Rufus At The Circus

Dr Sharl and I went to see Rufus Wainwright last night at the Cirque Royal in Brussels.


Nuff said? :)

Seriously though, here’s one talented singer/songwriter if ever I heard one. To switch effortlessly from rock to folk to campy Judy Garland to nigh operatic arrangements — and to somehow keep it all together: that is not a small achievement. Yet Rufus pulls it off, with brilliance and exuberance.


… and a dash of subversive humor. I’m sure Wainwright would’ve brought a big fat approving grin on Zappa’s face — and rightly so.

Now where did I leave my earrings…

18 thoughts on “Rufus At The Circus”

  1. Like what. Cross-dressing? Quit babbling out of your butt bernard, at least around these parts. It tends to be painful, mainly for the rest of us.

    Oh and for your information: there was a Loudon I, a Loudon II and therefor a Loudon III. Now, see, this Loudon Wainwright III person happens to be the father of Rufus, which implies that Rufus be Rufus I, not Rufus III.

    I know: so confusing!

    Pedants these days. Pfeh.

  2. Well actually you’re talking about Martha Wainwright there (that’s Martha III in bernard speak). As for Rufus vs Loudon III: the influence does tend to crop up, mainly in the folk realm. We’re talking guitar technique and chord changes here. Regurgitation though? Not a chance. Rufus has covered one song from his dad (“One Man Guy”) and written one song about their relationship (“Dinner At Eight”). The likeness stops right there. Beyond that, they live on different planets, musically.

  3. Glad you enjoyed the show Barry. Rufus comes from a long line of great Canadian musicians (for some reason Canada breeds them like rabbits). Must be the extremely long winters. Nothing else to do but have sex, make children, and make music….

  4. ” Music is a world within itself”- Stevie Wonder. And good musicians are each on their own a world within themselfs. In most of the cases they dislike other musicians, do not listen to the other’s music as they’re developping their own music. The bigger ones mention without hesitation the names of the musicians they like, respect, etc.

    The same goes for listening. It’s about personal taste. Very individual. I’ll take my own case. Do I listen to LW3? Yes, every now & then. Did I know about LW1&2&3, yes for sure. Do I like it? Yes & no. LW3 is about a better kind of ” songs”, however I do not really like “songs”( amongst others too much focused on creating emotions). OK? that’s male talk. It looks logical. That’s just one part of life.

    An interesting exercise in Zappology might be to discover which other music his fans are actually listening to. Might prove to be a very broad field. And that’s very good as it distroys walls between genres.

  5. other music?
    other than zappa???
    oh yes, i remember
    Eliot Carter’s Double concerto for harpsichord and piano is amazing.
    music from the ituri rain forest otherwise known as pygmy music, they do a lot of yodeling.
    different types of ethnic music is always interesting
    where i live the local radio station features american indian music which involves groups of people chanting and drumming
    music is the best

  6. Jane 23,

    Thanks. This happens to be a honest exercise, mind broadening.

    As for Elliot Carter ( still alive, now almost… 98 years old): I keep listening time & again to quite a lot of his scores, mostly String Quartets 1-4 ( Arditti Quartet). Carter:

    I really didn’t know the Double concerto for harpsichord and piano ( 1959 – 1961). I’ll visit the Mediathèque, in Brussels/ Be next week. No doubt they have it.

    US Indian music? Frankly speaking the only thing I know about that is the Don Pullen / Georges Adams Quartet last record.

    I’ll explore it further.

    By the way local ( independent ) radio stations might develop into innovative & genuine musical value . Their programming is very comprehensive.
    See for instance (just to mention one local initiative in East England) : the broad minded . It’s Bob Singleton from the classical music blog

  7. actually, Eliot Carter will be 100 in 2008 and was still actively composing into his 90’s.
    The version I heard of the double concerto for harpsichord and piano featured paul jacobs on harpsichord and it sounded so fantastic that i literally stood there motionless while I was listening.

  8. I like Rufus Wainwright. He write good songs that are well-played and well-arranged (by himself) he has class, he has the voice.

    He’s good.

  9. Sorry ’bout causing mental trouble, folks.
    Just invite me to stop contributing, I’ll do it.

    FZ was an American composer. However as for his inspiration on the side of ” classical ” music was concerned , he relied on Stravinsky, Varese &Webern. Just have a look at the VPRO documentary, provided recently on thKUR by giantalbinopenguin . Nothing but European composers.

    US educational system at highschool level? Doesn’t seem to be optimal.
    Did he ever hear about the great US composers? Charles Ives? No. Ellliot Carter? I don’t think so. About – much closer to his musical concepts – Conlon Nancarrow? No. Or about Aaron Copland, great instructive site is

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