Friday, September 16, 2005

Introducing Sufjan Stevens


About two months ago, Amy and I were driving in the car when a special segment came on NPR about a small town in the south. This town was blessed by being the home of a very rare type of bird nicknamed "The Great God Bird" (as in, "Great God, that's an interesting bird!"). Naturalists and tourists flocked to this novelty site to see the bird and the town made a name for itself. They then talked about a young songwriter who even wrote a song about this town and bird and had the track available for download on the NPR website (click here to listen to the song as you read the rest of this entry).

Fast forward about a month and a friend of mine named David was talking about this songwriter named Sufjan Stevens. I was told that, among other things, he writes songs about specific locations and has released an album about Michigan, one about Illinois and his lofty goal is to write one album for each of the 50 states.

Then fast forward to last night, David and I went to the University of Illinois to see Sufjan and his 8 member band perform tracks from his Illinois album. I can't say enough about this album and this songwriter other than that "Illinois" is literally a masterpiece. I highly recommend that you read the first two user reviews on amazon.com for this disc, for they speak about the album in a way that is right-on-the-money. While you're there, listen to a few of the samples (my personal favorites being 'The Tallest Man,' 'John Wayne Gacy', and 'Chicago').

And then go ahead and do yourself a favor by ordering the disc. Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic. You won't be let down.



POST UPDATE: You can listen to that entire NPR story (which is a great listen) by clicking here and clicking the "Listen" button under the title.

6 comments:

isaiah said...

I love life! I love discovering new things, new people, new thoughts...and of course, new music. Sufjan's music is so different than most things we are used to hearing that the sound can come as a shock to the senses, and if not the sound, then his lyrics are guaranteed to ("John Wayne Gacy".) "The Great God Bird" has a melody line that will haunt you. The song takes hold and washes over whatever is going on, whatever thoughts you may.

I can imagine the concert was surreal at times, Trev. Thanks for the post and introduction. Time to order my copy of his CD.

Clayton said...

Stevens is a rather good band. I must go off and find their tracks again...

Dan Price said...

nice!

Miss Wired said...

Yep, okay. Thanks for that!

I'll be getting it, if I can find it here in AU.

gratefulbear said...

I just downloaded Sufjan's new album from eMusic as part of my 40 downloads a month for $9.99. (Sufjan's CD has 22 tracks, so I have 18 left.) Thanks for letting us know about this singer, Trev! He reminds me of Josh Joplin, with his slightly-offbeat music style and eccentric-but-intelligent lyrics.

Trev Diesel said...

Test, buddy