Sufjan Stevens Hops Back On The BQE

Videos by American Songwriter


Sufjan Stevens is consistently coming up with projects that broaden and redefine the idea of popular music. About two years ago, he composed a veritable symphony that centers around the New York icon (or eyesore) that is the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The orchestral piece was well received in 2007 during its three-night stint at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Though there are no current plans for an encore performance, diehard Sufjan fans will be glad to learn that they can now enjoy the full experience anytime.

On October 20, The BQE will be released as a CD soundtrack on Asthmatic Kitty Records. The package will also include a 40-page booklet with liner notes, photographs, and a “stereoscopic 3-D Viewmaster® reel,” in addition to a DVD with footage of the 2007 BAM shows. Vinyl freaks can opt for a limited-edition double 180-gram that includes a 32-page booklet and “a 40-page BQE-themed Hooper Heroes comic book.”

The original performance was just as eclectic as its packaging promises to be. Only Sufjan Stevens could make something beautiful out of something as banal as the BQE, a slowly moving stream of taxis that extends stubbornly across the concrete jungle of two NYC boroughs. Incorporating hula hoops, fairy wings, and a full orchestra, the production was much akin to something David Byrne might have conceived 30 years ago.

Fans will get a taste of Sufjan two weeks prior (October 6) to The BQE’s release when Run Rabbit Run hits stores. A remix of 2001’s Enjoy Your Rabbit, this version features new arrangements and string-work from New York quartet, Osso. Really impatient fans can see Sufjan live on September 12, when he will perform at All Tomorrow’s Parties. His first U.S. gig in two years, the Flaming Lips-curated event will also feature the Lips themselves, Animal Collective, and Iron & Wine. In the meantime, get your Viewmaster® out of the closet.

Check out the trailer for The BQE below.

THE BQE- A Film By Sufjan Stevens from Asthmatic Kitty on Vimeo.


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

The Top 20 Jeff Tweedy Songs: #10 “Remember the Mountain Bed”