Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Why is this Man Singing Like Nina Simone?

You can find out if you attend his show at Carnegie Hall. The "he" being Anthony of "Anthony & the Johnsons" recipients of Mercury Music Prize. You can hear a bit of their music by following the link to their website.

I heard a bit this morning on NPR. (It's almost an invariable given that any "rock" or "indie" music review on NPR, ever on the demographic hunt, is delivered, imo, with the same awkward faux cool of your average undergraduate film course). Anyhow, before saying a word of commentary, just listening, it's the first thing that hits: A Nina Simone wannabe of sorts. Cut from the same recycle materials as Devendra Banhart (who I like alot more).

The "underground" background of the group seems strangely underscored in most articles/review. Perhaps just a tad too. Perhaps meant to provide some sort of waiver, a hall pass, for what it is touted as NTB (Next Big Thing). I wouldn't think of them as underground. Not at all. For all the hype, I find Anthony and the Johnsons to be a pleasant enough "act" of pastiche and cliche. But at the end of the day, the hook of novelty is not enough. I'd much rather listen to Nina Simone. It's much better.

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