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Posts Tagged ‘asthmatic kitty’

Fol Chen – 200 Words

5th Mar 13 (Tue) Leave a comment

Definitely a different vibe than their “Cable TV” or “In Ruins” videos, but Fol Chen is still making some excellent electronic-pop.  Here’s “200 Words” from their upcoming album, The False Alarms:

The False Alarms comes out on March 19th on Asthmatic Kitty… CD and vinyl:

Fol Chen - The False Alarms

~Dan – np: Ben GoldbergSubatomic Particle Homesick Blues
Ben Goldberg - Subatomic Particle Homesick Blues

REVIEW: Sufjan Stevens presents the Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice @ Aladdin Theater (Portland, OR – 12/6/12)

7th Dec 12 (Fri) 5 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Sufjan's 2012 hristmas Sing-a-long Tour

I hate Christmas music.  There are a few rare instances where it doesn’t make me cringe.  Over the Rhine’s Darkest Night of the Year and Monk’s How Like A Winter are rare exceptions.  One of my favorite artists, Sufjan Stevens, has put out Christmas EPs each year for his closest group of friends, and then they eventually make their way out to the public via now two EP boxsets (Songs For Christmas & Silver and Gold).  While some of the more standard Christmasy songs from Sufjan make me cringe (it’s not his fault), he finds a way to have some experimentation and wild unique new songs that makes the boxsets fully enjoyable… even for a bah-humbug like me.  And the boxsets also include cool arts and crafts…

Sheila Saputo (aka Rosie Thomas)

Despite my dislike of Chrtistmas songs, when I found out that Sufjan was bringing his 2012 Christmas Sing-a-Long tour (the Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice) through Portland’s Aladdin Theater, I knew I needed to go.

His opener / tour co-hort is Sheila Saputo… the quirky comedic alter ego of singer-songwriter Rosie Thomassee her trailer here.

Sheila put on a 20 minute set of fairly ridiculous, self-depricating humor.. partially eating a carrot throughout the set, making balloon “animals” (term used very loosely), and spelling out the important aspects of the acronym CAROLS: Carnal Treasures, Armageddon, etc (see photos at the bottom).

At 8:45pm, Sufjan and his band hit the stage (including the de-frocked Sheila Saputo/Rosie Thomas in a snowman suit).  They started things off in front of the stage curtain with a gentle acappella version of “Christmas Time Is Here,” then… curtains up and behold the majesty of the Wheel of Christmas!!!

The set was obviously going to be full of Christmas songs.  Some on their setlist and some chosen “randomly.”  For many of the Wheel of Christmas Sing-a-Long tunes, they brought up members of the audience to spin for the selection.  Near the end, some rigging of the wheel had to be done to fit in some we hadn’t done yet.  I think we hit everything on the Wheel except for “Silent Night.”

They also threw in a few non-Christmas tunes throughout the set and at the encore…

Setlist: 2 hrs 10 mins

  • Christmas Time Is Here (acappella) [Vince Guaraldi]
  • Christmas Woman
  • Come On! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance!
  • Do You Hear What I Hear?
  • Justice Delivers Its Death*
  • Joy to the World (Wheel of Christmas Sing-A-Long)
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Wheel)
  • A Holly Jolly Christmas (Wheel)
  • Jingle Bells (Wheel)
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Wheel)
  • Vito’s Ordination Song*
  • Put the Lights on the Tree
  • How Shall I Fitly Greet Thee?
  • I Am Santa’s Helper
  • “Frosty” (improv rock, chant, Rosie cutting santa up with plastic chainsaw)
  • Sister Winter*
  • Ah Holy Jesus
  • The Child with the Star on His Head*
  • Sleigh Ride (Wheel, noted as “Slay Ride”)
  • O Holy Night (Wheel)
  • We Need a Little Christmas (Wheel)
  • Auld Lang Syne* (Wheel)
  • Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Wheel)
  • For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti*
  • Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  • That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!*
  • Christmas Unicorn*
  • Encore: Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois*
  • Futile Devices*
  • Chicago*
  • Come On! Feel the Illinoise!*
    *
    personal favorites from the night

I truly hate most Christmas music, but this was a FUUUUUUUUUUUUUN show!  Sufjan and his band make the music fun, the original tunes (even if Christmasy) are spectacles of greatness or touching, gentler tunes, and the overall party factor of this tour is truly astounding.  I’d hate to have been on the clean-up crew… confetti, streamers, popped balloons, and random blow-up animals and santas…

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

Next show for me… Charlie Hunter @ Mississippi Studios (12/7) and Antibalas @ Hawthorne (12/8).

~Dan – np: John ZornRimbaud
John Zorn - Rimbaud

SUFJAN STEVENS CHRISTMAS SING-A-LONG PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Sufjan Stevens Fall 2012 Tour Dates

  • Fri Nov 23, 2012 – Philadelphia PA Union Transfer
  • Sat Nov 24, 2012 – Washington DC 9:30 Club
  • Sun Nov 25, 2012 – Saxapahaw NC The Haw River Ballroom
  • Mon Nov 26, 2012 – Athens GA The Georgia Theatre
  • Tue Nov 27, 2012 – Chattanooga TN Track 29
  • Wed Nov 28, 2012 – Oxford MS The Lyric Oxford
  • Fri Nov 30, 2012 – Dallas TX Granada Theater
  • Sat Dec 01, 2012 – Austin TX Emo’s East
  • Mon Dec 03, 2012 – Tucson AZ Rialto Theatre
  • Tue Dec 04, 2012 – Los Angeles CA The Fonda Theatre (formerly The Music Box)
  • Wed Dec 05, 2012 – San Francisco CA Great American Music Hall
  • Thu Dec 06, 2012 – Portland OR Aladdin Theater
  • Sat Dec 08, 2012 – Seattle WA Neptune Theatre
  • Sun Dec 09, 2012 – Missoula MT Wilma Theatre
  • Wed Dec 12, 2012 – Minneapolis MN Mill City Nights (Formerly The Brick)
  • Thu Dec 13, 2012 – Milwaukee WI Turner Hall
  • Fri Dec 14, 2012 – Indianapolis IN Deluxe @ Old National Centre
  • Sat Dec 15, 2012 – Chicago IL Metro
  • Sun Dec 16, 2012 – Cleveland OH Beachland Ballroom
  • Tue Dec 18, 2012 – Buffalo NY Asbury Hall @ Babeville
  • Wed Dec 19, 2012 – Providence RI Fete
  • Thu Dec 20, 2012 – Boston MA Royale
  • Fri Dec 21, 2012 – New York NY Bowery Ballroom
  • Sat Dec 22, 2012 – New York NY Bowery Ballroom

Sufjan Steven’s horror/christmas claymation “Mr. Frosty Man”

29th Oct 12 (Mon) Leave a comment

Three Sufjan Stevens posts in a row?  Sorry… I promise I’ll get an October concert recap (Aimee Mann, Nellie McKay, Peter Mulvey/Kris Delmhorst, Dan Deacon) up soon… in the meantime, this new claymation/stop motion music video for Sufjan’s “Mr. Frosty Man” is perfect for both the Christmas & Halloween crowds…


Animation by Lee Hardcastle

Pre-order his upcoming Silver and Gold (Christmas EP boxset #2) on 5 CDs or 58 mp3.  The 5-vinyl set appears to be sold out (via bandcamp).

~Dan – np: TomahawkTomahawk

Sufjan Stevens’ Silver & Gold (Xmas EP #’s 6-10)

2nd Oct 12 (Tue) Leave a comment

Update: the stop-motion Lego video is at the bottom.

Pre-order his upcoming Silver and Gold (Christmas EP boxset #2) on 5 CDs or 58 mp3.  The 5-vinyl set appears to be sold out (via bandcamp).

“Happy Holidays! On November 13, 2012, Asthmatic Kitty Records will release (another!) Christmas box-set extravaganza by the implacable singer/songwriter Sufjan StevensSilver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10, a compilation of 5 EPs recorded between 2006 and 2010.

Expanding on the tradition of the first box-set (Songs for Christmas, Vols. 1-5 from 2006), Silver & Gold is a generous document of five more years of holly-jolly jubilee — Christmas caroling, sleigh-bell-ringing, collaborative songwriting — undertaken by Sufjan and his various musical cohorts. Originally intended as gifts for family and friends, these musical snapshots have been re-mixed and re-assembled for the public in an exquisitely-designed gift box containing all the Yuletide pleasures money can buy: Christmas stickers, temporary tattoos, lyric sheets and chord charts, a paper ornament, an apocalyptic pull-out poster, photos, illustrations, and extensive liner notes—a veritable Christmas feast for the eyes and ears.

The album features collaborations with a running line-up of friends and musical peers, including Aaron and Bryce Dessner (The National), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Cat Martino (Sufjan’s right-hand woman on all things Age of Adz), Sebastian Krueger (Inlets), Gabriel Kahane, Vesper Stamper, and members of Danielson (Daniel, Elin, Lilly, and Ida). Sufjan’s own indelible aesthetic and his tireless oblique strategies (in vain pursuit of the perfect Christmas song) maintain the album’s center of gravity, resulting in an abundant compilation (nearly 60 tracks) that investigates the canon of devotional hymns and holiday pop songs with reckless abandon (totaling nearly three hours of music).

Silver & Gold surpasses its predecessor both in style and scope by taking a wider stance and embracing a more liberal ethos. The box-set sails through musical fashions as various as ornaments on a Christmas tree (covering songs from John Dowland to Johnny Marks). The folksy old-world renaissance of Gloria (Vol. 6) gives way to bi-polar impertinence on I Am Santa’s Helper (Vol. 7). Christmas Infinity Voyage (Vol. 8) looks to the cosmos (and the drum machine) for inspiration, while Let It Snow (Vol. 9) and Christmas Unicorn (Vol.10) show a giddy return to form, unselfconsciously reveling in all the bubble-gum show tunes from the 1950s and 60s (“A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride,” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” to name a few).

There are also 18 original songs intermixed throughout (some of them co-written or wholly composed by guest collaborators). Sufjan’s contribution to the Christmas canon exhibits an ever-expanding canopy of approaches: there’s the moody and affectionate Christmas ballad (“Happy Karma Christmas”), an ecclesiastical take on the Burl Ives classic “Silver & Gold” (re-titled here as “Justice Delivers Its Gift”), the rowdy, garage-rock, rumble-in-the-snow-bank (“Mr. Frosty Man”) and the psychedelic pop-anthem (“Christmas Unicorn”) that attempts to reconcile new age magic, fantasy fiction, and the commodification of Christmas with expository deftness.

Silver & Gold is more than just another Christmas album, but an ongoing exercise in theme and variation, an annual tradition that offers this songwriter a chance to experiment with fashion and technique without taking himself too seriously. Sufjan’s playful (yet purposeful) expedition through the superficial landscape of sugar plum fairies and marshmallow fluff has produced an exuberant musical account of “all things Christmas” in the pursuit of the sublime. What distinguishes this project from the glut of Christmas albums saturating the market today are Sufjan’s unguarded enthusiasm for the genre itself (the sense of freedom he shows in celebrating with reverence and rebellion) and the belief that Christmas music contains a multiplicity of sacred and secular significance (from Baby Jesus to Babes in Toyland) that is ultimately ours for the taking. It’s safe to say that no one has taken it further than Sufjan, for better and for worse.

Thanks for listening and may all your Christmas dreams come true.

Silver & Gold will be available in digital download, a CD box-set available November 13th, with a limited edition of 2000 vinyl box-sets available later this year or early 2013.

A special edition of the vinyl boxset, which will include some extra surprises, is available to US/Canada/EU for pre-order:

http://sufjanstevens.bandcamp.com/album/silver-gold

The CD Boxset includes: (price not listed yet)

1. Five CD EPs

2. Christmas stickers

3. Temporary tattoos  (non-toxic & safe for children)

4. A paper ornament (self-assembly with directions)

5. An apocalyptic pull-out poster

6. Song lyrics and chord charts (sing along with your friends and enemies)

7. Hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design (by Sufjan Stevens, drug-free since 1975)

8. Extensive liner notes (introductory salutations and an essay on the Christmas tree by Sufjan Stevens, and a few theological words on the End Times by Pastor Vito Aiuto)

The vinyl boxset includes: ($120 + S/H)

1. Five EPs on 6 vinyl discs

2. Christmas stickers

3. Temporary tattoos

4. A paper ornament

5. A 40-page Christmas songbook with vocal and piano reductions

6. A Christmas coloring book

7. Hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design

8. Extensive liner notes

Whoa!

Sufjan Stevens Lego Movie

~Dan – np: Carla Kihlstedt & Matthias BossiNiagara Falling: Tales for the Stage, III

REVIEW: My Brightest Diamond @ Pantages Theater (Tacoma, WA – 9/22/12)

24th Sep 12 (Mon) 3 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Outside of a college football traffic-filled I-5 and a rainbow roll sushi before the show, there was no opener for My Brightest Diamond this weekend for me.  She was the first after “dinner break” act for Tacoma’s 9/22-9/23 weekend Broadway Center Free For All.  A free one-off show in the Pacific Northwest by one of my absolute favorite artists!!  Well, free outside of the time and gas money… I wasn’t going to pass this up.

Dressed in colorful balls, spikes, and pipe cleaner, My Brightest Diamond (Shara Worden) started the show by coming out in a mask and dumping two large trash bags full of bright orange balloons on the stage.

She played a short set, but hit some great high-points from her three album catalog and switched around a lot on various instruments: ukulele, keyboards, mbira, electric guitar…

Product Details Product Details Product Details

Setlist:

  • We Added It Up
  • Golden Star
  • Escape Routes
  • Be Brave
  • Apples
  • High Low Middle
  • I Have Never Loved Someone
  • Inside A Boy

Her quirkiness and fun-loving vibe shone through.  This being a free show, I’m hoping she attracted some new followers with her charms.  As far as what’s next for her?  Well, she’s bound to show up on someone’s record here, or a collaborative single there, or a remix album over there, or a new album in a bit.  She’s currently not specifically touring; so any chance she comes through your parts for a one-off show – check her out.  You shan’t be disappointed!

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Chevelle at Crystal Ballroom on 9/25.

~Dan – np: ChevelleThis Type Of Thinking (Could Do Us In)

My Brightest Diamond PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

My Brightest Diamond “High Low Middle” video (#OWS)

17th Nov 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

Perhaps the new music video for “High Low Middle” from My Brightest Diamond is an unofficial theme song for the Occupy Wall Street movement (albiet unintentional – as it was in the can long before #OWS)… directed by Murat Eyuboglu, filmed in Detroit and featuring dancers from RunJitRun and Jitting Jesus:

When you’re privileged you don’t even know you’re privileged
When you’re not, you know
When you’re happy you don’t even know you’re happy
When you’re not, you know
full lyrics (link)

Fellow Detroit musician Blue Stahli makes an appearance in the video.  If he or (*gasp*) labelmate Celldweller remixed some MBD tunes, that would be RAD as HELL!  Afternoon Update: Blue Stahli responded with a “Funny you should say that…twitter reply. Nice!

More MBD Stuff:

  • There’s a 9-10 minute session with Shara/MBD on NPR’s All Things Considered right HERE.
  • Check out my 11/5 review of the MBD show at Mississippi Studios in Portland Oregon right HERE.
  • I’d also highly recommend you pick up her latest album, All Things Will Unwind… it’s right HERE (and amazing).

~Dan – np: Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood – In Case the World Changes Its Mind

The evolution of Shara Worden

18th Oct 11 (Tue) 3 comments

Shara Worden aka My Brightest Diamond has a new album out today… Oct 18th.  All Things Will Unwind is only her third studio album under the MBD moniker, but she’s put out a ton of other material (pre-MBD bands, side projects).  Here’s a full (but not necessarily complete) chronological video walk through her career.  And a quick & easy link on how to get her FANTASTIC new album at the bottom…

AwRy
Brave Elephant” (2001)
song only, not official music video

My Brightest Diamond
Dragonfly” from Bring Me the Workhorse (2006)

Magic Rabbit” from Workhorse

We Were Sparkling” from Workhorse

Something of an End” from Workhorse (2006)

Disappear” (remix) from Tear It Down (2007)

Inside a Boy” from A Thousand Shark’s Teeth (2008)

From the Top of the World” from Shark’s (2008)

Apples” (live) from Shark’s (2008)

Crazy On You (Heart cover)” with the Decemberists (live 2009)

The Lotus Eaters” from Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Penelope (2010)

The Sea” from Letters to Distant Cities (2011)

I’m On Fire” with Stateless (2011)

Be Brave” from All Things Will Unwind (2011)

We Added It Up” from All Things Will Unwind (2011)

Hopefully now you see why I love her so… if you like what you hear, swing by the Amazons and pick up her newest album.  CD, vinyl or mp3 download (on Asthmatic Kitty).  It came out today…

~Dan – np: PusciferConditions of My Parole

My Brightest Diamond – La Blogothèque (videos)

11th Oct 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

My Brightest Diamond’s new album, All Things Will Unwind, came out yesterday in the EU (10/10) and it hits the U.S. next week (10/18).  You can stream the entire album here on NPR First Listen.  You can pre-order it from Amazon on CD, vinyl, and mp3 download.

She recently allowed the French video bloggers, La Blogothèque, a peak into her life… similar to back in 2007:

It’s a gorgeous album.  If I could only rave about two vocal albums in 2011, it’d be this one and Wussy’s Strawberry.  Go get ’em both.

My Brightest Diamond is also doing a little tour (of which I’m happy to be going to Portland)…

MBD’s release party is this Friday night at Littlefields (NYC), though tickets are going fast! Doors open at 8pm, and DM Stith opens shortly thereafter. 21+, tickets just $15; buy them here.

~Dan – np: ToolUndertow

My Brightest Diamond – Be Brave single/video & Tour

23rd Sep 11 (Fri) Leave a comment

My Brightest Diamond’s new album, All Things Will Unwind, is now available for pre-order on Asthmatic Kitty (CD / LP) or Amazon (CD / LP).  It drops October 18th in the U.S.  The lead-off single, “Be Brave,” is out on iTunes with two remixes.  The part in-studio, part Shara being trippy in masks video is below…

Directed by longtime MBD collaborator Murat Eyuboglu, the video captures the studio recording of the song with a bit of performance from frontwoman Shara Worden and dancer Jessica Dessner. Emilliner created the facsinators, Lake Simons made the mask, and Noelle Marinelli did makeup. Our good friend DM Stith provides background vocals. Read more info about the song here.

She also has a  few tour dates pulled together for the fall (not necessarily a complete listing thus far):

~Dan – np: BucketheadCaptian Eo’s Voyage

Sufjan Stevens “Futile Devices” on WNYC

27th Jul 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

One of the most gorgeous songs from The Age of AdzSufjan Stevens plays “Futile Devices” on WNYC Soundcheck.

The video for “Pleasure Principle” was posted earlier this week.  The full show (audio) is available as a podcast and on WNYC.com.  On the audio, he also performs “Heirloom” and talks with host John Schaefer.  The album, which came out last year, is for sale on Amazon for only $5 (digital version).

~Dan – np: Wadada Leo Smith & Jack DeJohnetteAmerica

Get your own Fol Chen song…

27th Jul 11 (Wed) 1 comment

Fol Chen makes some pretty fun, electronic indie rock (check the videos at the bottom).  They are also about to venture into the realm of making some impromptu music with a “Verbal Algorithm Composer-Free Song Generator.”

Walker Art Center – Open Field
Minneapolis, MN
Thursday, July 28th, 2-7pm

Samuel Bing and Sinosa Loa of the band Fol Chen (Asthmatic Kitty) will produce a customized, one-of-a-kind song for each person who participates in the Fol Chen Verbal Algorithm Composer-Free Song Generator. This is a one-day event only!

Come fill out a survey about your experience at the Walker, turn your survey in to Bing and Sinosa Loa, and receive a CD of your very own custom song minutes later. At the end of Summer Jubilee, they will release the songs as a digital download Open Field EP.

Samuel Bing is a songwriter and co-producer for Fol Chen, whose two albums of danceable, art-pop have garnered praise from the likes of The New York Times, NME and Pitchfork. They have remixed and/or been remixed by David Bowie, Liars, Baths, and legendary club producer Junior Vasquez. They also covered Prince for SPIN’s “Purplish Rain” compilation. Their song “In Ruins” was featured on Showtime’s Weeds and an episode of CSI: NY in which a victim is murdered over Chat Roulette.

artwork and survey

If you live in Minneapolis, go!  It’s FREE.
http://calendar.walkerart.org/event.wac?id=6385

~Dan – np: The Spanish DonkeyXYX

Fol Chen youtube…

Cable TV

In Ruins

Sufjan Stevens “Pleasure Principle” on WNYC

26th Jul 11 (Tue) 1 comment

Sufjan Stevens and his winning smile playing “Pleasure Principle” (a portion of “The Impossible Soul” on The Age of Adz) on WNYC Soundcheck with Bryce Dessner of The National

The full show (audio) is available as a podcast and on WNYC.com.  On the audio, he also performs “Heirloom” and “Futile Devices” and talks with host John Schaefer.

~Dan – np: IncubusIf Not Now, When?

My Brightest Diamond ‘All Things Will Unwind’ (Oct 18, 2011)

12th Jul 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

So, if I could have a blog solely dedicated to the music of Shara Worden/My Brightest Diamond, I would.  I ‘found’ her via her opening slot for Sufjan Stevens’ Avalanche tour (Indianapolis 2006?).  Her voice amazed me, and she has quickly become one of my favorite vocalists.  She has operatic voice training, a clever wit, charming lyrics, and an indie-rock DIY mentality.

Her third studio album under the My Brightest Diamond moniker* has been announced… All Things Will Unwind will be released October 18, 2011.

For those unfamiliar, MBD creates some fantastic orchestral indie pop.  She’s offering a FREE download of a song from the forthcoming album…

Free mp3 Download:
Reaching Through to the Other Side

All Things Will Unwind track list
01 We Added It Up
(Studio 360 live video)
02 Reaching Through to the Other Side
(MusicNow 2011 video)
03 In the Beginning
04 Escape Routes
05 Be Brave
06 She Does Not Brave the War
07 Ding Dang
08 There’s a Rat
09 High Low Middle
10 Everything Is in Line
11 I Have Never Loved Someone

*– She has a few MBD precursors under the band name “AwRy” (harder to find), plus a few remix EPs, several cover tunes on compilations, and several fantastic side-projects like Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Penelope, the spoken word Letters From Distant Cities, and the upcoming Kickstarter for her backing band yMusic’s debut album – Beautiful Mechanical.  All worth checking out as well.

~Dan – np: Eddie VedderUkulele Songs

My Brightest Diamond @ MusicNow 2011 (video)

20th May 11 (Fri) 5 comments

If you’re like me and you missed My Brightest Diamond + yMusic at the Cincinnati-based MusicNow Festival 2011, here’s a neato 8+ 4+ minute video from the performance…


video from A Story Told Well

“We Added It Up” redacted
“Reaching Through”
(thanks comment people
for the 2nd song name)

Now, get out there and enjoy the sunshine!

~Dan – np: RadioheadHail to the Thief

Shara Worden & yMusic @ Ecstatic Music Festival 2011 (concert webcast)

18th Mar 11 (Fri) Leave a comment

WQXR/WNYC just posted 2+ hours of live streaming music from Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) and yMusic’s performance at the Ecstatic Music Festival at New York’s Merkin Concert Hall.

This show features Shara Worden wearing both her composer and performer hats. yMusic premieres a work written for them by Shara and the classical/indie vocalist joins the instrumentalists on stage in selections from Sarah Kirkland Snider’s recent 2010 release, Penelope, one of my favorite albums of 2010 – which features Shara’s stunning vocals.

The webcast link

This performance by Shara Worden and yMusic is the third of four New Sounds Live broadcasts on Q2 from Merkin’s Hall’s Ecstatic Music Festival. Check out the other two webcasts – the 2011 People’s Commissioning Fund concert and Newspeak and Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society. The final broadcast on March 28 features So Percussion and Bobby Previte.

~Dan – np: Pedro the LionThe Only Reason I Feel Secure Is That I Am Validated By My Peers

Sufjan Stevens & Gaspar Claus collaborations

17th Feb 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

Some new collaborative pieces from Sufjan Stevens and cellist/experimental music Gaspar Claus have shown up on an official.fm artist site.

Sufjan meets Gaspar

Click the song names for streaming mp3s of the electronic meets cello of “Romance Cave,” the noisy experimentation of “Invalid Skin,” and the rain & electronic monstrosity that is “Alien Vs Predator.”

~Dan – np: MogwaiHardcore Will Never Die,  But You Will

Shara Worden with yMusic on studio 360

21st Jan 11 (Fri) Leave a comment

I just had a post with some Shara Worden / My Brightest Diamond news the other day (lots of collaborations hitting us SOON)… here’s an in-studio video from her recent session with yMusic at Studio 360:


“We Added It Up”

You can stream or download (for free) the entire audio from Shara’s Studio 360 session at:
http://www.studio360.org/episodes/2011/01/21

¡ Shara.

~Dan – np: No-ManReturning Jesus

2 Sufjan & The National & Arcade Fire Xmas songs…

21st Dec 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

Thanks to Between Hipsters and God… two Christmas rarities of Sufjan Stevens (from 2006) have been unearthed.  They are off the still unreleased Songs for Christmas Volume 6 (Gloria!) featuring The National‘s Aaron & Bryce Dessner as well as The Arcade Fire‘s Richard Reed Parry.  They were out via the National & Arcade Fire DJ set on BBC6.

The 6th Christmas EP is yet to be released officially… Xmas EP #8 came out in 2008… so, maybe next year, Asthmatic Kitty will release another 5 EP boxset?  We can only hope…

~Dan – np: Ty Tabor – Trip Magnet EP 

Sufjan Stevens “Too Much” (music video)

22nd Nov 10 (Mon) Leave a comment

Sufjan Stevens made his network TV debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Friday 11/19 (), and now the release of the “official music video” for “Too Much” from The Age of Adz today…

It is the video that played behind his band during the recent tour (my photo from the Portland show above).  The video is as energetic and enigmatic as the Fallon performance.  I’m digging it.

~Dan – np:  MúmYesterday Was Dramatic – Today Is Ok 

REVIEW: Sufjan Stevens @ Schnitzer (Portland, OR – 10/29/10)

30th Oct 10 (Sat) 12 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

So, the last few months has been a flurry of unexpected, yet superbly exciting information coming from Sufjan Stevens and Asthmatic Kitty.  First was the tour announcement (on Aug 9th), then a week and a half later came the immediate release of the All Delighted People EP, and less than a week later came the news of the new full length album The Age of Adz (pronounced ‘odds’).  Outside of the orchestral The BQE piece, Sufjan had been silent for a couple years (which we recently found out was due to nervous system health issues).  Within the past two months, he came roaring back in 2010 with a North American-spanning tour and two new adventurous albums (the “EP” is 58+ minutes).

The new music from Delighted and Adz is a little less accessible compared to Seven Swans or his “State” albums, but a little more poppy/accessible compared to BQE or Rabbit.  I think the new music strikes a nice balance between the adventurousness and electronic-ness in his past music… possibly “A Sun Came! updated for the Sufjan listener in 2010.”  While I don’t think it’s a repeat of A Sun Came! (at all) – that’s the best Sufjan repertoire comparison I can muster.  It’s sweeping and glitchy, quiet and loud.  But how would it translate into a live show?

Before we could find out, labelmate DM Stith hit the stage.  He only played 20 minutes, but was a good warm-up.  Nice singer-songwriter fare, with Sufjans’ horn section on “Thanksgiving Moon.” I’d heard DM’s music via AK samplers and free downloads.  It never struck me as solidly as Sufjan has, but in the live setting, he seemed to carry himself well.  After he did his tunes, he left to go put on shiny pants for Sufjan’s band.  I was slightly disappointed that he left after only 20 minutes, but that disappointment soon went away as the anticipation for Sufjan mounted.

Sufjan and his 10 piece band hit the stage around 10 ’til 9pm in shiny outfits.  His band was comprised of DM Stith on keyboards, two drummers, a 3-member torn section, a guitarist, bassist, and two backup singers/dancers.  After a short hello, they went immediate into “All Delighted People” and didn’t stop with the new material until 10:30.  I’d been listening to the new material for the past week, and glad they played some personal favorites: Heirloom, Futile Devices, The Owl and the Tanager, and the 20+ minute Impossible Soul.

Sufjan’s “slow jam” dancing to “I Walked” was charming.  The projected graphics and dark, hallowed lighting during “Vesuvius” made my friend mention that it seemed like a weird, ancient worship service.  The auto tune hip-hop near the end of “Impossible Soul” is one of my favorite parts, and it really worked in the live setting. I wish cameras had been allowed near the end, as a large luminescent diamond descended*, and Sufjan busted out the jams in front of the back-lit, strobe-diamond facade.  While that was his most “rockstar moment,” most of the show, he was talkative, yet unassuming and grateful to the audience.

* Amanda McAuley got some photos of it (some shown below), plus I found an “Impossible Soul” part 2 video snippetsee alphaleonis’ youtube for more from the show.

Setlist: about 2 1/4 hours

  • All Delighted People
  • Too Much
  • Age of Adz
  • Heirloom
  • I Walked
  • Futile Devices
  • Vesuvius
  • The Owl and the Tanager [Sufjan solo with backing vocals]
  • Get Real Get Right [with story about Royal Robertson]
  • Enchanting Ghost
  • Impossible Soul
  • Chicago
  • Encore: Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois [Sufjan solo piano]
  • Casimir Pulaski Day

It was a brilliant show.  He was quirky and subdued, gentle and cacophonous, amusing and bewildering, and all around charming.  He saved the old tunes for last, and only three Illinois tracks made the cut.  I got goosebumps as he hit the intro for “Concerning the UFO Sighting.”  While the older tunes were nice (and I wish there had been more sprinkled in), I can honestly say that the new tunes hold their own.  There’s a reason Sufjan has a piece of our hearts.  Seeing the new songs live definitely elevated those albums to being amongst my favoritesfor 2010.  After seeing them performed live, I think they fit better within his catalogue, too.  I hope it’s not another 3+ years until I get to see Sufjan and his band of musicians again.

Sidenote: Sufjan’s one of the only artists who could have pulled me away from a reported, equally awesome Nellie McKay show in Eugene (check back tomorrow for Nellie McKay photos from Margaret O’Brien – who went in my place).

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

~Dan –Dave Douglas & KeystoneSpark of Being: Expand

SUFJAN STEVENS PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Sufjan’s 2010 Tour Dates

  • Tuesday, 12 October – Metropolis Theater, Montreal QC
  • Wednesday, 13 October – Massey Hall, Toronto ON
  • Thursday, 14 October – Royal Oak Music Theater, Royal Oak MI
  • Friday, 15 October – Chicago Theater, Chicago IL
  • Saturday, 16 October – Orpheum Theater, Minneapolis MN
  • Sunday, 17 October – Uptown Theater, Kansas City MO
  • Tuesday, 19 October – The Long Center for the Performing Arts, Austin TX
  • Wednesday, 20 October – McFarlin Memorial Auditorium, Dallas TX
  • Friday, 22 October – Mesa Arts Center – Ikeda Theater, Mesa AZ
  • Saturday, 23 October – The Wiltern, Los Angeles CA
  • Tuesday, 26 October – The Paramount Theater, Oakland CA
  • Thursday, 28 October – Orpheum Theater, Vancouver BC
  • Friday, 29 October – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland OR
  • Saturday, 30 October – The Paramount Theatre, Seattle WA
  • Monday, 1 November – Kingsbury Hall, Salt Lake City UT
  • Tuesday, 2 November – Paramount Theatre, Denver CO
  • Thursday, 4 November – Hilbert Circle Theatre, Indianapolis IN
  • Friday, 5 November – Bijou Theater, Knoxville TN
  • Saturday, 6 November – The Tabernacle, Atlanta GA
  • Sunday, 7 November – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Asheville NC
  • Wednesday, 10 November – Kimmel Center, Philadelphia PA
  • Thursday, 11 November – Orpheum Theatre, Boston MA
  • Sunday, 14 November – Beacon Theatre, New York NY
  • Monday, 15 November – Beacon Theatre, New York NY

 

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