In November 2007 Sufjan Stevens staged a grand multimedia performance inspired by the unappealing bit of modernist city planning known as the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, and he titled it “the BQE.” The performance featured dancers, hula hoops, video of the expressway, and an orchestra. A new set is now going to be released that attempts to capture the sights and sounds of the performance.
“The BQE” includes a CD of the show’s music, a DVD of the footage shown at the concert, an extensive booklet with notes and music, and a 3D View-Master reel. View-Master, sadly, sold separately. Though such a set already sounds like it’s for devotees only, there is also a super-duper, extra-special limited edition that comes on vinyl and has a comic book.
The set comes out October 20 on Asthmatic Kitty. Check out the trailer for the DVD below for a taste of the aesthetics of postwar optimism that inform the work.