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Antony And The Johnsons

Band around androgynous performer Antony from New York, who stood out in 2005 with the theatrical I AM A BIRD NOW. British-born Antony (whose surname is said to be Johnson) grew up in San Jose, California. He was captivated by the work of Marc Almond (whom he called 'my real mother') and authentic soul and rhythm & blues by names like Billie Holiday, Otis Redding and Nina Simone. Because he had the unsatisfying feeling of being only a spectator, he moved to New York, hoping to get closer to the core of the music. At first he entered the world of theatre (with the performance group Blacklips), but was more attracted to club life, singing and dancing in decadent environments. 

Antony And The Johnsons vinyl records in stock at Dutch Vinyl

To perform there, he starts a band, Antony and the Johnsons. It was 1999. Antony is noticed, also because people who know him speak very highly of him, such as Lou Reed. In 2003 Antony will sing on Reed's record The Raven and he will also be part of the accompanying tour. Englishman David Tibet, known from neo-folk group Current 93, already has Antony under ANTONY (LEAH NASH) contract with his own label Durtro. 

After two split singles with Current 93, the full-fledged debut ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS appears in 2003; later distributed in America by the label Secretly Canadian. The music is vaudeville-like: ramshackle acoustic songs from a bad nightclub. Antony's voice is particularly striking. He can hit the highest notes, but also go into the depths, sounding like a soul diva or a hysterical riot. In terms of appearance, Antony, who is always remarkably dressed, can be called androgynous. 

Besides many performances, Antony has appeared in several films (Animal Factory by Steve Buscemi and Wild Side by Sebastien Lifshitz). He also takes part in experimental theatre performances (e.g. Charles Atlas). In the Netherlands, he stands out before and during the concerts of the equally lacking CocoRosie sisters. When in 20051 AM A BIRD NOW was released, featuring oak Lou Reed, Boy George, Devendra Banhart and Rufus Wainwright, the press fell in love with Antony. The album is more beautifully sober than its predecessor, which makes Antony himself stand out, with his flexible voice and lyrics in which he candidly states that he wants to be a girl. The album is an unexpected sales success and brings him to the Motel Mozaique festival, where he is one of the tastemakers. 

A few months later, he plays a sold-out show in Amsterdam's Carre theatre. By then, he has already won the Mercury Music Prize and I AM A BIRD NOW has been chosen as the best record of the year by Dutch music critics. 2006 is mostly marked by all kinds of lasso assignments, benefit concerts, art projects, covering songs for compilations, guest appearances at Lou Reed on guest contributions. He sings two songs for Bjork's album VOLTA. In the meantime, he continues to work on his third album, which is due for release in early 2008. 

He made a foray into disco by singing five songs for disco house group Herculus And Love Affair, contributed to the albums of Marianne Faithfull, Herbert Gronemeyer, Nico Muhly, benefit album Dark Was The Night and sang Knockin' On Heavens Door for the Bob Dylan film I'm Not There. 

His illustrations are exhibited in Brussels, London and Turin. The first foreshadowing of new musical work is the EP Another World, which is released in October 2008. Three months later, the EP's title track appears on THE CRYING LIGHT, which is released in early 2009 and on which Antony expresses his concerns about nature in addition to established themes such as love and death. The album was again received enthusiastically. In June Antony was the main act at the Holland Festival and performed twice with the Metropole Orchestra in a sold out Carré.

  • Antony And The Johnsons – The Crying Light (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    Antony And The Johnsons – The Crying Light

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    Condition: Brand New Ships from: Melbourne Description The follow-up to I AM a BIRD NOW shifts thematic focus and explores Anton...

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  • I Am A Bird Now – Antony And The Johnsons (Vinyl record)

    I Am A Bird Now – Antony And The Johnsons

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    Condition: Brand New Ships from: Melbourne Description Reviews "Disturbing and moving. Not just because that voice reminiscent o...

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