Sufjan Stevens: Anybody ever hear of this guy? OK, seriously, folks. Inspired by a post about bargain-bin hunting over at Can You See the Sunset from the Southside, I headed to Tempe on a mission to pluck a quality, cheap CD.
And I did. I snagged an Asthmatic Kitty label compilation To Spirit Back the Mews (2001) for a mere $5.99. I was quite proud of myself. That is, until I went to AK’s Web site and discovered I could have bought it for $6 at their store.
Nevertheless, I’m convinced I found a gem. It contains 37 tracks — some of which is quirky filler material — and runs almost 80 minutes. What you really want to know is that there are four Sufjan Stevens songs on it. You should also know is the rest of it is just as solid as the Sufjan tracks, especially the songs by Half-handed Cloud and Liz Janes. It takes some patience to work through the album — although the longest track checks in at just under five minutes — but it’s really worth it: a bit of folk, a bit of twang and really nice songwriting. (Liner notes explain that a contribution in advance of proceeds of the album were made to New York Firefighters 9-11 Relief Fund. Another portion of proceeds will be donated to The Heart and Soul Animal Sanctuary.)
But I’ll provide what you really want.
Half-handed Cloud: He’s Not the Swindler We Are