Christmas with Sufjan

(above, Sufjan Stevens)

I'm not a big fan of the "Now Listening To" category of self-revelation through musical taste, but I must share some music with you all, that I've been listening to extensively this season. You may have heard of Sufjan Stevens' music; he's been getting more and more college-radio play, and such-like. I was first introduced to him by friends a few years ago, and have grown to love his music. (A good friend of his, is Denison Witmer...with whom I graduated from high school, and still count as a friend...and you will hear his background vocals on some of the following songs...just droppin' names here...) Sufjan brings an innocence - but not naivete - and freshness to his songs that few others of my generation are able to pull off. He also makes amazing use of bells, flutes and banjos.

His Christmas albums from the past few years, initially made for close friends, have been passing underground from hand to hand for a while. This season I'm listening to his last two holiday albums over and over. It's beautiful, fun and luminous stuff...I'm moved in some way every time I listen to his renditions of old songs I knew from way-back-when.

Anyway, here's a way to get some downloads of his Christmas music:

Here's his main website, with links to labels he's connected with: ...and his own record label:

He's already "big" - he's playing the Lincoln Center in January...but hey, wouldn't you if you had a chance?

the fourth samba  – (Wednesday, 21 December, 2005)  

true, true, true brother, this cat is on some serious Pascalian fire. "Illinoise" was just voted #1 album of 2005 at Pitchfork!!! Lynne, myself and Brendan from the studios just saw him @ the TLA a few months back. Massive! He encored by himself minus the cheerleader outfit with the song "Abraham", the hairs upon my back were shouting Halellujah. He talks about Stereolab being a big influence, too... I really dig Michigan and Illinoise a lot but I have to say "Seven Swans" is probably my favorite. I haven't given much listening to "A Sun Came" and the "enjoy your rabbit" cd was a bit too repetitive for me. I can't wait to see what Mr. prolificity will bring the world next, love, Rubens

Crystal  – (Wednesday, 21 December, 2005)  

Tim, the name Denison Witmer leapt off the page at me because I happened upon his song "Stations" on a random mix CD I received from a friend at school and loved it. He attended LMH? It seems the world gets smaller all the time.

GIERSCHICK  – (Thursday, 22 December, 2005)  

Hi Crystal...yes, Denison went to LMH. We worked on LMH's literary journal together. We've kept in contact more or less the last couple of years. His older brother is a good friend of mine, Douglas Witmer.

If you have Menno-connections, the world is even smaller :-)

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