Although I listened to Illinois quite a bit when it first came out (fuelled by my intrigue for a man whose name incited so many useless pronounciation arguments), I never really bothered with YouTube-ing him to death. Which is weird, as you know, for me.
I always knew that Sufjan’s (Sufyan? Soo-yan? Soppian??) finely-crafted music would be a shame to watch ‘live’, because, well, he’s not Rufus Wainwright now is he. But I don’t mean to rag on Sufjan. Rufus doesn’t use a gazillion instruments. And strictly-piano players always know the right way to scale their songs down for live shows.
Having given you all that useless prelude, I come to the point of my post:
Come on! Feel the Illinoise! -Part I: The World’s Columbian Exposition -Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream
a.k.a. longest song title ever. But the movements in the song seem to merit that length. My favourite part is Part II. I googled Carl Sandburg: an American poet, historian, novelist, balladeer and folklorist. (prepare to spend a good half an hour or so at wiki)
The second part of this Sufjan Stevens song is like, the best quick promo for a human being ever. I am now going to find myself some Carl Sandburg poems while you listen to the song (part II starts about 3 mins into the song):
(to see proof in favour of my ‘Sufjan Stevens is probably not very good live’ theory, see here)
reminds me of
(Paul Auster’s book cover designed by Art Spiegelman!)