Juniorprof recommends:

Antony & The Johnsons

Putzing around in my iTunes library I realized that aside from Jonny Greenwood’s soundtrack for “There Will be Blood” I have listened to two Antony & The Johnsons albums more than any other albums in my giant (55Gb) library. I’ve been an Antony fan for several years now and originally found out about the band when I saw a poster for one of their shows in the Montreal metro during Black and Blue festival of 2005 (although I think I remember it was for a show in NYC, not in Montreal). If you haven’t heard Antony’s music before, I imagine that it will be unlike anything you have ever heard before. Its not rock or pop and is likely best described as a mix of blues and classical. In fact, many of the band members are classically trained musicians and their arrangements are truly beautiful.

What makes the music even more interesting is that many of the lyrics are centered on themes concerning transgender issues.
Take for instance “For today I am a boy”:

One day I’ll grow up, I’ll be a beautiful woman
One day I’ll grow up, I’ll be a beautiful girl
One day I’ll grow up, I’ll be a beautiful woman
One day I’ll grow up, I’ll be a beautiful girl
But for today I am a child, for today I am a boy
For today I am a child, for today I am a boy
For today I am a child, for today I am a boy
One day I’ll grow up, I’ll feel the power in me
One day I’ll grow up, of this I’m sure
One day I’ll grow up, I know a womb within me
One day I’ll grow up, feel it full and pure
But for today I am a child, for today I am a boy
For today I am a child, for today I am a boy
For today I am a child, for today I am a boy
For today I am a child, for today I am a boy
For today I am a child, for today I am a boy
For today I am a child, for today I am a boy
For today I am a child, for today I am a boy

The thing that I have always appreciated about this song is that it presents a topic that many of us never consider or are unfamiliar with in a personal and hopeful way that helps the listener gain a better understanding of transgender issues.

Then there are songs that address our most basic of human desires, like “Hope There’s Someone”:

Hope there’s someone
Who’ll take care of me
When I die, will I go

Hope there’s someone
Who’ll set my heart free
Nice to hold when I’m tired

There’s a ghost on the horizon
When I go to bed
How can I fall asleep at night
How will I rest my head

Oh I’m scared of the middle place
Between light and nowhere
I don’t want to be the one
Left in there, left in there

There’s a man on the horizon
Wish that I’d go to bed
If I fall to his feet tonight
Will allow rest my head

So here’s hoping I will not drown
Or paralyze in light
And godsend I don’t want to go
To the seal’s watershed

Hope there’s someone
Who’ll take care of me
When I die, Will I go
Hope there’s someone
Who’ll set my heart free
Nice to hold when I’m tired

Finally, there are songs that remind me of how history will frown on us for our continuous refusal to finally give gays and lesbians the rights they deserve, specifically the right to marry. One of their older songs, “The Atrocities”, is almost certainly not directly about this issue; however, I cannot help but feel just a bit more disgusted with our with our most recent electoral decisions when I hear:

God visits all lost souls
To survey the damage
We noticed a bonfire
Burning in his eyes

He whispered
“It’s the atrocities of your story
Of your story”

God visits all lost souls
To survey the damage
And holding his bleeding heart
A tear comes to his eye
He whispered
It’s the atrocities of History
Of History
Of…

The he falls to the floor
For there’s many more tears on the sunrise
And now we must eat those tears
Now we must eat our fill
Of the Atrocities
The Atrocities
The Atrocities
The Atrocities

So, at least give Antony and The Johnsons a quick iTunes listen and if you’re so inclined, I suggest starting out with “I am a Bird Now”. The new album, “The Crying Light” comes out in Jan of 2009 so you have just enough time to get acquainted with the older stuff to fully enjoy the new album

Advertisements

6 responses to “Juniorprof recommends:

  1. Thanks for that, I need something new to listen to.

  2. Hope you like it… its the perfect companion for reading about the latest in the RNA world!

  3. WEB SHERIFF
    Protecting Your Rights on the Internet
    Tel 44-(0)208-323 8013
    Fax 44-(0)208 323 8080
    websheriff@websheriff.com
    http://www.websheriff.com

    Hi Juniorprof,

    On behalf of Rough Trade / Beggars Digital, Secretly Canadian and Antony & The Jonsons, many thanks for plugging “The Crying Light” (street date 21st January) … .. thanks, also, on behalf of the labels and artist for not posting any pirate links to unreleased (studio) material and, if you / your readers want good quality, non-pirated, preview tracks, “Another World” is available for fans and bloggers to link to / post / host etc via the artist’s MySpace … .. check-out http://www.myspace.com/antonyandthejohnsons and http://www.antonyandthejohnsons.com for details on “The Crying Light” and the artist’s 2008/09 shows … .. you can also view official A&TJ videos at http://www.youtube.com/secretlyjag and, for details of further preview material and pre-release promotions, keep an eye on these official sources.

    Thanks again for your plug.

    Regards,

    WEB SHERIFF

  4. Juniorprof-

    I’m going to have to have a listen! I’ve been kinda stuck in the 90s lately.

  5. I had been thinking about a music recommendation post, JP, so stay tuned. Antony & the Johnsons are perfect rainy-day music, IMHO.

  6. I’ll need to come back once again whenever my course fill abates — nevertheless I am keeping a wide open eye your RSS feed so I can study your internet site traditional. I really have to express gratitude.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s