24 September 2009

Sufjan Stevens @ Castaways, Ithaca, NY 9/23/09

I am on the road, following Sufjan's current tour!

(You can se me mouthing along in the front, haha)

I make it a habit to perpetually arrive unconscionably early to shows. Usually this has me sitting outside a venue in less-than-ideal weather for several hours, but Castaways is a local watering hole as well as an intimate show space. I grabbed myself a drink and sat with a book during set-up.

By the time Cryptacize had finished their soundcheck and Sufjan was fingering the chords to "To Be Alone With You" the bar had cleared. An empty bar + soundcheck = private concert, far as I was concerned. Everyone on the tour thought I worked at the bar; everyone in the bar thought I was part of the tour. They left me alone. I sat quietly. I enjoyed it.

And last night I got to meet him (again, for the first time, as I've met him before but he did not remember, which I didn't mention)!!! I was just chillin in the bar reading when, after soundcheck, he just comes over and SITS ACROSS FROM ME AT THE TABLE. And we chatted. And I was shy. and he was shy. and it was adorable and the moral of the story is I need to bring a clean change of panties for tonight's show. (TMI?)

Today I'm carpooling to Cleveland with a girl I met online who has never seen him before. She is a lesbian "but would go straight for Sufjan, only Sufjan." Which is strangely echoed by the guy behind me in Ithaca who was "Straight, but would go gay ONLY for Sufjan."

Some highlights:

+ A full half of songs played last night were brand new.
+ One was based off an old song by the same name, "All Delighted People." and also the Simon & Garfunkle song "The Sounds of Silence."
+ The following define the new sound:
shredding electric guitar
lyrically intimate love songs (!!!!!!)
glam rock
a danceable, beat-heavy "Majesty Snowbird"
7/8 (or possibly alternating 4/4, 3/4) time signatures
definite Stereolab and Mouse on Mars influences
not too much distortion/noise, perhaps surprisingly

So, I actually got a chance to sit down with Sufjan after soundcheck. Like a bad questionnaire, "If you could ask Sufjan only one question, what would it be?", the music-critic-heroine in me jumped out with: "I think it's interesting that you're moving toward a much more electronic sound..."
"Yeah, I've been working with it for a long time though."
"Well, it just seems an odd juxtaposition that your orchestral pieces are being re-arranged in a more electronic form, while at the same time your only electronica album is being re-released [ Run Rabbit Run ] after being re-arranged by a string quartet, more 'organic' instruments, if you will, moving it in the opposite direction..."
He sat there for a moment, smiling but caught off guard until "Yeah.... Yeah! Huh! I guess I didn't even think about that!"

Booyah. The moral of the story is that it's a happy coincidence only.
No word on a confirmed album release date, title or state affiliation. Guesses?


Laura said...

I badly wanted to make an intelligent comment about your post.

Instead I'm going to smack my keyboard for a bit to convey my fan girl glee and envy.


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That is all.

Anonymous said...

MOAR updates, pls!!!! <3