The latest Antony and the Johnsons recording (see earlier posting, and be sure to download it if you haven’t by now…you won’t be sorry (actually, you will be sorry, cos it's been taken down now! - ed)) has rarely been off the Really stereo…and it’s messing our minds up. It’s had us weeping, wailing, gnashing our teeth, contemplating the mysteries of life, love, and gender re-alignment surgery.
Or was that the cheese-spiked nightmare I had after watching Channel 5’s plastic surgery show? (turn on, tune in, and projectile vomit, kind readers…last time I saw it, someone’s face was being peeled off…then a shrivelled and spindly ‘Johnson’ was injected with pork fat...and its all hosted by Vanessa Feltz…gah!)
Anyway, so I found myself musing on the Johnsons...trains of thought jumped tracks, humped, bumped and shunted; ploughed headlong through autumn leaves; wheezed, heaved, farted, and finally ground to a halt to find me reaching for Coney Island Baby for the first time in years.
So many reasons to love this album, Lou Reed in top form, such a mellow sound you’re almost fooled into thinking it bland. Wonderful, misty backing vocals hazing in and out of the mix, sweet, glistening guitar, and in the title track surely one of the strongest lyrics of his career…
But balls to all that, I want you to hear A Gift instead, wherein the bard of brooklyn claims to be “a gift to the women of this world.” And then goes on to embellish this claim, all drawly and pokerfaced.
I’ve never heard such preposterous bragging. At this point in his life (not long after claiming how incredibly gay he was in Transformer, and by then dating a pre-op transsexual called Rachel), one can only marvel at the onion layers of irony wrapped tightly around it.
Was he taking the piss? Asserting his masculinity? Making some kind of statement on sexual identity?
Who gives a shit, you’ll be singing it in the shower for a week...
(click here to buy Coney Island Baby from AmazonUK)