Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts

So today was supposed to be the day you could go out and get a copy of Sufjan Stevens’ latest opus, Illinois, but as I reported Saturday, it’s been shelved thanks to the threat of legal action from DC Comics due to the inclusion of one Superman image on the album art.

As a result, Asthmatic Kitty has ended online sales and recalled all copies of CDs already shipped to stores. The Big Ticket has got a nice, concise summary of the story thus far, including links to commentary from around blog-ville and links to an interview with Sufjan by Dusted in happier, pre-recall times. He also has a link to an MP3 of the song for which this post is titled really, the song that’s the impetus for all this legal kerfuffleing. Big Ticket, we salute you.

MP3: Sufjan Stevens – “The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts”

Of course, if shops have already sold copies, there’s naught to be done, but if you haven’t already gotten one, you’ll have to wait until August 2 for the new versions with the Supes-less artwork. I expect they’ll just replace the booklets in the already-pressed CD packages… hmm, opening thousands of sealed CDs and swapping booklets? Sounds like someone’s going to be hiring some interns… So yeah, while you can’t buy the album until its new release date of August 2, you CAN buy this sharp poster featuring Sufjan and his Illinoisemakers (née The Michigan Militia).

And as I’ve said before, the album is marvelous and still worth the wait (easy for me to say since I’ve already got a copy, yeah). I’d only had Seven Swans to this point and was surprised by the lush orchestration of the 50 States albums (I assume Michigan is similar in treatment – I’ll have a copy of that one this week), considering how spare and meditative Seven Swans was. Both are so very pretty, but in very different ways. I tell ya, that Stevens boy. He’s got game. Pitchfork concurs.

The new Big Star album has a title – In Space. It’s in stores August 23. I heard one of the tracks off of it yesterday – it was alright, I’m still not really sure what I can reasonably expect from this record. Has Alex Chilton done anything really worthwhile since the Third/Sister Lovers session? Is there any reason to believe that just because he’s calling it Big Star again, that he can find his muse? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Magnet’s featured artist of the month is Aimee Mann.

A Silver Mount Zion are going to be at the Tranzac Club for a three-night stand running July 27, 28 and 29, tickets $10 per night. Now I don’t know ASMZ and I know they’re not GYBE!, but would being a fan of the latter mean that I’d necessarily like the former, or would it just leave me confused and disappointed? Because I can do that without their help.

np – Northern Picture Library / Alaska

By : Frank Yang at 8:30 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Sean says:

    These days, ASMZ are a much better band than current GYBE. Lots and lots more vocals, more twisting windy appalachian melodies, less triumphant but a whole lot more moving.

    Efrim’s voice, though, is enough to drive some people bonkers. Try to download a track from their last album or two: you may not be able to tolerate it. (Your loss!)

  2. esque says:

    The new Sufjan album is available at the iTunes Music Store, with a iTunes-only bonus track (a Jongalloway mix of "Chicago"). The album page has the original cover.

  3. RSL says:

    Apparently, the version shipped out to [an unnamed Atlanta-area bookstore] has the old cover as well. So they didn’t manage to snag all the copies.

    And of course I managed to snag one.

  4. boss says:

    I think your copy will be an important memorabilia!

  5. RSL says:

    To add to what esque said, there’s two iTunes exclusive tracks: the remix of "Chicago" and an acoustic-y cut titled "Avalanche" which sounds to be about some kind of carnival ride. Perhaps. [It’s hard to tell from the short snippet they give you as a preview.]

  6. Matthew says:

    How on earth did they ever expect to put Superman on the cover and NOT get legal action? That’s just incredibly dim.

  7. Gary Campbell says:

    Hey! You’re finally listening to the excellent "Alaska" by the Northern Picture Library. It’s by far my favourite album from that depressing Field Mice/TBS crew.

  8. Papa Smurf says:

    Are we done talking about poo-gaze?

  9. Frank says:


  10. Cornelius Bigglesworth says:

    Ebay is filthy with Superman covered Sufjan Steven Illinoise. $50-$75 looks like the price range right now.

  11. troy steele says:

    check out your local Border’s bookstore, I’ve heard tell from at least 3 or 4 people that they’ve found their copies still on the racks.

  12. Scott says:

    I found the last copy at my local Barnes and Noble. All the little record shops didn’t have any. So, long story short, stow your morals in the closet and go corporate for a day :)

  13. Jeff Peterson says:

    Got my "Superman copy" at my local indie record store in Georgetown/Washington, DC. Huzzah!

  14. B. says:

    What’s up with GYBE – do they still exist?

  15. Moon says:

    I used to work with one of those Illinoisemakers. The world is small.

  16. suckingalemon says:

    do you know when the silver mount zion tickets go on sale?


  17. Sean says:

    We received word today from Sufjan’s label that copies already shipped to stores for sale of Illinois can now be sold. When the stock in stores now is gone, it will be about 2-3 weeks before stores will get new orders

  18. ohnonicole says:

    HOLY JESUS NO. I’ve been waiting since like, fucking last year. Goddamnit, Sufjan. August?!?!? are you freaking kidding?!? *dies*

  19. angryrobot says:

    Well, I did manage to snag a copy at Waterloo records here in Austin. Why do none of the reviews I’ve read mention the Belle & Sebastion similarity? I’m so easy to sell to. Thanks, NPR.

  20. angryrobot says:

    Err, that would be "Sebastian," assuming I could spell and type at the same time. The shame.

  21. radioDan says:

    ASMZ = GYBE – (political jiggery pokery) – (bombast & crescendos) + (efrim singing like a scolded six year old)…but it all works out somehow. I agree with Sean: download a few tracks. Just don’t rely on a single one; they tend to be hit or miss in a serious way.

  22. optimuscrime says:

    amazon.ca shipped mine out prior to the hullabaloo. rawks!

    (fuck, yeah, 26 dollars including shipping? i hate you, jeff bezos.)

  23. sarah says:

    which illinoisemaker did you work with?