.
And that fat guy with the Queen shirt that we both signed together.
Wanting it for someone who'd been down forever.

Your suit was the whitest thing since you-know-who.
I feel that that saviour I've been may be you.
And then the thought that I owe it all to Tulsa.
And that poor girl who waited in the rain for hours to meet me completely.

And I owe it all to Tulsa
Just a reminder
Of the antiques shop I want to go back to and visit when it´s open
In Tulsa, Oklahama
This song's about you.

March 8, 2007 in Rufus Wainwright, The Killers | Permalink | Comments (6)

Rufus Wainwright Live in Atlanta

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Rufus talks with fans after the show

Rufus Wainwright made a rare appearance in Atlanta, GA last night when he played for a small crowd at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. In the lush setting of the gardens and the warm summer evening, the gay singer-songwriter performed his most popular tunes and some songs he selected especially for the Georgia crowd. He appeared solo on stage with just his piano and acoustic guitar. The playlist included "11:11," "Want," "Gay Messiah," "Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk," "Memphis Skyline," "Dinner at 8," "Little Sister," Art Teacher and "Peach Trees." See a copy of the entire set list here.

The artist was in very good spirits, chatting and joking  between songs. He gave the crowds laughs when he dedicated the song "Pretty Things" to Michael Jackson, and when he commented about bullfrogs in the garden that he'd like to kiss ("I'm so lonely here"). He even managed to get the crowd cheering when he stopped playing songs twice to "sneeze." Wainwright also made several comments about his own Georgia background (his grandmother is from Tifton, GA). After two encores he kissed the audience goodbye.

In related Rufus news there are rumors that his song "Shut Down the World" will be included on the upcoming "Brokeback Mountain" soundtrack. This gay-themed movie will feature Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger and is directed by Ang Lee.

Earlier:
Arjan interviews Rufus Wainwright

June 16, 2005 in Rufus Wainwright | Permalink | Comments (1)

Rufus Wainwright Bootlegs

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Rufus in Concert (photo via SimonPear)

Listen to some excellent bootleg MP3 recordings (bittorrent) of recent live performances by Rufus Wainwright in Manchester, New York and the KCRW studio in Santa Monica. The last session features tracks from Wainwright's "Want Two" album, including "The Art Teacher," "Gay Messiah" and "This Love Affair" (via largehearted boy).

December 9, 2004 in Rufus Wainwright | Permalink | Comments (3)

Exclusive: Interview with Rufus Wainwright

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Singing a "realist prayer" on Want Two

Singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright is not afraid to speak his mind. In a time of increasing conservative sentiments in American society, Wainwright' newest CD/DVD "Want Two" (out on November 16) tackles some controversial issues head on, including the much-debated struggle for gay rights.

But "Want Two" is by no means a political record. Wainwright's fourth album features the singer's signature melancholic storytelling and operatic melodies that portray the world according to Wainwright.

The record reflects his fascination with classical music ("Little Sister") and spirituality ("Agnus Dei"), his struggle to understand the world we live in ("Waiting For A Dream") and an emotional ode to the late musician Jeff Buckley ("Memphis Skyline").

He also invited friends and family to take part on the recording, which makes "Want One" one his most personal efforts to date. Emerging artist Antony makes a cameo on "Old Whore's Diet" and his mother and sister perform on "Hometown Waltz."

If you are not familiar with Rufus Wainwright, check out a special Geffen media player with songs and videos from his new album.

Arjan: Congratulations with the release of your new album. Your songwriting turns out to be particularly relevant with regards to the current state of the world.

Rufus: Yeah, it is a pretty apocalyptic time. And I have to say there are not many artists out there that are willing to speak about it. All these pop stars still think it is 1999.

You're also one of the few artists that is publicly standing up for gay rights, most notably on the protest song "Gay Messiah."

Yeah, I think that is very important. Actually that song started out as a joke. Just a song to have some fun with. But when Bush started to talk about a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and Mel Gibson's "The Passion Of The Christ" came out, it took a heavy turn. Now, the song is more a reality call and damnation. It is a realist prayer you can say.

There is a lot of gays in the United States that are considering moving. The Canadian embassy has been flooded with visa requests.

Yeah, thank god I still have an apartment in Montreal. I'd be more than happy to sponsor a cute boy to help out [laughs]

Do you think gays here should stay and fight or is it really just better to leave?

That's a good question. If you think about it, I feel that it is part of a bigger issue. It all has to do with modern-day American imperialism. I think it is more valiant for people to stay and to try to change the government. What I'm trying to say is that it might not be possible to run away from the problem, because American influence is everywhere and these anti-gay sentiments might spread around the world.

I found it interesting that on the song "Agnus Dei" you combine Catholic liturgy with a Middle Eastern vibe. Why did you combine these two very different cultural elements?

That sort of happened. I didn't plan it like that. I just like to say that I don't belong to any church or religion, but I do feel I'm one of God's children. I'm a spiritual human being and I find some of the religious ideals and elements very meaningful. It is the mystical elements that I find very interesting. In fact, I try to take a page out of the book of the religious right.

How was it to include Middle Eastern elements?

I'm very inspired by Middle Eastern music. Egyptian singer Oum Kalsoum is one of my all-time favorite singers and it was great to include that flavor. I guess if I have to explain it I can say that I like the naturalistic feel of Middle Eastern music with the [explicit] lyrics of Western music.

You are portrayed as the Lady of Shallot on the cover of "Want Two." Why did you choose that metaphor?

I look great don't I? [both laugh]. Initially, I wanted to be some sort of sleeping beauty. A friend of mine explained the entire Lady of the Shallot story and I found it very appropriate. There are some similarities with sleeping beauty actually. Both are awoken by a prince. But Lady of Shallot is raped by Prince Lancelot and then sings herself to death.

So it is the melancholy of the story that appealed to you?

Yes, it reflects the feel of the album well. For example the song "Memphis Skyline" is about Jeff Buckley who drowned himself. He was also like a Lady of The Shallot.

The song "Old Whore's Diet" is one of the most striking songs on the record.

Thanks, I wrote it as an ode to decadence.

The song features singer Antony [who was recently covered on arjanwrites.com] and you also sing lead vocals on the song "What Can I Do" on his upcoming album. How did that collaboration come about?

Antony is a very good friend of fine and quite frankly I think he is the greatest singer in history. He's a member of the New York underground art scene and totally dedicated to that. He knows all the artists and musicians that are part of that. I'm very happy to give him the attention he deserves.

Previously you've said that you are pissed off with the state of contemporary gay culture. Do you think there are enough gay role models out there that represent the many aspects of our culture?

Absolutely not. Gay culture has a very lax attitude about partying quite frankly. I know that is an essential part of gay life and I've lived that life. But there is more than parties, going to the gym and sex. Yeah, sure it is liberating and it is fun, but in the end it is damaging to people and the community as a whole. I think there is simply not enough alternatives to enjoy gay culture and that's a shame because there is so much gay art to enjoy.

Well, you offer an alternative.

It is interesting you mention that. I think so too, but it has been an uphill battle. Magazines like Rolling Stone covered me before gay magazines did. It is changing now because I'm becoming more famous, but it has been hard to find recognition for my music in the gay community.

What is in your CD player right now?

Want Two!

You like to listen to your own music after it is done? Some artist prefer not to.

Oh but I do. I'm actually listening to it now, because I want to come up with some ideas for a video. I'd love to do a video for this album. I want to make it like a spaghetti western. I think I look really good right now.

The hair is flawless.

[both laugh] We have to get it on film before beauty fades.

November 15, 2004 in Interviews, Rufus Wainwright | Permalink | Comments (8)