Thursday, October 20, 2005
Merry early Christmas
This is news to me: Sufjan Stevens has recorded a trio of EPs worth of Christmas music. I've not seen this for sale anywhere, but they can be downloaded here. There are all my favorite carols (O Come, O Come Emmanuel and O Holy Night), hymns (Come Thou Fount) and original holiday themed songs (That was the Worst Christmas Ever! and Come On! Let's Boogie to the Elf Dance!)

And I promise these will be the last Sufjan links for a very, very long time. From the Guardian Observer, dated 10.21.04:
Stevens learned to play the oboe at school and joined a folk band. 'I felt really drawn to folk because it seemed really utopian. As a naive high schooler I was intrigued. That's why I grew my hair long, wore bandannas and started smoking cigarettes...' He then rebelled by becoming involved in the church.

'The spiritual ambiguity growing up made me really latch onto a faith - Protestantism - that was somewhat conventional. Everyone else was rebelling against traditions and institutions, whereas I was rebelling against the upheaval and uncertainty in my family.'

From the LA Times, August 28, 2005:

Stevens resists discussing his life in a way that might compromise what he believes in. "My faith informs what I'm doing. It's really the core of what I'm doing in a lot of ways," he says. "But the language of faith is a problem for me, and I try to avoid it at all costs. You could say that I have a mind for eternal things, for supernatural things, and things of mystery. I'm more comfortable with using those terms because they can be used without controlling or stigmatizing anyone."

Dr. Cook exegetes the title of a Sufjan song (8/15).

Pitchfork interview, July 2004:
I think that when people react reflexively to material that is religious, they're reacting to the culture of religion. And I think an enlightened person is capable, on some level, of making the distinction between the institution of the culture and the culture itself. The institution of Christianity, the way that it's set up, it's institutionalized and comodified, and anytime that happens, anytime it's incorporated, it leads to disaster. I'm on the same page as everyone. I have the same knee-jerk reaction to that kind of culture. Maybe I'm a little more empathetic to it because we have similar fundamental beliefs. But culturally and aesthetically, some of it is really embarrassing.

And This Bird Has Flown: A 40th Anniversay Tribute to the Beatles' Rubber Soul releases this Tuesday. It includes such luminaries as Sufjan, Low, Ben Harper and the Cowboy Junkies.

There, that may be all the Sufjan links finally out of my system.

posted by Peter at 10:31 AM
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