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Antony and the Johnsons’ “I am a Bird Now.”
Last night, I caught the Antony and the Johnsons show at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. After a drag of an opener—-Matteah Baim, woman with guitar who sang of how it was her birthday, and everyone wished her a happy birthday, causing her to became sad—-Antony Hegarty and band took the stage. First in near-darkness, then in rising light, Antony & co. performed his sad, sad, songs. Antony’s songs are often described as transgender “themed,” perhaps because Antony himself doesn’t (In 2005, he told the New York Times only: “‘I probably would marry a man . . . So that probably answers your question around whom I’m attracted to. I wasn’t really one of those kids who needed to come out”).
If you haven’t seen Antony live, go. His voice, which wavers between pretty much everything, is perfect and it will make you cry. He sings about masochism and the end of the world wanting to become a woman. He covers Beyonce‘s Crazy in Love. Even the snapping is the most on-point snapping I’ve ever heard. That’s all I’ll say about the performance; I’m here to talk about how Antony plans to save the world.
Last night’s performance was being videotaped for I-don’t-know-what; hopefully, they won’t cut out Antony’s stage banter and the world will be a better place.
If Antony Hegarty were world leader:
– He would force all the politicians in all the countries of the world to switch genders, just to try it out. The trial period would last three months.
– Okay, okay—-he’s willing to compromise. Inspired by “Inside-Out Day,” the annual childhood tradition of wearing one’s clothes inside out for a day. One day a year—-Antony rescinds his first suggestion, “Christmas,” after deciding it must be held on a work day—-all the heads of all the major corporations in the world must assume the opposite gender in order to get in touch with their feminine or masculine qualities. Politicians, too.
– The power of the world’s nuclear bombs would be harnessed for growth, not destruction. See: The Sun, which has the power of “like 100 trillion nuclear bombs,” but which “falls so gently on the Earth as to encourage a plant to grow for 4,000 years).