Today: November 10th 2010 (2)


Consider your comments heeded.  I’m going to try to be better than I’ve been being.  To be honest, it’s a toweringly tall task.  Discerning when your trying to be better from your automated, unconscious need to improve your own personal lot from the second you’re brought placenta-drenched-kicking into the world is so, so difficult.  Constantly, endlessly I endeavor to make my life’s current second better than the last without undercutting the current second in relation to the subsequent second, to provide myself a halcyon state of being on all self fronts.  Can I do it?  Of course.  Will I do it?  Of course not, but a go I’m going to give it.

That said, within the week I will see Sufjan Stevens live and the previous twenty-three years of mindfully avoiding my impending demise will be validated.  As I’m sure you know, Sufjan Stevens is a multi-multi-multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter.  The word ambition was coined in response to his existence.

Here’s a list of why he speaks the gibberish language of my soul with a eloquent, soothing fluency:

  • He has a 53 word song title.
  • For the Widows in Paradise, For the Motherless in Ypsilanti is a song whose sonic pulchritude rivals the sound a taut violin bow makes as it’s carefully pulled across the woven string of every vulnerable moment of your life.
  • He plays the banjo.
  • He attempted to write a concept album for each of the 50 states.
  • He failed to make a concept album for each of the 50 states.
  • He released an hour long EP.
  • His song Vesuvius manages to simultaneously capture an erupting volcano’s violent upheaval, of nature’s reckless derision for neighboring human life, and to somehow marry that to the quietude of those lives, centuries later, encased in ash, unrealized without realizing it.
  • He, along with George Saunders, is one of a handful of truly expert employers of the exclamation point.
  • He writes lyrics such as, “Steven A. Douglas was a great debater, but Abraham Lincoln was the great emancipator.”  Which on the surface appear playful and categorical but are in fact profound statements on whether a great man that divides a people measures up to a great man that unifies them.
  • He writes songs about God that aren’t an insult to the intelligence of or a manipulative ploy for the souls and money of everyone that believes in God.
  • He sat behind me when I saw Margot at the Wedding and, justifiably, walked out halfway through.

I’ve updated the Muzak page with his songs.  Your life will be so much better after you listen.  The seconds you spent reading this will pale in refulgent retrospect.  I’m sure of it!

O’s and X’s,