Song of the Day: Rufus Wainwright, "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk"
In researching Morphine yesterday, I ran across another DreamWorks Records signing. I had completely forgotten about Rufus Wainwright, whose first two albums were in constant rotation during my musical theater years. It made perfect sense: Wainwright clearly had a penchant for the stage even before he made a bunch of faux-opera albums (which I'm less into). But Poses, his second album that arrived in the summer of 2001, was a gem, packed with pop-folk balladry and cheeky lounge moves.
I instantly loved Poses and was particularly enamored of its leadoff track "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk." It was pretty and funny and dark and sweet, and it was also fundamentally a New York album—an aspect that became even more pronounced in the wake of 9/11. When I first heard it, the lyric "I'm drunk and wearing flip-flops on Fifth Avenue" merely felt like a decadent expression of wasted youth. Later, it became almost an act of defiance. I'm mildly embarrassed how often I was drunk and wearing flip-flops on Fifth Avenue. The follies of youth.