Sufjan Stevens
Jul 5, 2005

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Released by: Asthmatic Kitty

Sufjan Stevens has a song on my top ten. This record houses that song, "John Wayne Gacy, Jr." I don't think anything will ever creep me out as much as it did the first time I paid attention to the lyrics. The rest of the record is incredible as well, and has a tasteful approach to making me feel almost like I'm listening to high school band. Illinoise made me a Sufjan fan, and he hasn't disappointed since. - Eric

An engrossing musical road trip, Illinoise takes you through ghost towns, grain mills, hospital rooms, and the City of Broad Shoulders, with guest appearances by a poet, a president, a serial murderer, UFOs, Superman, the goat that cursed the Cubs, and Decatur's famous Chickenmobile.

Along the way, Sufjan Stevens weaves variated musical styles (jazz, funk, pop, folk, and Rodgers and Hammerstein-like flourishes) and the textures of 25 instruments into a tapestry of persons and places famous, infamous, iconic and anonymous.


  • 1
    Concerning the UFO Sighting near Highland, Illinois (2:08)
  • 2
    The Black Hawk War, or, How to Demolish an Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, or, We Apologize for the Inconvenience but You're Going to Have to Leave Now (2:14)
  • 3
    Come On! Feel the Illinoise! (Part I: The World's Columbian Exposition – Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream) (6:45)
  • 4
    John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (3:19)
  • 5
    Jacksonville (5:24)
  • 6
    A Short Reprise for Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, but for Very Good Reasons (0:47)
  • 7
    Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother! (3:03)
  • 8
    One last ""Whoo-hoo!"" for the Pullman!! (0:06)
  • 9
    Go! Chicago! Go! Yeah! (6:04)
  • 10
    Casimir Pulaski Day (5:53)
  • 11
    To The Workers of the Rock River Valley Region, I Have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament, and it involves tube socks, a paper airplane, and twenty-two able-bodied men. (1:40)
  • 12
    The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts (6:17)
  • 13
    Prairie Fire That Wanders About (2:11)
  • 14
    A Conjunction of Drones Simulating the Way in Which Sufjan Stevens Has an Existential Crisis in the Great Godfrey Maze (0:19)
  • 15
    The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us! (5:23)
  • 16
    They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From the Dead!! Ahhhh! (5:09)
  • 17
    Let's hear that string part again, because I don't think they heard it all the way out in Bloomington-Normal (0:40)
  • 18
    In This Temple as in the Hearts of Man for Whom He Saved the Earth (0:35)
  • 19
    The Seer's Tower (3:53)
  • 20
    The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders (Part I: The Great Frontier – Part II: Come to Me Only with Playthings Now) (7:02)
  • 21
    Riffs and Variations on a Single Note for Jelly Roll, Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Baby Dodds, and the King of Swing, to Name a Few (0:46)
  • 22
    Out of Egypt, into the Great Laugh of Mankind, and I shake the dirt from my sandals as I run (4:21)

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