A Sun Came Indeed!

Today will forever tower in the annals of my personal thrift-store history. First, a little back story:

I generally like Sufjan Steven’s music. My relationship with music sort of mimics the five stages of grief. Except I think I mostly just have three stages. First, I will occasionally get very excited about a new artist and listen avidly. If that happens, then I eventually pass into the stage of teenage-style detachment and embarrassment. A few times now, I’m actually made it into the third stage, which is a return to the music as though it were an old friend. I think I’m in that third stage with Sufjan right now.

Someone gave me a pile of his albums many years ago. Free music is never cherished, and I never made a deliberate effort to carefully listen through the various albums. I’d haphazardly toss various albums on the playlist. But I eventually noticed that one album, A Sun Came, stuck out. It had some really redeeming moments, but it also sounded the most unlike the other albums (ok, ok, I’m ignoring the electronic seizure of Enjoy Your Rabbit). I finally looked the album up and it all made sense when I realized that it was his very first.

I was reading about the album late one night last week (researching the exact nature of the “Gadzuki” track) when I uncovered a matter of intrigue: the album originally had a different cover. When Sufjan released the album on the fledging Asthmatic Kitty label, the cover was just a portrait of his face. After Sufjan’s music took off in a big way, the label re-released it with its current hand-drawn cover of some dragon sort of thing being slain. Being a natural collector (and not actually having a legal copy of the album), I vowed to track down one of the original releases. However, a quick search of eBay and Amazon put an abrupt and disappointing end of my quest. There just weren’t any for sale.

And so, boy and girls, that is how we wound up here tonight. I stopped at the thrift store near my house tonight to see if they have any blank cassette tapes for sale. I was looking through the CDs, and with quickened breath and trembling fingers, pulled this from the pile:

A Sun Came

For once in my life, I found something at the thrift store that I was actually looking for! And it was still sealed!

This truly was supposed to happen, because there was not one but THREE copies:

Yes, I have a problem

Of course I bought them all. And I also bought the two Brian Wilson albums that I found:

The full haul

After I had left the thrift store, I got to thinking about it all and decided to write up a super long blog post about the affair. But I also decided that I would start posting a quick pic of albums that I buy at thrift stores. I actually buy quite a lot of music there. I wish I could claim that it was all this good or interesting, but sadly no. I think my blog readers will be quite shocked and understandably disappointed if they knew just how much gangster rap was flowing out of their neighborhood Goodwills and into my CD player. So yes, some of the purchases do wind up being embarrassing. But I thought it would make for an interesting series, perhaps at my expense.

And I promise there will be more pictures and less talking.

Also, if anyone is looking for an original copy of A Sun Came, I’ve sort of got some extras now.