When we swung down to Austin for ACL this summer, we made a stop off at a taping of an episode of the 32nd season of Austin City Limits, the public television, live music institution (originally aired 11/4). But this was no ordinary taping, for it was The Raconteurs and Sufjan (OMG!). Obviously, we loved it. Soof had the Butterfly Brigade in full effect and crammed his massive band of horns, strings, and his Brightest Diamond onto the stage for a forty-minute set of orchestral sweep and spine-tingling intimacy. Along with Explosions In The Sky the day before, it was a Texan-weekend highlight. Here’s what he played.
You can relive the winged magic of the taping with these clips of “Oh Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head!”, “The Dress Looks Nice On You”, “Casimir Pulaski Day”, and “Jacksonville”. But that’s not all! You can also watch this interview of Sufjan (as the majesty bird), talking about the songwriting process, how he loves picking out faces in the crowd, and growing up in Detroit Rock City.
And there’s also a Tom Eaton-animated video for “Put The Lights On The Tree” floating around. It’s a Christmas cartoon! Soof’s ringing in the holiday and donning his Michigan hat (and some evil looking eyes, what up with that?) in the clip. And those well versed in Sufjan-lore will recognize the Seven Swans imagery, the Illinoisemakers, and of course, the brief cameo by his beloved fifty states.