Martha Wainwright | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Martha Wainwright


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I wouldn't want to be Loudon Wainwright III, not after his daughter Martha released a song about him titled "Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole," a stinging response to what she describes as his neglect and disapproval. Recently discussing Loudon's song "I'd Rather Be Lonely," she told the London Guardian that "I always felt terribly sorry for the poor woman I thought it was about, because of the line 'Every time I see you cry you're just a clone of every woman I've known.' Then one time I was on tour with Loudon and he said to the crowd: 'I wrote this song about my daughter.'" She bares her scars on many of the songs on her eponymous debut for Zoe Records: on "TV Show" she pinpoints self-hatred as the reason she can't find love, while on "When the Day Is Short" she yearns for a zipless fuck, singing "We're just lovers in the dark / Feel nothing, leave no mark / But it was fun when we saw sparks." Her voice suggests a grittier, more earthbound Tanya Donelly, though its emotion can sometimes overwhelm the tunes themselves, which are mostly modest variations on simple melodies. There are some nice exceptions: "Far Away" is a honeyed, Lennon-esque lope, and her brother, Rufus, contributes some pretty harmony vocals on "The Maker." Kelly Hogan opens. Tue 5/31, 9 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $10.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Ken Schless.

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