Mellifluent Mondays: Sufjan Stevens

September 15, 2008 at 6:45 pm (music, music video)

For those of my readers who appear to be incapable of appreciating instrumental music in and of itself, I thought I’d give old Sufjan a try. Here’s The Seer’s Tower from Illinoise:

I can’t remember where or how I first heard this modern minstrel, but I was equally impressed with both his lyrics that vary widely in subject matter, and his choices of instrumentation, which often includes flutes, organs, strings, banjos and trumpets. Here’s a nice banjo centered piece called For The Widows In Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypsilanti. (Did I mention Mr. Stevens enjoys long titles?)

And the same song, live:

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the songwriter for my readers may be his spiritual bent. I believe he’s released a Christmas album which is comprised of five volumes in all, not to mention that SS’ album Seven Swans has many songs which make direct references to the Bible. I found this song particularly amusing. It’s called Get Behind Me, Santa!

Anyone else notice the Dead Milkmen ornament? No?

Another theme, or formative influence upon SS would be what he calls the Fifty States Project. He takes aspects from the geography and people (musical and otherwise) from the state in question and transforms them into something all his own. Yes, an album for each state. So far he’s got Illinois and Michigan done, an outtake album for each, and a long way to go. Here’s a song that gives away some conceptual aspects of the project, Chicago.

And naturally, the same song live.

Here’s a song with a fairly dark theme, John Wayne Gacy Jr.

And lastly, a music video with the song They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh! (Yes, that’s the full title.)

I guess this post has put the previous letter M themed posts to rest. Hope you enjoyed it.


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