November 27, 2008

Rufus Wainwright

Beautiful tortured man, bold of gesture and blessed with an absurd amount of talent, who can resist Rufus Wainwright?

Because, let's face it, who else can get away with lyrics such as these:

I have suffered shipwreck against your dark brown eyes/I have run aground against your broken down smiles/Believe me when I tell you I have no place left to roam/But to go where the wild flowers grow and the stone gardens bloom....

And make us think, not of some lonely teenager writing bad poetry in his small cramped room smelling of smeg and socks (good lord, did I just write that?), but of Yeats or Shelley. It's not the overblown lyricism so much, as the yearning, weary, melancholy way he sings the words.

The group Supermayer have taken Wainwright's song "Tiegarten" (about his then boyfriend, and named for the public park in Berlin) and given us something shining and new. It's still quintessentially Rufus, with his magnificent theatricality intact, but they've transformed his original song into a glittering, forlornly hypnotic ode to love.

I first came across this version of the song thanks to the folks at Good weather for airstrikes. That blog is now defunct because they've decided to start a record label. Oh, reckless optimism. It's a wonderful thing.

So here's Rufus through the lens of Supermayer:

You can hear the original here.


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