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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 an unplugged Ben Gibbard unveiling his cover of another cherished lyricist to make you feel lucky to be within earshot. For those of you that couldn’t join us at our… More »

By: 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 night. It was the night before Valentine’s Day, but of course that was a mostly meaningless designation to sardonic Stephin. “It’ll be Valentine’s Day soon,” Claudia Gonson offered at one… More »

By: 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 good one. There are the requisite talking heads — including Peter Gabriel (of course), Sarah Silverman (why not), Carrie Brownstein, Neil Gaiman, etc. — commenting on/arguing for Stephin Merritt’s brilliance… More »

By: 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 choir.” It’ll appear on a digital single with Gabriel’s take on “The Book Of Love.”… More »

By: 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, Elbow, Talking Heads, Lou Reed, Regina Spektor, David Bowie, etc. In a couple of interesting, intimate-seeming podcasts, Gabriel gives plenty of background and insight into the project. In the first… More »

By: 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 No Chimneys” and Magnetic Fields’ “Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree” (from Realism). Download ‘em here. More »

By: 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 to Sufjan or “Last Christmas” or the same old yuletide indie rock. It’s time we spruced up our collective Xmas indie rock playlist with some newness! Even if Christmas isn’tMore »

By: 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 offense, 30 Seconds To Mars. While the Gummys’ virtual poll booth remains open for a few more days (did we mention filling out the ballot enters you to win the… More »

By: 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 eighth LP Realism on January 26th. This comes after a year that offered a particularly momentous Merritt milestone in the classic 69 Love Songs10th anniversary (alongside endorsing Puma and… More »

By: 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 mentioned above along with Elbow, the Kinks, Talking Heads, Lou Reed, David Bowie, and Neil Young. It’s being called a “song swap,” which implies some artists will also cover Gabriel,… More »

By: 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 writing, so I was able to approach the collection entirely as a fan, which has affected how I listen to these three volumes. I’d been into the Magnetic Fields since… More »

By: 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 youth,” dubbed A Drink For The Kids and featuring Grand Hallway, Throw Me The Statue, and a special “solo” headlining set from Robin Pecknold. The lead Fleet Fox delivered a… More »

By: 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 plan to make 50 successful Hollywood musicals.” Don’t doubt it. More »

By: 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 with Superchunk, Spoon, Conor Oberst, M. Ward, Destroyer, and others. If that’s a party you can’t attend, there are some birthday souvenirs you can enjoy without leaving home. Namely 20More »

By: 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 jingles or allowing his songs to be transformed into them. See, for instance, this new ad campaign for PUMA’s L.I.F.T. sneaker. (Thanks for the tip, Scott.) Yes, sounds like a… More »

By: 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 you want to be “first”). But yeah, from Take-Aways to Black Cabs to, we have a variety of ways to see the people we like (or couldn’t give two… More »

By: 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, guess how many) or i (songs all beginning with the same letter, guess which one), though, the principle at play on the latest has nothing to do with words or… More »

By: 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 Fire did get to give a nice little local shout out during their final night of Tokyo shows via “All The Umbrellas In London”‘s “all the money in Tokyo couldn’t… More »

By: 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 their rainy feedback. Listen no further than the a-clang backdrop of “Too Drunk To Dream,” though a better example would be “Please Stop Dancing.” True, the white noise smears frostily… More »

By: Stereogum / January 7, 2008 - 10:34 am

New Magnetic Fields – “Too Drunk To Dream”

We already told you how much we love the blustery, lonesome, Jesus & Mary Chained Distortion and its confounding-in-pink artwork, so we wanted to pass along the link to an MP3 of “Too Drunk To Dream” — which was highlighted in our PE for its downcast lyrics and upbeat swing. The lyrics: “Sober life i… More »

By: Stereogum / January 3, 2008 - 11:51 am