Entries tagged with: Sufjan Stevens
by Andrew Sacher
There are several references to places within Oregon throughout Carrie & Lowell; it's where Stevens spent three summers, between ages 5 and 8, with his mother and stepfather. These early memories are not just important because they came at a formative point in Stevens' life--they're actually some of the only recollections he has of his mother, who abandoned his family when he was just a year old. Her five-year marriage to Lowell Brams in the early '80s seemingly marked a high-point in a life struck by hardship; Carrie suffered from depression, schizophrenia, and alcoholism, and her contact with Stevens and his siblings, who grew up in Michigan with their dad and stepmother, was intermittent up until her death. [Pitchfork]Sufjan Stevens is a week away from releasing his new album, Carrie & Lowell (due 3/31 via Asthmatic Kitty), and he's now streaming it in full. It's his most bare-bones album yet, with little more than acoustic guitar, piano and atmospheric textures; and also one of his heaviest lyrically. Much of the album is about the death of his mother Carrie, who as the quote above from Pitchfork's feature on the album points out, didn't have much contact with Sufjan throughout his life. "It was so terrifying to encounter death and have to reconcile that, and express love, for someone so unfamiliar," he said. "Her death was so devastating to me because of the vacancy within me. I was trying to gather as much as I could of her, in my mind, my memory, my recollections, but I have nothing."
Earlier this month, Kendrick Lamar took us by surprise when he revealed that his highly-anticipated followup to good kid, m.A.A.d city would be out in less than three weeks (3/23), but it turns out he's surprised us once again: It's out now!
The album's called To Pimp A Butterfly and it features contributions from George Clinton, Thundercat, Snoop Dogg, Ronald Isley, Bilal, James Fauntleroy, Rapsody and Anna Wise, with production from Flying Lotus, Pharrell Williams, Boi-1da and more. "Hood Politics" samples Sufjan Stevens' "All For Myself" and "How Much A Dollar Cost" appears to be sampling Radiohead's "Pyramid Song." That's the artwork above.
Download yours on iTunes, and stream it via Spotify below...
Sufjan Stevens already revealed "No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross" off his bare-bones new album, Carrie & Lowell (due 3/31 via Asthmatic Kitty), and now he's put out another, "Should Have Known Better." Listen below.
He'll be on tour soon, playing three NYC shows, and openers have now been announced for those. April 11 at Beacon Theatre is with Cold Specks, May 1 at Kings Theatre is with Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens, and May 2 at Kings Theatre is with Moses Sumney (tickets). Those three open various other dates too. Updated dates are listed below...
photo: Dirty Projectors in Chicago in 2013 (more by Stan Golovchunk)
André de Ridder of Berlin collective Stargaze will be conducting Ensemble LPR at their homebase, LPR aka Le Poisson Rouge on Wednesday (3/11) for the premieres of two new pieces by indie musicians. One is by Mica Levi of Micachu & the Shapes and the other is by David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors. Both Longstreth and Levi will be in attendance but will not be performing. Tickets are on sale.
Dirty Projectors are also on the new MusicNOW - 10 Years compilation with Sufjan Stevens, Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold, Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, My Brightest Diamond, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Sharon Van Etten and more. The comp is a collection of recordings from Bryce Dessner's MusicNOW Festival. This year's takes place this week, March 11-15. The comp is out today (3/10) and you can stream six of its tracks below.
Sufjan Stevens' new album, Carrie & Lowell is out 3/31 via Asthmatic Kitty, and the folky lead single "No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross" has us very excited for it. TODAY (2/28) you'll have a chance to hear the album in full in NYC at the "Sufjan Stevens Indies Only Silent Listening Party" at Other Music from 5-7 PM. Here's the details:
Other Music is excited to be participating in the Sufjan Stevens Indies Only Silent Listening Party for his upcoming album, "Carrie & Lowell." Fans who pre-order the album from us will have the opportunity on Saturday evening (5-7pm), February 28, to listen to a copy of the LP test pressing through headphones -- and for such an intimate album, that's how it's meant to be heard! Sound Off Experience are providing the transmitter and headphones that will be lent to the group of pre-order customers for this exclusive event at Other Music. These silent listening parties are the only way for fans to hear "Carrie & Lowell" this far out from its March 31 release date, long before any on-line album streams appear or radio stations get a copy of the record. Add to this, the first 25 customers who pre-order the LP will be guaranteed a limited colored vinyl pressing.You can pre-order the LP from Other Music HERE.
It's one of a few listening parties happening worldwide between now and mid-March. You can check out the full list of dates for those parties (with still more TBA) below...
by Andrew Sacher
Sufjan Stevens has said his new album Carrie & Lowell (due 3/31 via Asthmatic Kitty) would be a return to his folk roots, and its first, just-released single "No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross" definitely seems to be proof of that. It's mostly him and an acoustic guitar, and it's as gorgeous as much of his early work. Check it out below.
It's only February, but Doveman (aka Thomas Bartlett) is already having a characteristically busy year. He's currently on tour as a backing musician for past collaborator Glen Hansard, along with his fellow Sufjan Stevens/The National/Justin Vernon collaborator Rob Moose and his fellow Rufus/Martha Wainwright collaborator Brad Albetta. That tour wraps up this weekend. All remaining dates and a video from Wednesday's (2/10) DC show, below.
Ahead of that tour, Glen Hansard joined Doveman for one of his Burgundy Stain Sessions in Dublin in December, his second session ever to take place outside of NYC. The next session will be back in NYC on May 14 at Le Poisson Rouge. Guests are still TBA, but tickets are on sale now.
In between the Glen Hansard tour and the LPR show, Doveman will be on an international tour with the mostly-Irish supergroup he's part of, The Gloaming. It begins in their home country, where fellow Irish musician Glen Hansard's band The Frames play their 25th anniversary shows this July. All Doveman and Glen Hansard-related dates are listed below.
Doveman also played on and helped mix the upcoming Sufjan Stevens album, Carrie & Lowell, which comes out March 31 via Asthmatic Kitty. Sufjan was just announced for the Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner-curated Eaux Claires Music Festival happening in Wisconsin on July 17 & 18 with Bon Iver, The National, Spoon, The Tallest Man on Earth and more. Tickets are on sale now. Sufjan will also be in NYC three times on his upcoming tour, which ends two days before Doveman's show in Sufjan's hometown.
photo: Sufjan at Big Ears Fest 2010 (more by Andrew Frisicano)
Part of the lineup already leaked for Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner's Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival, and now the whole thing has been announced. It includes their bands Bon Iver and The National, as well as Sufjan Stevens, Spoon, Sturgill Simpson, Sylvan Esso, Polica, The Tallest Man on Earth, Low, Liturgy, Hiss Golden Messenger, S. Carey, Phil Cook, Doomtree, Marijuana Deathsquads, Charles Bradley, Boys Noize, Blind Boys of Alabama, Sam Amidon, Field Report, Indigo Girls (performing 1994's Swamp Ophelia) and more.
The fest takes place July 17 & 18 at the Foster Farm in Eau Claire, WI. The pre-sale sold out, but tickets go on sale to the general public Thursday (2/12) at noon CST.
Full lineup, announcement video, and flyer, below...
Sufjan Stevens will be touring this spring, hitting NYC for shows at Beacon Theatre on April 11 and Kings Theatre on May 1. Those shows went on sale last week and immediately sold out, but Sufjan's now added a second Kings Theatre show, happening May 2. Tickets are on presale now (password: KINGSFAN) and the general on-sale starts 10 AM on Friday (2/6).
Updated dates are listed below...
The music is performed by Mr. Stevens, on keyboards and electronics, and Yarn/Wire, a contemporary chamber group of two pianists and two percussionists. Although one segment had a beat on drum and rattle, vaguely suggesting Native American music (the rodeo includes a Native American parade in traditional costumes) the score avoided Oregon's local color for what might be BAM's local color: minimalist contemplation. It was full of glimmering sounds -- bowed vibraphone, pretty piano chords -- with, now and then, something staticky or sprockety from Mr. Stevens's electronics. For each segment -- concentrating on one rodeo event, intercutting various competitors and performers -- Mr. Stevens chose a strategy and stuck to it: a certain texture, a certain beat, perhaps with chromatic meanderings, perhaps not. Calf roping got running, Bachian counterpoint, while a segment with a lone calf had Yarn/Wire singing a cappella harmonies. [NY Times]Sufjan Stevens wrapped up the world premiere of his new piece, Round-Up, earlier this week, which ran from January 20-25 at BAM. The quote above is from NY Times' review of one of the performances. Did you catch one?
As you may know, Sufjan's next project is his upcoming album, Carrie & Lowell, which is due out March 31 via Asthmatic Kitty. He's calling it a return to his folk roots, which is what made us fall in love with him in the first place. Tickets for his tour in support of it go on sale at 10 AM local time today (1/30). The NYC shows happen at Beacon Theatre on April 11 (tickets) and at the newly refurbished Kings Theatre on May 1 (tickets).
Tickets for the Sufjan Stevens shows at Beacon Theater and Kings Theatre already went on a Ticketmaster presale yesterday that sold out quickly. Today venue presales for those shows, and the entire tour, begin at 10 AM.
The Local/venue presale password is LOWELL for Beacon and Kings Theatre. and other tour dates. Some cities still have "EUGENE" as the password (which was the password for yesterday's presale too).
The Beacon Theatre show also has a Chase cardmember presale starting at 10 AM.
The general on-sale for all dates starts 10 AM on Friday (1/30). All tour dates listed HERE, and again below....
As previously mentioned, Sufjan Stevens is releasing a new album, Carrie & Lowell, on March 31 via Asthmatic Kitty. He just wrapped up a run of his new piece, Round-Up, at BAM, and now he's announced a lengthy spring tour in support of the new album. It kicks off in Philly on April 10 and hits NYC the next night at Beacon Theatre (4/11), and then returns to NYC for a show at Brooklyn's newly refurbished Kings Theatre on May 1. Tickets for the whole tour go on sale at 10 AM local time on Friday (1/30) with a Ticketmaster presale starting 10 AM on Tuesday (1/27) and a venue presale starting 10 AM on Wednesday (1/28). Presale password is EUGENE.
All dates are listed below...
Sensitive 2000s indie kids are probably having a good day, because not only did Death Cab for Cutie announce a new album, but Sufjan Stevens did too. While it seems unlikely that the new Death Cab will actually sound like their aughts output, the press release says Sufjan's new album is a return to his folk roots. It's called Carrie & Lowell and will be out March 31 via Asthmatic Kitty. Casey Foubert, Laura Veirs, Nedelle Torrisi, Sean Carey, Ben Lester, and Doveman (aka Thomas Bartlett) all contributed to the album. That's the artwork above. Tracklist and trailer video below.
Sufjan Stevens at Prospect Park in 2011 (more by Jessica Amaya)
Sufjan Stevens will be presenting the world premiere of his new piece, Round-Up, in Brooklyn at BAM from January 20-25, part of BAM's 2015 Winter/Spring Season. Here's the premise:
In this BAM commissioned work, shown on the Steinberg Screen, Stevens turns his gaze to the rodeo, in all its bull-riding, calf-roping, and barrel-racing glory. With slow-motion footage shot by sibling filmmakers Aaron and Alex Craig at the 2013 Pendleton Round-Up in Oregon--and featuring Stevens on electronics and new-music ensemble Yarn/Wire performing piano and percussion--Round-Up is a musical and cinematic portrait of a classic American tradition.Subscriptions are on sale now to Friends of BAM and go on sale Monday (11/17) to the general public. Single tickets go on sale December 1 to Friends of BAM and December 8 to the general public.
Sufjan also appears in NYC sooner than that for Cyndi Lauper's 'Home for the Holidays' show at Beacon Theatre on December 6 which also includes Cyndi herself, 50 Cent, Patty Griffin, Salt N Pepa, STRFKR, Metric singer Emily Haines and more. Tickets are on sale now. Full lineup below.
photo by Amanda Gentile
Trombonist Ryan Keberle has played as a member of Sufjan Stevens' Age of Adz band, St. Vincent & David Byrne's band, and appeared with Sufjan, Bryce Dessner and Nico Muhly at their Planetarium shows. He's also played with Escort, The Welcome Wagon, Nedelle Torrisi, Alicia Keys and more. He leads his own Brooklyn-based group, Catharsis, who will release their new album, Into The Zone, on September 30 which features collaborations with Chilean singer Camila Meza. His time playing with Sufjan Stevens (and being a longtime fan) inspired him to cover "Djohariah" last year, and now he takes on another Sufjan song, "Sister" (from Seven Swans) as a bonus track to Into The Zone. Here's what Ryan had to say about his Sufjan influence:
I, like so many others, spent the majority of my 20's listening to the music of Sufjan Stevens. Most good music connects with me on a deep emotional level, but there are those rare composers whose music moves me in ways that I've only otherwise experienced through sex, drugs, alcohol, good friendship and great comedy. My list of composers with this kind of musical emotional power is short and includes the likes of Lennon and McCartney, Maurice Ravel, Duke Ellington, and Maria Schneider, and after listening to Sufjan Stevens' music for the past 10 years now, I have officially added him to this list. In 2010, I had the great fortune to not only perform with Sufjan, but tour the world with him, performing the music from his last LP, "Age of Adz". Aside from being a true dream gig, this time spent on the road with Sufjan was filled with poignant lessons about music and life that I've drawn from thoroughly as I continue to delve deeper into the art of songwriting and band leading.The track premieres in this post and can be streamed below.
This track, "Sister", the second Sufjan Stevens "cover" recorded by my band, Catharsis, is a culmination of these lessons learned, both musical and personal. The music, although delivered in a jazz context, has much more to do with the universal and emotional power of all styles of music than it does with current jazz trends. Both Sufjan Stevens tracks we've covered, "Djohariah" and now, "Sister", are songs he wrote inspired by his sisters which I personally relate to having two sisters of my own.
Ryan & Catharsis have shows coming up too, including a release show in NYC happening on October 7 at Jazz Standard (116 E 27th St). All dates are listed, with the new Sufjan cover, below...
"There was a certain amount of science to it. An entire week of work experience students left the office thinking that cutting-edge music journalism in 2014 mostly involves calculating which bands have been mentioned most in NME in the past two years, then hunting out references to the bands that influenced those acts online and finally adding up the number of times each influence came up. This gave us a rough list which our editorial team - heads swimming with all of the bands that Wolf Alice (or whoever) have raved on about over 4am ciders - then took to the pub, tore into shreds, fought and shouted about and finally reconstructed in the rundown of 100 you see in the mag today. The Beatles didn't make it. Sorry." [NME[NME went ahead and listed who they think the 100 most influential musicians and bands are (their latest cover story). Radiohead topped the list. Read the rest with justifications at NME, or just look at their full list below...
Sufjan in Prospect Park in 2011 (more by Jessica Amaya)
Sufjan Stevens is among the impressive group of musicians contributing to Red Hot's Arthur Russell tribute album (due out 10/21 via Yep Roc), and his cover of "A Little Lost" just premiered over at Pitchfork. You can stream it below, and the song is an instant download if you pre-order the LP from iTunes.
Listen, with a message from Sufjan about the cover, below...
Sufjan Stevens surprised some people when he went electronic on 2010's The Age of Adz, and though it was the first time he made a record like that, it wasn't the first time he made an electronic album. 2001's synth experiment Enjoy Your Rabbit got a vinyl release for its first time ever this year via Asthmatic Kitty, and one of its tracks, "Year of the Tiger," also got a video for the first time (dir. Geoffrey Hoskinson). You can watch that below.
Enjoy Your Rabbit was also reworked as an orchestral album in 2009 by the Osso String Quartet, and was released under the name Run Rabbit Run with arrangements from Nico Muhly, Rob Moose, Gabriel Kahane, Michael Atkinson and more. TONIGHT (7/22) in Central Park, Michael Atkinson's New York orchestra The Knights will be performing the US premiere of a suite from Run Rabbit Run as part of the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts series in between performances of Bela Bartok and Igor Stravinsky. It beings at 7:30 PM, is free, and entry is first come, first served. More info here.
We're not sure exactly how early you need to get on line to get a seat for the show tonight, but we know at least it's not as hard as getting one of the tickets for Shakespeare in the Park which saw many getting to Central Park before dawn this morning. "King Lear," starring John Lithgow and Annette Bening, begins tonight.
Watch that Sufjan video below...
More details have finally been announced for the Arthur Russell tribute album thatt he Red Hot organization is putting out. The album's being released on YepRoc on October 21, and is now titled Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell (it was initially announced that it'd be called This Is How We Walk on the Moon). The acts involved -- Hot Chip, Robyn, Blood Orange, Jose Gonzalez, Sufjan Stevens, VEGA INTL (aka Neon Indian's Alan Palomo) and many more -- are as diverse as Russell's work, which included heartbreaking acoustic/cello ballads and ahead-of-it's-time dance music.
The compilation is the latest in the benefit album series for Red Hot, which has been raising AIDS and HIV awareness for nearly 25 years, and has put out Dark Was the Night, Red Hot + Rio and many others.
Full tracklist, plus a behind-the-scenes video with Hot Chip (who cover "Go Bang" by Russell's group Dinosaur L) and a YouTube mix of classic Russell tracks, below...
(Mr) Twin Sister's Andrea Estella as Bonnie Deville in 'Veronica Mars'
It's been a while since we've heard from Twin Sister, who released their debut album on Domino back in 2011. You may have heard a couple of their songs recently if you saw the crowd-funded Veronica Mars movie, which came out back in March, and is now on home video. The plotline involves the murder of a pop star named Bonnie Deville who is played by Twin Sister's Andrea Estella, and all her songs are by that band. "All Around and Away We Go" is used pretty much verbatim, but "I Want a House" gets reworked with a new title, "Holding My Breath." (You can compare and contrast the original and revamp below.) Here's a plot twist: on the soundtrack, however, both songs are credited to Mr. Twin Sister.
What's going on? It looks like we'll know next week. In rapid succession, the Twin Sister twitter account tweeted: "Got a present for you," "Just wrapping it," and "Let's open it next week... Tuesday?" I guess we stay tuned.
The Veronica Mars soundtrack also features songs by Freddie Gibbs, Sufjan Stevens and Alejandro Escovedo who covers Dandy Warhols' "We Used to Be Friends" (which is the Veronica Mars theme song). Check out the tracklist and the Twin Sister/Mr. Twin Sister streams (via YouTube) below.
photos by Chris La Putt
Iggy Pop with New Order // Sufjan Stevens with The National
The 24th Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert took place at Carnegie Hall last night (3/11) with Patti Smith, New Order, Iggy Pop, The National, Sufjan Stevens, Robert Randolph, Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, and many more.
As always, the night featured many collaborations--Iggy Pop with New Order, Sufjan Stevens with The National, Nico Muhly with Philip Glass, and so on. Headliner Patti Smith also paid tribute to the late Lou Reed by covering Transformer's "Perfect Day." Video footage of Iggy Pop and New Order playing Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," "Transmission," and NO's own "Californian Grass" are in this post. UPDATE: Footage of The National and Sufjan Stevens performing "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks," "This Is the Last Time," and "I Need My Girl" can also be found below.
More pictures, those videos, and the full Tibet House US 24th Annual Benefit setlist lie after the jump...
Sufjan Stevens collaborator Son Lux is re-imagining four tracks from his Lanterns album for a new EP, Alternate Worlds, due out May 27. The new version of "Easy" features guest vocals from Lorde and a guitar solo by jazz guitarist Rafiq Bhatia. Listen to all four tracks from the EP below.
Son Lux also has a number of tour dates coming up, including a release show in NYC on May 13 at Le Poisson Rouge which Rafiq Bhatia opens. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
In related news, Son Lux and Sufjan's collaborative project with Serengeti, Sisyphus, will release their self-titled album next week (3/18) via Joyful Noise, but you can stream it in full (via The Guardian) now. Listen to that and the new Son Lux EP, with the list of tour dates, below...
We recently mentioned that Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux and Serengeti's collaborative project were planning to release a new EP, but they've now announced that it will be a full album and that they've changed their name from s / s / s to Sisyphus. The album is self-titled, and it's due out on March 18 via Joyful Noise. Watch the lyric video for its track "Calm It Down," along with a download widget and the LP tracklist, below...
Sufjan at the Okayplayer Holiday Jam
The night took on a lower-key tone when Sufjan Stevens performed, as he offered up a tender rendition of his song "Holland" while backed by Questlove and the Roots. Stevens, who made his own contribution to the seasonal canon with his 2006 five-EP box-set Songs for Christmas, then announced, "I'll do one more and it's got 'holly,' 'jolly' and 'Christmas' in it. It's a sing-along." He performed the sole seasonal staple of the night as he sang a genial version of "A Holly Jolly Christmas" while the Roots added a backing groove that included a chirpy keyboard riff.The above review is from the Okayplayer Holiday Jam that happened at Brooklyn Bowl last week (12/9) with The Roots, host Hannibal Buress, and surprise guests that ended up being Sufjan Stevens, Reggie Watts, Raekwon, Big Daddy Kane, Bilal and others. Okayplayer has uploaded a video recap with clips of those artists, plus another video solely of Reggie Watts. You can watch both of those below.
It was the closing rap section of the show that resonated most with the crowd. Black Thought was first up, strutting around in his signature flat-cap during his performance of "The Next Movement." He then brought out Big Daddy Kane and the two of them ran through Kane's golden-era hits "Just Rhyming With Biz," "Set It Off" and "Ain't No Half Steppin'," with Black Thought acting as both amped-up hype man and savvy impromptu rap impersonator as he took on Biz Markie's role in the first song. [Rolling Stone]
In related news, Questlove was recently named TIME Magazine's coolest person of 2013. (It's from the same year-end issue that named Pope Francis "Person of the Year.") TIME writes:
Questlove, the drummer of the alt-hip-hop band the Roots, dropped bits of coolness everywhere this year. He wrote two cool books, Mo' Meta Blues--a smart postmodern memoir--and a coffee-table book chronicling Soul Train, the show so cool that my dad, in a failed attempt to prevent me from growing up to be a dork, forced me to watch it as a child. He composed the music for Comedy Central's very cool Inside Amy Schumer. His website, Okayplayer, which allows alternative musicians to create songs together online, made the dopest Christmas sweater ever. Every Thursday night, he deejays at a bowling alley in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And since the Roots are Jimmy Fallon's house band, he's about to become the bandleader on The Tonight Show. He also deejayed at 13 weddings this year, including that of 2013 Coolest Person runner-up Pharrell Williams. We picked Questlove over Williams because there's no song titled "Last Night a Recently Married Guy Saved My Life."Congrats Quest.
photos by PSquared Photography, words by Andrew Sacher
Linda Perhacs @ Mexican Summer 5
One of my personal favorite rediscovered gems from the late '60s/early '70s psych-folk era is Linda Perhacs' Paralellograms, an album quite literally ahead of its time that mixed the contemporary folk sounds of that era with eerie layers of dissonance that didn't become commonplace in folk music until decades later. Linda's been slowly gaining recognition and reigniting her career in recent times, having just made her NY debut at the Mexican Summer 5th Anniversary that took place in October. I unfortunately missed that show, but BV's Bill Pearis was there and said she had probably the biggest crowd of the day, seemed taken aback by all the love from the audience, and sounded great. Durga McBroom, who has also done backup for Pink Floyd, sang with her at the show, and some of Linda's well-known fans like Devendra Banhart (pictured below) were in the audience. Pictures and videos of her set from that show are in this post.
Now, after talking about it for some time, Linda has finally announced that she'll release The Soul of All Natural Things, the loooong-awaited followup to Parallelograms, on March 4, roughly 44 years after its predecessor initially came out. The album is coming out via Sufjan Stevens' Asthmatic Kitty label, and as discussed, features contributions from Nite Jewel and Julia Holter. The new album's first single is "Freely," a song that picks up right where Parallelograms left off and still sounds entirely of the moment considering artists like Marissa Nadler, Jessica Pratt, Mariee Sioux and others are keeping this sound alive. Her voice is still in fine form too.
Watch the video for the new song, along with the album's tracklist and more pics/videos from Mexican Summer 5, below...