Sufjan Stevens: “Rock Is Dead”

Sufjan Stevens: “Rock Is Dead”

In the current issue of New York Magazine, Dylan-friendly Sufjan Stevens talks about his new orchestral suite for 38 musicians (and one 16-mm film), The BQE, which premieres for a three-night stand at Next Wave Festival, starting the first of November. We get some great behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the trials and tribulations of what it’s like to conduct such a massive project (hint: it’s difficult), but just as interesting (if not more?) is Stevens’ comment that rock ‘n’ roll’s dead. Of course, as throughout the piece, he comes off incredibly charming even when proclaiming its demise…

“Rock and roll is dead,? he says, voluble again. ?Rock and roll is a museum piece. It has no viability anymore. There are great rock bands today?I love the White Stripes, I love the Raconteurs. But it?s a museum piece. You?re watching the History Channel when you go to these clubs. They?re just reenacting an old sentiment. They?re channeling the ghosts of that era?the Who, punk rock, the Sex Pistols, whatever. It?s been done. The rebellion?s over.

Any idea what year it died? Must’ve been sometime after he recorded “In The Words Of The Governor.” The piece also reveals at least one of his parents work at Wal-Mart (“I know my dad does; I don?t know if my stepmother still does.?) Wonder if they like Band Of Horses? Anyhow, we’re up for suggestions regarding when r ‘n’ r kicked the bucket. Perhaps Insane Clown Posse’s to blame. Right, another John Wayne Gacy reference — sorry.

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