Though it’s been six years since the wrap of Antony and the Johnsons’ European tour of Turning, the eponymous musical performance piece is the subject of a modest but moving new film by Charles Atlas, opening this Friday at IFC Center. Along with scenes from the live show—Antony Hegarty’s music accompanied by thirteen models, taking turns on a rotating platform—Atlas captured some of the backstage chatter and rehearsal nuances (Hegarty at one point instructs the orchestral musicians to play everything “bouncing upward, never falling down”).Read More »
Antony Hegarty is one of those artists that America produces but never seems to quite know what to do with. Technically born in England, yes, Hegarty grew up in America, and it’s where his music, under the name Antony and the Johnsons, became more-or-less famous for its ethereal, emotional nature, and the way repeated phrases grow new tendrils of meaning through repetition and Hegarty’s evocative, ghostly, undulating voice. He’s a darling in England, where his 2005 album I Am a Bird Now won the Mercury Prize, a sort of combination Grammy and MacArthur Genius Grant. But, when I told my usually-in-the-know friends I was going to see a one-time-only piece from Antony commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, I got mostly blank stares. Hegarty’s work can be hard to access -- it has no hooks, no beats, usually not even a proper chorus or verse. That is not his mission. Instead, he broadcasts directly to a listener’s heart using his powerful, ghostly voice over simple arrangements.Read More »
"I remember going up to her cabin in Iceland, and meeting her there..."Read More »
I’ll admit that my love of Björk has more to do with her sexiness, style, and screen presence than her music, which I admire, but don’t particularly enjoy—the swan dress, having only one name, marrying Matthew Barney, her heartbreaking turn in Lars Von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark, those great Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze-directed videos. I’ve tried many times to get into Björk’s music, and while I think she has a powerful and dynamic voice, I usually find the arrangements of her songs too new-agey, like I’m in some ultra-serious yoga class trying to bend unnaturally and suppress an erection as others search for universal peace. I’m not a huge Antony and the Johnsons fan, either—the whole cello and warbly-voice thing is a bit twee for my tastes. That said, I really like this new Antony and the Johnsons and Björk track that Antony posted this morning on his tumbler.Read More »
Sure, in ways, it's an unlikely if disparate meshing of talent. But this concert, the latest in a series of events produced to fight the spread in AIDS in Africa as a part of (RED)NIGHTS, finds an anchor in celebrated singer-composer-painter Gavin Friday, a childhood friend of Bono. His band is among those performing. Other performers besides Johansson and Love include Antony Hegarty, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright (last seen celebrating Édith Piaf), Andrea Corr (yes, of those Corrs), Laurie Anderson, and perennial post-punk princess Lydia Lunch.Read More »
The 'Bird'-like singer moves toward 'The Crying Light'Read More »
There's not the slightest doubt that galleries are
hurting suffering direly lately. The fallout has gotten so abysmal that they've embraced a rather Donnie Darko-esque method of raising awareness. So this weekend, wherever you are across the world, make a little time to patronize your local galleries. Just because the New Depression's made mincemeat out of television and pop music doesn't mean art is experiencing a similar creative drought.