Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sufjan Stevens Next State

A while ago I wrote a little blog, actually two, about Sufjan Stevens and his project in which the singer is planning on recording a concept about for each of the 50 states. This preposed series of records has come to be known as The Fifty States Project and so far there are two titles, Michigan in 2003 and Illinois in 2005. A while ago I was discussing with Dave what we thought was going to be the next state to receive this special treatment and I decided to look into the rumor mill myself. Here are what seem to be the possible candidates:

(America! Yes!)

Oregon -In an article in The SF Weekly, done July of 2005, Sufjan states "the next albums, Oregon and Rhode Island, 'will have nothing to do with actual place names and histories. They'll be more abstract or more figurative.'"

Rhode Island - See above.

California - In an interview with fellow Asthmatic Kitty label mate Rafter, Sufjan asks "Being a native of the Golden State, do you want to collaborate on a record about California?" To which, Rafter responds, "Yes! I think we could probably have a really nice time making a great record." This comment is seemingly made in passing though, and within the context of the article hardly seems serious. There is also no mention of it being the next album either, just a future one. Obviously if Sufjan does all fifty states there will eventually have to be a California one.

Arkansas - Sufjan played a new song during an appearance on NPR titled "The Lord God Bird" which is about a woodpecker rediscovered in Arkansas. The chorus even features the line "It's the great god bird down in Arkansas".

New Jersey - In February of this year there was a very brief article that appeared in New York Magazine:

After the successful bam premiere of his orchestral suite inspired by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, in November, indie folkster Sufjan Stevens... is looking to New Jersey. “I’m obsessed with the Jersey Turnpike right now,” he said at the Tibet House benefit on February 13. “It’s so perfected and so efficient. It’s like a military endeavor—it was built by postwar military personnel, and they ran the whole enterprise like the army. And it’s an artery from New York, the great metropolis, to the rural countryside, South Jersey. And it’s very expensive. I like the tolls. I like that you have to pay to drive.” So this is his next musical project? “New Jersey, the musical,” he said with a laugh. “An ode to the turnpike.”

Again, this comment is not exactly 100% serious, and he certainly doesn't come right out and say anything for certain. The fact that he has been living in Brooklyn though makes me think that there could be something to this one.


Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any concrete answer to this question, as of yet. For the time being I invite you all to just kick back and enjoy this wonderful little cover of The Beatle's What Goes On.

What Goes On - Sufjan Stevens


jimmy jimmy said...

i hope he throws a curve ball and does and album on puerto rico, or guam.

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