Friday, June 16, 2006

MUSIC: C/Kasimir S. Pulaski (Sufjan Stevens and Big Black)

While getting all excited for the July 11 release of Sufjan's collection of Illinois extras, called Avalanche if you've been living under a fairly large heavy object, I've been playing lots of the good troubadour's music. I kept wondering where I had seen Casimir S. Pulaski before, and since I'm not a Midwesterner it's not the actual holiday associated with Mr. Pulaski. According to the good Wikipedia:

Casimir Pulaski Day is a regional United States holiday celebrated on the first Monday of every March to commemorate Casimir Pulaski, a Revolutionary War cavalry officer born March 4, 1747. It is celebrated mainly in areas which have large Polish populations.

Note that his full name is actually Kazimierz Michał Wacław Wiktor Pułaski herbu Ślepowron for those of you keeping score. This led me to remember that Big Black recorded a Pulaski Day song back in 1987. (Big Black, led by Steve Albini, is a Chicago area band; for more info on their influence check out their wikipedia page.)

Here's the two songs, I don't think they could be any more different. Give a listen and see for yourself.

::: Sufjan Stevens - Casimir Pulaski Day
::: Big Black - Kasimir S. Pulaski Day

Insound is taking pre-orders for The Avalanche, which you can get for 11 bucks. Also pick up Big Black's album called Songs About Fucking, a totally amazing record. (And, if you want to be totally awesome about it, get the vinyl; I think that it would make Steve Albini happy.)

[Photo credit goes to Yoshihiro.]