Will we still be able to stomach this kind of brazen whimsy?

It’s been over four years now since the ever-elusive and enigmatic Sufjan Stevens released Illinoise. Four years. Sure, news of this fellow has cropped up a few times in his long hiatus. There was the jumbo Christmas package in 2006. And then in 2007, the story with the song-writing contest in which one man – Alec Duffy – won the rights to a single Sufjan Stevens song and held private listening sessions to slowly and intimately unveil it instead of just releasing it on the Internet.  (1) Then, of course, Sufjan recently contributed to the Dark Was the Night compilation album. By and large, however, not much has come to pass.

Once an avid Sufjan fan myself (2), I worry how my weary ears would react to his shtick now. Will he still be endearing, heartbreaking, and oddly uplifting or will my  overexposure to all things quirky and twee in the last four years be his downfall? (3)

But… if you still have hope (and I hope you do), then fear not, intrepid Sufjan follower. The man is on the move once again. In October, his BQE project will be released, and just today, a mini tour was announced. Oh yeah, and he’s apparently also re-working the songs in Enjoy Your Rabbit for kicks and giggles.

Sufjan performing in Chapel Hill, NC circa fall 2006 (photo: Sanders Hall)

Sufjan performing in Chapel Hill, NC circa fall 2006 (photo: Sanders Hall)

I’m not sure what tricks this chameleon has up his sleeve this time. Heck, I’m not even sure what songs he will play at his shows, but one thing is for sure: I hope I can score a ticket to one of his two Music Hall of Williamsburg shows before they sell out. Tickets reportedly go on sale on Saturday. I think we’re in for a surprise.

(1) You can read about one of the listening sessions in this article in the Village Voice here.
(2) I fell in love with Seven Swans in college.
(3) I saw Paper Heart today, by the way. I know, I know. You would think (500) Days of Summer would have more than satisfied my twee need.


1 Response to “Will we still be able to stomach this kind of brazen whimsy?”

  1. 1 rachelkowal August 15, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Looks like the kids are still stoked about Sufjan. Apparently, his four NY shows sold out in a matter of minutes, and though I woke up at 9:00 this morning, I was not one of the lucky ones to remember to but tickets at 10. So… if you know anyone with an extra ticket…

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"He considered music a liberating force: it liberated him from loneliness, introversion, the dust of the library; it opened the door of his body and allowed his soul to step out into the world to make friends."

- Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being


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