LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III
Songwriter, satirist and dysfunctional family man Loudon Wainwright III notes that his contemporaries are all writing memoirs. He, on the other hand, prefers to chronicle his wayward life with witty, wise-ass, joyous and sorrowful songs. His latest LP, Older Than My Old Man Now, is an emotional rumination on mortality. Usually, when a pop elder tackles such subjects, words like “mature” and “thoughtful” are used as code for “boring downer,” but this is Loudon Wainwright III, the man who flirted with the mainstream in 1972 with that rollicking, endearing ode to road kill “Dead Skunk.” Wainwright has been writing gems like that for decades now, lampooning musical genres he truly loves while balancing comedy and tragedy on the edge of his razor-sharp wit. With sundry wives and assorted famous sons and daughters, Wainwright frequently focuses on his favorite protagonist — himself — and his adventures in family psycho-drama. Despite his years, Wainwright’s snarky charm suggests he’ll always be that 12-year-old class clown who might just drive you up the wall. He brilliantly tempers his clowning with compassion, and his needling exposes his own naked honesty.