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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 »

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 »

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 »

More The Magnetic Fields stories

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…
brandon | March 26, 2010 - 12:46 pm

Ben Gibbard – “I Don’t Want To Get Over You” (Magnetic Fields Cover Live At Stereogum Range Life 2010)

There's nothing like an unplugged Ben Gibbard set to remind you that the man has refined a signature style of storytelling. And there's nothing like…
Amrit Singh | March 25, 2010 - 2:43 pm

The Magnetic Fields @ BAM, Brooklyn 2/13/10

The chamber folk of the Magnetic Fields latest, Realism, was the center point for a two-hour seated affair at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Saturday…
Amrit Singh | February 15, 2010 - 8:55 am

Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt And The Magnetic Fields – Official Trailer

The new Magnetic Fields' documentary, which took Kerthy Fix and Gail O'Hara (also of Chickfactor, Black Tambourine fans) 10 years to make, should be a…
brandon | February 8, 2010 - 10:45 am

Stephen Merritt Covers Peter Gabriel

Merritt did "Not One Of Us" as a Scratch My Back tie-in: "Peter's [...] showcases his singing voice, whereas my version showcases this evil dwarf…
brandon | January 29, 2010 - 9:17 am

Preview Peter Gabriel’s Indie Rock Covers LP

We've spoken about Scratch My Back, Peter Gabriel's anticipated Bob Ezrin-produced orchestral covers collection featuring reinterpretations of Radiohead, Arcade Fire, the Magnetic Fields, Bon Iver,…
brandon | January 13, 2010 - 10:12 am


Our yuletide ’09 playlist keeps expanding. Yesterday we premiered Crocodiles & Dum Dum Girls’ holiday jam. Now we’ve added Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings’ “Ain’t…
Scott Lapatine | December 23, 2009 - 11:15 pm

New Indie Rock Christmas MP3s For 2009

Even though there's something sacred about time-honored traditions, there's only so many years you and your beloveds can sit beside the Christmas tree and listen…
Amrit Singh | December 17, 2009 - 2:44 pm

The 25 69 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2010

This year in music was great and we'rea gonna let it finish (sorry), but in terms of notable album releases the ship has sailed. No…
Amrit Singh | November 24, 2009 - 5:41 pm

The Magnetic Fields Return With Realism

Good news for lovers of cantankerous, hyperacusis-afflicted songwriters (also, just plain old good news): Stephin Merritt and his Magnetic Fields will be back with their…
Amrit Singh | November 10, 2009 - 11:17 am

Peter Gabriel’s Scratch My Back Features Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Bon Iver Covers

Peter Gabriel's first album in seven years is a Bob Ezrin-produced orchestral covers collection called Scratch My Back. It reportedly features reinterpretations of the folks…
brandon | October 29, 2009 - 9:06 am

69 Love Songs Turns 10

69 Love Songs was released September 7, 1999 by Merge. I was in school in Buffalo at the time and taking a break from music…
brandon | September 8, 2009 - 9:32 am

Robin Pecknold/Throw Me The Statue @ Neumos, Seattle 7/11/09

Saturday night was the closing to a week of benefits in support of the Vera Project, a "music and arts center run by and for…
Amrit Singh | July 13, 2009 - 2:33 pm

Stephin Merritt Does Coraline, Promises Many More Musicals

Vanity Fair has pics and a preview of the Magnetic Fielder’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s creepy kid’s book. Merritt says: “This is part of my…
Amrit Singh | May 13, 2009 - 2:02 pm

Stream Shins, Bright Eyes, National Covering Merge Classics

Merge Records turns 20 this year and the celebration is well underway. Last week we told you about the five-day summer fest in North Carolina
Scott Lapatine | April 8, 2009 - 1:55 am

Magnetic Fields Offer Their “Underwear” To Puma L.I.F.T.

From his "Wheels On The Car" to his Wrigley commercial that's impossible to find on-line, etc., the Magnetic Fields' crooner certainly isn't shy about writing…
brandon | March 17, 2009 - 1:58 pm

Stephin Merritt Goes Backstage With Other Music

These days live video is all the rage (well, that and nostalgia, repetitious festivals, and getting too excited about things that don't deserve it because…
brandon | July 29, 2008 - 5:35 pm

The Magnetic Fields @ Town Hall, NYC 2/23/08

By Amrit Singh As with most Magnetic Fields albums, Distortion is organized around a singular concept. Unlike say 69 Love Songs (love songs,…
Amrit Singh | February 25, 2008 - 9:11 pm

Arcade Fire Cover The Magnetic Fields In Tokyo

No, they didn't cover this Mag Fields song, which is what we were first thinking when we heard about this. Still, this past Monday, Arcade…
brandon | February 18, 2008 - 10:50 am

Stephin Merritt Is Psycho For Psychocandy

Listening to the super duper Distortion — which we’ve already prematurely sainted — it’s pretty clear Stephin Merritt likes the Jesus & Mary Chain and…
Stereogum | January 7, 2008 - 10:34 am