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Friday, Feb. 13, 2009

Antony and the Johnsons

Tonight @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.

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Antony Hegarty’s 2005 breakthrough album with the Johnsons, I Am a Bird Now, rose to prominence in part because of its novel subject matter—with chilling bluntness, Antony mused on the harrowing identity crisis that results from being transgendered. Antony’s new follow-up album, The Crying Light, addresses themes more universal than gender fluidity—namely mortality and how to come to terms with it—but Antony finds unexpected comfort from his morose muse (even a trip to his mother’s grave on the album opener yields a flower). Backed by radiant melodies that suggest far grander arrangements than his simple compositions actually conjure, Antony sings of finding peace on the other side, summoning strength from his baleful piano.