Entries tagged with: Antony & The Johnsons
photos by Ryan Muir
The show was/felt short, but sweet.
Clocking in at under 90 minutes (he started around 8:15, and we were definitely on the street by 9:45), Antony brought down the house at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem last night (Oct 16, 2008). Dressed all in white, Antony stood (the whole time) on the hardly-lit stage with a full orchestra playing behind him. Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) played piano (a job Antony used to have in addition to singing), and two regular members of the Johnsons (Julia Kent and Maxim Moston) played with the orchestra that had roughly 20 members and a conductor (Robert Moose) who looked like Nico Muhly from the back (the side we saw of Robert throughout the whole show as he eloquently moved his baton and body behind Antony). He wasn't Nico though. That was most evident when Nico, the co-arranger for the show, came on stage for a bow with everyone else at the end.
Speaking of the end, it came way too soon and after an encore that only lasted for one song. Heavy on new songs, and light on the 'hits', highlights of the setlist included a jazzed up, re-arranged version of the classic "Cripple and the Starfish", a cover of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love", and a beautiful, beautiful, old-school-Antony-full-of-emotion-and-magic, minimalistic-with-not-too-much-orchestra (aka I loved it the best) version of "Another World" which is the title track from Antony's new EP. There were no special guests, though Antony's friends Nomi and Lou Reed were both spotted in the audience. More pictures from the show below...
Fellow Vermont-to-New York transplants Nico Muhly, Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), and Sam Amidon like to make music together: They have appeared in each other's shows, played on each other's records, and now they're going to grab a friend (such as Oren Bloedow) or two (such as Oren Bloedow and Nadia Sirota), pile into a van, and head off on tour. The performances will feature music from each of the three of them, as well as some sneak previews of future collaborative schemes. Sam will perform a set of folk ballads interspersed with the occasional Melville reading and some liturgical dance, accompanied by Thomas with guest plinks by Nico. The microphone will then be passed to Thomas, who will whisper some lamp-rock, gently expiring into the microphone, while Sam, Nico, and Oren strum and plink and tap and generally try to liven things up. Finally, Nico will perform a selection of his compositions, with help from Sam, Thomas, Oren, and favored drinking buddy and violist extraordinaire Nadia, culminating in "The Only Tune," a piece that Nico wrote for Sam, and that he, Sam, Thomas, and Nadia premiered last year at Carnegie Hall.I love this tour and I just realized I didn't post the dates here before they started the tour in Seattle on August 14th (oops). At least the NYC show didn't happen yet (not to mention MD, PA, MA, Montreal & Toronto & Chicago). NYC is August 23rd at (le) poisson rouge and tickets are on sale.
Doveman covered the Footloose soundtrack (and received a cease and desist for doing so). Nico Muhly has been working with Antony. Doveman (Thomas) is also touring with Antony (as a band member I think). All dates below...
Bjork & Antony @ Apollo Theater, NYC - May 2007 (more)
Tickets go on sale Friday for an October 16th Antony & The Johnsons show at the legendary Apollo Theater in NYC. Last time I saw Antony at the Apollo, he was singing "The Dull Flame of Desire" with Bjork. In related news...
Björk releases the new single 'The Dull Flame of Desire' on September 29th 2008 through One Little Indian Records.More info on that Bjork single, and all Antony tour dates, below...
Flooded with melancholic passion and restrained hope, 'The Dull Flame of Desire' sees Björk accompanied on vocals by Antony Hegarty from Antony & The Johnsons. Antony joined Björk onstage at her recent Hammersmith live shows and sang 'Dull Flame' to showstopping effect. 'The duet seemed unsurpassable - the pair's distinctive vocals brought to life against brass, transfixing the crowd' The Independent April 15th...
photos by Bao Nguyen
"We wanted to make some statement from New York City -- the center of the universe," said Lou Reed in a hallway press conference for Speak Up!, an anti-war benefit held last night (March 18) at intimate Brooklyn theater St. Ann's Warehouse. While the 65-year-old NYC icon isn't in any shape to be chaining himself to a recruiting station, he certainly can gather a who's who of the lefty art-rocker geekerati: David Byrne, Moby, Blonde Redhead, Scissor Sisters, Damien Rice, Norah Jones and co-organizers Laurie Anderson and Antony, who helped conceive the event in Anderson's living room. It was a night where every song felt like a protest anthem -- even when the Scissor Sisters sang "I ain't got nothing but your seed on my face/You'll put them babies to waste." That could be about sending kids to war, right? [Rolling Stone]
Reed, Anderson, Antony and Moby opened the show with a broken version of "The Star Spangled Banner." Lou's feedback never quite nailed the notes and he mangled the words a little bit ("home of the free and the home of the brave"), but it all made perfect sense. On the fifth anniversary of a war that has been pushed off the headlines in favor of an election, our national anthem was given an appropriate luster of unease and trepidation. Norah Jones performed slinky versions of her "My Dear Country" and Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going To Rain Today." David Byrne, armed with a four-person choir, led an art-gospel sermon full of huge choruses. Damien Rice was on hand to add harmonies (and the shittiest tambourine playing since Tracy Partridge), but Byrne's mesmerizing presence kept his pair of originals spiraling heavenward. The perenially chilly Laurie Anderson pulled out the snarky electrofunk of her recent "Only An Expert," vivisecting corporations and Oprah and weapons of mass destruction and global warming in that arch, scientific, matter-of-fact Laurie Anderson way. [Rolling Stone]More below.....
Stereo Warmup! - 4/28/07 - Burlington, VT (Mike Jones)
* Bob is selling Cadillacs
* I'm Not There opens tonight
* "I'm not There" captures Dylan through a prism
* Antony is one of the artists covering Dylan on the soundtrack
* Cover Dylan yourself and win a prize
* Director Todd Haynes lists his favorite Dylan songs for Rhapsody
* There's a Dylan song on a new benefit CD to fight hunger
* Bob Dylan is on the cover of the Voice (again)
* Jack White is recording Hank Williams for Bob Dylan
* Jack White recently played with Bob Dylan at a show
* Jack White & Meg White are also working with Beck
* Dick Wilson, RIP
" It´s been a gorgeous pleasure to get to know antony , he is very very special . Incredibly generous person . I feel blessed ." [Björk]
DOWNLOAD: Cocorosie - Rainbowarriors (MP3)
Cocorosie has always been a polarizing force - not as love-them-or-hate-them as their friends Antony, Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart, but definitely a band that generates a lot of disdain among music fans. This is especially true in the U.S. In Europe, especially France, they seem to more often adore Cocorosie. When I saw Cocorosie open for Antony in French-speaking Montreal, the crowd even gave the Cocorosie Cassady sisters an amazing reception - something I wasn't used to as a New Yorker. U.S. music fans are more likely to use words 'art school' and 'pretentious' when describing Cocorosie. The Cassady sisters don't help the matter by aligning themselves with the controversial Williamsburg, Brooklyn "Pumpsta" scene.
I'm personally somewhere in the middle. I kind of have/had a fetish for all things Antony-Devendra-Cocorosie-Newsom - the extremity of it has worn off a little, but I still support most of Cocorosie's endeavors - I play their music on my Sirius radio show, regularly post their tour dates, and am quick to explore anything else they have going on like their record label & store Voodoo-EROS, and their side project Metallic Falcons. I enjoy their music, but don't often find myself listening to their albums. I am not offended by their live shows, but sometimes do wonder how authentic they are. Overall I am more FOR them than against them. Sometimes that makes me feel alone - especially among those closest to me. ha.
Pitchfork was sort of on Cocorosie's side when Sam Ubl gave their 2004 Touch & Go debut La Maison de Mon Reve a 6.9. Sam was much less kind in 2005 when the score for Noah's Ark came in at a 3.4, and now - for their brand new album The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn - an album Drowned in Sound called "a sure contender for album of the year" - Cocorosie received a lowly 2.3.
...Too bad it seems as if the more self-impressed CocoRosie sisters Bianca and Sierra Casady get about transcending genres, the less patience they have for mere mortal concerns like, um, songs. True, Ghosthorse and Stillborn begins with CocoRosie at their most radio-ready, on single "Rainbowarriors" (MP3 above), where Bianca speak-sings impishly about finding "the rainbow trail that's deep inside ya" over beatbox schmaltz. It's something like Vitamin C's 1999 Top 40 hit "Graduation (Friends Forever)", only with neighing horses, buzzing synths, and Sierra's operatic soprano instead of Pachelbel-derived orchestral Radio Disney pomp/circumstance....On the other hand, Joanna, Devendra, and Antony and his Johnsons have all received the "Best New Music" title at least once. I'm not implying there's anything more to this than Pitchfork's honest assessment of all albums involved (feel free to in the comments though). I'm really just setting the background for what came next....
I have a musical crush on Antony, but, factual errors aside, I don't believe any musician should ever take on a critic. Where's it going to get you? You'll always look bad except to your most die-hard fans.
I'm also not sure if it is ethical to publish (theoretically) private letters on a blog. I'm not sure if it's even allowed - especially if the letters were written to and/or on behalf of your employer (is it OK Gawker?).
That said, I considered not posting this at all. Honestly, I'm not sure why Marc Hogan was allowed to post letters from Antony to Pitchfork on his personal blog....
dear Ryan SchreiberThe other letters, and Marc Hogan's thoughts on on this matter, at his personal blog.
I am writing in regards to the very unpleasant review of Cocorosie's new album that was printed in yesterday's Pitchfork.
I was bitterly disappointed when I read it. It was filled with inaccuracies. For instance, I do not even appear on the record, and yet Hogan snidely referred to a guest appearance he somehow imagined I had made.
But It is an album I would have been proud to be a part of. Please assign writers who are open and receptive to understanding the work of America's more challenging young artists, instead of printing reviews that try to cover up their lack of comprehension with bad wit and cynical one-upmanship. We desperately need artists who will take risks and put their hearts forward in this cultural climate, now more than ever. Why would you print a review that only seeks to oppress performers who are among those taking some of the biggest and most generous risks?
Please assign writers with some sense of vision to review Cocorosies work in the future. Marc Hogan, a financial analyst (!!), is completely in the dark about Cocorosie; he cannot even fathom their intent or the usefulness, the generosity, and the deep originality of their work. I remember the Pitchfork review of their last album in which the writer even admitted that he was panning the album simply because he didnt understand it. Cocorosie are a brave pair of visionary young Americans who are pushing the dialogue forward. They are treasured by their peers, many of whom are artists that you have written about with respect, and by audiences around the world. We all read Pitchfork, and rely on it as an important outlet of information for independent artists. Please rise to the challenge and represent Cocorosie fairly, instead of publishing checklists of incomprehension that are tinged with misogynist resentment.
I did send an email that was a little hot under the collar to Marc Hogan, which should be laughed at and disregarded. I send this now to you now in all earnestness.
BUT WAIT? What does this post have to do with the wombat-loving Mountain Goats (aka John Darnielle)?
WELL, as we already knew, John - owner of "one of the best music blogs on the interblock" according to Pitchfork - LOVES Cocorosie. He loved them in 2006. He loves them in 2007 - John recently blogged:
....Still. Objections constitute dialogue; Lou Reed used to know this & it's why he owned the seventies. The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn is my favorite album of the year so far. At its lyrical best, it inhabits its own country, unashamed of real poetry and willing to put in the hard work necessary to inhabit a space unlike anybody else's.Take that 2.3.
Now let's all love one another..
I love John because of the following awesome upcoming shows:
05-05 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506I love Antony for playing with Bjork.
05-11 Brooklyn, NY - Sound Fix (in-store) (John Darnielle solo) **
06-16 Watkins Glen, NY - Farm Sanctuary (John Darnielle solo) (info) *
06-17 Watkins Glen, NY - Farm Sanctuary (John Darnielle solo) (info)*
06-20 Chicago, IL - Metro (Eff Cancer Benefit) #
** with Nothing Painted Blue's Franklin Bruno AKA an Extra Glenns reunion
* with Peter Hughes, Perry Wright
# with Superchunk
I love Farm Sanctuary for being one of the coolest, most compassionate places anywhere. Go there to see The Mountain Goats - the John Darnielle ones (see dates above), and the real ones (actual goat at Farm Sanctuary pictured above). Go there to pet pigs (the pigs are seriously one of the highlights). Go there to spend a night out of the city. They serve vegan breakfast.
More pics of Antony & CocoRosie - like those you see above - here.
Download Bjork - Who is It (Vitalic remix) (MP3)
why Beck? Why not
I LOVE collaborations, especially (well, mainly) if they're by artists I also love, and the idea of Antony and/or Bjork contributing to anything always gets me excited. Bjork & Antony BOTH appear on the last Matmos album, Bjork recently worked with Bonnie Prince Billy, and we even heard something back in July about Bjork working with Konono No 1.
Yesterday I posted something about Bjork collaborating with Timbaland on her new "hip hop" album. Coincidentally - just minutes later "meester fly" posted an official update on Bjork's site (which i used to live on pre-pre-blogging days) that confirms this, Konono, and MORE:
It has not been snowing at all here, but today we are graced with snow. It is a few days after the hidden people and elves move home, if they have to. We are in Iceland. I arrived after a short absence of mind and body back into the HQ of the MWC. I got the word to get back on the case and gather some knowledge, as I of course, am truly the wise one.A treat indeed.
Being the one and only I got sent new songs from Björk. These songs are to be on the new album she has been working on for the past months. She has been all around the world to record, working with numerous people from truly different background. I have been left with many thoughts after listening to these tracks, the first impression is that I want to hear more, as I did not get everything shortlisted for the record. It made me excited.
The only thing I have heard prior of the making of this new record was a collaboration with Timbaland was being penned in. They met for a couple of sessions and laid down some beats for two tracks, "then I took these tracks and worked on them further", says Björk. This is true, as I hear that she has taken them to a another level.
We speak about the many collaborators on this record and the list is very interesting as Antony Hegerty duets on two tracks. Drummer Chris Corsano jumps into at least the 2 songs. New sounds and instrumentation are provided by Toumani Diabate who plays the Kora and Konono nr.1 with electric thumb pianos. More percussive delights come from Brian Chippendale from Lightning Bolt Great artists being drafted into the fold!
This list is very impressive and intriguing and from this first batch of song create a very unique sound and emotion. Nothing sounds really familiar about this experience, apart from the name of Mark Bell, him I know. And Sjón, turns to form to deliver one lyric, his 5th lyric since they started work together. This record is a Björk production par excellence. No stone left unturned to seek out the perfect pitch.
And more work is being done in the next few weeks on the new record. It has not got a name. The record is scheduled for late spring release. Some of us have wished to see Björk live in concert.
Well. Björk will be going on the road and giving us long wanted concert recitals. Yes gigging again. I get to see who is the band, I'll be damned, I forgot. It is being finalised right now! From what I remember: We are in for a treat. I am promised to be there. Bien sur. Of-course. Að sjálfsögðu. More soon."
Antony & The Johnsons play the Brooklyn Philharmonic on March 9th.
Konono No 1 play Bowery Ballroom on May 5th.
* Antony sings on new Marc Almond cover album
* Antony & The Johnsons performed 'Turning' in Europe
* Elton John & Jake Shears agree - Antony is good
* Cat Power, Lips, Antony Retool Yoko Ono
* Yoko OK with new Cirque du Soleil Beatles mashup album
* Cat Power & Fred Armisen have a chat w/ Pitchfork
* Pitchfork also talked to Lily Allen
* Cat Power show to stream on NPR
* Cat Power performance for download at AOL
* Cat Power modeling for Karl Lagerfeld
* Lily Allen Denies She's Modeling For Chanel
* Sean Lennon in attendance at LA Lily Allen show
* Lily Allen MOVING to LA
* Art Brut still in UK, spawn over 100 franchises
* Cat Power & Ryan Adams covered Dylan
* Nellie McKay played Fat Cat on Halloween
* Nellie McKay likes Ryan Adams
* Check out review of Nellie's new double album
* Ryan Adams is streaming EIGHT new albums on his website
* Nellie McKay & Antony playing with Brooklyn Philharmonic
* Radiohead & Cat Power on new benefit compilation
* Sean Lennon says Ryan Adams and Radiohead are hip
* Ryan Adams playing 3 nights @ Town Hall
"Jarvis Cocker, guest editor, sits down with a cast of famous friends to discuss pop in the 21st century, iPods and selling baked beans." [The Observer] (thx Neuman)
As I was saying, I missed this show. Bao tells me that Antony did sing with both usual collaborator CocoRosie and recent collaborator Matmos, but other than that no special guests. Here are some of Bao's pics:
"Antony and the Johnsons, CocoRosie, and Matmos will play a benefit for the Ali Forney Center at the Warsaw in Brooklyn on Wednesday July 26. Tickets go on sale Friday June 23 and are $25. The Ali Forney Center is an emergency housing program for LGBT youth aged 16-24 in New York City. The organization also operates a day center that offers medical care, HIV testing, mental health treatment and food as well as operating transitional housing where they assist the residents in gaining employment, continuing their education and prepare them to live independently. The center was established in 2002."
File under psychedelic-ambient-shoegaze: Metallic Falcons put on an impressive close-to-first show at Tonic Wednesday night (June 7, 2006). Seats and/or beanbags would have made the atmospheric-artsy performance more comfortable, and it was hard for the crowd not to start talking over the super-quiet often-electronic song intros, but when the music was loud enough, it was strong enough to suck me in. The style itself isn't anything new, but hearing that kind of music with the voices of Matteah Baim, Sierra Cassidy (opera-trained member of CocoRosie), and (for one song) Antony Hagerty (Antony & The Johnson) made the record-release show more than worth the $3.00 price of admission.
The first song started with Spleen and his bandmate Tez doing voice-beatbox-throat-stuff. They've been on tour with CocoRosie and they're playing their own show at Joe's Pub on June 13th. Sierra's sister Bianca (also in CocoRosie) isn't technically in the band, but she was on stage the whole time manning the electronics. Greg Rogrove (Tarantula) played drums. Antony only sang the one song (the one he sings on the album I think), but he stayed on stage the whole time anyway. They, and their friends in the front row, were all wearing fake white beards for most of the show. Some of those friends joined them on stage for the last song. One audience member was wearing a scary perpetually-smiling full-head mask for the whole show. I thought for sure she would be on stage at some point, but nope - she just stayed right there in the front enjoying the show - smiling, smiling, smiling...
A MESSAGE FROM ANTONY: "It's been a long while since there has been a heroic gesture made in the American political landscape, and Al Gore has made one with his new film "An Incovenient Truth." The content is simple, and familiar to many of us, but the call to arms, especially for people in the United States, is unprecedented. Please see this film and encourage your friends and family to do the same."
DOWNLOAD: Roses & Teeth for Ludwig Wittgenstein (MP3)
"More like a portable gallery installation than a mere album, Matmos' The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast is a collection of fascinating, fractured audio and visual portraits of ten prominent gay and lesbian figures, among them writers, philosophers, filmmakers, and musicians." [All Music]
"M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel's latest Matmos album includes contributions from Bjork and Antony. Each of the ten tracks focuses on a specific person who has influenced the group in some way, such as William S. Burroughs and Valerie Solanas" [Metacritic]
More info on the ten individuals on their site. Matmos are playing two nights at Symphony Space in October. All dates below...
I needed an excuse to post two extra pictures from Antony's awkwardly short show at Hiro Ballroom in March....
The latest press release from record label Secret Canadian was excuse enough. I've pasted it below....
PAPER Magazine held their 9th annual 'Beautiful People' party at Hiro Ballroom in NYC Thursday night (March 30, 2006). It was an unadvertised invite-only kind of thing. Thanks so much Mike for thinking of your Antony-obsessed friend when deciding who to waste your +1 on. I was psyched. Unfortunately the show by the magazine's latest cover boy was a complete disaster. I've never experienced a ruder audience anywhere. Not even Jose Gonzalez in a beer tent compared. Then again maybe the inattentive crowd didn't even realize what was going on down front.
The three hour open-bar party started at 8:00. Antony was scheduled to go on at 10:00 (which meant I definitely wasn't making it to the Editors show at Webster Hall). He came on around 10:20. The stage at Hiro is small and low to the ground. You can walk right up to it. I did. It's the closest I've been to Antony's piano keys - ever. If nothing else, it was a great photo-op.
The crowd was seriously so loud that I could barely hear Antony, and I was right next to him. After the first song Antony said he was imagining the room was actually silent, and that the noise was the sound of ghosts of people who died 100 years ago (or something like that). After the second song he announced that the third would be his last. He wasn't lying.
Also in the crowd: Jake Shears from Scissor Sisters, Bravo Silva (also beautiful), Michael Musto (actually I only saw him arrive on his bike outside - not sure if he went in), all the Heatherettes, Ultragrrrl (DJing), the Misshapes, half nelson, and Perez Hilton.
Antony guests on Ruben Butchart album | Listen
Antony & Sufjan Stevens @ The Tibet Concert
Antony showed up to Joan's Final Residency Show
Antony, Kembra & CocoRosie @ Tokion Creativity Now | pics
Among other things, Ruban Butchart's bio says "He entered the downtown scene as the original pianist for Antony and the Johnsons, winner of this year's Mercury Music Prize. It was with Antony’s influence and encouragement that Reuben decided to branch out and follow his own musical path as a singer-songwriter."
It's not surprsing then that Antony sang on one of Ruben's new songs. That song, and more, is streaming at Reuben's website.
None of my pictures from the 2006 Tibet House Benefit Concert had such a clear view of Antony & Sufjan at once. That's Laurie Anderson on Antony's right.
TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET, THE DVD
On April 18th, R is playing Radio City Music Hall in NYC. All dates below...
ANTONY SINGS WITH JOAN @ THE LIVING ROOM | FEB 2, 2006
I have to admit it was a tough decision getting to the Plug Awards as early as I did Thursday night. That's because I figured Antony was going to show up at Joan Wasser's 8 PM Living Room show....and HE DID. :(
Antony playing 2006 Tibet House Benefit
Joan as Policewoman | Residency Week 3 w/ Rufus Wainwright
Elton John & Joan Wasser | Recording w/ Scissor Sisters
Joan Wasser's Living Room Residency | guest Rufus Wainwright
Joan playing with Antony @ Bowery Ballroom
Among other things, Nico Muhly "orchestrated the movie The Manchurian Candidate for composer Rachel Portman, and played on Björk's album Medúlla. He has collaborated with Antony, of Antony and the Johnsons, including conducting a performance with chamber orchestra and Antony at the Arnhem Mode Biënnale 2005 in Holland. In 2005, he also prepared and conducted Björk's score for Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint 9, and composed a series of nine songs, in collaboration with illustrator Maira Kalman, based on Strunk & White's The Elements of Style. This song cycle was performed to great acclaim in the main reading room of the New York Pubic Library on 42nd street...."
LAST TIME NICO APPEARED ON THIS SITE, he was standing next to Antony at Carnegie Hall
TONIGHT: (Feb 3) - Nico is playing with Doveman at Joe's Pub. The show starts at 7PM. Sorry for the last minute notice. To make up for it, e-mail BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM by 5PM, and you might win a pair of tix for the show. (one winner picked at random).
(after them, Amanda Palmer from Dresden Dolls plays a solo show that's beyond sold out)