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Future Feminism: Antony Hegarty curates this year’s Meltdown Festival
05.02.2012
12:27 pm

Topics:
Art
Feminism
Music
Queer

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Kembra Pfahler
Antony Hegarty


 
Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons is joining past Meltdown Festival curators like David Bowie, Morrissey. Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker and Patti Smith, as he announces the line-up for this year’s prestigious event to be held in London, August 1-12.

Antony discussed the predominantly female performer selection, his ideas about “future feminism” and how these artists are pushing towards something completely new for society, with Pitchfork:

Hegarty: Kembra Pfahler is like my leader, basically. She’s such a seminal or feminal influence on so much of us in New York City. Just because she’s so fierce, ferocious and her creativity is so pure, and her vision of the world is so unrelenting. And she’s so unrelenting in her willingness to deliver a sense of truth. That has political ramifications.

Laurie Anderson is the same way: she’s named and framed her sense of apocalyptic culture for 25 years. Ferociously named it. Joey Arias is so hardcore. He’s a very hardcore queen. Marc Almond is also a super hardcore pioneer. There’s David Tibet from Current 93 and Cyclobe. They are on the frontier of English, queer, hallucinogenic paganism. And they sort of sit on the spiritual frontier in terms of trying to articulate or embody in their work a vision that they have of the world that’s very different from a typical patriarchal, sky god, Christian crap that even a lot of indie musicians in America are turning out. Christian chud. They’re pretending they’re alternative artists, but they are just confirming this patriarchal chud that we desperately need to rid ourselves of.

CocoRosie has been very controversial, especially in America, just because they take so many risks, and most guys in the boys club don’t take even them. In Europe they’re very embraced. Amongst artists, they are celebrated around the world, but there’s obviously been a lot of people that can’t take the frontier that they’re pushing. To me, they are amongst the most important young artists in American today. I think it’s intergenerational. There’s a lot going on in the festival.

Pitchfork: Every artist, in their own way, seems to have an uncompromising vision.

Hegarty: It’s not even just within art that they’re uncompromising. I think for me, it’s the next step that’s interesting. Since the early 2000s, a lot of straight boys created bands that are about, like, nurturing this pastoral inner life—these colorful psychedelic lives and nurturing their sensitivity as straight boys. And that’s great and everything, but we need to start participating in the bigger picture because this whole ecology of our world is going to start collapsing in the next 50 years, and if there’s going to be a validity to anything, in 50 years’ time just like the way they were, people are going to be asking what the kids of today are thinking, what the artists of today were thinking. Were they just checking out? Were they just, like, hugging a couple of cuddly bears or feel-good pillows? What is the point of music at this point? Is it just a beer swill at Coachella? Is it a few sensitive guys getting up there having a circle jerk while all the girls and all the other people have to sit around and try and find their experience within their opaque song styling? We could be participating, and that’s what I aspire to do, and so I wanted to create a vivid festival that had some teeth to it.

Hear, hear!

Antony’s Meltdown line-up:

Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins in her first live performances (she’s doing two shows) since 1998
Laurie Anderson
William Basinki: “Disintegration Loops”
Marina Abramovic doing a rare lecture.
CocoRosie
Hal Willner’s"Freedom Riders”
Charles Atlas’ Antony and the Johnsons tour doc Turning.
Planningtorock + Light Asylum
Buffy Sainte-Marie
The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black + Tenderloin
Kembra Pfahler + Claywoman
Diamanda Galás
Joey Arias channeling Billie Holiday in his “Strange Fruit” review
Marc Almond performing his classic Torment and Toreros album in it’s entirety
Selda
Myrninerest + Cyclobe + Derek Jarman Films

As someone who has seen most of the acts on this year’s Meltdown bill, I have to say that this is one of the very best curated music festivals I’ve ever heard of. There’s a real vision here and I think it’ll be an amazing experience for attendees.

Meltdown Festival tickets will go on sale next Tuesday, May 8th at noon for Southbank Centre members only, and then on Thursday 10th at noon for the general public.

Below, a stunning performance of “Cripple and the Starfish” at Amsterdam’s Theater Carré Amsterdam, June 21, 2009:
 

 
Thank you, Lenora Claire!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Little Annie Anxiety Bandez & Paul Wallfisch: Billy Martin Requiem

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Little Annie AKA Annie Anxiety Bandez, has collaborated with a who’s who of avant garde musicians: Coil, Marc Almond Adrian Sherwood, Kid Congo Powers, Crass, Rubella Ballet and Nurse With Wound.

Her 2006 album, Songs from the Coalmine Canary was co-produced by Antony Hegarty. “Strangelove,” a song from the album co-written with Hegarty, was used as the soundtrack for a Levi’s campaign in 2007, going on to win a Cannes Bronze Lion award for “Best Use of Music.”

Tomorrow night, Little Annie and the fab Baby Dee are the opening acts for Marc Almond at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool and for several more UK gigs after that. What a great triple bill.

When I was 18-years-old, I saw her performing at a Crass gig at the Islington Bingo Hall. She stuck her hand down my friend’s pants!

Genderful, her latest album, with Paul Wallfischl is just out on Southern Records. The following statement was put on YouTube along with the video for “Billy Martin Requiem”:

December 1 marks the 22nd annual World AIDS Day, and while there is still no “cure” for or viable vaccine against HIV, the positive strides made battling the virus over the last few years are undeniable. New drugs are making what was a death sentence now a manageable - if serious and chronic - condition. Generic versions of these medications, along with ambitious public health policies are helping make real inroads against the disease in the developing world. There is space for much optimism this year. But what’s lost sometimes with the good news is a space to contemplate what has been lost to us - irrevocably. The talent unrealized, the creativity and vitality extinguished, the knowledge and experience that won’t be passed on to new generations - this was and continues to be the fall out from the AIDS epidemic.

At first I wondered why in the world Little Annie was singing about Billy Martin of all people, but DO keep watching, it’ll make sense. This is a really catchy song, too.

 
Thank you Tim Harris!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment