I’m not sure there is a bigger enigma in music right now than Sufjan Stevens. His music output has been incredibly sporadic, but when he does release music, it pours out of him. I have nearly everything Sufjan has put out, and of the 245 songs in my iTunes, 65 are about Midwestern states, 14 about the Chinese New Year, 13 about a bridge, and 98 about Christmas. That only leaves 55 songs about everything else. Yet, with as strange of a catalog as this, there is no doubt Sufjan is one of the most talented and simply brilliant creative minds around today. Sisyphus, his latest project with Son Lux and Serengeti , combines playful rap, glitchy electronics, and Sufjan’s brilliant composition. We will likely tackle this album as a review royale next week, but for now, here are our ten favorite Sufjan songs.
Editor’s Note: This list was originally published in early 2014.
Continue reading “The 10 Best Sufjan Stevens Songs”
This was a particularly tough list to put together. On average, order one of our Top Ten lists takes about 45 minutes. Over an hour and a half into our last meeting, we still only had the top six ironed out for this one. We ended up just individually ranking the final eight candidates individually, and normalizing the results to select the final four on the list. It worked out though, and I didn’t even have to swan dive off my balcony, as I threatened several times throughout the meeting.
So let me tell you a little bit about our decision making process in selecting the top ten artists of the first decade of the new millennium. It was about as simple as weighing quantity and quality. To some degree, we also factored in the amount of lackluster material an artist had working against them. In the end, ever artist in the ten had at least three good to great albums during the decade. Painfully, M.I.A., LCD Soundsystem, and a few others didn’t have the consistent presence throughout the entire decade like most others on here and missed out. Also, great artists like Beck, Ryan Adams, Spoon, and Bright Eyes just missed out because while they had the quantity, their highs just weren’t quite as high as others on the list.
So there you have it. Enjoy the read, and as always let us know who me missed, left off, or mistakenly included.
10. The Strokes
The Strokes were one of those rare bands where the product lived up to all the hype preceding them. They produced some refreshingly honest pop music that ushered a whole new group of fans into “indie” music. Beneath the surface of The Strokes instantly accessible music were simple but perfect harmonies, taking them beyond what was expected of an early-20’s rock outfit in the early 2000’s.
Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Best Artists of the Aughts (2000-2009)”
Sufjan Stevens’s Christmas Spectacular
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about indie singer/songwriter Sufjan Steven’s conflicted fascination with Christmas and how conflicted relationships fits with his persona in general taking on numerous subjects with views of both reverence and contempt. This split-personality is ever apparent on the wild live show Sufjan has put together to accompany his latest Christmas collection Silver & Gold, a tour he has coined in typical weird Sufjan fashion as the “Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice.” At the Metro show this past Saturday, Sufjan packed plenty of production and personalities into one show, resulting in a sometimes exhilarating sometimes frustrating mess.
Continue reading “Sufjan Steven’s Christmas Spectacular Show Review”
Top Ten Thursday: Chi-Town Anthems
In keeping with our Chicago theme (due to my move there coming this weekend), we will be transitioning from yesterday’s list of songs BY Chicago to songs ABOUT Chicago. The Windy City has boasted its fair share of great artists, from Chicago blues legends Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Buddy Guy to more modern alternative/indie artists like The Smashing Pumpkins, Wilco, and Andrew Bird to an unbelievably strong hip hop scene including Kanye, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Rhymefest, Twista, and the one and only R. Kelly. While their quarterback’s a sad emo excuse for an athlete and their football team as an equally worthless franchise, there is greatness in this city and that’s why we bring you this list.
10. Common-“The Corner”
We love Kanye as much as any blog, but yes, this is a Chicago song’s list with two rap songs by someone not named by Kanye. He does, however, get production credit and a guest spot on the “The Corner”, a staple song about the Chicago Streets off of Common’s best effort, Be.
Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Chi-Town Anthems”
With the great disappointment of Mylo Xyloto (Coldplays new concept album that dropped earlier this week) still being fresh in our heads, we at LxL wanted to remind the world that there are indeed good concept albums out there. Apologies to Austin, who got particularly screwed in this weeks voting, but nonetheless, here is what we came up with:
Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Conception”