Saturday, July 02, 2005

Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

The first artist on False 45th is Brooklyn-based indie folk/gospel/rock/pop crackerjack Sufjan Stevens. On July 5th, Sufjan will be releasing the second album in his ridiculously ambitious "50 State Project". He plans on writing an album for every state in the union. In 2003, he released Michigan and now he is releasing Illinois. At this rate, he'll complete the project around 2103 at the ripe age of 130. But, what the hell, we all have to have goals right?

Sufjan's music doesn't fit nicely into any one genre. While his earlier albums could have easily been called folk with religious overtones, his recent stuff is more varied. Some songs will be just guitar and vocals while others will contain a dozen different instruments and back-up singers. This wide scope and the numerous tracks of Michigan and Illinois (20+) makes listening to him an album-oriented experience. The songs work best as a collection rather than just as singles.

Having said that, here are some links to individual tracks:

Sufjan Stevens - Come On! Feel the Illinoise!

Sufjan Stevens - Chicago

For these two tracks, you'll have to go to Amazon's website and do the free download from there. I can't link directly to the mp3 file.

Sufjan Stevens - Casimir Pulaski Day - Amazon's download page

Sufjan Stevens - The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts - Amazon's download page

Here are a few tracks from Sufjan's Michigan album:

Sufjan Stevens - All Good Naysayers

Sufjan Stevens - Holland

Additionally, announced today that Sufjan finished a project with NPR recently that will air on July 6th during All Things Considered. NPR was amused by Sufjan's ability to write songs about various places he had never been to so they did a series of interviews with people from Brinkley, Arkansas, sent them to Sufjan and asked him to write a song about the place. Brinkley is the town where the long-thought-extict ivory-billed woodpecker was recently discovered. So, Sufjan wrote "The Lord God Bird" for them. If you miss the broadcast, the song will be available on NPR's website following the broadcast.

UPDATE: The new album, "Illinois", may or may not be available where you are. It's a friggin' mess. You can read about it on Pitchfork.

UPDATE: You download the song ("The Lord God Bird") Sufjan created for NPR from All Songs Considered. It's a free download.

Sufjan Stevens - The Lord God Bird

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