and the Johnsons present
soundtrack by William Basinski
engineering by Chris Greco
by Desi Santiago for MXF
by Josef Astor
Antony's soliloquies about the various guests:
|I first saw Joey Arias in the film Mondo New York. He sang A Hard Day's Night by the Beatles, styled as an androgynous Billie Holiday, his face caressed by a huge white lily. I was stunned by his sublime beauty, his perfection as the modern manifestation of punk, a threatening marriage of ecstatic beauty and sexual deviance, a fine swan swimming through dark and glistening water. Wherever he was I had to be. I arrived in NYC at the age of 19 and snuck into a private party for Liza Minelli upstairs at the Palladium. Joey stood there with his freshly pierced nipples, the melting ink of his hairline trickling menacingly down his face. I remember crouching, awe-struck, and watching him sing, as I still do every time I see him perform. Joey arrests time as a singer. He commands every moment as it takes form around his luminous eyes, his blind body listening for each glimmer of light... to channel through his uncanny, magical voice.|
The first time I saw John Kelly perform was as the Mona Lisa at Brian Butterick's short-lived Disco Interruptus. The theme of the club that week was popes and religious icons... For some reason I had been hired to gogo dance as a pregnant nun. I stood in my pathetic costume and observed the master at work. Then as now, he was radiant with integrity; he became my role model as a performing artist. Later at the Pyramid, he sang Samson and Delilah as Dagmar Onassis. His last soprano peals rang out in all their perfection, and the dingy barroom was transformed into an Italian Opera house. I can still hear the audience's thunderous applause and cries of pleasure... "Bravo! Encore!" In Charles Atlas' film Son of Sam, John's performance of this aria is immortalized in all it's grace and glory. I am a student of John Kelly's reverie of creative process, his tireless and fruitful search for the transcendental form. He is one of my heroes.
I received a call from Hal Willner at the beginning of the summer. Unbelievably he had picked up our "I Fell in Love with a Dead Boy" CD from Other Music and had included it in a pile of possibilities for guest singers on Lou Reed's new album. Hal called me up and said Lou liked the CD and would I do some back-up vocals. I couldn't believe my good fortune... to work with Lou Reed and Hal Willner! Berlin and Transformer, not to mention Strange Weather, had been anthems of my adolescence. In the studio, Lou directed me as I tried to sing one of his classic songs. He murmured crucial words that set me free, yielding great results.
I said to Lou Reed in the car on the way home that night, "There's one song of yours that I have always loved so very much Lou... Candy Says"... Years ago at Blacklips we had devoted an entire night to the theme of Candy Darling, with all the toothless drug-addicts parading around in blonde wigs reciting Candy's breathless witticisms and heart-broken diary inscriptions... At the climax of the show, Love Forever lay on the couch on stage while we listened to Lou Reed's song. "I'm gonna watch the blue birds fly over my shoulder.... I'm gonna watch them pass me by...Maybe when I'm older... What do you think I'd see... if I could walk away from me?" That great broken innocence echoed in all of our hearts.
So there I was in the car with Lou Reed, telling him I loved that song. Lou growled, "It's waiting for you to do it, Antony..." The next week at joe's Pub as Lou sat in the audience, I tried to sing Candy Says. I called for Candy's spirit to fill me; I turned again and something was there. Because I knew that brokenness, that loneliness... It was so beautiful and I have only Lou to thank for that.
(for Antony and the Johnsons' bios, please see their bio pages)
William Basinski (ambient music) is a composer and producer. He is director of Arcadia Studios in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. His debut album "Shortwave Music" was released by Germany's Noton label in 1999. He has since been included on Noton's recent "New Forms" compilation. "Variations: A Movement in Chrome Primitive" will be released by David Tibet's Durtro label in February 2002. Noton will be releasing Basinski's "The River" in Spring 2002. Finally, Basinski will be releasing his newest compositions "Disintegration Loops" through his own label MCMXII later next year.
William Basinski/James Elaine (film) have been artistic collaborators for 2 decades. Their recent piece "Trailor For a Thousand Films" was screened at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2001. Their new piece entitled "Variations" is currently being shown through November 21st at Tribeca Contemporary, 443 Greenwich Street #3C, Wed.Fri. from 11am5pm.
Desi Santiago and Jason Trevino (styling) -Elephant Man and masks by Desi Santiago for MXF -bird print silk by Jason Trevino for MXF Master Xavier's Fan is located at 227 West 29th Street #5R (buzzer code #007) (212) 947-9578 Tues.Sat. from 2pm7pm.
Jimmy Helvin (satin suit and tulle shrug) is a Capricorn and enjoys long walks on the beach.
Bruce Lindstrom (make-up) has been dolling up and bedazzling the Johnsons for 2 years, come rain or come shine! He is also a senior make-up specialist at MAC cosmetics.
Jack Caton (make-up) has been working as a fashion and editorial make-up artist in NYC for the last 7 years, with a few forays into film and television. This is his second venture into the theater, and he is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Johnsons.
Special thanks to our wonderful guests Joey Arias, Lou Reed, and John Kelly.
would also like to thank Donny Cervantes for his lovely silk-screened
shirts, Alice O'Mally for the ride to Buffalo and for her photography,
Paul Geluso for recording these concerts, Robert O'Haire for his expert
videography, and Joe Birdsong and Ryan Harman for all their much appreciated
Produced with assistance from the Jerome Foundation