All posts by Little Annie

Little Annie Bandez (also Little Annie Anxiety Bandez or Annie Anxiety) is a singer, painter, and stage actor, perhaps most widely known for her vampish performance of the song Things Happen, with the band Coil. She has recorded extensively with vanguard figures of the twentieth century music such as rock musician Kid Congo Powers, dub stalwart Adrian Sherwood, punk/experimental band Crass, and experimental/electronica band Coil, an entity that had its origins in the first Industrial band, Throbbing Gristle. Little Annie currently performs in New York City, and has released solo albums since the 1980s. Her album 'Songs from the Coal Mine Canary' was co-produced by Antony Hegarty, and Joe Budenholzer of Backworld. A song from this album, 'Strange Love', was used by Levi's in their 2007 'Dangerous Liaisons' campaign. The commercial won the Bronze Award at that year's Cannes for 'Best Use of Music In A Commercial'. Little Annie has performed on stage with Marc Almond, and supported him during 2007 on several appearances at Wliton's Music Hall, where she performed with pianist Paul Wallfisch. Annie and Wallfisch recorded the album 'When Good Things Happen To Bad Pianos', which includes her celebrated cover of U2's song ' I Still haven't Found What I'm Looking For' in 2008. In 2010 Annie and Paul released their second album, 'Genderful' through Southern Records.

Little Annie tour diary part 2: Musings Of The Perpetual Stranger

Little Annie's Angel
One of my paintings

Ok as promised I will start by relating the tale of the Miracle of Bue’s Washing Machine.

When I am in Torino, which I am it seems quite a chunk of times these days, I stay at the crib of Bue my Italian gay husband from the band Larsen. Though it’s not a legal union it’s just like a real marriage except without all the fighting. We have much in common, we both share a love for Latin American and religious imagery, Mexico and tv series such as the Sopranos. He likes good movies, I like good movies. He smokes and I smoke. He likes men and I like men. He looks like a more manly and more Italian version of George Clooney. I love Bue’s company and I love staying in his apartment, but I am sure even heaven has idiosyncrasies and Bue’s lovely home is no exception.

Laundry is a real concern while touring.  It take stratigising, forethought and imagination. Access to a washing machine is like winning the lottery. A washing machine qualifies as a victory of the day (see tour diary part one). Bue’s washing machine though, has a habit of flooding the place at a certain point in the wash cycle. You can hear when it’s getting ready to gush like the Geyser at Yellowstone – it makes a clunking noise. So anyway the other day, I gave myself three hours for chores so that after showering and dressing so this precious gift of the promise of clean clothes could be fully exploited.  I stood by, unlit Marlboro in mouth and mop in hand, and awaited for the death rattle. Sure enough, the clunking started and a pool of laundry water spread like blood around the victim in a bad detective movie. So I mop and wrung and mop and  eco-nomically recycle the soapy puddle to scrub Bue’s marble floor. How green is my valley and small my carbon footprint? I lit my post aquatic cigarette, a bit sweaty-browed but satiated, and got on with packing, tidying up and enjoying the good feeling of instant gratification that housework chores evoke.

That whole day prior to this, due to my sleepless nights I had been in major klutz mode – banging my hipbone at least five times on the desk, taking a lunge across the room as a result of tripping over one of Bue’s bar bells, poking myself in the eye with a mascara wand, burning my fingers with a mini lighter and finally drenching myself with cream after stupidly squeezing those single serving foil containers while rinsing it so it could be put in the trash without making the kitchen smell of sour calcium. So was truly enjoying this me-and-my-mop time. I mean was this not a sign that I had regained my equilibrium? But despite my smugness, it started to dawn on me that the washing machine was still rhythmically chugging away for an awful long time.  The problem here being that I couldn’t leave the two foot area of floor next to the machine, as I reasoned that if It was in fact repeating the whole cycle without any prompting, then the possibility of another deluge was Very Real.  It occurred to me that maybe it was indeed already flooding and I just couldn’t see it yet, so I ran the rag mop under and over and around and then wasn’t sure if it was moist from earlier or if the was in fact new water I didn’t dare risk it so kept mopping.

Fabrizio also from Larsen, and also my Euro agent, was due to pick me up soon and take me back his place to prepare a cocktail gathering to celebrate his boyfriend’s Paul’s birthday. I could just about reach the phone from my two foot square raft on my sea of chaos…debating to call Farbrizio and cancel. What would be worse? Dissing my friend on his birthday (I mean that’s cold), or leaving my post on flood watch (pictures of Bue returning from Milan to find apartment now a debris filled swimming pool or maybe even the weight of the water causing the seven stories below to have collapsed, the international Red Cross parked outside the destroyed apartment house passing out lousy coffee and wrapping red blankets around hundreds of homeless residents, barefoot, sooty faces striped with tears and a lone much loved teddy bear looking up lost eyed staring from a pile of mud).

I’m by this point soaked with sweat, breathless. down on my knees trying  to turn the damn thing off. Sweet Jesus, dear God so merciful and good. PLEASE MAKE THE WASHING MACHINE STOP!!! This is how the world ends – not with a bang but with a spin cycle.

But then it stopped.  A minute or so later the little round window door opened clothes spotless and damp. Not only had I had my victory of the day, but I prayed and God answered my prayers. I never doubted he would.

What’s on my turn table today: Odetta, and Bessie Smith

xo Little Annie

Little Annie tour diary part 1: Lonesome Traveller

I think it was me and Paul’s first European tour together during which he gave me a mantra, pearl, a code to live by. We were in Barcelona Airport at our second luggage carousel of the day. We had already waited lamely and vainly at one conveyor belt to no avail in Madrid, where we had spent five extra hours after missing an impossible connection. Watching the gray belt going round and round I reverted to magical thinking.

“If I walk in three circles and sing my special song, the bags, like the first snow of winter, will appear.”

If  I give up the thinking about the bags they will appear.”

“If a person in a green coat walks past me next, the bags will……”

“If I tap my cane….”

Paul clearly was becoming  annoyed at my impotent alchemy, and I irritated at his lack of faith in the power of transatlantic hoodoo.  So we did what everybody does with family in airports, and got snippy with each other as only one can with a much loved family member.

So now here we were in yet another city, still inhaling pre-packaged air and I resolved myself to never seeing our suitcases in this lifetime at least. Thing was I didn’t care about
the bags, I just wanted a cigarette and a shower. I was so raw with jet lag that I wanted to cry (will revisit that later, jet lag I mean, not crying).  But the bags did come and this is why I’m repeating a not very interesting story.  We were now elated and I related to Paul how amazing just something as simple as piece of luggage turning up can turn everything around. At it was at that moment he said one of the most significant things I ever heard:

°A victory a day keeps suicide away.”

I was astounded. I wanted it tattooed across my palms so as not to ever forget it. I was in awe. So simple, yet so richly meaningful and succinct. Screw Sartre, Socrates, Plato, Nietzsche, Spengler. Wallfisch is the man.

He’s an atheist. I’m a Believer.
He’s tall. I’m short.
He has curly hair. Mine isn’t that curly.

But regarding this basic truth I couldn’t agree with him more. Find today’s victory. All I remember about the rest of the day was a childlike glee. Did we skip down Las Ramblas singing and laughing? Maybe so. I know i was smoking.

Yesterday’s victory of the day was getting Bue’s washing machine to stop.  That this miracle should take place in Torino/Turin Italy, the home of the Shroud, may or may not be coincidental: I had a shaky day. Jet lag is not cute for an insomniac. We learn to wind our days around our many sleepless nights but something like jet lag throws the whole delicate ecosystem of our pharmacology into a right mess. I loose my depth perception first, which means bumping into every table leg, chair, shelve etc, and taking endless prat-falls, usually in the presence of suspicious-eyed provincials. Then freezing in middle of the pedestrian crossing cause you don’t trust your memory enough to know for sure which way the traffic is coming. Next is the inability to make a simple decision, like whether to turn on the tap for a glass of water, waiting three weeks as ‘not worth the trouble as we’ll be home in three weeks’, but of all these things are The Existential Loneliness of the Busted Up Traveller. But more about that and the Miracle of Bue’s Washing Machine will have to wait till tomorrow as I have an early train to Basel where I am to meet Paul for the gig at The Satisfactory on Friday and it’s already 2am and I’m already all tangled up. To be continued.

What’s on the turntable today? Marvin Gaye.
What’s on the turntable of my mind? How does one MUJI-fy one’s life into neat brown cylinders and travel scissors?

Love from Torino, where we wash the shroud weekly. xo
Little Annie