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Archive for the ‘Annie Anxiety – Little Annie’ Category

LITTLE ANNIE (FORMERLY ‘Annie Anxiety’) has announced the publication of a new artbook Meditation in Chaos, the vinyl re-issue of her first LP Soul Possession (1983), and live appearances on the European leg of the Swans’ tour.

Little Annie - Meditation in Chaos

Meditation in Chaos


Published by Timeless Editions – 2016 – France
21 x 29 cm – 84 pages in colours – Hardcover

Nowadays terms like “legendary” and “star” have all but lost their meaning, nevertheless Editions Timeless are proud to present the first ever artbook by a truly stellar legend, the original dub diva: Little Annie Anxiety Bandez!

Little Annie is loved and adored for decades of inimitable torch singing, the list of her collaborators reads like the who’s who of out-there music: Swans, Coil, the On-U Sound stable, Crass, Anohni, Baby Dee, Marc Almond – and the list goes on!

Annie has been painting and taking photos for years, her motifs include iconic religious imagery, the brooding skyscrapers of her former home NYC and intricate floral compositions.

“Meditation In Chaos” presents a glimpse at all of these and much more. The book features an introduction by her friend Penny Rimbaud of Crass and several stunning portraits of Annie herself.

Apart from the standard hardbound version of the book there are three limited art sub-editions featuring original art presented in a ribboned folder.

Annie Anxiety - Soul Possession

Annie Anxiety: Soul Possession – vinyl re-issue


Many influential characters graced the stage of Max’s Kansas City within the creative zeitgeist of New York City during the late 1970’s, but one local native named Annie Bandez thrust herself into the downtown scene with her punk ensemble Annie and the Asexuals, establishing her nom de plume Annie Anxiety (later known as “Little Annie”) and colliding head-on with the social norms of contemporary punk culture entangling the city at that time.

After a couple years of disintegrated pursuits in New York, Annie relocated to England, finding herself at the doorstep of the famed anarcho-commune Dial House headed by activist Penny Rimbaud. It was here that Annie Anxiety established herself as a singular artist and voice with her debut 1981 single Barbed Wire Halo on seminal Crass Records and forging a creative alliance with Crass members Penny Rimbaud and Eve Libertine. As the landscape of punk in the United Kingdom was shifting towards a more diverse, multicultural focal point, artists such as Annie Anxiety found themselves exploring musical signatures in styles such as dub reggae and rocksteady.

In the summer of 1983, Annie began work at Southern Studios on what would be her first full length endeavor which encompassed all of her creative assets at that time. Employing the expertise of legendary dub producer Adrian Sherwood to realize this vision, Annie pulled together members of Crass, Flux of Pink Indians, Family Fodder, African Head Charge, London Underground and Art Interface to record her groundbreaking dub industrial masterpiece. Upon its initial release by the unofficial Crass off-shoot label Corpus Christi in 1984, Soul Possession started the avalanche of activity that would include dozens of releases and collaborations with Nurse With Wound, Coil, Current 93, Swans and Marc Almond.

Dais Records proudly reissues Soul Possession on vinyl for the first time in over 30 years in a limited edition pressing featuring the original artwork by Eve Libertine on January 6, 2017. Limited to 500 copies (400 black vinyl / 100 brown vinyl).

Little Annie – live dates in Europe


In March 2017, Little Annie joins the Swans’ European tour for dates from Oslo through to Amsterdam. There are no UK dates for this tour line-up, but further dates are set to be announced.

Little Annie - Trace - 2016
http://www.songkick.com/artists/549013-little-annie
Little Annie - assorted works

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Little Annie - AnOther magazine
Photo: Jessie John Jenkins

In an excellent interview with AnOther magazine, Little Annie (formerly Annie Anxiety) discusses her life, work and art as well as “Beyoncé, Malcom X and contemporary social inequality”.

Of her time living at Dial House and recording for Crass Records, she recalls:

It was exhilarating and it felt like a honest place to be. It aligned with everything I already knew I believed in. You know what? When me and Penny Rimbaud were making Barbed Wire Halo (1981), we thought that we were making a disco record! Honestly, I know it might not sound like that but we loved listening to disco together!

Reba Maybury. 2016. ‘Little Annie: Avant-Garde Songstress’, AnOther, 9 June. http://www.anothermag.com/design-living/8759/little-annie-avant-garde-songstress

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Little Annie (formerly Annie Anxiety) has announced some European tour dates to accompany the release of her new crowdfunded album release Trace; which her label Tin Angel Records confirm is her first “since her 2013 collaboration with Baby Dee (State Of Grace) and the first under her name alone since 2007’s Songs from the Coalmine Canary.” Dates are as follows:

  • 12 May 2016 Dortmund, Theater [Details]
  • 13 May 2016 – Bremen, Schwankhalle [Details]
  • 14 May 2016 – Hamburg, Kampnagel [Details]
  • 19 May 2016 – London Cafe Oto [Details]
  • 20 May 2016 – London Cafe Oto [Details]
  • 22 May 2016 – Münster, Pumpenhaus [Venue]
  • 28 May 2016 – Berlin, Gruner Salon [Details]

Little Annie - Trace - 2016
 

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Just Another Cheap Product

A few weeks ago, Chris Willsher (Bus Station Loonies, Oi Polloi, Ruptured Ambitions) announced on Facebook that he was working on a new theatrical production that would revisit the history of Crass. “With more thanks than I can express in a mere post to Penny Rimbaud, Gee Vaucher, Steve Ignorant official and Annie Bandez”, he explained, “it’s ‘all systems go’ with the Crass play.” Adding: “Watch this space for further excitement.”

The Hippies Now Wear Black spoke with Chris about his plans for Crass – The Play and about what the audience might expect, come opening night…

Crass – The Play?

How long have you been thinking about this project? Is this a recent thing, or something you have been contemplating for a while now?

This has been a fairly long process in coming together. I think I probably first toyed with the idea of a play about Crass around twenty-odd years ago. It’s been buzzing about me head off and on ever since, but most of my plans take a while to actually take shape, so I couldn’t be happier it’s gone beyond the idea of just a plan now!

Is the work of Crass and the spirit of anarcho-punk an important reference point for you personally?

Massively. I was first introduced to the delights of Crass when I was 13. Usual tale, am sure, but they completely made me re-look at life. And were hugely instrumental in making me believe it was actually possible to become involved within all kinds of aspects of punk. Doors flew open.

Will this be your first foray into the world of theatre, or do you have background in theatre and theatrical productions?

I do have a bit of a ‘luvvie’ background. In fact, a bit of big one. Was involved with amateur theatricals from about the age of about 11, written a coupla’ plays along those lines, and went onto to doing a Theatre and Performance degree a few years ago. I’ve trod boards, been in a few films and generally overacted for much of my life. My greatest love is in the writing, however, so I couldn’t be more thrilled right now.

I’ve never been one to do ‘slick’ in any shape´or form, so my betting is it’ll be very DIY

What type of theatrical productions, or which theatrical playwrights, are your inspiration for this work?

Blimey. I’m not really sure. I’ve always been a fan of the theatre of the absurd and grotesque (Alfred Jarry and Antonin Artaud spring to mind) and also the political/historical yet accessible theatre of the likes of Dario Fo and David Pownall, and I love Molière‘s plays. That said, I’m also a huge fan of farce and comedy, in particular Ben Travers, and Galton and Simpson, so who knows how it’ll turn out? If I could sneak in elements of any of ’em, I’d be over-the-moon.

What made you opt for a theatrical play, rather than, say, a film or a video production?

Two reasons, really; my love of the live performance, and my hopes it could be the closest experience to a latter day Crass gig. Secondly, because decent films have been and are being made. I felt there was a bit of a niche and it was a slightly different angle. Best leave the film making to those who know what they’re doing!

Have you written about the ‘story of Crass’ in any other ways before now (such as fanzine or magazine articles)?

The nearest I came to any kinda of tribute to Crass was compiling You’ve Heard It All Before, the Crass covers album from mucho years ago (1993 – several before the much better-selling and publicised album by Jeffery Lewis). This was my own way of paying respect to their work and, sadly, at a time when any kind of retrospective about Crass stirred scant interest. Not like it would today. It was, however a project of which I felt massively proud and I’ll always be grateful to all the artists involved and, of course, to Crass themselves for the go-ahead to realise my project in the first place.

Is this intended to be a low-budget, DIY production, or a fully-funded theatrical project?

I’ve never been one to do ‘slick’ in any shape´or form, so my betting is it’ll be very DIY, low-budget and underground. It’s my comfort zone.

I appreciate that things are in a very formative stage at this point, but what can you say about how you will be approaching the story?

All I can say right now is the research has been an absolute labour of love. The approach won’t be so much a straight-forward story telling, but more a concentration on a particular aspect of Crass’s history, with nods and references to other japes on the way. Right now, I am trying to piece together as many sides of the same story as I can.

There’s a lot to cover when documenting the activities and impact of Crass, and it’ll be hard to cover everything in a two-hour show. What are you planning to focus on and prioritise?

Is it gonna be two hours? Sheesh – that sounds like a lot of work! No, you’re absolutely right – there’s way too much to cram successfully into a standard play length. I’m hoping to concentrate upon a particular part of Crass’s history. Not necessarily a part which people most expect. There’ll be nods towards the tales that many folk already know, but I hope not so much that it’ll just seem like a re-telling but just on stage.

I’m hoping to concentrate upon a particular part of Crass’s history. Not necessarily a part which people most expect

Are you planning to use a lot of the words of the band – lyrics, handouts, interviews?

I think that’s got to a vital part of it, yes. All those things, for sure, although again, wanting to put their individual and communal philosophies across without making it too much of a regurgitation. A play about Crass wouldn’t be a play about Crass if it weren’t for inclusion of their lyrics and statements. It’s with uber thanks and love to many of the members that we’ve the go-ahead to utilise much of them. There will be Crass songs, for sure.

Will you focus on the period 1977-1984, or extending things before and after that?

I’m not gonna say too much about that right now, but I hope the end result doesn’t disappoint. There will be aspects which cover either side and in between.

Are you thinking that the songs of Crass will feature as though they are live and rehearsal performances; or will it be more like a ‘musical’, with the songs being part of the story?

The songs which feature will, I hope, pertain to relevant parts of the story, but will probably be more like performances than the traditional ‘musical’ set up. There is nothing like a dame.

Are you planning to have a live band performing the numbers? Will the cast be expected to play and sing their roles too?

Yes and yes. Sounds like a tall order, but am certain it’ll work just fine.

Will the story focus on the band or will it look as well as the people who were followers and supporters of the band?

The plan is to encompass many people within the whole Crass phenomena. Without whom…

Will this be a story for ardent Crass fans, or for newcomers unaware of the band’s work?

I really, really would love it if the end result could appeal to both. I see little point in trying to appeal only to those who know and love Crass’s story and art, but at the same time wouldn’t want to alienate such people either. I hope there’ll be enough that’s new and intriguing to those who know a great deal about Crass, and yet telling a tale that will be of enough interest and edification to those who don’t. You can’t please all the people, but I’m gonna have a flipping good stab at appealing to as many as I can!

I see little point in trying to appeal only to those who know and love Crass’s story and art

Have you been able to get encouragement and backing from former members of Crass? Have any of them made any suggestions or recommendations?

The response I had from certain members thus far has been more encouraging than I can say. I have tried to contact every Crass member (and even one or two who weren’t fully-fledged ‘members’ as such, but contributed greatly) So far as I know, each member of Crass has now been contacted, one way or t’other. And, for those who have already been back in touch; things couldn’t have been more inspiring and positive.

Are you hoping that this production will involve new, young acting and behind-the-scenes talent or that it will be taken on by an experienced theatrical company?

New people, is my hope. Preferably those who may not have much theatrical experience but the enthusiasm to do so. That’s purely because of my own passion for the underground, the unknown and the underdog. I reckon it’d be more in keeping. Wouldn’t really want Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren to play a later-life Penny and Gee… but, then again…

Do you have any idea of where and when you’d like the play to premiere?

In keeping with the whole anarcho/Crass way of things; I’d much prefer it if the play could be performed in non-commercial/non-traditional/ theatrical venues. I’m hoping back rooms of pubs, village halls, community centres, that sort of thing.

How can people find out more, or get in touch with ideas and input of their own?

Please, anyone, for any reason, email crasstheplay@gmail.com or write to me c/o Ruptured Ambitions, Old Forge Cottage, Rushford, Lamerton, Tavistock, Devon PL19 8RY (this address is not my own, so could take a coupla’ weeks in replying, however). I’d love to hear anything from anyone.

What can people look forward to from Crass – The Play?

I would love nothing better than a brand new or rekindled interest in a band that were more of a band and a genre than became to many a way of thinking and life. Most importantly, something different to entertain and inspire.

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Little Annie (formerly Annie Anxiety and Annie Anxiety Bandez) who launched a funding pitch on Pledge Music to raise sufficient monies to record her new album back in October 2014, has reached her target.

Little Annie responded to the news on her Facebook page:

Looks like YOU did it ( w/ few days to spare!!! I cannot express how grateful I a m for the support, retweets & love , encouragement Ya’ ll shown . As you know I was not comfortable w/ concept and have had my mind elsewhere like many of us these last few months – now I gotta get my butt to Toronto and get this baby done ( 185 days or something like that ?, I hope the result matches they faith you’ve shown

 

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Little Annie (who performed as Annie Anxiety, and later as Annie Anxiety Bandez, in the 1980s and recorded for Crass Records, Corpus Christi and One Little Indian) has launched a funding campaign for her new album on the Pledge Music site. A wide variety of packages are available for pledging, beginning at £5 (for a digital download of the album), with the most expensive packages including dinner with Annie; an at-home live musical and poetry performance; and original Little Annie art. More than 100 pledges have already been registered, with just under 30% of the target reached so far. The pledge drive will run for a further 70 days from today.
 

 

For nearly three decades Little Annie has been a performer, a presence, a tiny bundle of incandescent wit and charisma. She’s been an art/no-wave terrorist, a ‘disco singer’ for the anarchist punk set, a dub diva/the grand duchess of On-U Sound, every-body’s favourite special guest star (a list of artists for whom she has done notable cameos would include ([Paul Wallfisch, Kid Congo Powers, Swans, Larsen, Baby Dee, Jah Wobble & Keith Levine, Marc Almond etc.]), and now a post-modern chanteuse. She has been an author, an actress, a painter, a raconteur, a bon vivant and an all around survivor… Annie remains – an ever more powerful presence.

She came of age at the perfect moment to be part of a gorgeous, gifted, tragic generation that was desperate for stimulation and reinvention.

She was one of those in the right place at the right time… – Robert Conroy New York City, 2009

And now? Annie’s ready to bring us a record inspired by determination, reinvention, the universal “school of hard knocks”, and moving into the now.

But of course, you have a part to play in this pilgrimage too.

There are a number of reasons for you to get involved in this project, from allowing Annie to bring you new material, to the myriad of rewards available to you for doing so. From downloads straight out of the vault, to much more personal and gratifying selections, your help will not only be infinitely appreciated, but you can cement your standing in a part of Annie’s history with other exclusives and opportunities

Many thanks to you for visiting this campaign – we look forward to working with you…

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