First off, I need a disclaimer. Can I get a disclaimer up in this shit?
I have no real feelings about Antony and The Johnsons one way or another. In fact, the first I’d heard about them was my friend Andrew telling me he didn’t like them when we saw Xiu Xiu last friday night.
Antony had his laptop open, and he was watching a video of his recent appearance on ”Later,” an influential British TV music program whose host is Jools Holland, who used to be in the band Squeeze. I watched over his shoulder. There on the screen was Antony, in the long brunette hair extensions he has been wearing lately, the straight Karen Carpenter hair framing his gentle, full-moon face.
Not to mention:
Antony, a serial self-deprecator, was not swayed by O’Connor’s enthusiasm. ”I look like the fat girl from Heart,” he said with a hangdog expression. Then he sighed, as if to say, Oh, well. ”At least I’m a fat girl.”
For whatever reason, John Hodgman is obsessed with Antony’s size.
What was harder to see on television was that he is basically gigantic: a broad-shouldered man, more than six feet tall. ”It’s like seeing a Viking!” Laurie Anderson, one of Antony’s many champions, told me, laughing, when I asked her about him.
At the time, Antony told me, the sexuality of a performer like Boy George wasn’t the sort of thing that was even discussed. ”Now a presentation like that would be inextricably linked to a dialogue about sexual orientation, or gender orientation, whereas then it could still fall under the umbrella of ‘plumage,”’ he said as he finished a cup of tea that looked small in his hand.
Hodgman sounds like he wants to be the one who looks small in Antony’s hand.
I have heard only the MP3 clips provided on Antony’s website, which, at approximately one minute each, make his quiet songs about wanting to grow up to be a woman sound like commercials for putting your dog to sleep.
Now, on the heels of winning Britain’s Mercury prize, Antony seems to be everywhere. After being around for more than 10 years, the recognition is certainly overdue, but could overexposure and hype turn the new Boy George into the next Ann Wilson from Heart?
Separated at girth?