“The whole premise was such a joke,” he says now, “and I think maybe I took it too seriously. I started to feel like I was becoming a cliché of myself.”
It really is a shame, because I tossed out my “50 State Quarters” book for my “Sufjan Stevens presents 50 Stately Albums” book after I heard Come on feel the Illinoise. And darn it if I didn’t have the same amount of state quarters as Sufjan state albums.
Well, luckily for you, I’ve got an exclusive look at what could have been for some of those albums of pure Sufjan Americana. These titles and sections of lyrics were unearthed from a little marble notebook with “Sufjan’s stand up” scribbled in pen on the cover. Wonder what that means…
Some selected notes from Sufjan’s never-to-be-heard 50 States Albums:
“May The Alamos Of Our Yesterdays Humble The Quagmires Of Our Tomorrows” (from the album Ride ‘Em High, Texas)
- Imagine multi-tracked vocal harmonies riffing on the word “Alamo.”
“Humuhumunukunukuapua’a” (from the album Sufjan Stevens Says Hi From Hawaii)
- It’s a seven-minute ukulele solo. That’s it. Just a ukulele.
“The Smallpox Blanket, Or, How To Trick A Native Society Into Trading Their Lands For Poorly Fabricated Goods” (from the album The World Revolves Around New York)
- Sample Lyric: “Silly Natives/Can’t comprehend/The blankets we’ve sold them/Will leave them for dead”
“Gold Digger, featuring Kanye West” (from the album California Dreaming)
- It’s kind of like Kanye’s track, but with more references to the Gold Rush of 1848. And more banjo.
“River Raft, Or, To Rebel Against The Tyranny Of A Society That Enslaves Others” (from the album Miss Missouri)
- Sample Lyric: “Jim, Jim/I don’t want to swim/I’d rather float swiftly/rafting on the Mississippi”
“Why Did You Have Break My Heart Brett Favre” (from the album It’s Simply Bliss In Wisconsin)
- Too soon?
“The Greatest Events In The History Of North Dakota” (from the album Nowhere, North Dakota)
- A 30-second track of nothing but silence.
Fin… for now.
Sufjan Stevens – “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”: