Monday, June 04, 2007

Random Monday Notes

A couple of years ago a little-known folk musician named Sufjan Stevens, in a quest to produce an album about each of the 50 states, released an album known variously as "Illinois" or "Come On Feel The Illinoise." I knew nothing of Sufjan (no relation to Cat) but purchased the album on the strength of a Washington Post review and an affinitiy for my home state. It really is a fine album, in my opinion, and you'll see in the Wikipedia entry that a number of critics agreed. I am constantly surprised, however, by the number of times I see "Come On Feel The Illinoise" T-shirts here (including one in classy John Deere green and yellow worn by a bloke last week in the cafe at the Victoria and Albert Museum). It's even more interesting to hear the music line from probably my favorite song on the album, Jacksonville (reading the lyrics doesn't do the song justice) used as the musical accompaniment on promos on the UK cable channel Five U.S. (yes, the music that plays over there, the strings, the piano, and the banjo, is in fact the opening to Jacksonville--although the joshua trees in the video are definitely from nowhere near the Illinois town Jacksonville).

How to end 10 days of rain

Buy massive new indestructible umbrellas at what may be the only specialty umbrella shop in the world.

Blaven revisited

The weekend Guardian included a guide to walks (with a notation: "supplement of the year") that included a walk of Blaven. No mention of trouser selection.

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Blogger Middle Kid said...

I have to get one of those t-shirts! I think there's some Sufjan Stevens music in the movie "Little Miss Sunshine," too!

3:46 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I may need to purchase some of those umbrellas! It won't stop storming!!

1:16 AM  
Blogger oldest kid said...

Where can we get the t-shirts? Is the music any good?

2:08 AM  
Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

OK: Click here for T-shirts and to buy actual physical copies of the album (not the completely digitized iTunes one I have). Also, Sufjan's album "The Avalanche" is, get this, a collection of out-takes from the Illinois(e) sessions that includes five different versions of "Chicago" and a song intriguingly called "Hey Mr. Supercomputer" or something close to that.

8:06 AM  

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