Martha Wainwright Tells a Few Stories She Might Regret

As her brother’s fame grew, she struggled with her status as the least famous member of her nuclear family. And while her parents provided inspiration, she says in the book that they could have been more helpful. “I don’t know if you’re wondering where my dad was during those New York years,” she writes, “but at the time, I was wondering, too.”

For a while Rufus was running around as part of a “sons of” club, a group that included Sean Lennon, Chris Stills and Harper Simon. “They were all getting signed and written about and had publicists and photo shoots and beautiful girlfriends,” Ms. Wainwright says in the memoir. “Were their songs better than mine?” The chip on her shoulder led her to write a grand statement song, its title a vulgar epithet. Contrary to what she has told journalists in the past, the song isn’t about her father — or, rather, it isn’t exclusively about him.

In addition to the attention-grabbing title, the song had perhaps the closest thing to a pop hook to be found in her oeuvre up till then. Whereas the typical Martha Wainwright melody meanders as it showcases her acrobatic whisper-to-scream vocal range, this one was different: a folky strum-and-shout with straightforward lines like “Oh, I wish, I wish, I wish I was born a man.”

The Guardian called the song a “masterpiece” when it appeared in 2005 as the centerpiece of “Martha Wainwright,” her first album. Critics admired her debut but couldn’t resist comparing her with the rest of her family. A Pitchfork reviewer praised her voice and her songs, only to add the caveat that her ability to write about personal matters with such candor “would be more remarkable if it weren’t a genetic trait.”

Her next album, “I Know You’re Married but I’ve Got Feelings Too,” was partly produced by Brad Albetta, a bass player who, by the time of its 2008 release, was also her husband. Their relationship had always been tumultuous, but she had pushed for marriage anyway, partly because she wanted to “grow up” before losing her mother, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Credit…Martha Wainwright Collection

Source link

Latest

Pakistan reports 650 COVID-19 cases, two deaths in 24 hours

Pakistan has reported two deaths in the last 24...

Full list: Kaizer Chiefs’ 19 surviving players after 12 exits

Truth be told. Kaizer Chiefs delivered on their promise...

Man drowns in Sydney’s inner west as thousands evacuated

A man has drowned after his kayak capsized on...

Fact Check: Did Joe Biden say “life begins at conception?”

The Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade threatens...

Bruce Katz, Pioneer of the Walking Shoe, Is Dead at 75

Roger Katz said that his father and brother formed a balanced partnership.“My father was a manufacturing genius; he knew where to make product and...

Seeing Norma: The Conflicted Life of the Woman at the Center of Roe v. Wade

Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe at the center of Roe v. Wade, was an imperfect plaintiff.When she undertook Roe as a young single woman...

Solveig Gold Is Proud to Be the Wife of a ‘Canceled’ Princeton Professor

And when Dr. Katz lost his job, Ms. Gold promptly published an essay about their relationship in Common Sense, the newsletter run by Bari...