Friday, July 25, 2008

Motel Blues

Loudon Wainwright has gotten a burst of late-career exposure through the good graces of the Judd Apatow comedy juggernaut, culminating in the soundtrack to Knocked Up (whose best song is written by Peter Blegvaad, of all people). Now Wainwright is going the rerecord route with the Joe Henry-produced Recovery, which will feature new versions of some of his earliest songs. The first 250 pre-orders at the Yep Roc store get their copy autographed. Tracklist:

Black Uncle Remus
Saw Your Name In The Paper
School Days
The Drinking Song
Motel Blues
Muse Blues
New Paint
Be Careful There's A Baby In The House
Needless To Say
Movie Are A Mother To Me
Say That You Love Me
Old Friend
Man Who Couldn't Cry

The ones that stick out to me are "Motel Blues" and "The Man Who Couldn't Cry", since I first heard them as covers, by Alex Chilton and Johnny Cash, respectively. Chilton's version, from the Big Star Live album, is especially effective, telegraphing the direction things would go in Third/Sister Lovers and making twentysomething world-weariness not only bearable but almost unbearably stark and sad.

Here's Loudon performing it recently:

For the download-inclined, here's a pretty good version from the Live Music Archive, performed by Reed Foehl.

MP3: Reed Foehl - Motel Blues (Loudon Wainwright III)


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