Sufjan Stevens 

Following 2000's manic-depressive A Sun Came and the experimental drone of Enjoy Your Rabbit, Sufjan Stevens' 2003 album, Michigan, catapulted him onto the radar of the emerging indie-folk movement. The album, a portrait of Stevens' home state, was an ambitious smorgasbord of history, memory and human narrative. Two years later, Illinois expanded Stevens' state project: more tracks, more history, more horns, more melodies. After rumors simmered about the next state in the series — New Jersey? Rhode Island? — Sufjan's full-length follow-up turned up no state theme at all. (In fact, Stevens admitted to The Guardian last year that the 50-states project was a "promotional gimmick.") By 2007, Stevens had moved on and started to weave a sprawling classical piece devoted to a New York highway, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (affectionately known to rush-hour sufferers as the BQE). His highly anticipated, forthcoming release, The Age of Adz, forgos banjo and piano for a cacophonous buzz and a grooving pulse. It's a towering heap of electromagnetic energy. Expect more glimpses of Stevens' new sound at his show at the Uptown Theater, his first stop in Kansas City since 2006. The show is sold-out, but those who score tickets most certainly will be rewarded.

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