The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

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tzvibish
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The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby tzvibish » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:24 pm UTC

Let's see:

- Virtuosic Musical Genius (Who else can write a song with a time sig of 65/16!)
- Mature
- Modest
- Great Songwriter
- Deep, meaningful, and sometimes quircky lyrics
- Not afraid to try new things
- Huge range of musical genres

Sounds like the perfect band to me. Anyone else a fan?
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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby charliepanayi » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:51 pm UTC

Seven Swans is my favourite of his, it's a simply beautiful album, and I like how concise it feels. Michigan is good and Illinois is excellent but both are a little too long for my liking, the really brilliant stuff slightly muffled by a bit too much padding on the albums. But when those albums hit the heights (Chicago especially) they're sublime. Got to love the absurd song titles on those two albums as well. As a bonus Songs for Christmas makes for good listening every holiday season, it was a nice touch to release that.

Enjoy Your Rabbit is an interesting curio of his, an electronica album. It's not completely my thing, but it's a decent stab at an area he's moved away from since, with the possible exception of his (excellent) Castanets cover on this year's Dark Was the Night compilation album.

The only infuriating thing is (and it's all the more puzzling considering how prolific he had been up to 2005) it's now been over four years since Illinois and still no new studio album (let alone another US state album). There's been a CD of offcuts from Illinois, the Christmas songs boxset, a reworking of Enjoy Your Rabbit, his BQE project. I wonder if he's been left with writer's block after the success of Illinois or if he maybe just wanted to take a hiatus after so many albums in such a short space of time. But I really hope he's back next year with a new record.

In short though, Seven Swans is one of my favourite albums of the decade.
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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby Smiling Hobo » Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:30 pm UTC

I love Sufjan. If you haven't already, check out some of his unreleased stuff...

Barn Owl, Night Killer
Majesty Snowbird
Jupiter Bad June (2:55 onwards is orgasmic)

But yeah, Illinois is one of my favorite albums ever...well, except for the title track. And Michigan has some great songs on it, but a lot of really mediocre ones, as well. Oh, and Sevens Swans is consistently lurvely. In any case, Sufjan needs to get off his ass and release more music! :-O

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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby tzvibish » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:40 pm UTC

Surprised that avalanche wasn't mentioned. Outtakes fro illonois and my personal favorite (three different versions of chicago!). Also, if you go to the asthamitic kitty website, you can get a sneak peek at one of the shorter movements from bqe. Trippy stuff, but pure sufjan. I hope he wrks with a sympony more often, because it's awesome!
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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby apoklips » Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:35 pm UTC

I wholeheartedly support this thread! Sufjan Stevens is easily on of my favourite songwriters, and I am growing pretty impatient waiting for a new record from him.

tzvibish wrote: Surprised that avalanche wasn't mentioned. Outtakes fro illonois and my personal favorite (three different versions of chicago!).

I wasn't the biggest fan of that album as a whole, but it does have a few of my favourite Sufjan songs on it. I actually prefer the acoustic version of Chicago over the one that's on Illinois.

I suppose I am in the minority here, because I generally tend to prefer Michigan over Illinois, although it usually depends on what mood I'm in.
Last edited by apoklips on Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:13 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby ParanoidAndroid » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:09 pm UTC

Sufjan is probably my favorite artist. I love Illinois to death. I don't know if I'd objectively call it his best album, but it's my favorite nonetheless. He really needs to put out a new album. <3 <3 <3

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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby Midnight » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:01 am UTC

good stuff.

but really, 65/16 sounds.. i dunno. more impressive than it is. That's just one-two-three-four a normal eight measures and an extra 16th beat.
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby poxic » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:48 am UTC

Hmm. It's nice stuff -- I'll probably buy some for my parents so they have something decent for me to listen to when I'm at their house. :wink: My brother will probably like it, too.

It doesn't sound like something I'll listen to at home, though. There's lots of skill and talent, and some decent songwriting, but it sounds a bit hollow to me. I think the problem is that he's just not crazy enough.

(For context: my favourite music tends toward Bjork, Radiohead, Ani Difranco, Kate Bush, Tricky, plus assorted non-Western music that makes me go "huh?", and our own band's stuff -- unpolished as hell but the singer is batshit :mrgreen: ).
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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby tzvibish » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:31 am UTC

It might not be 65/16 (but I think so). The song I'm referring to is concerning the ufo sighting... Its the first song on illonis. There's no beat, and its near impoosible to find some kind of rhythm. You know its there, because the piano is definately rhythmic, its just that everytime you think you've counted it out, he skips or adds a few beats to your measure. Maybe I'm just not trying hard enough. If anyone has some rhythmic insight to this song, I would love to hear it.
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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby tin » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:40 am UTC

I only own Illinoise but I think it's a delightful album, if overly long. He is a very sincere and honest songwriter, which is also brought out in his song arrangements. All those harmonies, strings and twee sounding flutes. It's all so wholesome! And John Wayne Gacy Jnr is on my list of songs to 'Make Tin Start Bawling Like A Baby In A Public Place'
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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby tzvibish » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:52 pm UTC

Actually, Casimir Pulasky Day was the first song that actually brought me to the verge of tears.
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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby Smiling Hobo » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:59 pm UTC

No song has ever really moved me to the point of crying, yet, by Sufan or anyone else...

Though "Two-Headed Boy Part 2" by Neutral Milk Hotel came pretty close.

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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby Poohblah » Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:36 pm UTC

LOVE LOVE LOVE sufjan stevens. :)

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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby Midnight » Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:25 am UTC

Smiling Hobo wrote:No song has ever really moved me to the point of crying, yet, by Sufan or anyone else...

Though "Two-Headed Boy Part 2" by Neutral Milk Hotel came pretty close.

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In certain moods, I get that feeling from a few songs. One of the main ones is For All the Widows in Paradise, for the Fatherless in Ypsilanti, by suff-jan.
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby charliepanayi » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:59 pm UTC

Resurrecting this thread as he has a new 60-minute (!) EP available online now:

http://sufjanstevens.bandcamp.com/

*goes off to listen* :D
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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby Kaelri » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:02 pm UTC

Can anyone more knowledgeable than me explain what makes this an EP, rather than an album? I thought it was traditionally based on length, but this thing is 60 minutes - longer than Seven Swans, an "album."

(Mind you, the surprise was a pleasant one. I was expecting a handful of maybe-interesting b-sides, and instead I got a whole hour of new Sufjan music. Yay!)

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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby charliepanayi » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:23 pm UTC

I suspect the only reason this is defined as an EP is because that's what Stevens has termed it (apparently in the UK at least anything over 25 minutes is classified as an album for chart purposes). I remember The Fiery Furnaces doing a 40 minute EP, and I thought that was long! Maybe they'll have to update this part of Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_play#Anomalies
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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby SirMustapha » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:06 pm UTC

The definitions of "EP" and "Album" are becoming more and more arbitrary. Check out Autechre's Quaristice.Quadrange.ep.ae, an EP, over 2 hours long.

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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby charliepanayi » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:30 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:The definitions of "EP" and "Album" are becoming more and more arbitrary. Check out Autechre's Quaristice.Quadrange.ep.ae, an EP, over 2 hours long.


Autechre like their ultra-long EPs - EP7 (which came out over a decade ago) is an hour long and their recent one Move of Ten is 48 minutes.

The Sufjan EP is very good. Hooray!
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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby charliepanayi » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:24 pm UTC

New album announced in October! Sounds like it will be very different to the last few albums.

http://asthmatickitty.com/the-age-of-adz
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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby Euphonium » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:12 pm UTC

charliepanayi wrote:(let alone another US state album)


I'm given to understand that there was never any Fifty State Project. It was just a gimmick.

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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby Euphonium » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:14 pm UTC

tzvibish wrote:Actually, Casimir Pulasky Day was the first song that actually brought me to the verge of tears.


This.

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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby Mumpy » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:52 pm UTC

Have you guys heard of Glasser? She sounds a lot like Sufjan, but female and with more african/carribean drums.

She's purdy good to. It doesn't quite sound as polished as Sufjan does to me, but hey, It's still the album I'm listening most to atm.

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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby Midnight » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:34 pm UTC

uhhhh fuck.

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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby charliepanayi » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:59 pm UTC

I quite like it, it's different to Michigan/Illinois/Seven Swans yet it's still very much a Sufjan Stevens album. I need to listen more though.
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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby iwanttobelieve » Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:12 am UTC

This thread sucks.

First of all, no one has given credit to A Sun Came, which contains a ton of his best songs (Loverless Bed, Rake, Dumb I Sound, Kill, Oracle Said Wander, etc)

Secondly, nobody is here.

You'd think after all his mainstreamness since 2005 more people would be on here talking about how indie he is.

It might not be 65/16 (but I think so). The song I'm referring to is concerning the ufo sighting... Its the first song on illonis. There's no beat, and its near impoosible to find some kind of rhythm. You know its there, because the piano is definately rhythmic, its just that everytime you think you've counted it out, he skips or adds a few beats to your measure. Maybe I'm just not trying hard enough. If anyone has some rhythmic insight to this song, I would love to hear it.

Sufjan says the song has NO time signature in the Crooked River trailer.

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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby Midnight » Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:19 am UTC

iwanttobelieve wrote:This thread sucks.

First of all, no one has given credit to A Sun Came, which contains a ton of his best songs (Loverless Bed, Rake, Dumb I Sound, Kill, Oracle Said Wander, etc)

Nah, brah. Disagree with that. Illinois was way better.

iwanttobelieve wrote:Secondly, nobody is here.

You'd think after all his mainstreamness since 2005 more people would be on here talking about how indie he is.

Nah, brah. Mainstreamness and indie are mutually exclusive. Us hip xkcd kids liked him way before he was cool, you see.
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: The Official Sufjan Stevens Fan Thread

Postby iwanttobelieve » Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:55 pm UTC

Midnight wrote:
iwanttobelieve wrote:This thread sucks.

First of all, no one has given credit to A Sun Came, which contains a ton of his best songs (Loverless Bed, Rake, Dumb I Sound, Kill, Oracle Said Wander, etc)

Nah, brah. Disagree with that. Illinois was way better.

Illinois is a bit better. I'm just saying that it hadn't even been mentioned

Also,
Seven Swans > Illinoise/A Sun Came > Michigan > EP > Avalanche > Christmas > BQE > Age of Adz > Enjoy Your Rabbit.

Midnight wrote:
iwanttobelieve wrote:Secondly, nobody is here.

You'd think after all his mainstreamness since 2005 more people would be on here talking about how indie he is.

Nah, brah. Mainstreamness and indie are mutually exclusive. Us hip xkcd kids liked him way before he was cool, you see.


I'm assuming this is sarcasm.


Anybody see him on this last tour?
I thought it was good, but overly visual. And I totally get why he does that, he has talked about it enough, so it is better than the flashiness of artificial musician's overly visual shows (Boy bands, any one who sings who has at some point acted on the Disney Channel, and bands that should have quit music years ago (Rolling Stones)), but I'm still not a fan of it. I guess it (the over-the-top visuals I'm talking about are: dancers, video, excessive lights, costumes) goes well with the cluttered sound of the album, though.

Why in the world am I a fan of Sufjan when I am a die-hard minimalist? He is just too good, man.


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