Antony and the Johnsons

We Will All Howl: Antony Hegarty on the State of Transfeminism

“They announced two weeks ago that in the last 40 years, the number of wild animals has dropped by one-half, and we’re expecting a 50 to 70 percent extinction event of all species by the end of the century,” Antony Hegarty says. “I always think about those stories about the last bird, or the last of a species, when they’re calling out and they don’t have the other animal, the partner that can call back to them. The idea of the disappearing voice is very resonant for me. What hears a solitary voice. What responds to a solitary voice.” … Read More

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10 Albums You Need to Hear in November

While this month may be a dead zone for big pop albums (way to delay The Pinkprint, Nicki), classic rock and indie rock dominates November with a number of marquee releases. Dylan’s Basement Tapes finally go fully legit with a comprehensive box set; Pink Floyd offers up its final album ever, six years after keyboardist Richard Wright passed; and Bryan Ferry ditches the Jazz Age in favor of his usual crooner rock. Meanwhile, TV on the Radio returns triumphantly, Deerhoof make their best album in years, and Ariel Pink, uh, still exists. Also this month: Mary J. Blige and Jeremih play with the mainstream R&B format, Foo Fighters pay tribute to American musical traditions in tasteful ways, Arca changes the landscape of electronic production with his debut, and Chumped prove to be one of pop-punk’s most promising young… Read More

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Beautiful Carpets Juxtapose Pop Song Lyrics With Traditional Turkish Textiles

Selma Alaçam, a Karlsruhe, Germany-based artist, fuses the two halves of her identity in a lovely, striking project she calls heartstrings. Her series of kelim – flat, handwoven carpets native to her father’s homeland, Turkey — finds Alaçam combining a traditional Middle Eastern art form with contemporary, Western song lyrics that reflect her mother’s German heritage and her own European upbringing. … Read More

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The 20 All-Time Best Lyrics About Sex

Last week, we ran a feature on some of the most ridiculous and cringe-inducing lyrics about sex that pop music has given us over the years. A couple of commenters asked whether we’d be running a similar feature about good lyrics on the same subject, and the answer is “yes, definitely,” and in the pursuit of egalitarianism, we have indeed gathered a list of some of our favorite lyrics about… Read More

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Pop Quiz: Amazon or Christgau?

Yesterday we ran a series of hilariously negative reviews of classic albums, and noted at the time that we could have cited several more from the inimitable Robert Christgau, a man who’s never been shy about putting his most controversial foot forward when it comes to music. Christgau’s hairy-chested prose, idiosyncratic tastes, and habit of reviewing himself rather than the album in question have often perplexed us, as has his Dean of American Rock Critics™ schtick. In view of this, after the jump, we’ve set out a selection of mystifying reviews — both good and bad — of notable records, and we’re asking you: which quote comes from an Amazon commenter, and which was penned by the man himself? The results, which you can find at the end of the post, may or may not surprise you. … Read More

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Incredibly Detailed, 3D-Printed Visualizations of Entire Albums

Experimental digital media, music, architecture, and sound art lab Realität — founded by Juan Manuel de J. Escalante — has created 3D-printed visualizations of different albums. The unique sculptural works include: Jewels by Einstürzende Neubauten, Another World by Antony and the Johnsons, Pink Moon by Nick Drake, Third by Portishead, and the composition “Für Alina” by Arvo Pärt. As works of art, the objects are compelling, but the process is equally fascinating.

Realität describes their Microsonic Landscapes as “an algorithmic exploration of the music [they] love. Each album’s soundwave proposes a new spatial and unique journey by transforming sound into matter/space: the hidden into something visible.” Each piece was created with the open-source, three-dimensional data visualization programming language known as Processing, and then printed via a programmable machine that can print in plastic called MakerBot. The results look almost exactly as you’d expect. Albums dominated by sweeping sounds maintain a concentric shape, while layered, complex noises take on the form of spikes and towers. The smaller, grooved details are exquisite. Head past the break for a closer look. … Read More

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Watch Antony and the Johnsons’ New Video with Willem Dafoe and Marina Abramović

This morning, we woke up to this haunting video for the previously unreleased title track from Antony and the Johnsons’ new live album, which drops tomorrow, and we have to admit, we were a little scared to come into the office afterwards. The song, originally written for The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, Antony Hegarty’s operatic biography of the Serbian-born artist, is full of Hegarty’s trademark lilting vocals and heartbreakingly beautiful chord progressions. The NABIL-directed video, which will screen on August 11 at the Southbank Centre in London as part of the Meltdown Festival, stars Willem Defoe, Carice van Houten (if you’re not quite sure why she gives you that sexy sinking feeling, she plays Melisandre on Game of Thrones), and of course, Marina Abramović herself, and is a restrained, moody enigma — and it also gets quite a bit violent, so if you’re squeamish, watch with caution. … Read More

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10 Albums You Need to Hear in August

The last couple of weeks have been a pretty dire time for album releases, but happily, there’s respite to be had in August — there’s a fair selection of worthwhile records due out over the next four weeks, and as ever, we’ve pored over the release schedules to bring you our selection of the 10 best, along with a quick roundup of other notable upcoming releases. There’s an eclectic selection to be found after the jump: everything from cerebral piano-led ambience to neo-dreampop and the return of Ariel Pink — and at least one genuine album of the year contender. (Spoiler alert: SWANS.) Let us know in the comments section what’s on your shopping list for August. … Read More

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Literary Mixtape: Seymour Glass

If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: Salinger’s number two angst man, Seymour Glass. … Read More

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Literary Mixtape: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: Robert Louis Stevenson’s two-faced mystery man (men?), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. … Read More

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