A blog devoted to the works of Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, The 6ths, Future Bible Heroes, The Gothic Archies, et al. This blog will feature news related to his work, as well as occasional fanboy gushes from the author. Thank you for stopping by, and may all your dreams come true.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A pair of interviews

Stephin Merritt gives what is probably his best interview yet of this particular press junket to The Skinny here.  In it, he divulges that he is currently working with a staggering 22 backing tracks for the upcoming Future Bible Heroes, as well as the primary inspiration for the musical upon which he is working with Mr. Daniel Handler.  I am, however, continuously befuddled about the fate of the so-called "lost" 6ths record, and even moreso by the fact that no interviewer ever thinks it necessary to question him about its sad fate.

The Stool Pigeon offers a rather dichotomous interview here.  The interviewer spends the majority of his time asking Mr. Merritt about his feelings on sincerity in pop music, a subject that is not only exhausted in several interviews, but with which Mr. Merritt has openly expressed disdain.  Naturally, it becomes a prickly interview about halfway through and henceforth there is a dearth of new or interesting information to be had.  Ah, well.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Book of Love

Spanish publisher Contra has recently released the book The Book of Love: 100 Canciones, a compendium to Mr. Merritt's songs.  The book features lyrics of several of Mr. Merritt's songs, in the original English and Spanish translations.  It also features both English and Spanish versions of Stephin Merritt's "The Formulist Manifesto," the tyrannical essay mentioned at length in Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields.  The book seems to be a perfect companion to Mr. Merritt's Spanish-speaking fanbase, which I understand to be quite sizable.  Find more information at Contra's website and Facebook.

The Line of Best Fit has posted a(nother) video of Mr. Merritt in his hotel room, playing "Andrew in Drag" in similarly-hued but slightly different clothing.  Watch below:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stream Love at the Bottom of the Sea!!!

NPR has posted the first stream of The Magnetic Fields' new album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, and it can be found here.  I am saving myself for the March 6th release date because I am a prude and a bit of an idiot, but COME ON, PEOPLE, GO LISTEN TO THIS!!  Talk about how great it is in the comments, if you will.

Also, The Arts Desk posted an excellent interview with Stephin Merritt here.  Thanks to Russ Coffey for bringing it to my attention.

Friday, February 24, 2012

More press than I'm comfortable shaking a stick at!

Stephin Merritt did a marvelous rendition of "Andrew in Drag," solo on his ukulele for DIY.  Watch the video below:



Somehow, this barebones version of the song renders it even more bleak and depressing than its studio counterpart.  It makes me anxious to know what the live version with the full band will sound like!

Music OMH has posted this interview with Mr. Merritt.  While it does not cover a ton of new ground, it is interesting in and of itself.  The comparison of Love at the Bottom of the Sea to Get Lost is both confusing and enticing.

Lastly, two more reviews of the new record have been posted.  Firstly, Rabbit Hole Urban Music posted this review, calling the record charming and likable.  The aforementioned Music OMH posted this review, which has sparked some amount of controversy over at Twitter.  Understandably so, if you ask one certain blogger.  To say that Mr. Merritt's songwriting hasn't evolved since 69 Love Songs is clearly the opinion of a madman who hasn't been paying attention, and I refuse to believe it's bias leading me to that opinion.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

TMF on KEXP

During their two-day tenure in Seattle, The Magnetic Fields will be making a pit-stop and playing live on KEXP, 90.3 FM.  They will be playing on March 20, at 1:00pm PT.  A Facebook page for the event (intended to be used as a reminder) can be found here.

For those of us outside Seattle, KEXP can be streamed here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Interview + Cover

Drowned in Sound has posted this interview with Stephin Merritt, wherein he extrapolates about the new album perhaps more than he has in any interview thus far.  Most excitingly, he confirms that he is in the process of writing two musicals, though he is significantly more tight-lipped about said process than Daniel Handler was several weeks ago.

Kerthy Fix also shared this cover of "Absolutely Cuckoo" as performed by a string quartet.  Check it out!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

LatBotS - Behind the Scenes

Sonic Scoop has posted this fascinating article about the making of Love at the Bottom of the Sea.  The piece mostly functions as an interview with engineer and frequent Merritt-collaborator Charles Newman, who divulges a wealth of information about his and Mr. Merritt's working process.  He also mentions the sheerly massive amount of synthesizers used on the record, which is of course amongst the article's most titillating tidbits.  Even detaching myself from my excitement over the release of the album, though, this article is really good and comes highly recommended.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

SM at Tibet House, Interview

Last night, Stephin Merritt performed at Carnegie Hall as part of a charity for Tibet House.  The event was curated by Philip Glass and featured fellow musicians Lou Reed, Antony Hegarty, Das Racist, and a bevy of others.  Pictures from the event (including the one shared to the left) can be found here, documented by Pitchfork's own Will Deitz.

Spinner posted this interview with Mr. Merritt, wherein he discusses how he landed this particular gig and his specific connection to the charity being benefitted.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Interview + LatBotS Review

The first in what will likely turn out to be a long series of interviews from Mr. Stephin Merritt's recent press junket has been posted by The Guardian.  In it, Mr. Merritt discusses bear culture, the infamous Butt Magazine photoshoot, and, of course, the new record.  While there is perhaps not quite enough information about the new record to please a certain blogger, Mr. Merritt appears to be in top interview form.

Furthermore, Contact Music has posted a very early review of Love at the Bottom of the Sea, ultimately awarding it 6/10.  While this number may seem cold, several nice things are said about the record as well.

Don't forget to pre-order as many copies Love at the Bottom of the Sea as you can and buy tickets to see The Magnetic Fields on their upcoming tour!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Andrew in Drag" music video!!

The Magnetic Fields have released a video for their single "Andrew in Drag!"  The video, directed by Scott Valins, features Mr. Stephin Merritt and Ms. Claudia Gonson rotating expressionlessly as well as two drag performers going through the processes of drag transformation.  Read more about the video here, and watch below: