Sufjan Stevens is Who We Thought He Was

You guys, I’m kind of worried about Sufjan Stevens. According to NME, he suffered a breakdown while watching Wes Anderson’s gem, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Speaking to The Observer, Stevens recalled watching the animated Roald Dahl adaptation and experiencing a sensory overload.

He claimed he was forced to take a Xanax tablet to help him calm down during the incident. He has since watched the “beautiful” film again and reported “no negative response”.

Talking about the first time he experienced the illness a few years ago, Stevens said: “This was really supernatural. It was like I was possessed.”

He added that he felt extreme adrenaline surges in his chest, intense lethargy and pins and needles in his mouth, hands and feet.

If I was crying
In the van, with my friend
It was because I had just watched Fantastic Mr. Fox
And couldn’t process its terrible beauty

If this isn’t the universe’s most appropriate Sufjan Stevens-related news item, I don’t know what could top it.

God, poor Sufjan. I wonder what scene got to him. I bet it was Jason Schwartzman-related. Actually, I bet it was specifically the scene when Schwartzman triumphantly declared “Because I’m little!” And I bet Sufjan read this blog post immediately before watching that scene.

Our fragile, precious indie-rock icons just feel too much. Too deeply. Whereas you or I might watch a film like Fantastic Mr. Fox and experience normal human reactions — like, say, chuckling or bemusement — Sufjan Steven experiences the art so thoroughly that his body begins to shut down. That’s why he makes beautiful, heartfelt albums while you and I do whatever mundanities we do to get us through the day.

This phenomenon is not unique to Sufjan. We actually have an epidemic on our hands of sensitive indie musicians who can’t cope with the beauty, sorrow and joy of the art they consume. (Just kidding — indie musicians don’t “consume” art, they make love to it, entering it and wrapping themselves in its womb. They are at once the art’s lover, child and parent.) If we’re not careful, we may not have enough bands left for Pitchfork to embrace.

Some other recent Sufjan-like incidents:

  • Upon watching Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart singer Kip Berman developed lupus.
  • After reading Haruki Murakami’s latest book, Grizzly Bear’s Edward Droste was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
  • Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell broke out into hives all over her body when trying on a pair of boy shorts at American Apparel.
  • Ben Gibbard, when listening to NPR’s All Songs Considered, developed spontaneous alopecia.

Really, I’m just happy to have an excuse to link to this.


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Filed under Film Has AIDS, Music Has AIDS, The Dilemma

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