Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

Pieter Odendaal. Sufjan Stevens se lirieke

Sunday, November 7th, 2010
Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens

 

Die Amerikaanse musikant Sufjan Stevens skryf pragtige lirieke oor persoonlike gebeure, sy godsdienstige oortuigings en plaaslike geskiedenisse. Sy albums vorm hegte, deurgekomponeerde eenhede: die liedere op Michigan (2003) en Illinois (2005) hou byvoorbeeld met mekaar verband deurdat hulle tematies by die onderskeie state aansluit. Die album Enjoy Your Rabbit (2001) bevat weer 12 liedere – een vir elke dier in die Chinese sodiak. ‘n Maand gelede het hy ‘n nuwe album vrygestel, getiteld The Age of Adz, wat volgens sy platemaatskappy, Asthmatic Kitty Records, geïnspireer is deur die werk van die skisofreniese kunstenaar Royal Robertson.

Ek het gister The Age of Adz deurgeluister en was effens (net effens) teleurgesteld – dis nie meer Stevens se kenmerkende klanklandskap nie. Vergeleke met die vorige albums het die lirieke minder om die lyf en daar is na my mening heeltemal te veel elektroniese effekte op die nuwe album.   

Om myself te troos het ek weer na sy ou albums toe teruggegaan en opnuut besef dat hierdie man deur en deur ‘n digter is. Die gerekende musiekkritikus Andy Gill van The Independent het die volgende oor Illinois te sê:

Stevens’ album [is an] idiosyncratic collection of mini-operettas, musings upon historical figures and legends, evocations of architecture, skylines and landscapes, ruminations upon localised industrial development, and even more arcane matters whose pertinence is not immediately obvious. All rendered in a weird, pan-stylistic blend of alternative country, minimalism and American brass band music, as if John Philip Sousa, Steve Reich and Bonnie “Prince” Billy had together stumbled across the clippings-file of some mid-west small-town newspaper and decided to set it to music.

Stevens speel self die meeste van die instrumente op Illinois, insluitende die kitaar, banjo, sitar, klavier, xilofoon, Engelse horing en hobo. Hy het ál die lirieke self geskryf en dit is op hierdie punt waar Stevens verdien om in dieselfde asem as Dylan of Cohen genoem te word. Sy beskrywings is konkreet en treffend, hy het ‘n goeie oor vir rym en halfrym en die einde van sy lirieke is vuishoue.

Sien byvoorbeeld sy roerende liriek “Casimir Pulaski Day” hieronder. Ek plaas ook sy liriek “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” oor die reeksmoordenaar uit Illinois. Luister gerus na die klanklêers op YouTube (Die skakels verskyn telkens onder die lirieke. Regskliek op die skakel en kies “Open in new window” om terselfdertyd die lied te luister en die lirieke te lees)

 

Casimir Pulaski Day – Sufjan Stevens

(Casimir Pulaski Day word jaarliks in Illinois op die eerste Maandag in Maart gevier ter ere van die gelyknamige Pool wat ‘n belangrike rol tydens die Amerikaanse Rewolusie in Illinois gespeel het – dankie Wikipedia.)

Golden rod and the 4-H stone:
the things I brought you
when I found out you had cancer of the bone.

Your father cried on the telephone
and he drove his car to the Navy yard
just to prove that he was sorry.

In the morning through the window shade,
when the light pressed up against your shoulder blade,
I could see what you were reading.

Oh, the glory that the Lord has made
and the complications you could do without
when I kissed you on the mouth.

Tuesday night at the Bible study
we lift our hands and pray over your body,
but nothing ever happens.

I remember at Michael’s house
in the living room when you kissed my neck
and I almost touched your blouse.

In the morning at the top of the stairs
when your father found out what we did that night
and you told me you were scared.

Oh, the glory when you ran outside
with your shirt tucked in and your shoes untied
and you told me not to follow you.

Sunday night, when I clean the house,
I find the card where you wrote it out
with the pictures of your mother.

On the floor at the great divide
with my shirt tucked in and my shoes untied
I am crying in the bathroom.

In the morning when you finally go
and the nurse runs in with her head hung low
and the cardinal hits the window.

In the morning in the winter shade
(on the first of March, on the holiday)
I thought I saw you breathing.

Oh, the glory that the Lord has made
and the complications when I see His face
in the morning in the window.

Oh, the glory when He took our place,
but he took my shoulders and he shook my face
and He takes and He takes and He takes.  

Skakel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EzeW5KoPUI

 

John Wayne Gacy, Jr. – Sufjan Stevens

His father was a drinker
and his mother cried in bed;
folding John Wayne’s T-shirts
when the swing set hit his head.

The neighbors, they adored him
for his humor and his conversation,
look underneath the house there –
find the few living things
rotting fast in their sleep of the dead.

Twenty-seven people, even more,
they were boys with their cars, summer jobs, oh, my God.
Are you one of them?

He dressed up like a clown for them
with his face paint white and red
and on his best behavior
in a dark room on the bed he kissed them all.

He’d kill ten thousand people
with a sleight of his hand
running far, running fast to the dead.
He took off all their clothes for them,
he put a cloth on their lips,
quiet hands, quiet kiss
on the mouth.

And in my best behavior
I am really just like him –
look beneath the floorboards
for the secrets I have hid. 

Skakel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otx49Ko3fxw&feature=related