Spreading the secret
Antony & the Johnsons may be the biggest reason why you should never let the airwaves dictate your listening tastes because someone as strange and as beautiful as Antony will never be played on corporate radio.
The poignant, hypnotically ethereal, operatic stylings of Antony have become a great secret murmured among friends, spreading like wildfire until the hype can't possibly match up to the performer - but it does.
Since the moment I first played his debut album, "Antony & the Johnsons," I have been among the fervently converted, making everyone around me listen to his albums again and again.
Antony's newest release, "I Am a Bird Now," features contributions from fellow songsters Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright and Boy George.
Su, Feb 20, 7:30 p.m. Fine Line Caf, 318 1st Ave. N. $12. 335-8181, www.finelinemusic.com
Clearly not clear
If you haven't heard of Sage Francis, perhaps you've heard of some of his crusades. His last tour as Sage Francis the DJ, the [Euphemism] Clear Channel Tour, took him all over the country (or at least places that had alternatives to Clear Channel venues). His spoken word performances have been featured on ESPN and ABC X-Games commercials, and his verbal output (mostly against corporate America) at these freestyle events is absolutely staggering to hear. The Rhode Island artist has also managed to make a living as an unsigned artist for many years, selling homemade bootleg CDs and cassette tapes of his own material at shows, before being signed to the legendary punk label Epitaph last year.
Thursday, February 17, 9 p.m. First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. $12 in advance, $15 at the door. 338-8388, www.first-avenue.com
Holly Day can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.