Sufjan Stevens is my new hero.

I liked his Seven Swans album.Then I grew to love it.I liked his Illinois album.These days, I love it more than I can say. The two songs "John Wayne Gacy Jr." and "Casimir Pulaski Day" are better on their own than any other full album I've heard all year.And now this... NPR has rated Illinois as the album of the year, and says, "Sufjan Stevens new album isn't just this year's best album, it's the best album to come out in several years. In an era when most of the music we hear is … [Read more...]

More specials: Serenity clip. Best album of ’05? Smog video. Narnia pics.

More specials:A truly troubling clip that seems to be from Joss Whedon's Serenity. Viewer discretion ... no, make that listener discretion advised.Josh Hurst just noticed that Sufjan Stevens' Illinois is no longer the "best-reviewed album of the year" ... at least for now. Who took over the #1 spot? The New Pornographers.It's the feel-good music video of the summer! Smog's I Feel Like the Mother of the World, starring a rather notorious actress.There are a bunch of … [Read more...]

The Onion AV Guide Asks Sufjan Stevens About Faith

from The Onion AV guide: O: Have you been surprised by how much attention has been paid to the fact that you're a Christian?SS: Um... Yeah, I think it's a little disconcerting. It can be a little frustrating. I think that certain terms that we use to describe a culture or religion are in some ways our way of isolating people, and I think sometimes these terms bring up all sorts of prejudices and misunderstandings and misconceptions. And I feel a little frustrated and guilty about being a … [Read more...]

Specials: See Sufjan! Costello/Harris tour. Arcade Fire buys a church. Terry Teachout goes to a movie alone. More.

Today's specials:Now you can watch Sufjan Stevens play Morning Becomes Eclectic. He plays music from 2005's best album thus far... Illinois.Get ready. Elvis Costello's gonna tour with Emmylou Harris.First, The Arcade Fire release the best album by a rock band in the last two years. Then, they buy a church.R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe reflects on the last ten months of touring. Hopefully his enthusiasm will help him record a better album than Around the Sun next … [Read more...]

Is "Illinois" the best "Christian album" of the year?

Sufjan Stevens' new album Illinois is very, very strange. And very, very good.And, judging by the critical response it's getting, it looks like the most highly praised album recorded by a Christian singer/songwriter in many years. (Am I forgetting any similarly celebrated titles?)Check it out. The song called "John Wayne Gacy, Jr." is so heartbreakingly beautiful, it's worth the price of the record. … [Read more...]