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The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album

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The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album album cover
01
The Avalanche
3:14
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Dear Mr. Supercomputer
4:20
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Adlai Stevenson
2:34
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The Vivian Girls Are Visited In the Night by Saint Dargarius and his Squadron of Benevolent Butterflies
1:49
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Chicago (acoustic version)
4:40
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The Henney Buggy Band
3:16
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Saul Bellow
2:53
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Carlyle Lake
3:15
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Springfield, or Bobby Got a Shadfly Caught in his Hair
4:17
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The Mistress Witch from McClure (or, The Mind That Knows Itself)
3:24
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Kaskaskia River
2:15
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Chicago (adult contemporary easy listening version)
6:06
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13
Inaugural Pop Music for Jane Margaret Byrne
1:25
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No Man's Land
4:45
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The Palm Sunday Tornado Hits Crystal Lake
1:38
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The Pick-up
3:23
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The Perpetual Self, or "What Would Saul Alinsky Do?"
2:24
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For Clyde Tombaugh
3:43
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Chicago (Multiple Personality Disorder version)
4:35
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Pittsfield
6:51
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The Undivided Self (for Eppie and Popo)
4:59
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 21   Total Length: 75:46

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Wondering Sound

Review 0

Michael Azerrad

Contributor

eMusic editor-in-chief Michael Azerrad is the author of Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana (Doubleday, 1993), which remains the definitive Nirvana biography,...more »

04.22.11
Sufjan Stevens, The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album
Label: Asthmatic Kitty Records / SC Distribution

Henry Darger was a reclusive Chicago janitor who made scores of gorgeous, gigantic collage-paintings of hordes of naked little girls fleeing men in Civil War uniforms, all to illustrate an unpublished 8,000-page novel. It figures that Sufjan Stevens would write a song ("The Vivian Girls Are Visited in the Night by Saint Dargarius") that cites Darger — Stevens aspires (and comes excitingly close) to such prolific crackpot genius, the same ineffable, peculiarly American vision that… read more »

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Permissible self-indulgence

Whimper

"Too much chaff, not enough wheat." Is than an unfair thing to say of an album of outtakes and extras and deleted scenes? When Sufjan is good, he is very good, and that happens more than a few times on this companion album to Illinois. But there's also a lot of filler and half-ideas that were better left off that great album, and maybe here as well. If you have 21 downloads to burn and are a Sufjan completist, go for the whole thing. Me, I find I am skipping over about half of these tracks and listening to some only out of buyer's remorse.

user avatar

It really works as a B side album

lovablejoel

It is easy to see why a lot of these songs never made onto "Illinios", They lack a lot of the finish that that album had. Standouts are "the Henny Buggy Band", "Adlai Stevenson", and "Inaugual Pop Music...".

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Only Sufan...

paultaylor_2009

Leave it to Sufjan to throw together a hodge-podge of "outtakes" and B-sides and still produce a fine album that holds its own pretty well. Now, this album is a bit self-indulgent in a looong 75 minutes and contains two too many remixes of "Chicago" but still a delightful album with a few tracks that are up there with the best from his "Illinois" album. (See album opener, "Adlai Stevenson", "Pittsfield")

eMusic Features

4

Unwrapping Sufjan’s Christmas Gift

By Patrick Rapa, Contributor

Brooklyn indie darling Sufjan Stevens will probably never finish his one-album-for-every-state project (48 to go!), but his holiday-music series seems unstoppable. By now, you should know the drill: Every year he gathers some musical friends and stitches together an EP to send out to loved ones. Some of the songs are standards, lovingly rendered. Some are standards, flipped into rock songs or spooky ballads. A lot of Stevens's holiday tunes are originals, either sincere in… more »

0

Who Are…Lost in the Trees

By Laura Leebove, Managing Editor

Some indie rockers simply accent their songs with strings and horns, but Lost in the Trees's symphonic elements — along with frontman Ari Picker's acoustic guitar — serve as the foundation for the folk collective's second release, All Alone in an Empty House. Re-released by ANTI- with the vocals and nearly all the instrumentals re-recorded, Empty House is at times haunting, majestic, delicate, overwhelming and celebratory. With the whole work revolving mostly around Picker's family's… more »

They Say All Music Guide

Sufjan Stevens’ Come on Feel the Illinoise was a long, gorgeous, and occasionally convoluted kaleidoscope of folk, pop, and orchestral rock fused with personal regional history that somehow managed to lure listeners of all ages and genre allegiances into its pompon-wielding arms. Like Illinois, The Avalanche — leave it to Stevens to release a 21-track collection of outtakes and extras from a record that boasted 22 — is stuffed with a surplus of unnecessary and pretentiously titled instrumental Band-Aids like “Vivian Girls Are Visited in the Night by Saint Dargarius and His Squadron of Benelovent Butterflies,” “The Mistress Witch from McClure (Or, the Mind That Knows Itself),” and “The Palm Sunday Tornado Hits Crystal Lake” that would serve more purpose on an early-’70s Yes album than they do here, but they’re augmented by some truly noteworthy songs that prove Stevens’ prolificacy is as much a byproduct of his obvious gifts as a writer as it is by his need to record every idea that pops into his head. Opening with the title cut, a loose, banjo-driven ballad that develops into a pulsing day drive from the East Coast to the Midwest (The Avalanche is named for a car, not the terrifying mass of ice, snow, earth, and rock that swallows numerous skiers each year), Stevens constructed an alternate version of Illinois that is almost as good as the original. Shades of Stereolab pepper both the manic “Dear Mr. Supercomputer” and the nostalgic “Adlai Stevenson,” while the elegiac “No Man’s Land” echoes the sense of discovery that fueled Illinois’ “Chicago,” the latter of which appears three times in various disguises throughout the record. The Avalanche slows down considerably near the record’s end, but so did Illinois, making an even better case for the “Super Director’s Cut” that would fuse both albums into one mammoth slice of esoteric Americana pie. – James Christopher Monger

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