Sufjan Stevens – Illinoise

Today’s selection is by Sufjan Stevens, the album is titled Illinois. Or if you prefer, the full title “Sufjan Stevens Invites You to Come on Feel the Illinois”.Once again we have a concept album, although this one you will find is quite different from “Music to Make Love to your Old Lady By”, this one was part of what was going to be a 50 album project (1 album for each state), a project which was abandoned after only two states (the other is Michigan and is not as good an album). The album has numerous references to geography and history of Illinois so the wiki page is a decent read. Eli Godfrey (my brother in law) and Craig Van Winkle (Nielsen Legend) are both big fans of mister Stevens, so let that alter your preconceived notions as you see fit.

Lastly, track number 2 has 4 choices for a title, be sure to include what you would pick as the title when you write your review.
Check out the track listing:

1. “Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois”   2:08
2.”The Black Hawk War, or, How to Demolish an Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, or, We Apologize for the Inconvenience but You’re Going to Have to Leave Now, or, ‘I Have Fought the Big Knives and Will Continue to Fight Them Until They Are Off Our Lands!'”   2:14
3. “Come On! Feel the Illinoise!” (Part I: The World’s Columbian Exposition – Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream) 6:45
4. “John Wayne Gacy, Jr”   3:19
5. “Jacksonville”   5:24
6. “A Short Reprise for Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, but for Very Good Reasons”   0:47
7. “Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother!”   3:03
8. “One Last ‘Whoo-Hoo!’ for the Pullman”   0:06
9. “Chicago”   6:04
10. “Casimir Pulaski Day”   5:53
11. “To the Workers of the Rock River Valley Region, I Have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament”   1:40
12. “The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts”   6:17
13. “Prairie Fire That Wanders About”   2:11
14. “A Conjunction of Drones Simulating the Way in Which Sufjan Stevens Has an Existential Crisis in the Great Godfrey Maze”   0:19
15. “The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!”   5:23
16. “They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!”   5:09
17. “Let’s Hear That String Part Again, Because I Don’t Think They Heard It All the Way Out in Bushnell”   0:40
18. “In This Temple as in the Hearts of Man for Whom He Saved the Earth”   0:35
19. “The Seer’s Tower”   3:53
20. “The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders” (Part I: The Great Frontier – Part II: Come to Me Only with Playthings Now) 7:02
21. “Riffs and Variations on a Single Note for Jelly Roll, Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Baby Dodds, and the King of Swing, to Name a Few”   0:46
22. “Out of Egypt, into the Great Laugh of Mankind, and I Shake the Dirt from My Sandals as I Run”   4:21



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Record Club began in the cold, dank, snowmageddon scene that was New England of January 2011. We’re probably no different than you. We all work in cubicles, some in smaller, less private cubicles than others; that just means we have to be even sneakier about how we listen to our music. But we have to listen to our music, mostly as a way of saving our own personal sanity. Sometimes our opinions lead us to debates that may or may not be published in their entirety on this site, but I can promise you’ll at least get a glimpse of the way our minds work. The main goal is to find new music we like or find old music that we didn’t know we liked. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes it’s a total and complete disaster. After our ears have rejoiced or stopped bleeding we try something else. This is our pattern, every Tuesday and Thursday. Sometimes, when the club isn’t officially in session, just to keep everyone on their toes, we throw in a theme day. We’re beginning to run low on our original list, so please, if you have albums that you’d like us to review or themes that you’d like to see our playlist of, feel free to contribute. After all, we’re all in this together once we punch the time clock. So if you’re busy (or just plain bored) lurking in your cubicle as you read this join in. After all, life wasn’t meant to be lived staring at a computer screen. I guarantee you, it’s at least more fun when you plug the headphones in.

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