Antony & the Johnsons @ Radio City Music Hall

Antony with the incredible lazers and overhead installation (via Pitchfork)

I don’t have many words to do this show justice, so here’s an excerpt from the New York Times summarizing the show:

Wonderment and sorrow course through the songs of Antony Hegarty, who leads Antony and the Johnsons. Those are immense emotions, and on Thursday night he performed in a place to match their scale: Radio City Music Hall.

There he poured out his uncanny voice: a preternaturally sustained, androgynous croon, steeped in melancholy and awe. I’ve never heard a Radio City audience keep so silent during ballads.

The lasers sketched curvilinear phantoms, diagonal grids or a crystalline cage; in one song tiny red lights flickered like fireflies. Mr. Hegarty himself was a modest figure within the larger tableaus, sometimes very still, sometimes gesturing. The focus was on the music, not the performer.

Antony played with the LA Phil a few years ago, and I’ve beat myself up since for not going. When I saw that this event was happening, I jumped for joy.

It was spectacular to say the least.

This was my first time at Radio City Music Hall. When I walked into the main performance space, I was blown away at the size of the place. To me the hall is essentially an indoor version of the Hollywood Bowl with the domed shell of a ceiling. Because I’m still new to New York, I appreciate things here and there everyday, but places like this and events like this really only happen in a few places around the world, and I feel so lucky to be able to witness them.

The show opened with an abstract repetitive dance piece by Johanna Constantine, and then we were lucky enough to have Julia Yasuda (who’s voice is instantly recognizable from “Free At Last”, a track from I Am A Bird Now) introduce Antony. The summary above describes the show more succinctly than I might be able to, so I’ll leave you with a video of “I Fell In Love With A Dead Boy.” Watch it to the end to see one level of the transformations the stage made throughout the night.


Cussing: It’s really not that bad! -NYT

image by Anna Otto (NYT)

An interesting read from the Opinion section of the New York Times on cussing and why we do it. The piece is a collection of six short articles by educated – or educating (four of them are university professors) – people explaining “Why Do Educated People Use Bad Words?”

People need special words to convey emotion, which is, by nature, ineffable. For those who use them, swear words are linked to emotion in a visceral way. People who speak more than one language report that they always curse in their native tongue; they can say swear words in a second language but they don’t feel them — the gut link to emotions just isn’t there.

-Deborah Tannen

Why Do Educated People Use Bad Words? -The New York Times

5 Favorite Andrew Kuo NYT Info-graphics

The New York Times has become my go-to source for US news of any kind. I find their writers to be intelligent and able to convey their ideas through words with little apparent effort. I also love the fact that the outlet hasn’t held back in any way/shape/form to adopt the internet as a perfect vehicle to communicate information with speed and creativity.

Moving away from the New York Times… Andrew Kuo is an artist who (to the best of my knowledge) is best known for the info-graphics that he creates for the New York Times. The illustrations each have some theme relating to music and his quantification of various quasi-quantifiable data. I love them all, and here are 5 of my favorites.

6 songs of bjork @ madison square garden
6 songs of bjork @ madison square garden

My admiration for Bjork will always go understated simply because I don’t have enough words to summarize her genius. The experimentation and exploration that she accomplished through her albums is reflected in her live shows. If you ever have the chance (and a full bank account), make sure to see her when she comes you way.

summary of 1992 lollapalooza
summary of 1992 lollapalooza

As I started going to concerts and music festivals about 5 years ago, I unfortunately missed the Lallapalooza of 1992. Look at that lineup! Chili Peppers, Ministry, JAMC, Rage, STP. Damn. I mean, Coachella is amazing too, but Lolla ’92 looks like it was a “best-of” compilation of the past few Coachellas. 

the longevity of 2007's hit radio
the longevity of 2007s hit radio

While most of Kuo’s info-graphics have a level of comedy, I find this tops them all. I think that the humor of his pieces comes from the viewers ability completely/partially agree/disagree with the data that is represented. Opinionated data…

second-by-second rundown of kanye west - love lockdown
second-by-second rundown of kanye west - love lockdown

Two best “variables”:

Insanely lazy… a song with a half-cooked hook and Auto-Tune!? C’mon Kanye- it’s 2008. (T-Pain is rolling over in his grave.)

This is curiously catchy and at least is doesn’t have a Daft Punk or M.I.A. sample in it… bye, hater!

review of hot chip live @ terminal 5
review of hot chip live @ terminal 5

After having seen Hot Chip 5 times (yes, five), I believe that it’s safe to say that I love their live show. I think I included this graphic in my top 5 just because it’s about Hot Chip. Who cares if that makes me biased? That’s what all of these illustrations are about!