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Thursday, July 12, 2007

“We sold our clothes to the state, I don’t mind, I don’t mind. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my mind, in my mind.”

posted by on July 12 at 15:52 PM

Grandy just sent me an email—I guess he doesn’t have the guts to say it to my face:


I didn’t even realize what he was talking about—the used-to-get-beat-up-because-I-liked-musical-theater-as-a-kid part of me thought he was talking about, you know, Chicago the musical—and then I realized: Oh man, I’ve been whistling Sufjan Stevens’s “Chicago” all week.

I realize that everyone else has been obsessed with Sufjan Stevens for a while, but I am late to every party. (I discovered Belle & Sebastian a decade after If You’re Feeling Sinister.) I just discovered Sufjan Stevens. Guess what? He’s ahhhsome!

Like, really great. Like, haven’t-been-listening-to-anything-other-than-Come-on-Feel-the-Illinoise! for the last 10 days. Will it ever not be good? Will it just go on and on and on being good?

If you don’t have the album, I strongly encourage you to discover it with me. At this moment, the Easy Street Records in West Seattle has eight copies of it. The Easy Street in Lower Queen Anne has four. Silver Platters in Lower Queen Anne has five. Everyday Music on Capitol Hill has three. Sonic Boom on Capitol Hill has two. Sonic Boom in Fremont has one. Sonic Boom in Ballard has one on vinyl. Silver Platters in Northgate has one (“We’re getting another shipment tomorrow—I’m sure we have more coming in”). Silver Platters in Bellevue has five. That’s thirty copies just, like, sitting around, waiting for you. Come on, everyone!

As I was making the calls that went into writing the above paragraph, Jonathan Zwickel, sitting at his desk, said, under his breath, mimicking me: “Soof-john.”

I hung up the phone and said, “Am I saying it wrong?”

He said, “Yeah, it’s soof-yawn.”

See? I dunno shit.

If you already have the song and want to hear, like, crappier versions of it, but with concert trappings (a horn section dressed as butterflies), here’s Stevens performing it in Atlanta:

And here’s an acoustic performance of it in San Francisco:

Here are a bunch of high school boys covering it a capella in a spring concert:

And here’s a TOTAL NERD—don’t get me wrong, it’s appealing—giving video instructions on how to play “Chicago” on a guitar:

What more do you need? A picture of Sufjan putting on a tie?



He is, as everyone else already knows, making a different album for every state in the country. (Come on Feel the Illinoise! is Illinois. He’s also done Michigan.) According to Wikipedia: “The next states to be taken on in the project have been reported as Oregon and Rhode Island.” Man, we just got dissed. I mean, Oregon? Don’t you think, dear Line Out readers, we should put aside our differences and band together to sponsor a Washington album? I’ll let him have my apartment for a while—it’s got views of municipal and geological landmarks. That should help him. Anyone have a car we can loan the guy? Who’s got, like, tons of money?

RSS icon Comments


I personally find Sufjan Stevens to be very obnoxious.

But I love Belle & Sebastian.

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 12, 2007 4:04 PM

It was the best reviewed album of 2005 [metacritic], and, yes it continues to be good after two years.

I'd bet on a album about birds.

Posted by joshua c. bis | July 12, 2007 4:13 PM

That was my favorite record that year... and until Illinois was released I didn't think anything that year could top The Decemberist's Picaresque. I must've bought at least six extra copies of Illinois to give away, I loved it that much.

My only criticism of the album is that it went on a bit too long and faded a bit in the end.

Posted by BloggyT | July 12, 2007 5:28 PM

I'm sorry, but I'd blow that nerd.

(Beer talking?)

Posted by Hodges | July 12, 2007 10:14 PM

Sorry Christopher, I think you might've been the last one in Seattle to get on that trolley.

But yeah, it's a great album. I just hope he lives to 200 or so, because at this rate he's going to need to in order to do all 50 state albums.

Posted by Levislade | July 13, 2007 8:34 AM

it may actually someday be not good. i felt the same ahhhhsome way for three months when i got the album. now i can't stand it.

i don't, however, know what it would be like to blow him.

Posted by benjamin | July 13, 2007 12:00 PM

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