October 8th, 2012
Remember when Sufjan Stevens was the literary troubadour that charmed us with those gems Illinois (2005) and Michigan (2003)? MAN, THOSE WERE THE DAYS. Then we got the weirdness of The BQE and The Age of Adz, though Age was solid new material, BQE was a conceptual album that didn’t really stick. One listen was enough. Soon, he’ll be giving us another batch of Christmas songs.
On November 13, Stevens delivers Silver & Gold: Songs For Christmas, Vols. 6-10, a five-EP box set of originals and covers that adds to his 2006-released Songs For Christmas, Vols. 1-5. The box set will also include stickers, temporary tattoos, an “apocalyptic” poster, an ornament, lyric and chord sheets and “hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design.” Oh, and the title of this month-long seasonal North American tour: “Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice.” Oh, he’s just so kooky, isn’t he!? Christmas music is already a gray area where questionably-successful and talented musicians tip-toe and rarely succeed. When was the last time a pop artist gave us a smash hit holiday record? It wasn’t Bieber, alright? It was Mimi.
Ten days after the release of this decidedly non-Pagan holiday send-up, he’ll kick his tour off right here in Philadelphia at Union Transfer on November 23rd. Cool? I just don’t know anymore. Watch this mind-numbingly strange stop-motion clip that seems to be a song from this new collection: