Martha Wainwright, Clarence Bucaro Early Warnings (Music) Member Picks Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sun., March 24, 8 p.m. 2013

On last fall’s terrific Come Home to Mama (Cooperative Music), Martha Wainwright is caught up in the cycle of life: she gave birth to her first child in November 2009 and lost her mother, singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle, to cancer in January 2010. Wainwright's writing is as empathetic and sharply observant as ever, and her new songs often make ingenious and constructive use of ambiguity, leaving you guessing about the identity of the narrator: on "Everything Wrong," for instance, she addresses a child ("I am only a stepping stone / For you to get where you must go"), but she could be singing to her daughter or playing the role of McGarrigle singing to her. Wainwright can cut deep and quick, like she does with the opening couplet of "Can You Believe It" ("I really like the makeup sex / It’s the only kind I ever get"), or take her time sketching a heartbreaking scenario like the one in “All Your Clothes," where she’s talking out her loneliness and anxieties with someone who's obviously dead and gone. Her full-bodied, fearless singing, with its bold strokes and virtuosic, sometimes wordless acrobatics, suits her lyrics perfectly. —Peter Margasak

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