Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rufus Wainwright records "All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu"

The big news of late in Lulu-land is that acclaimed singer / songwriter Rufus Wainwright has recorded a new album - his sixth studio work (due in March) called All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu. That's according to an article on the Orange County Register website.

The article by Ben Wener notes, "Songs for Lulu, as a concept, was inspired by, as he put it, 'any kind of reckless woman in your life, in your imagination … or in yourself.' For Rufus, that figure is the great silent-film actress Louise Brooks, as seen in G.W. Pabst’s 1929 film Pandora’s Box. In his mind, she’s wandering the streets of Berlin singing his songs, while Fred Astaire dances nearby. It’s a compelling setting –- I look forward to sinking into it when the record arrives."

Not much else is known about this tantalizing project.

However, there's already a Wikipedia page devoted to the forthcoming album, though it doesn't reveal much. The Wikipedia page states "The first part of the title, "All Days Are Nights", comes from the final couplet of William Shakespeare's "Sonnet 43" ("All days are nights to see till I see thee..."). When asked about the reference to "Lulu", which appears in the second part of the album's title, Wainwright stated in a November 2009 interview that Lulu is a "dark, brooding, dangerous woman that lives within all of us", similar to the Dark Lady character in Shakespeare's sonnets. Wainwright claimed that his Lulu was Louise Brooks in the 1929 movie Pandora's Box."

The interview the Wikipedia entry refers to is one that took place with the musician last November on radio station KUT in Austin, Texas. That interview can be heard on this page. I've listened to it and during the interview Wainwright briefly mentions Brooks and the album. Like Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) and Mike Doughty of Soul Coughing (among other rock/pop musicians), Wainwright has turned his passion for Louise Brooks into music.

The Wikipedia entry also notes that in order to promote the album, Wainwright will begin a tour in April, 2010 with a series of 10 concerts throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. There are no indication as yet if Wainwright will tour the United States.

However, the singer's website at http://www.rufuswainwright.com/ reveals that on February 12 of this year he will be performing at the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie, New York.

That is the same historic venue where on January 15, 1923 Louise Brooks herself performed as a member of the Denishawn Dance Company. Still a teenager, Brooks danced alongside company members Martha Graham, Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis. And in the audience on that special occasion was a lovely young Poughkeepsie teenage girl, Lee Miller - the future Surrealist photographer.

Wainwright's February 12th concert in Poughkeepsie will bring things full circle - as artist meets muse on the stage of history and inspiration. [The Louse Brooks Society blog will bring its readers additional details as this story develops.]


  1. Fred Astaire. Gag me with a Dirt Devil. How would thy shadow's form form happy show, LULU!

    Anyway ... an informative post card from LBSHQ to Mr. Wainwright might stir warm waters at the Bardavon.

    The musical "Spring Awakening" will be performed, February 9-14, at Rochester's Auditorium Theatre (the 1931 Masonic Temple), a half-mile from Brooks's Goodman Street apartment. If she could see Sacred Heart Academy, she could see the Auditorium ... which currently is at the center of civic debate: where to have a theater for Broadway shows in the future.

    P.S. 90th anniversary of Prohibition today. Have a near beer.

  2. Ahh...Louise and Lee are my two Dark Ladies...

  3. Breaking news: Canadian folksinger Kate McGarrigle dies at 63



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