Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sufjan Stevens- In the Devil’s Territory

On Father’s Day, I got to thinking about a film I saw a few years ago at BAM, a documentary about a man tracking down his estranged vagabond father, Beyond This Place.  It’s a powerful film, and the score was composed and performed by Sufjan Stevens and Ray Raposa (aka Castanets).  This song was featured prominently, which makes sense when you listen.  In a way, fatherhood is always about reunion.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sisyphus-  Take Me

This album is killing me lately.  The collaboration is amazing, though this particular track is quite Sufjan-y.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Albums for Easter listening:

Here are five restorative albums to spin today, while you’re making egg salad and breathing fresh spring air.  It’s a mix of folk, country, funk, and gospel, good for this or any Sunday morning coming down.

Johnny Cash, American 2: Unchained

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The Mountain Goats, The Life of the World to Come

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Sufjan Stevens, Seven Swans

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The Blind Boys of Alabama, Spirit of the Century

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Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Everything you are
Is everything we have
You’re the only good thing
A sun came

Everything you are
Is everything we have
You’re the only good thing
A sun came

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sufjan Stevens- That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Vesper Stamper & Sufjan Stevens- Up On The Housetop

Here’s something from the always-awesome A Familyre Christmas series.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sufjan Stevens- Sister (live in 2004)

This is exactly what I needed today— an intimate performance of (most of) my favorite Suf-jam. 

What the water wants is hurricanes

And sailboats to ride on its back

What water wants is sun-kiss

And land to run into and back

And I have a fish stone burning my elbow

Reminding me to know that I’m glad

Thursday, October 24, 2013
Christmas comes early. Special thanks to Crooked Beat in DC…

Christmas comes early. Special thanks to Crooked Beat in DC…

Friday, April 12, 2013

We have been called to participate in the world’s creation from the very beginning. Making music. Baking cakes. Sewing curtains. These things mean something greater: that we have been known from the very start. Our eye color, our hairline, our jawline, the shape of our big toe, the tone of our voice. These things have been designed from the very beginning. What kind of music we listen to. The sort of skirt that looks good. The baseball cap, the tennis shoe, the orange bandana. We have been made to find these things for ourselves and take them in as ours, like adopted children: habits, hobbies, idiosyncrasies, gestures, moods, tastes, tendencies, worries. They have been put in us for good measure.

Perhaps we don’t like what we see: our hips, our loss of hair, our shoe size, our dimples, our knuckles too big, our eating habits, our disposition. We have disclosed these things in secret, likes and dislikes, behind doors with locks, our lonely rooms, our messy desks, our empty hearts, our sudden bursts of energy, our sudden bouts of depression. Don’t worry. Put away your mirrors and your beauty magazines and your books on tape. There is someone right here who knows you more than you do, who is making room on the couch, who is fixing a meal, who is putting on your favorite record, who is listening intently to what you have to say, who is standing there with you, face to face, hand to hand, eye to eye, mouth to mouth. There is no space left uncovered. This is where you belong.

Sufjan Stevens (via brotherstories)
Thursday, February 7, 2013

thesufjanstevensmodel5000:

Silver & Gold demo. Christmas 2010.

Ok. so this is haunting and kind of chilling in its simplicity.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Been hooked on this one tonight.

Everything you are

Is everything we have

You’re the only good thing

A sun came.

Sufjan Stevens- Star of Wonder

This is maybe the best Christmas song I’ve ever heard.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sufjan Stevens- Vito’s Ordination Song (live)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Now that I’m finally feeling a bit rested and clearheaded, here are some Record Store Day purchases.
The Mynah Birds
A short-lived Motown band from 1966, the MBs featured Neil Young and Rick James (bitch!).  It’s kinda like the Stones or Them, with a little psychedelic feel to it.  It’s pretty great, I think.
New Multitudes
A couple of studio tracks and a couple of demos are on this EP from the alt-country supergroup.  The demos are the real find here.  All lyrics are by Woody Guthrie (whoever that is).
Sufjan Stevens/Rosie Thomas
This is fun stuff from two of my favorite artists.  It makes some generous post-Bon-Iverian use of the auto tuner, which adds an eerie synthetic quality to two of the more painfully earnest voices in indie pop.
Townes Van Zandt
This is a 1987 LP from Townes, and it’s a good one.  The production is refreshingly clean— I had worries about a 1980s Nashville country album that featured a DX-7.  It’s country, though, with some genuinely decent harmonica work, which is pretty rare.
Mates of State
This is an album of covers from indie pop’s durable spouses.  I hadn’t heard any of this, and was a bit worried when a friend told me (post-purchase) that he’d seen them playing this material live and was underwhelmed.  But it’s actually very good, and they make the covers their own.  I still prefer their music when it’s just the two of them playing, but the slightly larger ensemble really works well on this one.
There were other non-purchases that I’ll get when I have a chance— the Uncle Tupelo LPs were pricy, though entirely worth the money.  They should be around a while, though.  There were a couple of killer blues anthologies by Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt, and a live Cohen set, which will probably be in my next batch of purchases.  Seeing as I get paid in records, I figured this was the best allocation of my “funds” for the day.
Happy Record Store Day, planet Earth.

Now that I’m finally feeling a bit rested and clearheaded, here are some Record Store Day purchases.

The Mynah Birds

A short-lived Motown band from 1966, the MBs featured Neil Young and Rick James (bitch!).  It’s kinda like the Stones or Them, with a little psychedelic feel to it.  It’s pretty great, I think.

New Multitudes

A couple of studio tracks and a couple of demos are on this EP from the alt-country supergroup.  The demos are the real find here.  All lyrics are by Woody Guthrie (whoever that is).

Sufjan Stevens/Rosie Thomas

This is fun stuff from two of my favorite artists.  It makes some generous post-Bon-Iverian use of the auto tuner, which adds an eerie synthetic quality to two of the more painfully earnest voices in indie pop.

Townes Van Zandt

This is a 1987 LP from Townes, and it’s a good one.  The production is refreshingly clean— I had worries about a 1980s Nashville country album that featured a DX-7.  It’s country, though, with some genuinely decent harmonica work, which is pretty rare.

Mates of State

This is an album of covers from indie pop’s durable spouses.  I hadn’t heard any of this, and was a bit worried when a friend told me (post-purchase) that he’d seen them playing this material live and was underwhelmed.  But it’s actually very good, and they make the covers their own.  I still prefer their music when it’s just the two of them playing, but the slightly larger ensemble really works well on this one.

There were other non-purchases that I’ll get when I have a chance— the Uncle Tupelo LPs were pricy, though entirely worth the money.  They should be around a while, though.  There were a couple of killer blues anthologies by Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt, and a live Cohen set, which will probably be in my next batch of purchases.  Seeing as I get paid in records, I figured this was the best allocation of my “funds” for the day.

Happy Record Store Day, planet Earth.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sufjan Stevens- To Be Alone With You (live at Schuba’s)

Here’s a nice live version of this one, appropriate for today.