Tag Archives: sufjan stevens

Sufjan Stevens – Illinoise (Asthmatic Kitty, 2005)


Nick: well that can’t be helped.

what can’t?

that it is called Illinoise.

do you want to help?

no, not really.

it’s nice….

but to my mind it’s a little bit overly sweet, sugary.

dripping with….’aren’t we very nice, gentle people’

sounds as if he dresses in velvet, wears lace collars and sits on the floor playing his songs with his head in his mothers lap, she’s stroking his hair as he sings.



has he got a large female following? I’d say he has.

I’d assume he has as many male as female fans, he is a handsome guy though if that’s what you mean, can you tell that from his music?

no, I just mean… the way he sings, he wants to be mothered, he needs protection.

I’d say that…

now, it’s good music.

nicely put together, just very sweet.

{track 9 – Chicago}

I’ve heard this one before.

I think it’s been in an ad, but it’s the kind of song you only need to hear once…

yeah I’m….it’s very catchy.

it’s the kind of song that gets played at the end of the Saturday football show, over all the goals.

really?! I think it’s too sweet for that.

and all this sweetness, it all comes from his voice.

is this a double album?

According to Nick, if Sufjan were a Dutch name, it would mean ‘dim’ or ‘dumb’ John. Sufjan Stevens attended college in Holland, Michigan. Coincidence? I think not.



Sufjan Stevens – Astral Inter Planet Space Captain Christmas Infinity Voyage, Volume VIII (Self Released 2008)


Nick: it’s very nice but……..it’s the usual problem for me; the electronics just seem like an overlay to give the music some kind of currentness, doesn’t add anything to the music, it’s too easy, I could’ve done this.

the traditional Christmas songs….these versions are nothing but ‘modern’ they’re not better, they’re not definitive.

(track 6 -Joy To The World)

this one is quite nice.

generally it’s all nice but as I say, the electronics are too easy, maybe not to him, maybe it took him a long time to come up with them but to me it sounds far too tacked on and simple.

I always wonder to what extent musicians are driven by their own inner ear to create, or is it what they know to be fashionable, driven by their market as it were.

I reckon most of it is the latter, what they think they should be doing.

and do you thinks that’s the case here? is this fashionable rather than heartfelt?

in this case yes, I have nothing against electronics but I think this time they’re just being used to make the Christmas songs sound ‘cool’ and ‘modern’.

now, I’m probably wrong but that is what it sounds like to me.

This is our old pal Sufjan slightly returning to his ‘Enjoy Your Rabbit’ sound, with gurgling blippy bloppy square waves rolling up and down and all around the Christmas tree. This is not available in shops, unless you like to visit the free internet magic shop that is. What IS available to buy is the Songs for Christmas I-V Boxset, need time to think about purchasing? Why not head over to Mr. Stevens’ Asthmatic Kitty Christmas Website and play a fun Christmas Computer Game or design your own S.S Christmas E-Card or watch Christmas music videos and download free Christmas songs? It’s better than working.


Half Handed Cloud – We Haven’t Just Been Told, We Have Been Loved (Sounds Familyre / Asthmatic Kitty 2002)








Nick: This is the other end of the scale isn’t it? I’m always giving out about people being boring and repetitive, this does so much in so little time that it loses all sense of structure and becomes immediately boring, it’s too bloody interesting.

‘ping pong barp squee’

see the music just did what I said! hahahaha, I knew it.

oooooh now for something completely different, flutes!, I think they’ve used all the instruments under the sun by now.

this puts paid to the proverb ‘you can’t have too much of a good thing’ because it IS good, just too much all at once.

every time you think they’ll do a full song they just run off with more interesting ideas.

This is ADD music, can’t stand still, can’t concentrate. and like lots of people with ADD it’s intelligent, clever and pleasant but tends to drive you up the wall.

it’s like as if each song was written by 24 people, taking a bar each.

but again, what I find lacking in it, and this may be a fault in me, is that I still believe that listening to music should be a pleasure, even if its sad. all you can do with this is listen with interest. 

This is pretty much the same way I felt about this album the first few times I listened to it, in fact it took close to a year of casual listening for the pop songs under and around all the random plinks and parps to make themselves clear. These days it’s close to perfect and if any of those supposedly random sounds were taken away it just wouldn’t make sense anymore.