Amoeblog

out this week 10/14...antony & the johnsons...windy & carl...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 18, 2008 05:30pm | Post a Comment
I am now even more obsessed with Antony & the Johnsons. After their amazing show last week it is really all I can think about it. I was completely blown away by the show. It was tragic and sad and beautiful and wonderful all at the same time. This was also my first trip to the Disney Concert Hall. What a perfect place to see him play. I seriously just wanted to stay there all night. I kind of want to live there permanently. We did sort of feel like tourists walking around the venue and looking around at everything, sort of like how tourists do when they first visit New York City and can't stop looking up at the skyscrapers. He ended up playing a bunch of new songs that were not from the recently released EP. I don't think I even noticed any of the songs from the EP that night. The new songs sounded fantastic and I am now even more excited for the new album next year. There were of course songs that I wanted to hear that he did not play, but he did manage to play some of my favorites, including his cover of "Crazy in Love" by Beyonce. It was a fun crowd to be around as well -- many celebrities were in the crowd that night. I was sitting next to a certain reality star of the show Work Out. Totally random. It just made me happy that he was a fan. Everyone was just in awe of Antony that night. It will be hard to compare other shows to this night. It was really that good.

Not a whole lot out this week. Christmas is around the corner, but once again the labels don't seem to have a whole lot to offer us. There is one new album that I have become a bit obsessed with. For some reason it took me over 10 years to finally discover Windy & Carl. I have long been a fan of the label Kranky. This new album Songs for the Broken Hearted will be their fourth on Kranky. Before this were Depths (98), Conciousness (01), and The Dream House (2005). They have also had about 6 or 7 other albums in between those Kranky albums over the years, in addition to a 3CD compilation in 2002 called Introspection. I have heard of them but never really gave them a listen until now. I was just waiting for somebody to tell me to listen to them, but it never happened. I thought they were a little too new age for me or maybe a little too experimental, but I really didn't know for sure. I gave this new album a listen and fell in love after the second listen. They almost sort of hide their greatness within the album. You may not find it right away. The casual listener could easily dismiss the album as another album of ambient droney shoegaze, but you just sort of have to open your mind a bit and let the album sort of take over. There are brilliant short little songs with vocals hidden between the rest of the album, which is mostly ambient sort of guitar pieces. The album is also very full of emotion. Depending on what kind of mood you are in, it could either drive you to tears or make you feel happy and content. This is another sort of album that I think of as musical therapy.

They could easily play this album at self help groups. Or just play it for people having panic attacks. It will quickly calm you down. It might make you introspective about your life but in a theraputic sort of way. Windy & Carl have been around since the early 90s. I am happy that I finally found them. The album could have easily passed me by just as their previous albums have, and I am sure many people will also continue to live their lives without ever listening to this new album. The album is all guitars and keyboards, and Windy does all the singing.

In case you were wondering, Windy & Carl are Carl Hultgren and Windy Weber. They are a married couple from the beautiful state of Michigan. They also run a record store in Dearborn, Michigan called Stormy Records. I have yet to go back and listen to some of their older albums, but I will be making that journey fairly soon. I am still a bit obsessed with this new album. The point I really fell in love were tracks 3 and 4 on the album when the vocals start. The third song is "My Love." The whole album is about love and all the good things and heartbreaking things about it. Everyone has surely experienced a broken heart at some point. This album is also one of those albums that you can turn into any kind of album you want, it just depends what you are feeling when you listen to it. It is sort of like the Cocteau Twins in that way. I have no idea what Elizabeth Fraser is singing about but it doesn't really matter. The songs just take on different meanings and feelings for each listener. You fall in love with the music or you hate it, and it just takes on its own meaning. That is why I call it musical therapy. I guess all good music affects you in some strong way. That is why we fall in love with certain albums or songs: because of how they make us feel. I am most definitely in love with this album right now. I can't get enough of it. The album is over 70 minutes long, but it always seems to go by too quickly. I am now going back to listen to my Windy & Carl album again...

also out today...






Dirt Don't Hurt by Holly Golightly











Gossip in the Grain by Ray Lamontagne











Theives EP by The Organ











World I See by The Present











Secret Machines by Secret Machines











Little Honey by Lucinda Williams

At Last: Antony and the Johnsons

Posted by Miss Ess, September 30, 2008 01:54pm | Post a Comment
I love the simplicity of this:


Finally, finally, after about 3 years of waiting, Antony and the Johnsons will be releasing an EP on Oct 7 entitled Another World. To celebrate the release, Antony is playing two US concerts, one in LA and one in Harlem, with full orchestration co-arranged by the brilliant Nico Muhly. Those dates are here. There will also be two dates in the UK. Antony's next full length, The Crying Light, will apparently be released on January 21, 2009.

If you somehow missed I Am A Bird Now, which won the Mercury Prize for Best Album of 2005, do yourself a favor and grab a copy. Or if you aren't in the mournful mood, you can check out Antony's flawless vocal contributions to Hercules and Love Affair's self titled album. This should get you up and dancing:


And if you wanna hear Antony singing "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," click here.

out today 3/25...hercules & love affair...

Posted by Brad Schelden, March 25, 2008 01:11pm | Post a Comment
I have been really obsessed with Antony & the Johnsons since I moved to Los Angeles. I'm not really sure why. I did first listen to him when I initially moved to Los Angeles in 2001, so maybe I have him attached to Los Angeles in my mind. I was immediately in love with him. He was like a stretched out version of Marc Almond-- a bit more intense and not as flamboyant. I guess he had a different kind of flamboyance. He's also incredibly interesting and completely engaging. I wanted to know more about this man. My love for him grew after I eventually moved back to San Francisco. After recently finding myself living back in L.A. once again, I inevitably began listening to all his albums. I listened to them over and over again as I unpacked and rearranged my new apartment. I even broke out a live bootleg album that a friend of mine had made for me. I normally stay away from the live albums-- I would rather physically be there at a live show-- but I even became obsessed with this live album and soon had all his comments to the crowd memorized as if they were part of the album. So of course I was excited to find out that Antony would be featured on a new album coming out this year. Hercules & Love Affair just released their self titled album in the U.K. on DFA Records. You might have to wait a couple months for a domestic release, but in the meantime it is more than worth the import price for this amazing new debut album. You will find Antony on the vocals for four of the ten songs. He also sings some back up on an additional song.


I was really not a fan of Greek mythology in high school. I actually failed the test we had on the subject and had to take a creative writing class that same year to make up for my failing semester of AP English. My English teacher was obsessed with mythology and I seriously think 95% of the semester was devoted to mythology, just as 95% of my junior high English class had been devoted to Anne Frank. But things tend to always happen for a reason. My creative writing teacher was one of those inspiring teachers you have that you remember forever. The class was fantastic and I ended up writing some fantastic little stories and even wrote a whole play about high school angst with one of my classmates. The class opened up my mind and really helped me to start seriously thinking about life and literature. Still though, any time I hear anything about Greek mythology I get a really sick feeling in my stomach. Homer's Odyssey still gives me chills when I think about it. Maybe someday I will try and tackle it again. I may have a better ability to understand it after watching all these movies about Hercules.

In spite of my gut reaction to mythology, The Clash of the Titans was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I think it might have just been because of my senior year high school teacher. Perseus, played by Harry Hamlin in Clash of the Titans, was the great grandfather of Hercules! There was actually a film made out of the Odyssey in 1997 starring Armand Assante, Greta Scacchi, Isabella Rossellini, and Bernadette Peters. I only wish this had aired on television when I was still in high school-- I may have done better in the class. Hercules has been the subject of many films over the years. Lou Ferrigno played him the 1983 movie of the same name. Kevin Sorbo played Hercules in the 90's television show. Ryan Gosling played "Young Hercules" in 1998.

Continue reading...

Worth the Price of Admission: Antony & the Johnsons Cover Dylan

Posted by Miss Ess, December 12, 2007 02:52pm | Post a Comment
I finally got my hands on the soundtrack for I'm Not There and waaaaaaaaaaaaay down at the end of the sprawling two disc set is the track that makes it all worthwhile: Antony & the Johnsons' cover of  "Knocking on Heaven's Door." 


What impeccable song selection! Antony's voice is so moving and completely unlike anyone else's. He has an unmistakable style and this track is utter perfection. His rich, deep voice adds a completely different, absorbingly evocative element to the song, creating an almost hymn like sound, and I'm always most pleased with Antony's work when he just accompanies himself with an acoustic piano.

It might be my favorite track of the year.

Antony's next album is supposedly being released this spring. If you haven't heard his previous albums, please go get I Am A Bird Now

Check out this performance of "You Are My Sister" on Letterman:
 
BACK  <<  1  2  >>