Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Sufjan Stevens; the most ambitious artist of the century.

I’ve noticed the people on the Moose like to talk about music. I thought I’d share some info about my own favorite musician with you.

Sufjan Stevens comes from Michigan, my home state. He was born in Detroit and raised in the upper most parts of the lower peninsula. He started his musical career early, learning the scales and timings of music. He was playing Mozart-like symphonies on a toy piano at the age of 5 and progressively mastered over 25 (to the best of my knowledge) instruments, recording most of the instrumentation of what he puts on his albums. Sufjan went to Hope College in Holland, MI. and later enrolled in the masters program for writers at the New School for Social Research. He said in an interview, almost jokingly “I’m inspired a lot by the landscape of America, and it came up to do an album for every state in America.” He has progressed to be one of the most finely-tuned, multi-instrument wielding musical craftsman of this era. Much of his music is derived from stories he wrote while attending Hope College, but some draws from his Christian upbringing and Bible stories. He and his music have been the biggest influence in my own musical endeavors.

(Thanks for the editing help, Gramps)

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  1. fogiv

    he creates a tepestry of sound.  ATM, Decatur, Or, Round of Applause For Your Step Mother! is probably my favortite song, but that changes often.

  2. The music changes near the 2:40 mark. At first it seems like it is dissolving into a discordant mishmash. He manages to pull it all together. It’s a little strange, especially when heard with a buzz, while at the same time fully displaying his musical imagination. The second video is one of him introducing the song to a Japanese audience in Osaka. That one is kind of funny. The audience always laughed when he said something then laughed again when the interpreter translated it.

  3. spacemanspiff

    Let me throw out a lesser known track.

    Just awesome how he takes such a simple line and turns it in to beautiful poetry.

    That dress looks nice on you.

    While this isn’t in the same vibe I think Kid Cudi is more singer/songwriter than rapper.

    Give him a chance. While this is off a mixtape his major label relase is legit from start to finish. Very little if any filler.

    The Prayer

  4. Sa09

    A Sun Came or Enjoy Your Rabbit? they’re a little more askew. A little more non traditional, but soothing if your ears can tolerate the time signatures, the warm fuzzy scratch of a guitar that sounds like 1970’s television.  

  5. Sa09

    The music still has the orchestral genius of Michigan and Illinois, but in a totally different way. One of my favorite things about him. And if you like Sufjan you should definitely check out Andrew Bird, who plays violin, guitar and happens to be “an accomplished whistler”. He mixes in classical folk, jazz, and rock into beautiful works of art.

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