Tag Archives: Sufjan Stevens

New Sufjan Stevens: Video Game

Video: Sufjan Stevens – “Video Game”

Sufjan Stevens - Video Game [Official Video - feat. Jalaiah]

Directed by Nicole Ginelli. Starring Jalaiah Harmon. From The Ascension, due September 25 on Asthmatic Kitty.

Soofy doesn’t wanna play your video game. That’s a metaphor, of course, but I can’t really picture him getting down with some Mario Kart either. I dunno. Maybe he does, but I can’t see it.

Either way, he’s not out there posting selfies and guesting on America’s Got Talent.

Stevens said, “It’s unfortunate that we live in a society where the value of people is quantified by likes, followers, listeners and views. So many people are seeking attention for the wrong reasons. I think we should all be doing our best work without looking for accolades or seeking reward.”

Is Sufjan the last person in America who cares about selling out?

He continues, “The main takeaway of ‘Video Game’ for me is: your worth (invaluable) should never be based on other people’s approval (ephemeral). Just be yourself. Keep it real. Keep it moving. Do all things with absolute purity, love and joy. And always do your best.”

I suppose if he wanted to sell out, he’d crank out another 50 States album. He’s already done Michigan, Illinois, and Oregon, so: Three down, 47 to go! Get on it! Do your best!

Sufjan Stevens: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Sufjan Stevens: Video Game

New Sufjan Stevens video solidifies theory of 50 States Project

Video: Sufjan Stevens – “The Greatest Gift”

Sufjan Stevens - The Greatest Gift (Official Video)

From The Greatest Gift Mixtape – Outtakes, Remixes, & Demos from Carrie & Lowell, out now on Asthmatic Kitty.

The mention of Asa Lovejoy (founder of the city of Portland) in this song is further evidence to prove the theory that Carrie & Lowell was indeed the “Oregon” installment in Sufjan’s “50 States” project, despite the fact that in 2009 Stevens dismissed the project as “such a joke” and admitted it was a “promotional gimmick.”

Almost every song contains at least one specific reference to Oregon: the Death with Dignity Act of 1994, the Oregon breeze, Spencer’s Butte, Eugene, Emerald Park, the Tillamook burn, Sea Lion Caves, Cottage Grove, The Dalles, the Blue Bucket Mine.

The outtakes from this newly released collection keep it going: Wallowa Lake, Asa Lovejoy, the hidden river, Hathaway Jones, the City of Roses, Pig-n-Ford races, Nike, Beavers, Ducks, and Trailblazers.

I mean, come on. This is as clear and obvious as anything on Illinois or Michigan, right?

There was also a mention of Rogue River in “Mystery of Love,” one of the songs Sufjan contributed to the soundtrack of the film, Call Me By Your Name.

And just yesterday, he released the “Tonya Harding” single, about the unlikely skating star who many considered to be “Just some Portland white trash.”

You could easily compile the most Oregony of these songs into an “Oregon” playlist to get the full effect.

And I’m not the only one who thinks this, either. Tuneage wrote a post about it and found a 2005 interview where Stevens discussed Oregon as a likely contender as a follow up to Illinois. Local publications mapped out every Oregon reference on Carrie & Lowell.

Carrie & Lowell is unquestionably the third installment of Sufjan’s Fifty States Project. Three down, only 47 to go! Snap to it, Soofy!

Sufjan Stevens: web, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Sufjan Stevens video solidifies theory of 50 States Project

Lots of Links: Twitter Roundup #16

Tweet tweetBelow are the things we’ve posted to Twitter recently. In reverse chronological order, just like Twitter…

# Cracking the pallophotophone code. Radio recordings from 1929-31 ft. the voices of Edison, Herbert Hoover, & Henry Ford. http://ow.ly/1Uhq4 2 minutes ago

# A great interview with Topspin’s Ian Rogers about the music biz: http://bit.ly/bwSs0E @iancr 22 minutes ago

# On This Day in 2004: “Glorious Noise is good” — Colin O’Malley, TRUSTe http://ow.ly/1UeSS Do you still follow us, @micshasan? about 1 hour ago

# RT @soundofthecity: The 10 Most Shocking Revelations About the Tragic Last Days of Gang Starr MC Guru http://bit.ly/cxBA2o about 2 hours ago

# Cool. RT @genesimmons: Hey, if you’re 14 years old or under, you can attend any KISS concert in the upcoming N. American Tour for FREE. about 19 hours ago

# “We support the boycott of Arizona.” RT @robertloerzel: Los Lobos cancels Arizona concert. http://www.loslobos.org/site/news.shtml about 20 hours ago

Lots more below, and you might consider joining the 802 other people following us on Twitter so you can keep up with this stuff as it happens…

Continue reading Lots of Links: Twitter Roundup #16

Three New Sufjan Stevens Songs (Live)

Why does Sufjan Stevens hate pop music? Why’s a guy with such a talent for writing evocative pop music gotta get all arty and jazzy on our asses and make seven-plus minute long jams with long, cacophonous freakouts? Why? Because he’s apparently “at a point where [he] no longer [has] a deep desire to share [his] music with anyone.” Dude.

Video: Sufjan Stevens – “There’s Too Much Love” (live in Ithaca 9/23/09)

Two more after the jump…

Continue reading Three New Sufjan Stevens Songs (Live)

New Old Sufjan Stevens – Sofia's Song

Sofia's SongOver on the Asthmatic Kitty‘s Sidebar, Sufjan Stevens tells the story of how he almost changed his name, and how in college he started writing a “series of songs for names.” And he shares a charming little banjo song that’s well worth streaming.

My older self, glancing back over simple chords and hazardous poetry, likes to think I’m older, wiser, more mature, more eloquent, more artful, more poignant, more contemporary. But that’s unfair. The concept has changed but the approach has always been the same: to become so completely entrenched in something that it becomes a great big clumsy mummy outfit wrapped around all arms and legs: a metaphysical form of suffocation. Sure, back then, I was young, naïve, unenlightened, untraveled, virtuous, good-natured, and always on time. But the world of youth was where I tried on new ideas, new outfits, new names, and new rhyme schemes—a world where the banjo was my journal, where Sofia Coppola was my imaginary confidant, and where singing out of tune was perfectly OK!

Here’s hoping Stevens goes out on a solo banjo tour to promote this song!

Sufjan Stevens: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki.

Via the Fork.

Merry Christmas from Sufjan Stevens

sufjan_xmas3_dennyrenshaw.jpg

Sufjan Stevens and Asthmatic Kitty Records wish us all Happy Holidays with a fun little interactive mini-site where you can:

• Play Sufjan Stevens’ A Christmas Game

• Create a Sufjan Elf E-Card

• Print some ornaments for your tree

They’ve also got some free ringtones and the following MP3s:

Sufjan Stevens – “That Was the Worst Christmas Ever”

Sufjan Stevens – “Sister Winter”

Happy Pulaski Day!

pulaski.jpgCasimir Pulaski was a hero of the American Revultionary War. Born in Poland on March 4, 1747, according to Wikipedia, he “is known for his contributions to the US military at the time by training its soldiers and cavalry.” George Washington loved him.

Here in Illinois, Pulaski Day is a state holiday celebrated on the first Monday in March. Chicago schools, libraries, and government offices are closed. Woo hoo!

MP3s:

Sufjan Stevens – “Casimir Pulaski Day” from Illinois

Sufjan Stevens – “Casimir Pulaski Day” (demo)

Previously: Dutch Mafia Life, or, How Amway Stole the Soul of a Talented Christian Rocker and Tossed His Lifeless Body into Lake Michigan, or, “Jesus Christ! Enough with the Choirs Already!”

Sufjan Stevens on “Friend Rock”

Hot on the heals of “GGBB,” Sufjan Stevens writes a column about Friend Rock:

“Consider carefully your motivations for being at the show in the first place. Are you bringing to the performance an anxious, pathological obligation (by sheer, relational proximity) and an unfaltering, unquenchable desire to chatter, gossip, and talk about said friend onstage, capsizing your ability to enjoy anything about the music at all? If so, you may be in the midst of Friend Rock. But there you are, biting your tongue, with an iron will, the will to love, a stoic cheerleader, a loyal comrade, a cheap listener, you are sticking it out because that person onstage is your Friend.”

Continue reading Sufjan Stevens on “Friend Rock”

Sufjan Stevens – Casimir Pulaski Day (demo)

Sufjan Stevens – “Casimir Pulaski Day” (demo). In celebration of Pulaski Day (March 5, this year), Asthmatic Kitty posted this early home demo of the best song on Sufjan’s Illinois album, with “clumsy banjo and slightly different lyrics.”

Compare it to the original (mp3).

I wrote about it before, but this song still breaks my heart. “…We lift our hands and pray over your body but nothing ever happens…”

Related: Unreleased Jimmy Page Guitar Riff To Be Retrieved From Secret Vault To Save Rock And Roll.

All Music Guide’s Case Against Sufjan Stevens

A Case Against Sufjan Stevens: “His pretension — his convoluted song titles, his cloying song about Saul Bellow, his adolescent fascination with John Wayne Gacy, Jr. — all comes across like a precocious high school student in his senior year, where he’s smug enough to want to prove that he’s smarter than the rest of the school. Appropriately, his lyrics often read like the work of a gifted but sheltered high schooler, and his music sounds like a drama student’s idea of a pop opera…” Yow. Previously.