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Stream Jawbreaker Reunion & PWR BTTM’s Republican National Convention Split

Two Bands To Watch enter the arena … only one leaves alive? Or something like that. Jawbreaker Reunion and PWR BTTM have teamed up for a new split release, which they put out on Valentine’s Day, called Republican National Convention. (Coincidentally, they’re both my favorite bands to search for on Twitter to see what stupid… More »

By: James Rettig / February 17, 2015 - 11:48 am

Here Are Some Game Tips From Scrabble Enthusiast Stephin Merritt

Magnetic Fields songs often hinge on witty, erudite turns of phrase, so it’s not that surprising that band mastermind Stephin Merritt plays a lot of Scrabble. It’s a bit surprising, though, that he’s devoted an entire book to the two-letter words that can often affect the outcomes of Scrabble games. Merritt just published 101 Two-LetterMore »

By: Tom Breihan / October 29, 2014 - 3:08 pm

Download New Cover Songs And Watch A Short Documentary Celebrating 25 Years Of Merge

North Carolina-based Merge Records is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. From taking over baseball games to planning their own four-day festival, they’ve been doing so in style. The next part of their celebration is a 24-minute documentary chronicling the rise of the indie label. It features interviews with employees and artists and narration from… More »

By: James Rettig / July 8, 2014 - 7:47 pm

Stephin Merritt Plans Scrabble-Inspired Poetry Book

Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt is the sort of person who you could easily imagine absolutely annihilating you at Scrabble while simultaneously acting very bored and drily making fun of you in ways that you might not notice. He’s also pretty good at putting together words in combinations that convey meaning. So perhaps it shouldn’t… More »

By: Tom Breihan / March 10, 2014 - 2:33 pm

The 10 Best Magnetic Fields Songs

There’s a scene in the trailer for the 2010 Magnetic Fields’ documentary Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt And The Magnetic Fields where a cab driver asks Stephin Merritt, “Why are they making a documentary about you?” Merritt replies slovenly, “I write wonderful music.” The cabbie says, “What’s your name? Merritt? Never heard of it.”… More »

By: John Everhart / June 13, 2013 - 1:02 pm

Future Bible Heroes – “Living, Loving, Partygoing”

Future Bible Heroes are one of Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt’s many, many side projects, and like most of the rest of them, they’ve been dormant in recent years. But now they’re back in a big way. The group, which includes Merritt and longtime collaborators Chrisopher Ewen and Claudia Gonson, are about to release a… More »

By: Tom Breihan / March 20, 2013 - 11:07 am

The 10 Best Indie Christmas Songs

Whether you experience Christmas as a spiritual curative or a wretched crucible likely depends upon your capacity to enjoy the Yuletide season’s truly disassociate spirit of insanity. Most of us may consider ourselves largely inured at this point to the curiously redundant recurring color schemes, the unnaturally oppressive nighttime lighting and deeply strange rituals, the… More »

By: Timothy Bracy And Elizabeth Bracy / December 21, 2012 - 3:55 pm

Watch The Shins Cover Magnetic Fields’ “Andrew In Drag”

On a recent Australian jaunt, the Shins stopped by the Aussie radio network Triple J and played an acoustic session. In the process, they tried out a cover of the Magnetic Fields’ recent single “Andrew In Drag,” and James Mercer did a pretty admirable job hitting the song’s drawn-out Broadway notes. Watch them playing it… More »

By: Tom Breihan / July 27, 2012 - 10:07 am

The Magnetic Fields – “Quick!” Video

The next video from the Mag Fields’ Love At The Bottom Of The Sea is for “Quick!,” the Shirley Simms-sung/Claudia Gonson harmonized track about having one foot out the door on a broken relationship. (The last one was for “Andrew In Drag,” which starred Andrew in drag.) The story here follows two comely trashcan dweller… More »

By: Amrit Singh / May 8, 2012 - 11:14 am

Stephin Merritt Does “Andrew In Drag” For CBS News

Here, lifechampion Stephin Merritt regales the CBS network with his finest synth-based wit-pop tune in years, “Andrew In Drag.” This rendition is Merritt solo, though, so it’s just an eight-string ukulele, and a sonorous hangdog croon, which of course is plenty. In the accompanying textual interview, Stephin says he wrote the song on a night… More »

By: Amrit Singh / April 16, 2012 - 5:40 pm

The Magnetic Fields – “Andrew In Drag” Video (NSFW)

The Magnetic Fields’ latest single “Andrew In Drag” has been praised as a return to the form of the vintage Magnetic Fields through it’s more acoustic, synth-heavy arrangements (but don’t worry, too much. Stephin’s still doing the oddball stuff!). And now that track — which contains the opening couplet “A pity she does not exist,… More »

By: Corban Goble / February 2, 2012 - 5:13 pm

Stephin Merritt To Star In Insane-Sounding Live Video Game

The Magnetic Field’s latest track was a delightful return to form, but that doesn’t mean Stephin Merritt has abandoned his inclination to do weird shit. So, behold; Space Cruiser, an interactive, live video game based around Merritt. The Observer explains:

The one-night-only debut of Space Cruiser, next Thursday’s game-cum-concert in question, is described… More »

By: Corban Goble / January 20, 2012 - 6:01 pm

The Magnetic Fields – “Andrew In Drag”

A little while ago, Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields announced that they’d put out their tenth LP, Love At The Bottom Of The Sea. Merritt also promised a return to the more acoustic, synth-heavy arrangements of yore, which he backs up on the record’s first single “Andrew In Drag.” Listen below. More »

By: Corban Goble / January 11, 2012 - 11:18 am

Stephin Merritt – “Dream Again” (Franz Ferdinand Cover) Video

Earlier this year, Franz Ferdinand released the Covers Record Store Day EP, which features a whole mess of other artists taking on Franz tunes. One of those artists was LCD Soundsystem, whose version of “Live Alone” now has a video. Another was Magnetic Fields leader Stephin Merritt, who took on Franz’s “Dream Again.” Merritt’s versio… More »

By: Tom Breihan / December 21, 2011 - 2:33 pm

Magnetic Fields Love At The Bottom Of The Sea Details

After bailing on the synth for a second there, Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields will return to more synth-heavy and acoustic arrangements on their newly announced tenth LP Love At The Bottom Of The Sea, a batch of new songs to be issued on Merge (Domino in the UK) next year. Check out the… More »

By: Corban Goble / December 13, 2011 - 12:51 pm

Amanda Palmer, Stephin Merritt, Moby & Neil Gaiman Cover Rocky Horror On Ferguson

The song is Rocky Horror Picture Show classic “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” and the lineup is Coraline crew Stephin Merritt and Neil Gaiman, backing up the latter’s wife along with Moby, because Moby is everywhere. In conceptual terms, at the very least, this is a sheer Halloween delight. And it is fair to say that thi… More »

By: Amrit Singh / November 1, 2011 - 4:31 pm

Stephin Merritt – “Forever And A Day”

Stephin Merritt’s forthcoming Obscurities is what you’d expect from the title: The 14-track collection features “hard-to-find” recordings from 1994 (circa The Charm of the Highway Strip) to 1999 (69 Love Songs). More specifically, three come from Merritt’s “unfinished” musical written with Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snickett), five from Merge-imprinted Magnetic Fields 7″s/records (all should be… More »

By: brandon / May 23, 2011 - 3:06 pm

Download Ben Gibbard & Death Cab For Cutie’s Best Cover Songs

Last month Death Cab For Cutie returned to the spotlight with “You Are A Tourist,” the great first single and video from their forthcoming Codes And Keys. A sunny addition to our spring playlist, it recalls brighter moments of mid-period Cure when it’s not channeling “Float On.” That’s fitting given how Ben Gibbard’s got five… More »

By: Scott Lapatine / April 11, 2011 - 11:35 am

Bodies Of Water Cover Magnetic Fields

Ever the hard workers, L.A.’s Bodies Of Water have offered up a pretty, spare take on 69 Love Songs staple “I Don’t Believe In The Sun.” To help you get your week started on a cheery note. It reminds me of early Magnetic Fields — an unknown acoustic outtake from Distant Plastic Trees or TheMore »

By: brandon / November 15, 2010 - 10:18 am

Jeff Mangum To Perform At Chris Knox Benefit

Last June, the legendary New Zealand musician Chris Knox suffered a “series” of strokes. A few months later, we posted Jeff Mangum’s cover of the Tall Dwarfs gem “Sign The Dotted Line,” a take that appears on Stroke – Songs For Chris Knox, a two-disc collection released by Merge to help raise money for Knox’… More »

By: brandon / March 26, 2010 - 12:46 pm
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