Fate has decreed that I review this CD. I got the opportunity to see Loudon Wainwright III perform at La Zona Rosa for the media party for the Judd Apatow film Knocked Up during this year's SXSW, so it came as a pleasant surprise to see a copy of the CD Strange Weirdos: Music From And Inspired By The Film Knocked Up, show up in my mailbox last week. Then tonight watching Conan O'Brien, I catch him playing again.
With a recording career stretching back to 1970, it's a little surprising to find Loudon Wainwright III doing the soundtrack for a film aimed at such a young audience, but it's not that surprising knowing how seemingly random and disconnected the connections in the entertainment industry can be. The music itself is certainly a refreshing change from the buzzsaw guitars I'm usually reviewing. A singer-songwriter, one of many touted in the 70s as the new "Dylan," his voice reminds me a lot of Don McLean, but not quite as flowery. Probably best known to the public for his 70s song "Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road," I remember him more for the three episodes of M.A.S.H., where he was credited in the role as Capt. Calvin Spaulding, the singing surgeon.
I really enjoyed seeing him play live, and he performed a number of songs off this disc. This CD is loaded with great music and I especially enjoyed the cuts "Grey in L.A." and and "Valley Morning." Loudon even shines on the songs he didn't write, like Peter Blegvad's "Daughter." This disc is like a series of audio snapshots taken with a black and white camera that captures the emptiness of living in modern day suburbia. It will be interesting to see how the music works with the film. I really enjoyed this disc and it will end up long term on my iPod.