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Sufjan Stevens


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Michigan is beautiful. Really fantastic. Seven Swans is perhaps the least listened to album of the three for me but has perhaps my favourite Sufjan track. (Can't remember the title, but i think it's number 3.)

Oh and then there's his experimental album "Enjoy Your Rabbit". Well, the less said about that the better i think...

I laughed at that comment in bold in October 2005 evidently, (with my 'Haha' reply), and I laughed just now at it again in May 2015. I think

, is an interesting album, 'experimental' I think is the best description. Anyway is interesting to look back at the first page, with people's views on the then-fresh Illinois album, in 2005. I remember seeing Illinois on Amazon at the time thinking 'who on Earth is Sufjan Stevens?!', but was interested by the elaborate track titles of the album. You could download free mp3s of Casimir Pulaski Day, and the Man of Metropolis...which I did, and I was impressed! I have been a fan ever since!

Carrie & Lowell (the new album) is a very good album! Am very much enjoying it.

UK tour dates for Sufjan in late August, September '15! Heads up for all interested!

28-8-15 Dublin

29-8-15 Dublin

30-8-15 Edinburgh

31-8-15 Manchester

2-9-15 London

3-9-15 London

4-9-15 Brighton

6-9-15 Bristol...then goes onto France, Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, back to France, then Luxembourg, and then Spain.

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  • 4 months later...

The most amazing artist I have ever had the privilege to listen to. I thought after a cursory listen to "Age of Ads' the departure from comfortable folky instruments and melodies I'd be uninterested but it turns out to be my favourite music in a long while. Incredible musician and composer.

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On 29/04/2017 at 12:05, milko said:

There's a live version of Carrie and Lowell been quietly released. Got some nice takes on the album arrangements, and a cover of Hotline Bling.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 

Spoiler

0:00 Redford (For Yia-Yia and Pappou) - Live
3:30 Death With Dignity - Live
8:08 Should Have Known Better
13:40 All of Me Wants All Of You - Live
20:27 John My Beloved - Live
27:00 The Only Thing - Live
32:22 Fourth of July - Live
38:59 No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross - Live
42:37 Carrie & Lowell - Live
46:55 Drawn to the Blood - Live
51:05 Eugene - Live
55:36 Vesuvius - Live
1:02:11 Futile Devices - Live
1:06:58 Blue Bucket of Gold - Live
1:11:23 Blue Bucket Outro
1:23:56 Hotline Bling (encore, featuring Gallant)

Performed live at:
The North Charleston Performing Arts Center
Charleston, South Carolina
November 9, 2015

 

Also did anyone know that Carrie & Lowell was almost 'the 3rd state album', Oregon!? He was eventually persuaded that it was too personal an album to just be another state album, so title names were altered, vocals were slightly re-arranged, but interesting huh! For example, Eugene is the city Eugene in Oregon, (https://www.eugenecascadescoast.org/eugene/), not Eugene a person...Here is a very in-depth analysis of it all, with an amazing interactive map also!: http://www.oregonlive.com/music/index.ssf/2015/06/sufjan_stevens_new_record_carr.html

 

...and also here is an outtake from Carrie & Lowell below!

 

 

Take care everyone.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 29/04/2017 at 12:05, milko said:

There's a live version of Carrie and Lowell been quietly released. Got some nice takes on the album arrangements, and a cover of Hotline Bling.

 

I've been listening to this on Amazon Music this week and it is indeed gorgeous. I really want to buy it but can't find a hardcopy anywhere, and the only digital version is from the official SS website it seems. I'd quite like visual recording to go with it too.

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Apart from the upcoming 22/09/17 release of the Blue Bucket of Gold/Hotline Bling (feat. Gallant) 12" vinyl record, I don't think they're intending to release much of it physically: 'It is available on YouTube and Vimeo and as an audio download (and streaming) on most digital platforms starting April 28, 2017', says sufjan.com.

 

Also, the mp3s are on iTunes to download as well, £7.99: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/carrie-lowell-live/id1227779973 (or just searching for it in iTunes might be easier)

 

& 'The Greatest Gift' is released 20th October 2017! A mixtape of outtakes, remixes, and demos from Carrie & Lowell. (http://asthmatickitty.com/watch-sufjans-carrie-greatest-gift-in-october/) So hyped for this!

 

Tracklist:
01 “Wallowa Lake Monster” (Carrie & Lowell Outtake)
02 “Drawn To The Blood” (Sufjan Stevens Remix)
03 “Death With Dignity” (Helado Negro Remix)
04 “John My Beloved” (iPhone Demo)
05 “Drawn To The Blood” (Fingerpicking Version)
06 “The Greatest Gift” (Carrie & Lowell Outtake)
07 “Exploding Whale” (Doveman Remix)
08 “All Of Me Wants All Of You” (Helado Negro Remix)
09 “Fourth Of July” (900X Remix)
10 “The Hidden River Of My Life” (Carrie & Lowell Outtake)
11 “City of Roses” (Carrie & Lowell Outtake)

 

Wallowa Lake is in Oregon, (of course I guess), was trying to find it on the interactive map but is quite small, you have to zoom out, zoom in...it's near the top-right of the state, around 'Enterprise'. Anyway, looking forward to this!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sufjan Stevens is a genius. His music is godlike. Music flows out of him so effortlessly. I think with music more than any other medium, it's split into people who really try to make music and people who it is as natural as breathing for them.

 

Enjoy Your Rabbit is stunning as well, Year of The Horse is incredible. I listened to it ages ago on my pushbike and it unexpectedly blew me away. Can't believe people don't like it ?!

 

 

plus the choice of video to compliment it makes me laugh every time.

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On 7/30/2017 at 03:56, pervent aline perio grow d said:

Can't believe people don't like it ?!

 

Of course you can. Most people like him doing these beautiful stripped-back arrangements with lots of haunting emotions and whatnot. This is a 13'33'' electronic instrumental noodle with occasional hints of what else he can do. And I don't like horses.

 

(I do quite like instrumental electronic noodling though, so I'm fine)

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2 minutes ago, milko said:

Of course you can. Most people like him doing these beautiful stripped-back arrangements with lots of haunting emotions and whatnot. This is a 13'33'' electronic instrumental noodle with occasional hints of what else he can do. And I don't like horses.

 

(I do quite like instrumental electronic noodling though, so I'm fine)

 

I really can't. Not saying everyone ought to love it, but it being poked fun at, that's pretty odd. 

 

Sufjan Stevens is a composer as much as he is anything. The BQE for instance. His epic compositions on Illinois and Age of Adz. 

 

It's hardly Merzbow. People have been listening to electronic instrumental music all their life, when a ordinarily folk artist does it it's 'experimental'? It's pretty majestic and melodic. Not really obtuse or difficult and ambling. 

 

Didn't know about the new supergroup Sufjan was in. And the album Planetarium. Not keen on the autotune voice. 

 

 

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I've been streaming 'The Greatest Gift' this week on the way to and from work but I don't really think it's worth picking up. The remixes of the Carrie and Lowell tracks don't deviate enough from the source material to be especially interesting, especially compared with Stevens' own remixes on Carrie and Lowell Live, which are fantastic, and a lot more inventive (the one exception to this is probably one of the remixes of Drawn to the Blood, the one done by Stevens himself, when he breaks out the synths). The two iPhone demos, while intimate and raw, as you'd expect, simply aren't as good to listen to as the album versions. The remaining original material, including the title track, is all just a bit fluffy and minor - you can see why he left these tracks off the main album. It's just fingerstyle banjo/guitar stuff with lots of oohing and aahing that doesn't especially stand out compared with his other stuff. Even Wallowa Lake Monster sounds a bit generic.

 

Separately, while searching for guitar tutorials for Casimir Pulaski Day, I came across this gorgeous cover of John Wayne Gacy Jr from Illinois by this young woman, Heather Hammers:

 

 

You can download it for free from her website, along with some other covers.

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Awesome! He definitely has a gift. Also, have studied enough music theory (also by playing the piano myself) to know what Eb major means!

 

Quote

"According to the essay accompanying his new one-off single, Sufjan Stevens has been trying to write “Tonya Harding” for almost 30 years. Listening to the track, especially paired with its stunning music video, it’s hard to believe he ever struggled with it. In a discography filled with epic travelogues and tear-stained diary entries, “Tonya Harding” feels graceful and effortless: a series of verses unfolding with a warm, lilting candor. Telling the story of the Olympic figure skater who, among other things, was accused of conspiring an attack on a competing skater, Sufjan takes the tone of a pep-talking friend." https://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/sufjan-stevens-tonya-harding/

 

Apparently there's a biopic about Tonya Harding as well, referenced here on sufjan.com:

 

 

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His music feels so intimate it's like he'd dinging only to you. Obv, his whispery vocals are a large part of that, but his lyrics are too. Simple but so deep, personal and relatable.

 

Love yourself
You are the one thing
I believe in

Love, can you love yourself?
Show me everything
Every reason to believe in yourself

Make a shelf
Put all the things on
That you believe in:

 

:wub: 

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He's an all-round talented fellow! Can't wait for the next full-length.

 

Quote

"In celebration of Pride Month, Sufjan Stevens is releasing two new songs on the topic of love: “Love Yourself” and “With My Whole Heart,” available on limited-edition 7” vinyl in late June and on all digital platforms May 29, 2019.

 

“Love Yourself” is based on a sketch Sufjan wrote 20 years ago. The original 4-track demo he recorded in 1996 is included as well as a short instrumental reprise. “With My Whole Heart” is a completely new song that Sufjan wrote as a personal challenge to “write an upbeat and sincere love song without conflict, anxiety, or self-deprecation.”

 

A portion of the proceeds from this project will support two organizations that offer help for LGBTQ+ homeless kids in America: the Ali Forney Center in Harlem, NY, and the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit, MI." https://loveyourself-withmywholeheart.sufjan.com/

 

 

 

 

ZovNP4s.jpg

 

I sort of vaguely know Tonya Harding's story, but will check out the film soon!

 

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