Sufjan Stevens – Best Seasonal Song of All Time?

When dear Sufjan will you release something new to win our hearts and awake once again the great creative spirit you once stirred in all of us?  When dear Sufjan will you admit that maybe, possibly, you’ve abandoned the idea that each and every state will eventually be blessed by your musical musings?  When dear Sufjan will we ever hear anything new from you?  Will you even tour again?

I bring you this song today for a multitude of reasons.  The first is that I quite honestly think this track, Sister Winter, might be the best seasonal song ever recorded.  There is a sense of winter, of desolate snow filled afternoons, of cold bitter winds, and the loss or death oft associated with this cold season, that permeates every layer of this song.  In the vocals, in the harmony, in the string section, and the lyrics; winter is there.  In the crescendo of the bridge there is a brief hope for spring and the new year that this blustery affair so casually ushers into our lives.  There is Christmas, happiness, and sleigh bells and yet even they serve as but a brief reprieve in the middle of a long, cold, perfect winter.

mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – Sister Winter

There are three other reasons I’m dropping this song today.  The first is that in all my moving around over the past three weeks I left my external hard drive back where I used to live.  It’s hard to upload tracks and review new albums when they’re all sitting trapped on a drive three hours away {don’t worry, I’ll be getting it this upcoming Christmas}.  The second is that almost all of my free music time {mostly my driving time and some work time} has been devoted to paring down my end of the year list.  As it currently stands I might have found a way to choose a simple ten albums, but I’ve been giving all of the twenty two albums in my short list at least two listens each {and that’s a lot of music}.  The third reason is that I’ve simply been very busy lately and I don’t yet have a place that I can call my own.  I’m still crashing at a mate’s house and looking forward to picking up my own place {hopefully this weekend after my first paycheck is deposited}.

Fret not, TWF will return to a more regularly scheduled broadcast in the near future.  In the meantime wait patiently with great anticipation for my return.  Well, that and listen to Sister Winter on constant repeat for at least an hour.

As usual you can find this track on Sufjan’s peerless Songs For Christmas (itunes).

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BOTM vol 12

Welcome back to The World Forgot.  Welcome back to the Best of the Month series.  Welcome many readers to election day and welcome the rest of you to a wonderful November 4th.  For those that are still unaware what the BOTM series is all about here’s a quick refresher.  I collect songs all month long and the best that I’ve heard in the past thirty days I put together in one easy to find post.  If you’d like to browse through the past eleven volumes click here.  Enjoy the music, and if you live in the Midwest enjoy the glorious sunshine.

All the tracks in one zip file : here {zshare = left click}

mp3 : Amie Miriello – Disarm (Smashing Pumpkins Cover)
This is easily one of my favorite Smashing Pumpkins songs and I think this cover respects the original material while at the same time Amie isn’t afraid to put her own spin on this classic.  It actually sounds a bit like if Stevie Nicks covered the Pumpkins.

mp3 : Arcade Fire – Brazil (Bossonova Cover)
The music in this cover is every bit as cheeky as you’d expect but for some reason Win Butler’s voice adds just the right amount of gravitas to make this cover worth a second, third, or tenth listen.

mp3 : B.o.B. – Left Field Lovely
This track reminds me of all my favorite parts of Outkast.  If that’s not brilliant enough endorsement for this track I’m willing to bet you hate everything I love.

mp3 : Ben Lee – Float On (Modest Mouse Cover)
This is a pretty raw cover of the song that put Modest Mouse on literally every iPod in the world.  Never mind that about two thirds of the way through the song Ben accidentally halts the song and has to count it off again.  It’s wonderful.

mp3 : Chark Mu – Eh Oh
Mr. Mu makes mighty impressive remixes.  Apparently when he’s not splicing together beats and melodies he’s busy making some equally impressive original material.  Clearly Chark Mu is a force to be reckoned with.

mp3 : Coldplay – Lost+ (feat Jay-Z)
After Chris Martin contributed a bit of talent to that Jay-Z track a ways back we all knew that Z would return the favor.  That’s just the type of classy gentleman he is.  The rhymes don’t kick in until after the two minute mark, but they’re worth the wait.

mp3 : Digital Leather – Dead Sound (Raveonettes Cover)
The first two thirds of this track are filled with enough glitches and blips to satisfy anyone with a heart for Fruity Loops or Acid Pro.  The real beauty reveals itself when the music is stripped away for a moment and you realize your heart is crying out for it to begin again.  Don’t worry, it does.

mp3 : Goodtimes Goodtimes – Eloise
If you’re wondering who should be crowned the next Dylan look no further than this track.  Seriously.  It is as if the vocals, the melodies, the whisper of whimsy, the overdose of melancholy, and the guitar strumming are taken right from Bob himself.

mp3 : Lily Allen – Naive (The Kooks Cover)
Lady Sov can kiss Lily’s butt.  If there was any question as to who was the better of these two oft quarrelling ladies this song puts most of that squabble to bed.  Honestly, can anyone imagine Sov pulling off anything like this?

mp3 : Of Montreal – Crazy (Gnarls Barkley Cover)
It’s live, it doesn’t have the best audio quality, but it captures the fun that is infused into every Of Montreal set.  And let’s not forget that Kevin Barnes can actually sing {even if he might be the weirdest performer currently on tour}.

mp3 : Of Montreal and MGMT – Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana Cover)
I’m not sure where this cover comes from.  It’s in a live setting, and it’s decent quality, but what I find more fascinating is that it’s Of Montreal and MGMT paying homage to Nirvana.  And they do it in an appropriate straight up rocking sort of way.  Kudos.

mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – In The Words Of The Governor
Will Suf ever release a new album?  There really hasn’t been much news surrounding the Sufjan camp these days.  It seems as if he’s busy shooting high 8 videos, writing instrumental pieces honoring highways, and signing more talent to his ever growing indie label.  This song is way different than most of what you’ve heard.  And it’s still brilliant.

mp3 : The Decemberists – Valerie Plame
I’m not sure The Decemberists will ever live up to the glorious splendor that was The Crane Wife.  Right now they’re putting out a series of EP’s and performing some songs on late night talk shows.  This happens to be one of those songs.  I like it, so just listen to it and agree with me.

That’s all for volume 12 of the BOTM series.  Come back often and read some of the regular posts where I basically tell you what’s good, what’s bad, and I succeed in convincing you that you’re not cool unless you’re just like me.  Oh, and make sure you check back tomorrow to catch the Best of the Remix series.  Cheers.

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TWF Turns Two with Sufjan Stevens

Well it’s that time of year again. The time where I once again reminisce about all the fun I’ve had blogging here on The World Forgot. It’s been two full years now since this little music blog was launched and I’d like to think that it’s grown up a bit in the intervening time. Now that I’m officially a toddling blog you can expect me to be even more temperamental, demanding, and precocious than ever before. Here’s to hoping that the next two years will prove to be just as much fun as the past two have been.

As I was thinking over what to post to mark this momentous occasion, while also contemplating that my relationship with this blog has now out performed even the longest of my romantic endeavors, I turned once again to the artist that quite literally got me into blogging in the first place. That artist is Sufjan Stevens and two years ago he was on literally every blog that you had ever heard of on at least a monthly basis. It was my interest in exploring his music, and his storytelling {along with a fair amount of other influences}, that led me to start blogging two years ago. And to commemorate this moment I’ve diced up a a small live set that Sufjan preformed for PENultimate Lit in 2007.

mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – Concerning The UFO Sighting Near Highland, IL (Live at PENultimate Lit)
mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – Interlude 01 (Live at PENultimate Lit)
mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – Barn Owl, Night Killer (Live at PENultimate Lit)
mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – Interlude 02 (Live at PENultimate Lit)
mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – The Mistress Witch from Mcclure (Or The Mind That Knows Itself) (Live at PENultimate Lit

This is the entire set he played that day, cut up into individual tracks, and posted in the order they appear in the performance. If you’d care to download the set as one continuous recording you can find that here on PEN American Center’s website. I chose Sufjan for today’s post because of how influential his music has been on how I think and write about music, but also because I’ve blogged about him far more times than any other artist I’ve mentioned here. To check all the posts that include Sufjan Stevens here on The World Forgot simply click here.

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BOTM vol 01

I did this style of mix a couple of times in the past but now they’ll hopefully become a regular part of the lineup here on The World Forgot. So welcome to the first of many Best of the Month compilations. Basically I do a lot of random reading, listening, searching, finding, digesting, etc. of all the music that I can possibly get my hands on. And let’s be honest, I probably have a bit more free time than you do. Judging from the fact that I’m writing this extensive explanation and you’re simply skimming through it looking for the mp3 links I would say that’s a fair assessment of our relative free time to work time ratios. But in this case when I win, with more free time than you suckas, you end up winning with more good music.

Here listed below are tunes I randomly sampled and loved from across the interwebs this past great month of October. By no means is it a conclusive list of who’s who and what’s what, but it is a small smattering of great music that you might have missed as you carried on with your fascinatingly involved thing some people call a “real life.” Seeing as how I haven’t had one of those since I graduated from college and failed to find a “real job” I guess it’s only fair.

As with all future BOTM volumes I recommend each and every track listed here below. They’re all worth a moment of your time. Cheers, and enjoy the first volume of BOTM.

mp3 : Arcade Fire – Poupee de Cire, Poupee de Son (Serge Gainsbourg Cover)
mp3 : Bishop Allen – You Ain’t No Picaso
mp3 : Bright Eyes – Southern State
mp3 : Feist – Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix)
mp3 : Jeff Tweedy – Simple Twist of Fate
mp3 : Nada Surf – See These Bones
mp3 : Radiohead – Faithless the Wonder Boy
mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – Ring My Bells

Is it just me or does Jeff Tweedy sound like a young Bob Dylan on this track. And I might be reaching here but this Radiohead track I swear would fit in perfect as a b-side for Weezer’s Pinkerton. Maybe I’m crazy, you be the judge. And for once can Nada Surf make an entire album that lives up to their full potential for a full length? Please.

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Everything Reminds Me of Her

I might have the coolest younger brother on the face of the earth. He has great taste in music and occasionally he makes a mix for some various or sundry reason and ships it out via the internet to me. Granted, he is a younger brother, so some of his musical choices are a little sketch, but for the most part he puts together solid music. This mix of his is a little skewed because he made it for his girlfriend and every song in this selection apparently reminds him of her in some way. I figure the kid must be in love because I cannot fathom any other reason he would be listening to Fergie.

Enjoy the mix my brother made. I’ll have some more tunes up in a couple of days. As per usual the mix is available as a single download as well as individual songs.

download : Everything Reminds Me of Her

01 : Doveman – Dancing
02 : Architecture in Helsinki – What’s In Store
03 : Elliot Smith – In the Lost and Found (honky bach)
04 : Sufjan Stevens – To Be Alone With You
05 : Daft Punk – Something About Us
06 : Fergie – Fergalicious
07 : The Postal Service – Nothing Better
08 : Billy Talent – Pins and Needles
09 : Weezer – My Best Friend
10 : Phantom Planet – On My Mind
11 : Ben Folds – The Luckiest


Mr. Stevens is All The Rage

Every so often I conform to the adage “give the people what they want.” In other words I sell out for page loads. After all, if I average 600 hits a day for the rest of my life I’ll make almost 20 dollars a year in ad revenue. And that’s worth it to me. If I wasn’t Dutch I wouldn’t be much.

Ok, enough of that. I really just wanted to post some rare Sufjan Stevens Tracks. That’s really all I’m doing these days. And if it keeps the hyperactive indie kids happy [and leaving comments] then it really is worth my time. Enjoy the music and have a happy Christmas.

mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – God’ll Ne’er Let You Down
mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – All Delighted People


Random News

I’m basically posting to say that The Hype Machine has finally sorted out whatever issue they were having with my blog. Well, allegedly they’ve sorted it out. So that’s good news.

In other randomness the next installment of the EA Mixes is ready to go, expect thirteen songs of yummy goodness to appear up here before this weekend. I’ve been working on that a lot lately so I haven’t really had a chance to write small articles. Check below this post for some great stuff by Forgather, Zach Williams, and a weird Jay Z / Chris Martin collaboration.

Oh, and so as not to leave you high and dry, here’s a little bit of music to hold you over.

mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – Woman at the Well


Sufjan and Songs Forgotten

So I was looking through my list of single songs the other day and I came across this little story by Sufjan Stevens. Most of his songs are stories, but this one is especially so. He wrote this song, The Lord God Bird, in response to a challenge thrown down by witty NPR dj’s who didn’t think he was all that amazing. And he handedly proved them wrong by walking into this small bayou town with only a few interviews and a guitar and emerging two weeks later with a ridiculously great song.

And I know this song is old news, it’s probably even been blogged about over a hundred times. But with something this good it never hurts to bring it up and host it again. The first mp3 is the actual song Sufjan wrote and the second song is the twelve minute segment about the song that originally aired on NPR.

mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – The Lord God Bird
mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – The Lord God Bird Story

Oh, and I like this rare track by Sufjan as well.

mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – Woman at the Well


Sufjan’s Christmas

So while I wait to get my file host woes sorted out [currently working on a couple of fixes] I thought I would at least post something new. This is old news, but maybe old is the new new. I’m not sure, and yes I am confused.

Anyway, you all deserve to get in the holiday mood and listen to the magic that is Sufjan Stevens’ Songs for Christmas.

And it’s all free and streamable.