Q&A

Loudon Wainwright III Writes Songs About Death That Will Make You Laugh

See also: John Prine and Loudon Wainwright III at The Orpheum Theatre, 11/19/11 See also: Loudon Wainwright III on 40 Odd Years, Rufus, Martha, and Emotionally Flashing

The Who's Pete Townshend may have famously penned the line "I hope I die before I get old," but in many ways, it seems like Loudon Wainwright III has been singing about aging forever.

His latest, Older Than My Old Man Now, is a reflection on mortality (Wainwright calls it "death and decay"), but it's hardly a stuffy, morose collection of songs. With jazzy motifs, harmonica, and contributions from his children Martha, Rufus, and Lucy Wainwright, his ex-wife Suzzy Roche, John Scofield, Dame Edna Everage, and more, the record is quite simply the funniest meditation on death I can think of.

Wainwright discussed the record with us in advance of his show tonight at the Musical Instrument Museum.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.