Michigan

by Sufjan Stevens

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about

Sufjan Stevens, Asthmatic Kitty, and Soundsfamilyre announce Sufjan's third full-length album, a collection of songs for his birth-state, MICHIGAN, "The Great Lake State."

Composed as a geographical tone poem, MICHIGAN follows a metaphysical expedition through the idiosyncrasies of middle America. Drawing from personal anecdote, regional history, and state heritage, Stevens mixes social and political grievances with songs about snowmobiles, Henry Ford, the Detroit race riots, and love.

MICHIGAN's songs resonate with a range of sources-Vince Guaraldi, Terry Riley, and Nick Drake as accompanied by Stereolab and The Sea & Cake-in executing Stevens' peculiar palette that is simultaneously rock and blue-grass, jazz and pop, a style The Village Voice appraises as "Arthur Lee meets the Book of Psalms."

In MICHIGAN, Stevens combines intimate, soft-spoken songwriting with the dense compositional complexity displayed on his previous release ENJOY YOUR
RABBIT, which XLR8R called "...a transgressive, majestic album conjuring an academic jam session of Stereolab and Luke Vibert conducted by Steve Reich."

Guest artists include Elin, Megan, and Daniel Smith (of The Danielson Famile), and John Ringhofer (Half-handed Cloud). Album art features original hand-paintings by Martha Stewart crafts editor Laura Normandin.

MICHIGAN is the inaugural entry of THE 50 STATES, a cumulative recording project by Sufjan Stevens unparalleled in its panoramic enterprise: a record for each state! You think he's kidding, don't you?

Now available from Asthmatic Kitty and Soundsfamilyre. Distributed by Secretly Canadian: release date: July 1, 2003 (which happened to be Sufjan's birthday).

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released 01 July 2003

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about

Sufjan Stevens Brooklyn, New York

Sufjan Stevens mixes autobiography, religious fantasy, and regional history to create folk songs of grand proportions. More recently, Sufjan released two albums in 2010: a generous EP (All Delighted People) and the full length The Age of Adz, a collection of songs partly inspired by the outsider artist Royal Robertson.

Sufjan currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
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Track Name: Flint (For the Unemployed and Underpaid)
It's the same outside
Driving to the riverside
I pretend to cry
Even if I cried alone

I forgot the start
Use my hands to use my heart
Even if I died alone
Even if I died alone

Since the first of June
Lost my job
And lost my room
I pretend to try
Even if I tried alone

I forgot the part
Use my hands to use my heart
Even if I died alone
Even if I died alone
Even if I died alone
Even if I died alone
Even if I died
Track Name: All Good Naysayers, Speak Up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace!
All good thoughts of righteousness
Is not the kind of thoughts in spite of greatness.
Often not the State is advocation.
If we form a power of recognition.

Forget loss and perfect advocation.
If it drops or stays in convocation.
All we praise is all we want in commerce
All we praise is parties, foreign commerce.
Entertain ideas of great communion,
Shelter not materials in union
(All we praise is not the kind of commerce.
That's the right solution!)

All good thoughts is not the act of doing
What we want but what we should improving
Properties, ideas, a woman's pleasure
Is empowered by love, a perfect measure!
(All we praise is not the kind of commerce.
That's the right solution!)
Track Name: For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti
I have called you children, I have called you son.
What is there to answer if I'm the only one?
Morning comes in Paradise, morning comes in light.
Still I must obey, still I must invite.
If there's anything to say, if there's anything to do,
If there's any other way, I'll do anything for you.

I was dressed embarrassment.
I was dressed in wine.
If you had a part of me, will you take you're time?
Even if I come back, even if I die
Is there some idea to replace my life?
Like a father to impress;
Like a mother's mourning dress,
If you ever make a mess, I'll do anything for you

I have called you preacher; I have called you son.
If you have a father or if you haven't one,
I'll do anything for you. I did everything for you
Track Name: Say Yes! to M!ch!gan!
Demonstrate I was
raised from the start
By a priest and
the maid on the part.
Still know what
to wear on my back:
Michigan!
Ponshewaing!
Cadillac!

If I ever meant to go away
I was raised, I was reaised
In the place, in the place.
Still I often think of going back
To the farms, to the farms
Golden arms, golden arms
start to remind me.

If the lakes took
the place of the sea.
If the cars drove
themselves, way to be!
Opposite the trains moving in
Rivers run interstate, Michigan!

Still I never meant to go away
I was raised, I was raised
In the place, in the place.
Still I often think of going back
To the farms, to the farms
Golden arms, golden arms.
Tried to change the
Made in Michigan
I was raised, I was raised
In the place, in the place,
part to remind me
Track Name: The Upper Peninsula
I live in America
With a pair of Payless shoes
The upper penisula
And the television news
And I've seen my wife
At the K-Mart
In strange ideas
We live apart

I live in a trailer home
With a snow mobile, my car
The window is broken out
And the interstate is far
I drove all night
To find my child
In strange ideas
He's been revived

In strange ideas
In stranger times
I've no idea
What's right sometimes
I lost my mind
I lost my life
I lost my job
I lost my wife
Track Name: Holland
All the time we spent in bed
Counting miles before we set
Fall in love and fall apart
Things will end before they start

Sleeping on Lake Michigan
Factories and marching bands
Lose our clothes in summer time
Lose ourselves to lose our minds
In the summer heat, I might
Track Name: Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)
Once a great place. Now a prison.
All I can say. All I can do.
People Mover: Bad Decision.
From suburban. Now a prison.
All I can say. All I can do.

From the trembling walls. It’s a great idea!
Everything you want. It’s a great idea!

Once a great place. Now a prison.
All I can say. All I can do.

Henry Ford. Henry Ford.
Public Trans. Public Trans.
Pontiac. Pontiac.
Feed the poor. Feed the poor.
City Hall. City Hall.
Windsor Park. Windsor Park.
Saginaw. Saginaw.
After dark. After dark.
Tigers game. Tigers game.
Eighty-four. Eighty-four.
Industry. Industry.
Unemployed. Unemployed.
Gun control. Gun control.
Wolverine. Wolverine.
Iroquois. Iroquois.
Industry. Industry.
Public Trans. Public Trans.
Auto Cars. Auto Cars.
Jefferson. Jefferson.
Michigan. Michigan.

From the trembling walls. It’s a great idea!
Everything you want. It’s a great idea!
From the Renaissance. It’s a great idea!
Everything you want. It’s a great idea!
Throw them all away. It’s a great idea!
From the Renaissance. It’s a great idea!
Everything you want.
(Hesitate to burn the buildings)
Track Name: Romulus
Once when our mother called,
She had a voice of last year's cough.
We passed around the phone,
Sharing a word about Oregon.
When my turn came, I was ashamed.
When my turn came, I was ashamed.

Once when we moved away,
She came to Romulus for a day.
Her Chevrolet broke down.
We prayed it'd never be fixed or found.
We touched her hair, we touched her hair.
We touched her hair, we touched her hair.

When she had her last child, Once when she had some boyfriends, some wild.
She moved away quite far.
Our grandpa bought us a new VCR.
We watched it all night, but grew up in spite of it.
We watched it all night, but grew up in spite of it.

We saw her once last fall.
Our grandpa died in a hospital gown.
She didn't seem to care.
She smoked in her room and colored her hair.

I was ashamed, I was ashamed of her
I was ashamed, I was ashamed of her
I was ashamed, I was ashamed of her
I was ashamed, I was ashamed of her
Track Name: Sleeping Bear, Sault Saint Marie
Oh Sleeping Bear!
Ran to the top and got scared
of what I could see.

Oh Lamb of God!
Tell us your perfect design
and give us the rod.

Oh Sturgeon Bay!
Covered completely in sand
And covered in sun.

Oh Saint Marie! Give up
the rocking boats drowned.
The Captain is done
Track Name: They Also Mourn Who Do Not Wear Black (For the Homeless in Muskegon)
If you happen to be educated
Time it marches on,
oh time it marches on.
In the end there is a sacred show
delivers every song,
delivers every song.

Mourning steps and
mourning gallivants
And mourning never shows,
no mourning never slows.
If the avatar reminds that it
will never stand at all,
will never stand as tall.

Since the water made it,
most to sail it,
made it most to song,
it made it most to song.
For the politics are not political
for what they stand,
For not what they demand.
Every senator and diplomat
combines her certain part,
A matter for the heart.
Save yourself from recognition.
selfless and quite song
To better get along.

(We love you. We Chose to.
We made to. We love you.)

If we concentrate and pull
resources to the highest poll,
To beat the highest pull, too.
Ever will we conquer grief
and find it faster to resolve
the dead, to be absolved
and fed, to restore.
If the advantageous
reprimand misgivings,
We wont grow.
We will not ever know.
We will not!
(Lift my life in healthy places!)
Track Name: Oh God, Where Are You Now? (In Pickeral Lake? Pigeon? Marquette? Mackinaw?)
Oh God, hold me now
Oh Lord, hold me now
There's no other man who could raise the dead
So do what you can to anoint my head

Oh God, where are you now?
Oh Lord, say somehow
The devil is hard on my face again
The world is a hundred to one again

Would the righteous still remain?
Would my body stay the same?

Oh God, hold me now
Oh God, touch me now
There's no other man who could save the dead
There's no other God to place our head

Would the righteous still remain?
Would my body stay the same?

There's no other man who could raise the dead
So do what you can to anoint my head

Oh God, hold me now
Oh Lord, touch me now
Track Name: Vito's Ordination Song
I always knew you
in your mothers arms
i have called your name
i have an idea
placed in your mind
to be a better man
ive made a crown for you
put it in your room
and when the bride groom comes
there will be noise
there will be glad
and a perfect bed
and when you write a poem
i know the words
i know the sounds
before you write it down
when you wear your clothes
i wear them too
i wear your shoes
and your jacket too
i always knew you
in your mothers arms
i have called you son
ive made amends
between father and son
or if you havent one
rest in my arms
sleep in my bed
theres a design
to what i did and said