Aside from being the dad of glam-folkie Rufus Wainwright and similarly talented sister Martha, Loudon Wainwright III is one of the most unsung singer-songwriters still strumming today. With his ex-wife, the late, great Kate McGarrigle, he was a part of a folk power-couple, and songs like "Rufus Is A Tit-Man," "The Acid Song" and "Dead Skunk (In the Middle of the Road)" have made Rocks Off a fan for years now.
This evening at the ListeningRoom at NiaMoves, a yoga studio by day and music venue by night, Wainwright stops by for a set of his best cuts off his new album 10 Songs for the New Depression. The album offers up ten tales of woe and hilarity from our new era of joblessness, corporate bailouts and general malaise. A standout is "Cash For Clunkers," which is about that short-lived government program that was bent on taking clunker cars off the road.
When LWIII isn't writing songs and touring, he has made quite a film career for himself as the quirky older guy or the wizened doctor or priest. He was seen on TV for a few episodes of NBC's "Parks and Recreation" as well. Here are his best roles that, small as they may have been, made each movie all the better.
LWIII plays Dr. Everett Howard, Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl's final choice as their obstetrician. He also recorded the music for the film, a disc titled Strange Weirdos: Music From and Inspired By the Film Knocked Up, and appears over the end credits performing "Daughter."
LWIII is Mayor Beamen of Specter, the strange and ethereal town where Ewan McGregor finds himself in the early part of the film.
Blink and you'll miss LWIII as a hot-jazz singer in one of the nightclub scenes in Martin Scorcese's 2004 Howard Hughes biopic. Rufus also makes an appearance in the same capacity.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
It's a small, small role, but LWIII delivers one of the best lines in the Steve Carell comedy as the priest at the end of the film.
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This Cameron Crowe flick is easily one of his most underrated, if miscast, films. LWIII appears as one of Orlando Bloom's uncles dead set on having his deceased father buried in the titular city. LWIII's character is also the father of the drummer of Ruckus. Just see the damned movie - it's good.
8:30 p.m. tonight at the Listening Room at NiaMoves, 508 Pecore, www.listeningroomhouston.com.