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It’s been in all the papers – Manny Laureano, the prinicpal trumpeter of the Minnesota Orchesta (and a friend of this blog, of the NARN and incidentally of me) walked off the stsge at a MNO gig supporting Rufus Wainright the other night.

Wainright – son of 70s country-rock eccentric Loudon “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road” Wainright III – was in the middle of one of several apparent tirades about Republicans when Laureano, one of the Orchestra’s few conservatives, walked offstage.

“The evening was already too snarky,” Laureano said. So by the time Wainwright got around to the political talk, the trumpeter added, “It got incredibly self-indulgent.”

“He’s an angry dude that seems to have life all figured out, not the kind of guy we need to look to for philosophy,” he said. “I found it to be beyond the pale of what that evening should be about. It’s a time of the year we’re supposed to all come together.”

As is the Twin Cities’ meida’s wont, the writer – the Strib’s longtime music writer Chris Riemenschneider, who is not immune to misplaced and not-overly-interesting political “insides” of his own – verges on editorial writing for a moment:

I’m so tired of you, America,” is famously/infamously the refrain in the Juno Award-nominated 2007 song, which also offers lines questioning Christians intolerant of same-sex marriage. (Wainwright, a Toronto native and New York resident, has been married to husband Jörn Weisbrodt for five years and they are raising a daughter together, Viva).

Wainwright actually kept his comments relatively brief and, by his standards, rather innocuous, saying he had refrained from political talk at shows in prior months but was “a little in shock over what happened last night,” a reference to the GOP tax plan that passed in Congress overnight.


He had not yet heard about any repercussions for his protest from orchestra management, but he said, “Obviously my contract says I’m not supposed to walk off stage during a performance.”

Of course there’ll be repercussions; Wainright’s fans – who resemble Alan Dershowitz’s description of the Harvard Law School faculty, people who think diversity is “Hiring someone with different colored skin, or wearing a skirt, who thinks just the same as you do” – are about as diverse as a Klan rally.