yuletide and beer
Hate Christmas music? Sufjan Stevens might make you love it
You might expect an artist like Sufjan Stevens to be unaffected by holidays; you know, to be above yuletide, orchestrated merriment and the like. Oh, but Sir Stevens is not so. In addition to releasing a vinyl box set of Christmas songs, Silver & Gold, he's embarking on a cross country Christmas sing-a-long tour.
But here's where the concept veers from mainstream and becomes appropriately artistly: The tour is called the The Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Pageant On Ice. To determine what tune he will play, Stevens spins a trippy haphazardly painted wheel with a selection of classic songs. Then — what else? — the whole drunken audience sings it together.
At the tour's kickoff in Philadelphia, Stevens told the crowd, “I know this is probably some weird psychedelic nightmare for some of you, but this is like a dream come true.”
So where does the pensive, long-winded singer-songwriter's affinity for Christmas carols come from? From utter disdain, actually.
“Ten years ago, when I started recording these Christmas EPs, I hated Christmas music," Stevens told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It was like an exercise in loving your enemy.”
The Sing-A-Long tour has thus far proven to be a chance for Stevens to goof around on stage, tapping into the (harmless) reckless fun of the holiday season — without the introspection typically required to appreciate his music.
Granada Theater hosts Stevens for a sold-out show Friday, November 30.