Sunday, June 30, 2019

Stonewall 50 #3: Anohni Deep

One day I'll grow up
I'll be a beautiful woman
One day I'll grow up
I'll be a beautiful girl
One day I'll grow up
I'll be a beautiful woman
One day I'll grow up
I'll be a beautiful girl
But for today I am a child
for today I am a boy
For today I am a child
for today I am a boy
For today I am a child
for today I am a boy
One day I'll grow up
I'll feel the power in me
One day I'll grow up
of this I'm sure
One day I'll grow up,
 I'll know who is within me
One day I'll grow up
feel it full and pure
But for today I am a child
for today I am a boy
For today I am a child
for today I am a boy
Antony & The Johnsons
Jazzfest Vienna
Arkadenhof Rathaus
Vienna, Austria
7.8.2005

01 My Lady Story
02 Cripple and the Starfish
03 Everything Is New
04 For Today I Am a Boy
05 Man Is the Baby
06 The Guests
07 Dust and Water
08 You Are My Sister
09 band introductions
10 Hope There's Someone
11 Shaking It Out (unfinished song)
12 Candy Says

Total time: 51:26

Antony Hegarty - piano, harpsichord & vocals
Julia Kent - cello
Maxim Moston - violin
Uri Sharlin - accordion
Rob Moose - guitar, violin & vocals
Jeff Langston - bass
Bianca & Sierra Casady - vocals

master FM broadcast, captured to DAT
302 MB FLAC here
Antony & The Johnsons
LSO St Luke's 
London, UK 
11.22.2005

01 interview 1
02 My Lady Story
03 interview 2
04 For Today I Am a Boy
05 Spiraling
06 interview 3
07 You Are My Sister
08 Fistful of Love
09 interview 4
10 Hope There's Someone
11 I Fell In Love With a Dead Boy
12 interview 5
13 River of Sorrow (featuring Marc Almond)
14 The Guests
15 Bird Gerhl
16 interview 6
17 Candy Says
18 interview 7

Total time: 59:06

Antony Hegarty - piano & vocals
Julia Kent - cello
Maxim Moston - violin
Rob Moose - guitar, violin & vocals
Uri Sharlin - accordion
Jeff Langston - bass
Parker Kindred - drums
Marc Almond - vocals on Track 13

extracted audio of a BBC4 satellite TV broadcast, aired 12.16.2005
283 MB FLAC here
We are wrapping up June with the third straight -- OK, third consecutive -- LGBTQI Pride post, and yes folks it's a colossal doozy.
She was once Antony Hegarty and made some of the most beautiful music yet made in this century -- some is featured here today -- and now she has transitioned to become just Anohni. I don't suspect her new music will be any less beautiful... in fact it might be even more so.
These performances contain complete, absolute artistic commitment and fully speak for themselves, delivered by one of the most distinctive and powerful voices of the music of our age.
That will do it for June; it's on to July and festival season now. But before we leave the 50th anniversary of the dawn of LGBTQI rights behind, let's think of these last three posts as a potent reminder of what beauty and timeless expression can become possible, when we finally decide to simply and affirmatively let people be who they really are.--J.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Stonewall 50 #2: O Chapman! My Chapman!

Two weeks in a Virginia jail
for my lover
for my lover
Twenty thousand dollar bail
for my lover
for my lover
And everybody thinks
That I'm the fool
But they don't get
Any love from you
The things we won't do for love
I'd climb a mountain if I had to
Risk my life so I could have you
You
you
you
you
you
you
Everyday I'm psychoanalyzed
for my lover
for my lover
They dope me up and I tell them lies
for my lover
for my lover
The things we won't do for love
I'd climb a mountain if I had to
Risk my life so I could have you
You
you
you
you
you
you
Two weeks in a Virginia jail
for my lover
for my lover
Twenty thousand dollar bail
for my lover
for my lover
And everybody thinks
That I'm the fool
But they don't get
Any love from you
Tracy Chapman
Chestnut Cabaret
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7.25.1988

01 Across the Lines
02 For My Lover
03 No Time
04 Baby Can I Hold You
05 Behind the Wall
06 Fast Car
07 Material World
08 She's Got Her Ticket
09 My Sweet One
10 Why You Do Me Wrong
11 Troubles Troubles Troubles
12 Give Me One Reason
13 For You
14 Be My Baby
15 Mountains of Things
16 Born to Fight
17 Talkin' 'bout a Revolution
18 Why?

Total time: 1:15:04

Tracy Chapman - guitar & vocals

DAT of a master cassette from the soundboard;
staticky technical difficulty noises in Track 01 somewhat reduced by EN, June 2019
375 MB FLAC here
We're back for Day 2 of the riots that ignited the drive for LGBTQI equality, decades before the acronymical letterings took hold and back when being non-gender-conforming in any fashion was a ticket to certain and ignominious ruination.
You know who Tracy Chapman is, so there's no need to further elaborate, except to say that this is a full solo show -- accompanying herself on electric guitar -- from when she first hit in the late 1980s.
I'll be back in 24 hours with one last blast of Pride glitterbomb goodness for you... now go enjoy this exceptional glimpse into what makes this woman -- who somehow has managed, in the last 30+ years, to combine a completely private approach to her own sexuality removed from the public eye with an undeniably stellar philanthropic commitment to the LGBTQI equality cause -- one of the true supermegastars of the music of our age.--J.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Stonewall 50 #1: TRB You

About a week ago, I was thinking about how I go hogwild for Black History Month in February, with post after post. So why no Gay Pride posts for June? I asked myself. Let's clear that up this weekend, conveniently at the 50th anniversary of the birth of modern Gay Rights.
We'll do three: one each to commemorate each day of the rebellion that ought to prove to all pearlclutchers that if you want what is yours by right, you have to fight for it. And sometimes, you have to spike a few uprooted parking meters into the windshields of the fleeing Agents of the Repressive State to make your point and your safe space in which to be human.
For the first of these, let's start at the flashpoint of the most radical and committed. Today we celebrate someone who doesn't even really do music anymore -- he's one of the most noted radio presenters of the BBC now -- but, when he did, he sure didn't bullshit around.
Back in the mid 1970s, when he began to focus his songwriting skills upon anthems of Gay Liberation, such things were not yet the socially acceptable norms of Identity Politics they are now. One reason they have become such? Look no further than the boy with the bass here.
He looks harmless nowadays, but 40 years ago he was an holocaust-against-homophobes on two legs, with tunes to match. We have everything to owe to people such as he, that we get to live lives of relative freedom in many places.
You know it wasn't always thus, and we know it still isn't in the majority of places on this Earth. When today's hero sang about being glad to be gay it was a real, tangible risk of his life and safety.
He succeeded on the sheer force of his persona and talent, and then -- just as he was beginning to make inroads commercially with his polemical powers -- he shifted gears and eventually transitioned from making music to talking about it on the radio.
I remember hearing him as a gay teenager -- it must have been on WLIR-FM on Long Island -- and what the idea that someone like him existed meant to me growing up.
Which brings us to this concert, one of the few documents of this most beloved group -- called the Tom Robinson Band, or just TRB -- in action that have yet surfaced. 
This one is so woefully undercirculated, and what is around is a pretty muddy, somewhat speed-variable off-air cassette of Nth generation. So for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion TR sings about in Long Hot Summer, I was gonna just share it and be done with it, and hope someday a better source -- one more worthy of the ferocious intensity of the performance -- would surface.
But somewhere in the recesses of my bootleg-addled brain, somehow I knew (and the text files I have archived confirmed) that I had another capture of it burned to CD somewhere around 2006, so I searched and searched and finally located it. And lo! and behold, it was an unbelievably sparkling pre-FM capture, with the spectral analysis highly populated above 15 kHz like it oughta be, albeit juuuust a tad slow (12.5 cents to be exact).
So I fixed one dropout in the first song, and then speed corrected everything and reconstituted the WNEW-FM commentary from the original live broadcast back into where it was missing at the beginning and end -- this show has unusually good radio play-by-play -- and here we are with it the way it should be heard.
Tom Robinson Band
The Bottom Line
New York City, NY
6.15.1978
early show
  
01 WNEW-FM intro
02 Don't Take No for an Answer
03 Long Hot Summer
04 Too Good to Be True
05 Martin
06 Grey Cortina
07 Winter of '79
08 Glad to Be Gay incl. band introductions
09 Power In the Darkness
10 Those Broken Bass String Blues
11 Ain't Gonna Take It
12 2-4-6-8 Motorway
13 Up Against the Wall
14 encore break + WNEW-FM commentary
15 I Shall Be Released
16 Right On Sister
17 WNEW-FM outro 

Total time: 1:09:41

Tom Robinson - bass, vocals
Danny Kustow - guitar, vocals
Nick Plytas - keyboards, vocals
Brian "Dolphin" Taylor - drums

speed corrected WNEW-FM pre-FM reel, with missing radio commentary segments speed corrected and inserted from 
an unknown generation, off-air FM cassette capture of the original live broadcast
487 MB FLAC here
This band was famous for tearing up a stage like they do in this 70 minutes of madness, and when you hear the gushing radio commentary detailing how ridiculously powerful this set is, you'll get a window into just how different Tom Robinson was, and what kind of impact his very direct (and often hilarious) messages-in-music had upon the late 1970s atmosphere into which he dropped his incendiary songs.
I'll be back over the next two days with two more incredibly magnificent artists who also happen to be LGBTQI in their orientations. 
Today, though, marks 50 years to the day it all began: when people with less than nothing to lose began to take what belonged to them without apology to their oppressors. We all stand on their shoulders: the Marsha P. Johnsons, the Sylvia Riveras, and the Tom Robinsons too.
So sing if you're glad to be gay -- I sure am -- and get into this absolutely militant MF of a set from the TRB in the thick of their 101% prime, halcyon days... and a Happy 50th Pride to you all!--J.