support from Ballantine IPA
Singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens has released several collections of Christmas music over the years, including traditional songs as well as originals holiday songs. Below, download Silver & Gold, a twelve song Christmas sampler for free.
Philly songsmith Denison Witmer travels along dusty highways and scenic country roads on his new single “In Your Hands,” a track from his new EP The Ones Who Wait Part 2. A followup to his last full-length record of almost the same name (self-released in May 2011, reissued by Asthmatic Kitty Records this past spring), the EP showcases new and unreleased tracks, alternate versions and a cover of his friend (and sometimes bandmate) Sufjan Stevens’ song “Abraham.”
The EP, along with his recent appearance in a video for The Voice Project, oughta tide fans over until Witmer releases his next full-length in February of 2013. For the video series, Witmer and former Philadelphia music guy Devin Greenwood worked up a cover of “Your Legs Grow” by Nada Surf Continue reading →
The seasonally-affected Sufjan Stevens, who regularly released annual holiday compilations throughout the 00s, is gearing up for his latest Christmas offering – the Silver & Gold box set. With the five-CD EP box set due out on November 13, Stevens just announced a Philadelphia show in support of it. The “Xmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice” takes place at Union Transfer on Friday, November 23; tickets to the all-ages show go on sale this Friday, October 12, at noon. Below, grab a free download of “Christmas Unicorn,” the closing song on the box set.
This coming week will see the release of the next episode of Shaking Through, the “birth of a song” online music initiative from Weathervane Music and WXPN. Last month featured Boston’s Faces On Film that was curated by Marissa Nadler. Over two days, Faces On Film recorded “Waiting For GA.” The entire process was recorded and documented here. Next week’s episode featured singer-songwriter Cat Martino. She recorded her song “I Promise” with help from Sufjan Stevens and drummer Chris Powell from Man Man. The session was recorded at Miner Street Recordings on March 17-18th and was produced by Brian McTear. Below, watch a preview of the session.
In an interview with SPIN Magazine, The Roots’ Questlove officially announced that Sufjan Stevens will make an appearance on its new album, undun, due out Decmember 6th.
“We’ve always loved the song ‘Redford’ from Michigan. So we close the new album with a cover of “Redford.” We stretched it out into this four-part movement. Part 1 is Sufjan at the piano performing it. And then Part 2 is a string quartet that we had interpret it. Part 3 is myself and D.D. Jackson, who is an avant-garde piano player. He’s probably one of the most dangerous pianists — I don’t know how he doesn’t have carpal tunnel now. But he just destroys, literally, destroys the piano. The final movement, which ends the record, is essentially the beginning of the story. But it’s the last thing you hear. It’s a very powerful piece of work.”
He goes on to explain Sufjan’s influence on the new album and the concept behind it. Check out the whole interview here. The Roots also recently released a new video for the track “Tip The Scale,” which you can watch below. —Caitlyn Grabenstein
Sufjan Stevens played a sold-out show at the Academy of Music in Philly last night. Kate Bracaglia, who blogs at Underwater Explosions pretty much summed it up concisely in her review of the show for Phrequency.com:
Stevens delighted and mesmerized concertgoers with a 2-hour, multi-sensory carnival of lights, video, dancing, and sweet, sweet tunes.
And what has become the rule of the day, some videos of the show are making the rounds. Here’s one below of the song “Chicago.” For another video and set list from last night’s show head over here to The Swollen Fox music blog.
Here we were, thinking we knew the real Sufjan Stevens—the banjo-slinging, indie-folk singer-songwriter with a penchant for spiritual themes, an obsession with history and geography, and an overall demeanor that earned him the distinction of being (as Pitchfork put it) the “poster boy for mannered indie-dude sensitivity.” Turns out, the Detroit-born critics’ darling is just a regular pissed-off guy, every bit as confused and melodramatic as the rest of us (albeit, much better of putting said anger and confusion to music). The recently-released The Age Of Adz is arguably Stevens’ most personal album to date, with Stevens’ frustration and bitterness laid out for everyone to see—both in the lyrics and in the artwork (which comes courtesy of paranoid schizophrenic and misogynist artist Royal Robertson). Then again, it sounds like there’s also some outside influences at work. In a recent interview with Exclaim, Stevens stated, “I did get very sick last year and had some serious health issues…it was really confusing and catastrophic in a lot of ways because it was a virus I had that affected my nervous system and I no longer had control of my responses to circumstances and events,” before adding, “So, this record, The Age of Adz, is, in some ways, a result of that process of working through health issues and getting much more in touch with my physical self.” Yikes. We’re glad to hear he’s feeling better these days. And we hope that selling 36,000 copies of The Age Of Adz in its first week helps ease any lingering pain of what sounds like an incredibly difficult songwriting process. Sufjan Stevens performs at 8 p.m. at The Academy Of Music; tickets are SOLD OUT.
Also playing: Shearwater + Damien Jurado at Johnny Brenda’s (8:30 p.m., 21+, $10); Bob Mould at Sellersville Theater (8 p.m., $25)