(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."
+ 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 (!!!!!!)
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?