P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2003
February 8, 2003
Antony & The Johnsons in a Fantastical Cabaret at MASS MoCA on March 8
(North Adams, Mass.) MASS MoCA's latest exhibit, Fantastic, will open with a cabaret concert by Antony and the Johnsons at MASS MoCA on Saturday, March 8, at 8:00 PM. Antony's mesmerizing alto voice creates melancholic, orchestral pop, informed by jazz, soul, and torch. The Johnsons' simple orchestration -- three strings, bass, piano, and drums -- creates a rich velvety backdrop. Antony's songs are dramatic, emotional, and offset by several performance artists who add a grotesque and strangely beautiful visual collage. All together the impression of abstract sound, lights, and imagery create a haunting juxtaposition of the corporeal, spiritual, and supernatural. The New York Times called him, "Chilling· Impressive· one of Manhattan's most interesting local performers." Timeout NY said Antony is "blessed with an absolutely hypnotic singing voice." While The Village Voice said, "Baroque, jazz-influenced arrangements are tempered and sweetened by deft musicianship, but it's Antony's heart-stopping vocal salvos that bring the house down."
Laurie Anderson described them in The Times (UK) as "the best thing that I have ever heard in my life -- right now my favourite band in the whole world is Antony and the Johnsons," going on to say "He is this chubby drag queen who wears the most ridiculous flouncy dresses, but when he sings it is the most exquisite thing that you will hear in your life."
Antony first presented his songs in after-hours cabarets at the Pyramid Club. His vocals are commonly compared to Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, and Otis Reading. "I'm sure most of them would hate me," Antony commented smiling, "but I'm just completely subservient to them." Steve Buscemi cast him to sing a prison scene in his recent film Animal Factory. Antony also recorded vocals for Lou Reed's new album, Poetry. After receiving a NYFA fellowship for Performance Art/Emergent Forms, Antony assembled the Johnsons and recorded his first album.
The group has been performing in the New York music and theater underground for more than ten years. The Johnsons includes Joan Wasser (Dambuilder, Black Beetle) and Max Moston on violin, Julia Kent (Rasputina) on cello, Jason Hart on Piano, Jeff Langston on bass, and Todd Cohen on drums. Joined by performance artists Johanna Constantine and Julia Yasuda, the group presented concerts at PS122, The Kitchen and Knitting Factory in New York City before beginning an extended residency at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater. Antony and the Johnsons have since performed with Current 93 at The Bloomsbury Theater in London, Central Park Summer Stage, the Nancy Jazz Festival in France, the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and at UCLA with Hal Wilner.
The Alternative Cabaret Series is sponsored by Barrington Brewery.
Fantastic opens March 8 and runs through spring of 2004. The artists of Fantastic - Miguel Calderon, Gregory Crewdson, Alicia Framis, Nils Norman, and artist collective Temporary Services - explore fantastic and outlandish utopian ideas ranging from visionary social design to outright paranoid delusion.
Tickets to Antony and the Johnsons are $12 in advance or $14 day of show. The Cabaret contains adult subjects and is not appropriate for children. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located on Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. every day but Tuesday. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or online at www.massmoca.org at any time. Doors open at 7:00 P.M. for food and full bar before the show.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
MASS MoCA 1040 MASS MoCA Way North Adams, MA 01247 413.MOCA.111 www.massmoca.org
For Immediate Release