while antony himself has been busy guesting on plenty of albums we really haven’t gotten any new music from antony & the johnson’s for over three years. the another world ep is the first single from their highly anticipated (by me anyway) album the crying light. the crying light was originally suppose to be released in the early fall, but got pushed back to early 2009. there are rumors that it may be out around january 20th, i’m not holding by breath though.
as for the another world ep, there is really no way i was not going to love this, and what can i say about them that i haven’t already said time and time again on this site. this 5 song ep is kind of like a teaser for us, almost a way of placating us till the album comes out. it starts off with “another world”, which is sort of a lament for the world and the environment. in interviews antony has been talking about how climate change has been a concern of his, he has achieved in making a poetically beautiful environmental love song. “crackagen” is a song that has spurred a bit of debate on justonestar (the antony forum). the song could be about an abusive father pushing his child down the stairs (a theory i don’t think i shared yet on the forum), the jury is still out. a&tj have been playing it live for quite a while now. the melody is simple and haunting, i keep finding myself humming it. a&tj take a risk with the soulful free jazz skronk number “shake that devil”. a song that i want to say is about a person battling with his conscience, fighting the urge to do evil. truthfully i am not a hundred percent behind this song, i may have to see it live to get a real feel for it. “sing for me” seems to tell the tale of a girl so worried about the death of her mother so she tries to kill herself. while the song is strong in emotion, it seems a bit short, almost incomplete. it leaves me wanting more each time. the closing track “hope mountain”, reminds me of stories native americans might tell around the fire. those tales often connected humans with animals and the soil in a way to teach respect and how to honor the planet. as cheesy as that sounds, they pull it off wonderfully.
the production and instrumentation of the album is reminiscent of john cage and philip glass, following a minimal and almost cyclical approach. instruments are introduced one at a time, slowly so that you can appreciate the affect they are having. this style has a huge affect on the album, especially when mixed with antony’s voice. speaking of antony’s voice, i didn’t think it could get much better, boy was i wrong. after seeing him live a little while ago, and hearing these new songs, i get a sense that he is just beginning to find the strengths of his voice. i am in awe at what he can do, he can sing right into your soul.
the video for “another world”
new moon is the second book in stephenie meyer’s teenage vampire series. she continues the story of bella and her woeful love of the vampire edward. in this book edward and his family had left town in an effort to keep bella safe. unfortunately it doesn’t work out that way. there is a lot more action in this book and at times was quite exciting. much like the first book, new moon is a really well written teen novel. at times stephenie meyer lean a bit too heavy on the melodramatic, but she makes up for it with well thought out and paced storytelling. it’s going to be a while till i can read the last two books in the series. they are only available in hardcover, and they are huge, definitely not messenger bag friendly.
since my trip to new york went by in a blink, my only memories are connected to the few photos i took.
the mysterious falling coat hangers at the edison hotel.
the scientology center near the hotel that juan and i almost went into to get our thetan levels tested. would the brownies juan made mess up the results?
late night new york pizza, it really dosen’t get much better.
great vegetarian food, i’ve walked by this place many times and never even thought about going in, my friend leslie here in portland recommended the place. juan and i had a quick lunch there with keight and erika.
part of the fantastic vegan bakery case at lifethyme natural market. erika brought us here, it was right across the street from gobo. they had and amazing array of vegan and raw foods. i had the vegan tiramasu, it was amazing.
two beers at a time at mcsorley’s, you can get light or dark. this place is a trip. erika apparently knows all the fun places to go. mcsorley’s was one of the last pubs in new york to allow women in, they still put fresh sawdust on the floor.
i finally made it to the nintendo world store at rockefeller center. being a nintendo fanboy this was kind of a nerdy dream of mine. i am usually with groups of people and have always been a little ashamed to drag them to it, i had a couple of hours to myself before i had to head to the airport, so i took the chance to go. while they didn’t have the huge selection i thought they would, they did have some good finds. i had no idea this game even existed.
last week i went took a whirlwind trip to new york city to accompany juan to two of the madonna shows at madison square garden. both shows were pretty great, madonna knows how to put on show. the last time i saw her was during the re-invention tour in 2004, while the show was fantastic, it had some strange pseudo-serious overtones. this time it was pure fun.
she played the same set both nights, focusing mainly on hard candy and pulling out some old favorites. the guitar driven rendition of “borderline” won me over, i previously found that song rather whiny. her choreography had a very eighties and america’s best dance crew feel. her stage show is a spectacle of lights, lasers and transformable video screens. if you get the chance to see madonna you should go.
the set list:
beat goes on
into the groove
she’s not me
devil wouldn’t recognize you
la isla bonita
you must love me
like a prayer
ray of light
give it 2 me
these pictures are from the first night. we were much closer on the second night, but i trusted juan to take the pictures. unfortunately his brownie stoned ass lost the camera, lucky for him we found it at the end of the show when they turned up the lights.
on the first night juan’s friend will met up with us, he likes to dress up and get all sorts of attention. here he’s getting interviewed by the news.
aside from the madonna shows, i got to spend a very little amount of time with some of my nyc friends. lunch with keight was short and delicous, shopping and drinks with erika happened too quickly, drinks and breakfast with russ went by like a blur. my next trip to the east coast won’t be till some time next year, but i will be sure to spend more time with my friends there and less time running around.
this has been a good couple of weeks for videos. now we get the new radiohead video for “reckoner”. here’s thom’s post from dead air space.
my mind is not functioning at the correct speed at the moment thanks to being in Tokyo
but however and here
is one of my favourite video things that has ever happened
for Reckoner it is, the result of somebody entering a competition to make an animation to one of the tunes on IN RAINbows.
on aniboom. you can scroll down dead air space and find all about it.. but anyway
so we asked them whether it was ok to make it the official one we use as it goes with the song so well. they said yes.
and if you’re like me and find it hard to find videos on televsion any more, or even turn on the television you can watch right here.
ok now im going to fold some clothes.
this video is pretty great, and it suits the song. clement picon did a fantastic job.
i am kind of partial to this version of the song though, it captures a bit of the live radiohead experience. it’s from radiohead’s thumbs down webcast they did last year.
finally next week a record worth buying is released. antony & the johnsons’ ep another world. here is the video for the title track. i am not blown away by the video, but antony’s love letter to the world is beautiful. i love the instrumental direction they are going, i think they have been listening to john cage and philip glass.
last night was the bug with warrior queen at rotture. a couple of years ago i was rather obsessed with the bug’s record pressure, recently he released the equally excellent london zoo. he is one of the leading ragga dancehall producers to come out of england, he approaches dancehall with a from an experimental (yet accessible) angle. his timing and use of random noise takes ragga dancehall to a new level. on this tour the bug brought along warrior queen, an emcee from jamaica, who has appeared on a couple of his singles.
jessica and i got to the venue around 9:30, doors were supposed to open at nine, and found out that the staff just got there and none of the equipment was even set up yet. so doors weren’t going to open till ten, so we went for a walk and found a bar to have a drink. after our overly priced and watered down drink we went back to rotture. we then had two hours to kill while they set up and the opening dj went on. thankfully rotture has a nice back patio so we just talked and looked at the view. the opening dj spun a fine set of generic dub, but he seriously needs to work on his mixing skills, almost every transition was a train wreck. he seemed to play forever and we were getting tired.
finally the bug came on and took us on a greatest hits tour of his albums and singles. the live productions added new levels of bass and textures of noise. but what we really wanted to see was his set with warrior queen, we needed her live energy since we were so tired. about forty five minutes into his set she finally came on stage. she commanded the stage and took the bug’s set into a new space, her presence was needed. unfortunately we were exhausted and left after about five of her songs, sadly not seeing “poison dart”.
if only the evening wasn’t cursed by lateness.