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Thread: Sufjan Stevens

  1. #1516
    entertaining in its outrage Volta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyland View Post
    Surprised to find that Sufjan has written a song about Tonya Harding:

    Just being a bit of a Tonya Harding nerd here: The video under the song is her 1991 National Long Program performance. She won that title upsetting the favorite (Yamaguchi) getting two perfect marks in technical merit. (Under the old 6.0 system it was rare even for men to get a perfect mark in technical merit)

    The second jump in the video is the first time she landed the famous triple axel. She landed it again at the World Championships that year. She was only the second woman to ever land this jump after Midori Ito. She was the first woman to ever do a triple axel in a short program at the 1991 Skate America, she also landed another in the long program and won that title as well making her the first woman to land two triple axels at one event. Her program also included a triple-triple.

    This was 1991. To give this context there is only one woman even attempting triple axels right now, Mirai Nagasu, and the triple-triple is almost a requirement to win a competition. If peak Tonya from 1991 was still skating today, she'd be winning major events and vying for the Olympic title ..... she was so ahead of her time. Unfortunately, depending on your opinion of the new scoring system, Tonya skated during a time when the artistic mark, or presentation, was more important than the technical mark. Tonya was no artist. Also, Tonya couldn't afford expensive costumes. Her mother made all her dresses. One year she was left off a team because a USFSA offcial said she couldn't wear her pink dress to competitions. Tonya told the official if he bought her dresses she'd be more than happy to wear one. In contrast, Nancy Kerrigan was wearing Vera Wang.

    Now, in 2017 with the code of points system, it's kind of the opposite. Each element has a value like in gymnastics. The skaters that are attempting and maybe even falling on the bigger jumps are winning. It is better for a skater to attempt and fall on a triple or quad than to double out (or pop) the jump. In 2017 Tonya, Midori, Surya skaters that were athletic would be winning events because of their difficulty. It wasn't rewarded back then.
    Only eight women have ever landed the jump in competition. It was first done in 1988. So in 30 years only eight have completed it cleanly.

    I am so happy to hear this song. How can you write songs about Oregon without including Tonya?? You can't! hehehe
    Last edited by Volta; 12-07-2017 at 05:58 AM.
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  2. #1517
    entertaining in its outrage Volta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toriMODE View Post
    I really love the Tony song and video I hate the person though lol.
    You hate Tonya Harding?
    They banned her from competition for life. Pretty harsh, harsher still was the PRO/AM ruling which said if a Professional event let her skate any amateurs (or Olympic eligible skaters) that skated with her at that event would be banned from competition, too.

    The pro/am ruling made it impossible for her to make money as a professional because no one could skate events with her. She did compete in 1999 at the EPSN Pro Classic but it was a very tiny event and it did not lead to the bigger pro events letting her in.

    It stings because Tonya and Nancy put skating on the map as far as ratings and tons of skaters that turned pro in 1994 got endorsements and money from events that was unheard of before that. A lot of people, many she never competed against, made bank off her demise. Became millionaires.
    And she never could.

    The last I heard Tonya was making money by doing yard work around Portland. Nothing against it.. and she said she likes the work but still.
    Last edited by Volta; 12-07-2017 at 05:21 AM.
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  3. #1518
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    I spent all day yesterday watching Youtubes of Tonya Harding. Yeah, I kinda hate her.

  4. #1519
    'If you existed, I'd divorce you.' spyk_'s Avatar
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    I really appreciate songwriters who can take a topic or a subject that you'd never expect to be made into a song and turn it into something specific and beautiful (hello, Kate Bush). I love that Tonya Harding song.

  5. #1520
    Administrator Ryan's Avatar
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    Did he write this because of the Tonya Harding movie?

  6. #1521
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
    Did he write this because of the Tonya Harding movie?
    Yes, apparently he contributed the song for the I, Tonya soundtrack but it was rejected.

  7. #1522
    gone Andromeda grapefruit_is_winning's Avatar
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    Actually he didn't write it because of the movie, apparently he's been writing it for years, but did submit it to the music supervisor for the movie who said he couldn't find a way to work it into the movie:

    http://sufjan.com/

  8. #1523
    entertaining in its outrage Volta's Avatar
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    I've not seen I, Tonya but I don't understand why they couldn't throw his song somewhere in there. How many songs have been written for Tonya Harding? Seems like a misstep on their part.
    "Washing Machiiiiiine" - Kate Bush

  9. #1524
    gone Andromeda grapefruit_is_winning's Avatar
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    Because if you're making a movie and have an artistic vision for it, you're not just going to "throw" a song into it that doesn't fit your vision, even if you respect the artist and like the song. On what basis are you suggesting it's a misstep? You haven't seen the movie, so you can't be saying that it would have been perfect in X or Y scene... so what's the misstep exactly? That a few hundred Sufjan Stevens fans in the world like the song? Your post makes no sense.

    I love how earnest Sufjan can be at times, like this song. I feel it's an authentic expression of admiration for Tonya, like a fan letter. It acknowledges her role in the ruination of her career, it acknowledges the complications and drama surrounding her, but more than anything it's a love letter that shines a light on her achievement and the hurdles she overcame to get so far.

    And that routine is truly spectacular. It's mesmerizing and hypnotic, as is the song. I know nothing about the sport, but all I could ever wish for myself, my friends or loved ones is that moment of pure joy where she realizes she completely landed her routine, in each of our respective careers. The successful prosecution or defense of a case, the hard earned promotion, the saving of a life, whatever it may be. The gratitude of that, the pride, the humility, the uncomplicated joy.

    I can't seem to find it now, but "John at AKR" who made the video pointed out in some article or statement that the song is in fact timed with that routine. I may never have picked up on that, but once you know to look for it, it's unmistakeable. How fucking cool is that?

    Can any other songwriter match what Sufjan achieves in capturing the poignancy and complexity of human beings, being at once worthy of love, but capable of the worst of what humanity delivers? He really kind of owns that market to me and this song is a brilliant example of it.

    (It also makes me really wish he had created an "Oregon" record, which I guess Carrie & Lowell kind of is.)

  10. #1525
    Senior Member take_offs's Avatar
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    I've had this in my head for days. One of my favorite parts is the electronic sounds, how they sort of sound like skates on ice. Sufjan is the best.

  11. #1526
    gone Andromeda grapefruit_is_winning's Avatar
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    Oooo I just bought the single from iTunes (I know, I know) but it comes with an alternate version of the song which is really cool too!

  12. #1527
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    That free skate is REALLY something. Man, she was fucking good. It's a real shame what happened to her. I know she did some of it to herself. But man, that triple axel was incredible. It's a stupid hard jump for women to complete.

    And Grapefruit, you are right that the song matches the routine!

  13. #1528
    gone Andromeda grapefruit_is_winning's Avatar
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    Finally listening to Greatest Gift (have been waiting for it to come out on vinyl). I love it! So atmospheric. And the artwork at vinyl scale is truly wonderful.

  14. #1529
    generally largely right Dan's Avatar
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    I remember loving Tonya's athleticism back in the day. I am a figure skating fan to the point where I can reliably identify most of the jumps (I sometimes mistake Lutzes for flips and vice versa if I'm not watching closely, but I guess many others do that). People were a lot more focused on the grace aspect, and I never gave a shit; I'm like, jump already, for fuck's sake. I loved Surya as well.

  15. #1530
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    Which Tonya Harding? D Major, or Eb Major?



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