Sufjan Stevens and his Unwitting Cohorts Present

A Christmas Box Set Album with 58 songs

Christmas is a drag. Year after year, winter upon winter, we find ourselves “going through the motions of merriment,” possessed by a fervent celestial fever, conquered, squandered, beaten, broken, reduced to that clammy, pre-pubescent spoiled brat kid of our childhood, throwing a fit on Santa’s lap, faced with the hard-candy facts of reality, knowing for certain we will never really get what we want for Christmas.

Or in life, for that matter.
This is the true horror-show catharsis of Christmas: the existential emptiness that perseveres in the heart of modern man as he recklessly pursues his search for happiness and comes up empty handed.

And yet, against all odds, we continue to sing our songs of Christmas. If Christmas is the holiday of “worst case scenarios” then its carol has become its most corrupted currency, intoning rhapsody and romance with mistletoe and Marshmallow Fluff, placating the public with indelible melodies propagating a message of peace, love, and venture capitalism.

So what is it about Christmas music that continues to agitate our aging heartstrings? Is it the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen? Or the boundless Potential Energy inherent in this bastard holiday so fitfully exploited, adapted, and confounded with no regard for decency?

Maybe this: Christmas music does justice to a criminal world, marrying sacred and profane, bellowing obtuse prophecies of a Messiah in the very same blustery breath as a candy-coated TV-jingle advertising a string of lights and a slice of fruitcake. Gloria!

Who can save us from the infidels of Christmas commodity? Look no further, tired shopper, for your hero arrives as the diligent songwriter Sufjan Stevens: army of one, banjo in one hand, drum machine in the other, holed up in his room, surrounded by hymnals, oratorios, music charts, sacred harp books, photo-copied Readers Digest Christmas catalogs—all the weaponry of Yuletide incantations—singing his barbaric yawp above the snow-capped rooftops.

His song is love; his song is hope; his song is peace. His song conjures the fruitcake world of his own imagination with steadfast pursuit of the inexplicable bliss of Christmas Promises—“Gloria in excelsis deo”—summoning the company of angels, the helper elves, the shepherds keeping flock, the innkeepers, the coupon-clippers, the marathon runners, the cross-country skiers, the bottom feeders, the grocery store baggers, the bridge and tunnel drivers, the construction workers, the ice cream makers, the toll booth workers, the street sweepers, the single mothers, the custodians, the rich and the poor, the walking dead, the community of saints, the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit, the Prince of Persia, and all the invisible hosts of heaven to participate in this absurd cosmic adventure, pursuing holly-jolly songs of hope and redemption with a sacred heart for the love of the holidays, for the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.


The digital release is due out 13th November 2012 and it will feature Sufjan's friends including Cat Martino, Shara Worden, the Dessner brothers, Richard Reed Parry, the wonderful Smith family, Ray Raposa and DM Stith.

FULL tracklisting and more info on how to pre-order Silver & Gold can be found here.

Sufjan Stevens Announces Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long Tour
Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice

Sufjan Stevens has announced a month-long North American tour for November and December. 

It's called the "Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice", so you have some idea of what you're getting into.

The tour will be supported by Sheila Saputo (an alias of Sufjan collaborator Rosie Thomas).

11-23 Philadelphia, PA - 
Union Transfer 
11-24 Washington, DC - 
9:30 Club 
11-25 Saxapahaw, NC - 
The Haw River Ballroom 
11-26 Athens, GA - 
The Georgia Theatre 
11-27 Chattanooga, TN - 
Track 29 
11-28 Oxford, MS - 
The Lyric Oxford 
11-30 Dallas, TX - 
Granada Theater 
12-01 Austin, TX - 
Emo’s East 
12-03 Tucson, AZ - 
Rialto Theatre 
12-04 Los Angeles, CA - 
The Fonda Theatre (formerly The Music Box) 
12-05 San Francisco, CA - 
Great American Music Hall 
12-06 Portland, OR - 
Aladdin Theater 
12-08 Seattle, WA - 
Neptune Theatre 
12-09 Missoula, MT - 
Wilma Theatre 
12-12 Minneapolis, MN - 
Mill City Nights (Formerly The Brick) 
12-13 Milwaukee, WI - 
Turner Hall 
12-14 Indianapolis, IN - 
Deluxe @ Old National Centre 
12-15 Chicago, IL - 
12-16 Cleveland, OH - 
Beachland Ballroom 
12-18 Buffalo, NY - 
Asbury Hall @ Babeville 
12-19 Providence, RI - 
12-20 Boston, MA - 
12-21 New York, NY - 
Bowery Ballroom 
12-22 New York, NY - 
Bowery Ballroom 

Sufjan’s Enjoy Your Rabbit Set to Ballet by Justin Peck

Robert Fairchild, aloft, and fellow members of New York City Ballet in the world premiere of this work by Justin Peck, based on a Sufjan Stevens song cycle, at Lincoln Center on Friday.
Read the full review by NY Times writer Brian Seibert here.

You can’t take it all in on a first viewing. The music is from Sufjan Stevens’s astrology-inspired electronic song cycle, “Enjoy Your Rabbit,” arranged almost unrecognizably for string orchestra by Michael P. Atkinson, who also conducted. Both the music and the arrangement are rhythmically frisky and inventive — strings squeak percussively in something like a football cheer — but if the Chinese zodiac gives Mr. Peck more than section titles and inspiration, I’ll have to catch those meanings next time.


In other news, Sufjan joined Tumblr about a month back.
Below is a screencap of his archive.

He has also been peppering clips of his music on youtube (unlisted videos however) under the moniker of John Marabeas.
Here is the aptly titled Sufjan Lego Movie:

This video features his brother, Marzuki:

Other videos include: Microman Vs Lite Brite, Snoopy's World, Happy Karma Christmas, ObamaHoliday (highly, highly amusing), Sugar Rush, Fire, Crooked River, Toy Story Choreography, Ah Holy Jesus, I Like What I See. I See What I Like, and my absolute favourite No One Can Save You From Christmases Past

Sufjan Stevens, everybody.

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Edit: Forgive my noob editing.