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Kunst & Liebe Frequency Machine

SUFJAN STEVENS / Illinois (2005)

15:00–16:00 Nedjelja 17.5.2020.

Najdraži su mi albumi u kojima se izgubim.

Sufjan Stevens, Illinois, 22 pjesme, 74 minute materijala, naslovi pjesama kobasice od pola metra.
Jednom riječju – idealno.

No šalu na stranu, Illinois je velik i pomalo grandiozan album na više razina.

Iako započet u Sufjanovom stanu u Brooklyn-u kao one man project, album je prema autorovim skicama naknadno obogaćen snimanjem dodatnog instrumentarija na N.Y. lokacijama, u studiju, pa čak i u crkvi.

I kao na svakom superkul albumu, svega tu ima. Od tema na banjo-u, preko bržih i ritmičnijih stvari u čudnim mjerama (5/4 recimo) do instrumentala koji su po svojoj naravi bliže albumu The BQE iz 2007, također zanimljivom projektu uvijek zaigranog Stevensa.

Sufjan je nježna duša, pripovjedač nenametljivog glasa na tragu Nick Drakea, ne toliko izvođač koliko dirigent i producent koji u svojoj glavi, nemojmo se zavaravati, može složiti cijelu filharmoniju.

Tematski, naravno, sve se vrti oko države Illinois pa tu imamo ( pored duhovnosti i vjere kao sveprisutne teme u njegovim skladbama ) i posjet vanzemaljaca i serijskog ubojicu i državne praznike i vrag zna šta još ne, sve na ovaj ili onaj način vezano uz Illinois.

Dakle, Illinois je predivan album, raznovrstan koliko to jedan album može biti.

Prva stvar “Concerning the UFO Sigthing near Highland, Illinois” jedno je od najljepših otvaranja albuma koje uopće može biti, sa tim klavirom u nepravilnim dobama, onako kako to Thom Yorke često voli koristiti ( Pyramid song? ).

“Come On! Feel the Illinoise!” (Part I: The World’s Columbian Exposition – Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream) vjerovatno je najbrža stvar na albumu, naizgled složena iz dva dijela, jedna od najboljih njegovih stvari uopće. Kad smo već kod Yorke-a, ovo bi možda bilo što je za Radiohead “Paranoid android”. Samo Sufjan style.

“John Wayne Gacy, Jr” , jedna od najljepših akustičnih laganica u Sufjanovoj kajdanci, obojana klavirom i tim repetativnim “patternom” na gitari koji nas dinamikom diže i spušta, tekst o serijskom ubojici koji Sufjan tako obradi da nam čovjeka skoro pa bude žao.

“Jacksonville”, banjo nikad nigdje nije tako lijepo sjeo, kao budali pleska, štonosekaže. I ti prateći koji se dižu prema kraju “Andrew Jackson, all I’m asking..” I taj ansambl u pozadini.

Onda imamo te lude interlude koje se svako malo pojave na albumu, isječke koji filuju album jer – zašto ne.?

“Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother!” bila bi Sufjanova vizija pjeme koja je veselica, wooohoo.

I kad dođemo do “Chicago” – Oh yes – we had our mind set, all thing go, all things know.

I tako to nekako ide prema kraju, “The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!” pa opet “Let’s Hear That String Part Again, Because I Don’t Think They Heard It All the Way Out in Bushnell”, Sufjan je zaigran i nije ga briga.

Predivna “The Seers tower” pa onda “The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders” (Part I: The Great Frontier – Part II: Come to Me Only with Playthings Now) – bila bi nešto kao mlađa sestra “Come On! Feel the Illinoise!” sa početka albuma, čista radost.

I na kraju “Out of Egypt”, zatvaramo album da bi mu se vratili, opet i opet.

Sufjan Stevens vjerovatno nikad više neće snimiti album kao što je “Illinoise”.

Drugi album ambicioznog projekta “50 states” , dakle – album za svaku US državu ( Michigan je bio prvi ), koji naravno nakon ovog albuma nikad nije nastavljen, natjerao nas je da mu za trenutak i povjerujemo u mega plan.

Kasnije ( i prije ) Sufjan je snimio još neke krasne pjesme i albume, nevezano za države i projekt, ali ovaj ostaje taj po kojemu će se vrednovati svi sljedeći materijali.

Triple axel.

Track listing:

1. “Concerning the UFO Sighting near Highland, Illinois” 2:08
2. “The Black Hawk War, or, How to Demolish an Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, or, We Apologize for the Inconvenience but You’re Going to Have to Leave Now, or, ‘I Have Fought the Big Knives and Will Continue to Fight Them Until They Are Off Our Lands!'” 2:14
3. “Come On! Feel the Illinoise!” (Part I: The World’s Columbian Exposition – Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream) 6:45
4. “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” 3:19
5. “Jacksonville” 5:24
6. “A Short Reprise for Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, but for Very Good Reasons” 0:47
7. “Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother!” 3:03
8. “One Last ‘Whoo-Hoo!’ for the Pullman!!” 0:06
9. “Go! Chicago! Go! Yeah!” 6:04
10. “Casimir Pulaski Day” 5:53
11. “To the Workers of the Rock River Valley Region, I Have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament” 1:40
12. “The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts” 6:17
13. “Prairie Fire That Wanders About” (Peoria) 2:11
14. “A Conjunction of Drones Simulating the Way in Which Sufjan Stevens Has an Existential Crisis in the Great Godfrey Maze” 0:19
15. “The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!” 5:23
16. “They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!” 5:09
17. “Let’s Hear That String Part Again, Because I Don’t Think They Heard It All the Way Out in Bushnell” 0:40
18. “In This Temple as in the Hearts of Man for Whom He Saved the Earth” 0:35
19. “The Seer’s Tower” 3:53
20. “The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders” (Part I: The Great Frontier – Part II: Come to Me Only with Playthings Now) 7:02
21. “Riffs and Variations on a Single Note for Jelly Roll, Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Baby Dodds, and the King of Swing, to Name a Few” 0:46
22. “Out of Egypt, into the Great Laugh of Mankind, and I Shake the Dirt from My Sandals as I Run” 4:21

Personnel:

Sufjan Stevens – acoustic guitar, piano, Wurlitzer, bass guitar, drums, electric guitar, oboe, alto saxophone, flute, banjo, glockenspiel, accordion, vibraphone, recorders (alto, sopranino, soprano, & tenor), Casiotone MT-70, sleigh bells, shakers, tambourine, triangle, electronic organ, vocals, arrangements, engineering, recording, production
Julianne Carney – violin
Alan Douches – mastering at West West Side Music, Tenafly, New Jersey
Jon Galloway – remixing on “Chicago” (To String Remix)
Marla Hansen – viola
The Illinoisemaker Choir – backing vocals and clapping on “The Black Hawk War, or, How to Demolish an Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, or, We Apologize for the Inconvenience but You’re Going to Have to Leave Now, or, ‘I Have Fought the Big Knives and Will Continue to Fight Them Until They Are Off Our Lands!'”, “Chicago”, “The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts”, “They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!”, and “The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders”
Tom Eaton
Jennifer Hoover
Katrina Kerns
Beccy Lock
Tara McDonnell
Maria Bella Jeffers – cello
Katrina Kerns – backing vocals on “Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois”, “Come On! Feel the Illinoise!”, “Jacksonville”, “Prairie Fire That Wanders About”, “The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!”, “The Seer’s Tower”, “The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders”, and “The Avalanche”
James McAlister – drums, drum engineering
Craig Montoro – trumpet, backing vocals on “They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!”
Rob Moose – violin
Matt Morgan – backing vocals on “Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother!”
Daniel and Elin Smith – backing vocals and clapping on “Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother!”
Divya Srinivasan – artwork
Shara Worden – backing vocals on “Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois”, “Come On! Feel the Illinoise!”, “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”, “Casimir Pulaski Day”, “Prairie Fire That Wanders About”, “The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!”, “The Seer’s Tower”, “The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders”, and “The Avalanche”

autor: tomislav gracin, 10/05/2020

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