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31 Oct 2009 16:52


Music: Our Saturday Mixtape’s decade-in-review lands in 2005

  • 1. Between this and The Walkmen’s “The Rat,” you have two of the three best songs of the decade right here. (The third is coming in the next few weeks.) A surreal, beautiful, simple song, Antony deserves the high praise this song (and album) earned.
    2. The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn is a walking Wikipedia entry on the city of Minneapolis, something that straight-up defines the sound of “Your Little Hoodrat Friend,” a four-minute explanation of why this band is so awesome to people not in the know.
    3. Sort of a ying to The Hold Steady’s yang, Art Brut’s Eddie Argos is nearly as self-referential as Finn is. On “Emily Kane,” Argos counts down to the second when his first relationship ended. And not surprisingly, the whole album is this clever.
    4. People seem to give Conor Oberst crap for being too pretentious for his own good, but for one shining moment this decade, he was able to get past all that and create a truly shining piece of work, “I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning.” “Land Locked Blues” is our favorite highlight.
    5. Perhaps the best story to come out of 2005 was the long-gestating return of Vashti Bunyan, a former Andrew Loog Oldham protégé who released a spectacular, unheard album, “Just Another Diamond Day,” in 1970, only to disappear for 35 years. Thanks to Devendra Banhart, Animal Collective and other hipster fans, she returned with “Lookaftering,” an amazingly assured victory lap. “Wayward Hum” doesn’t even need words to be a highlight. source

10 Oct 2009 17:59


Music: Sad saps unite: Our Saturday Mixtape is designed to bum you out

We've been pretty bummed out by "Hellhole Ratrace" by Girls lately. It's a beautiful song, but it's beautiful in that way where you have to hang your head while you're taking in the beauty. So with that in mind, here's a soundtrack for the bummed-out.
  • 1. This gut-punch of a tune by the Drive-By Truckers, “Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife,” is based on the true story of the family of musician Bryan Harvey. They were killed randomly during a series of spree murders in Richmond, Va. in 2006. It’s one of the strongest in the Truckers’ catalog, but man, you wish they never had to write it.
    2. Begging to be coupled with the previous tune is this one by Antony and the Johnsons, “Another World,” which deals with the very issues the Truckers dealt with, but in a more direct fashion. We must hate you for giving you two gut-punches in a row.
    3. You can tell that Girls singer Christopher Owens, a former Children of God member, had to fight really hard for his optimism. On “Hellhole Ratrace,” he’s straddling the line between pain and optimism. Optimism wins.
    4. Even Elliott Smith’s rockier songs were doused in bitter. “Don’t Go Down” is very bitter, plus it was from the death-allusion-filled “From a Basement on the Hill,” Smith’s posthumous final album. Gut punch number 4. (Sorry.)
    5. We’ve all been here. End of a relationship, drunk, trying to reconcile, showing up unannounced. Being the very kind of drunk jerk you despise. OK, we all haven’t been there, but Casiotone for the Painfully Alone has, and he’s singing from experience on “Destroy the Evidence.” Fortunately, this gut punch has a little levity thanks to the Casio backing. source

04 Aug 2009 21:48


Music: Transgendered musician Antony worked hard for his fame

  • I know that sounds ridiculous, but I have to keep that garden alive. I see myself as a microcosm – that’s the word – as one example of humanity and of the brokenness of humanity. I’m interested in exploring that on a very personal level in that it might be useful for my own attempt to evolve.
  • Antony Hegarty, the transgendered mastermind of Antony and the Johnsons • Discussing what he feels he does with his music. As you might imagine from a large-framed transgendered man with a voice akin to Nina Simone, he has an interesting life story, most of it taking place in New York. But a few lucky shakes, particularly from Lou Reed and Devendra Banhart, gave Antony eventual breakout success. Recently, his subject matter has turned from gender identity to pure optimism, optimism which peppers his most recent album, “The Crying Light.” This Pitchfork feature on the singer is a pretty killer read. • source

04 Feb 2009 10:47


Music: We saw Antony and the Johnsons last night in D.C.

  • We thought it was awesome, but … There were a couple of moments of very uncomfortable silence just before “Fistful of Love” in which our man Antony Hegarty went into a lengthy, meandering rant on the evils of nuclear war. The crowd, which was silently in awe of the transgendered man, was visibly squirming. It only hurt the show a little, though. Dude’s voice sounds amazing in person, especially on “Another World” and the encore, “Hope There’s Someone.” On a side note, seeing a show in a synagogue rules. source

19 Jan 2009 11:38


Music: Who’s on the cover of the Antony and the Johnsons album?

Antony dedicated the album to Kazuo Ohno, a 102-year-old Japanese butoh dancer. source

19 Jan 2009 11:32


Music: Pitchfork’s latest love: Antony and the Johnsons

  • Simultaneously sparse and rich, The Crying Light mines maximum intensity from a relatively minimal mix of basic melodies, pithy lyrics, and understated arrangements.
  • Marc Masters • in his 8.6 review of Antony and The Johnsons’ The Crying Light, one of the year’s most-anticipated indie releases • source