I have no idea what you’re saying.
The reason I most respect Sufjan as a Christian artist is that his art isn’t exclusively Christian in its themes. He writes from the perspective of the life he’s leading and, while this is informed by his faith, he doesn’t close his troubles, doubts, and pain off from his songwriting based on some ridiculous, overhyped megachurch idea of what art a Christian should and should not make. Sure, Vito’s Ordination Song is downright devotional, but Casimir Pulaski Day is conflicted and doubting and most of his music has no direct allusions to faith at all.
The vast majority of Christian artists make music about only on the subject of God, as if Christians should live in a holy bubble, never encountering anything and repeating “Jesus is great” all day long. Don’t get me wrong,sometimes intense musical focus on one subject for a time can be illuminating, like in Steven Merritt’s 69 Love Songs or Sufjan’s own Seven Swans. But to wilfully close off the vast majority of life from your art seems deceptive. It certainly doesn’t reflect the actual reality of life following Jesus. Sufjan cuts through all that.
Finally, some love for Amnesiac! My personal list:
2. Kid A
3. OK Computer
4. King of Limbs
5. In Rainbows
6. The Bends
7. Hail To The Thief
8. Pablo Honey
Comparing the ‘Gum to the Sydney Morning Herald? Too far.
Can we have a Progress Report on the Knife?
If we’re talking about labels, Steve Albini’s classic article on the financial imbalance of band-label relations is worth a read. http://people.virginia.edu/~jrw3k/mediamatters/readings/cult_crit/Albini_The.Problem.With.Music.pdf
What about independent record labels though? Most of what we Stereogum types listen to is released on labels which are run by musicians, music enthusiasts or self-released by the bands themselves?
I wonder if people who make the ‘big bad music industry’ argument as a justification also refused to pay for albums by Sufjan Stevens (Asthmatic Kitty – Self Run), Animal Collective, Ariel Pink (Paw Tracks, run by AnCo) or The Strokes (Rough Trade – an important independent label that went bankrupt and was resurrected, but has never made big profits)