Jookabox Reveals Final Album Date

Indianapolis band Jookabox has officially decided to part ways.  Their last album, The Eyes of the Fly, will be released on April 26th via Asthmatic Kitty.  Founder Moose will continue on as DMA.  Here’s the lastest single, called “Drop”:

Hear Sufjan Stevens’ Age of Adz

Sufjan Steven

It’s been almost five years since Sufjan Stevens released his state-themed album Illinois.

Fortunately (or not) Stevens has abandoned his effort to release an album featuring all fifty states (I’m sorry, but a North Dakota album?) and has instead decided that he really likes playing with electric effects. Of all kinds.

On display in Age of Adz are everything from drum machines to electro-funk samples, and Stevens seems to master them all. You can hear it right now on NPR’s First Listen (link at the end of this post).

Despite all the technical aspects of the album, Stevens has decided to deliver it in a low-tech way, but yes he will be offering it on Amazon.

Stevens’ label, Asthmatic Kitty, said in a statement that while they appreciate getting good music into people’s hands “we also feel like the work that our artists produce is worth more than a cost of a latte.”

They do make a good point, lattes really should be cheaper than $5.00 anyway.

Sufjan’s Label Not Happy With Amazon Pricing

sufjanSufjan Stevens maybe excited that his album is being released, but his record label, Asthmatic Kitty, may not be as excited.

The label sent out a letter to fans, seemingly asking them to not buy Steven’s new album, The Age of Adz, from the massive online retailer, Amazon.

We have it on good authority that Amazon will be selling The Age of Adz for a very low price on release date, not unlike they did with Arcade Fire’s recent (and really terrific) The Suburbs,” reads the letter. “We have mixed feelings about discounted pricing. Like we said, we love getting good music into the hands of good people, and when a price is low, more people buy. A low price will introduce a lot of people to Sufjan’s music and to this wonderful album. For that, we’re grateful. But we also feel like the work that our artists produce is worth more than a cost of a latte. We value the skill, love, and time they’ve put into making their records. And we feel that our work too, in promotion and distribution, is also valuable and worthwhile.”
It continues, “That’s why we personally feel that physical products like EPs should sell for around $7 and full-length CDs for around $10-12 We think digital EPs should sell for around $5 and full-length digital albums for something like $8. So you might wonder why we’d ‘allow’ Amazon to sell it for lower than that. There are several reasons why, but mostly? It’s because we believe in you. We trust you and in your ability to make your own choice.”

The Age of Adz will be released October 12 via both physical and digital retailers.

Sufjan Stevens @ Bowery Ballroom, New York – October 5, 2009

Going into the Sufjan Stevens show last night, I must admit I didn’t know what to expect. Having heard great things about his live set, the bar was set pretty high for him. This was his second date in New York as there are two sold out nights in Williamsburg to follow. The show opened with Asthmatic Kitty labelmates, Cryptacize who were a pleasant surprise. Singer Nedelle Torrisi has a soft angelic voice that’s not afraid to mix dark with poppy. The band seemed well recieved by the crowd.

Then, it was Sufjan time. No matter how big this guy gets, he still comes on stage to set up his own equipment. Fans in the front of the stage were sneaking pictures of him getting ready with smiles on their faces. With a band of over ten people it’s amazing how they even fit onto the Bowery stage.

Stevens greeted the crowd and launched into the set with banjo in hand. The setlist was mostly a cross between new songs and Come on Feel the Illinoise which made for a stellar lineup. Seeing Stevens play live is every bit as amazing as hearing his records. He sings with little effort because it comes so natural to him. The backup singers who included Nedelle from Cryptacize sounded heavenly behind the mixture of trumpets and assorted wind instruments that appeared throughout the night.

One thing I learned about Sufjan last night is that he is a bit of a joker. He said he is ‘”not very good talking onstage,” before he announced a string of songs, giggling “this one’s by Sufjan Stevens!” A lot of the new songs that he played last night strayed away from his orchestral sound that we’ve come to know and love. The new tracks with titles like “Impossible Soul” and “There is Too Much Love in Here,” are a bit electronic based but not in a cheesey way that feels forced. Somehow these songs still fit in with the likes of his banjo/acoustic songs like “Casimir Pulaski Day” which was one of the highlights of the night. Another surprise Sufjan had up his sleeves was the track “The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts,” which they hadn’t played it in so long that he admittedly had to write out the words to keep onstage. Stevens and the band played it flawlessly though, just like the other songs in the set. The show closed with a short encore: a low key version of “Chicago” and the earlier mentioned new tune “There is Too Much Love in Here,” as Sufjan stated that the encore had to end ‘just right and louder.’ It did just that.

Photos by Ivy Weir

Check out MORE Photos of Sufjan’s Show AFTER THE JUMP