Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Gay Woodstock

Rufus at Carnegie Hall

Rufus Wainwright will be performing the entire 1961 Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall concert, with a full orchestra, at Carnegie Hall in June. Insane? Brilliant? Both?!?

How authentic will the performance be? I imagine he'll use the same orchestrations, the same charts, the same medleys and overture. The real question, though, is obvious.

Will he wear the same gowns?

I'm scared.

Back in 2004, Rufus said in an interview: "In fact, I do consider myself to be the male Judy Garland." He also admitted then to becoming obsessed with the Judy at Carnegie Hall album. Last February, he said in another interview that "he aspires to the condition of Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall." So I guess this is just progression. Or delusion. Or something.

(via the SFGate blog, which writes "Culture Blogger Neva Chonin says this is going to be the gay Woodstock", and I think that's completely true)


Anonymous J.Go said...

I saw Rufus live years ago when he opened for Tori Amos. He's brilliant. This show sounds spectacular!

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely adore Wainwright as a songwrighter and lyricist but vocally he's a far cry from Garland. His vocal tone is too shrill to belt out tunes like Judy did and get away with it. Wainwrights vocal limitations are rendered irrelevent by the quality of his songs and his personal connection to them. Why would he even bother to do this??

To quote Garland herself: It's better to be a first rate version of yourself than a second-rate version of someone else.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1 you're a goddamn putz. You realize of course that you've just condemned every cover song every written, every jazz tune ever played, every actor who has ever played a part on stage.

Rufus Wainwright CAN do Garland, if only because it's his performed conception of what Garland did. If you've ever heard him perform any of her songs, you'd get it.

But you choose to be ridiculous.

Even more ridiculous, you conclude a diatribe about "originality" by QUOTING someone? Are you retarded?

12:06 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

j.go: I've never seen him live, but I'm sure he's brilliant.

Thing 1 and Thing 2: This is why I need to start requiring identities on comments. Thing 1 has a point: Rufus's vocal quality is far from Judy's, but that may allow him to put his own Wainwrightian stamp on the material. Thing 2 also has a point, but chooses to cloak it in ad hominem attacks. Please don't do that here.

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for defending my honor. I do love Rufus Wainwright and I buy all his albums. And I have no problem whatsoever with cover tunes or song interpretations. That's what Garland did and I love her as well. Maybe Wainwright will start singing differently, he has shown signs of opening up his vocal tone but across all his albums it tends to live in a pretty narrow, nasal placement and a limited range. Nothing wrong with it, I love his voice, I just don't know if he can even approximate what Garland was able to express and I'm speaking from a purely technical standpoint. I just don't know if he has the physical ability. His prowess is considerable I just think it lies in other areas. Maybe I'm wrong tho...

I guess the event will be fun as a kind of gay carnival of Garland appreciation.

I'm David, by the way.

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

When I read this I immediately made the order, not thinking twice about the calendar or the distance.

Thank you for the heads. Fingers crossed my ticket order went through for pre-sale.

9:30 AM  

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