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Surely you are reading Aging Spinsters: A Stephin Merritt Fan-Blog to get your up-to-the-minute Merritt/Magnetic Fields news.
Just poking my head out of the turtle shell to say that the guitar tab for Love at the Bottom of the Sea is now up on the tab site, here.
Merge Records will release the compilation Obscurities on August 23, which features material from out-of-print Magnetic Fields and 6ths singles and unreleased tracks, including ones written for the unfinished musical The Song from Venus. This Stereogum article includes comments from Merritt about the songs.
Stephin Merritt recorded a cover of Franz Ferdinand's "Dream Again" for the EP entitled Covers, released in May on Domino Records. You can listen to the cover here.
Merritt was interviewed for an upcoming documentary entitled Just Gimme Indie Rock!, and a video excerpt is on YouTube here.
Here's information about upcoming screenings of the documentary Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields, submitted by Variance Films:
STRANGE POWERS: STEPHIN MERRITT AND THE MAGNETIC FIELDS is coming to theaters!
It was ten years in the making- but
now it's time! Strange Powers, the award-winning
documentary film about Stephin Merritt
and the Magnetic Fields, is hitting theaters across the country
Tickets are on sale right now for the Los Angeles run, which starts November 5th at Laemmle's Sunset 5. Stephin and the filmmakers will be making guest appearances at the Friday and Saturday evening shows, and the theater isn't gigantic- so these shows WILL sell out. Do yourself a solid and get your tickets in advance at tiny.cc/strangepowerslatix
After that, we're taking our show on the road, with new release dates around the US and Canada being added constantly. We'll have special events and contests in many cities, where you can win CDs from the Magnetic Fields, signed posters, and more. The best way to find out about additional screenings, as well as contests and parties, is to join our Facebook page at tiny.cc/strangepowersfb
CURRENT RELEASE DATES (more coming all the time)
10/27: New York City - Film Forum
(Stephin Merritt and filmmakers in person at select screenings!)
FIND OUT ABOUT MORE STRANGE POWERS SPECIAL EVENTS AND CONTESTS FOR YOUR CITY BY JOINING YOUR LOCAL FACEBOOK PAGE!
Don't see your city on the list? If you want to join the team by leading the local Facebook group and helping us bring the film to your city, email us at StrangePowersTeam@gmail.com and we'll tell you how!
Here's info about the west coast premiere of the musical Coraline, featuring the music and lyrics of Stephin Merritt, submitted by the SF Playhouse:WHAT: A musical like no other, Coraline sprang from the minds of three of the most wildly popular cult figures of our time. Adapted from the terrifying children's book by Neil Gaiman (author of the international sensation Sandman), this tale of menace and mayhem was set to music and lyrics by smart-rock iconoclast Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, and boasted a book by celebrated downtown actor/playwright, David Greenspan (She Stoops to Comedy, Dead Mother).
Poor bored Coraline. She's left to rattle 'round her perpetually distracted, workaholic parents' house all by her lonesome. But late one night, her dreams of a better reality come true as she opens a big, carved, wooden door at the far end of the drawing room and passes into a perfect replica of her own world. When she's greeted there by a vastly loving Other Mother and a kindly Other Father, she's thrilled! But as the rats start to creep from the floorboards, and the way home becomes increasingly unclear, Coraline begins to suspect that, perhaps, all is not as perfect as it seems.
DATES: Previews: November 16, 17, 18, 19 - 8pm
Open: November 20, 2010 8pm
Close: January 15, 2011
SHOWS: Tues./Wed. 7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 8 p.m., plus Saturdays 3 p.m.
WHERE: The SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter Street (one block off Union Square, b/n Powell & Mason)
TICKETS: For tickets ($30-$45) or more information, the public may contact The SF Playhouse box office at 415-677-9596, or www.sfplayhouse.org.
June 10, 2010:
The documentary Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields, directed by Kerthy Fix and Gail O'Hara, has been screened at various film festivals this year, and it will be released by Variance Films to open in North American theatres after an October 27 screening at Film Forum in NYC.
Stephin Merritt won an Obie award for his music and lyrics for the off-Broadway adaptation of Neil Gaiman's story Coraline.
The guitar tab site has been updated with tab for Realism.
January 26, 2010:
The new Magnetic Fields album Realism was released on Nonesuch today, and the band will be touring to support it, starting in February. Show dates are here.
I recommend the new blog devoted to all things Merritt, called Aging Spinsters: A Stephin Merritt Fan-Blog. It is maintained by Michael Williamson and features up-to-the-minute information, links, and analysis.
Stephin Merritt contributed a cover of the Tall Dwarfs song "Beauty" to the upcoming Chris Knox tribute double-album, entitled Stroke: Songs for Chris Knox. It will be released on February 23 on Merge Records, and all proceeds go to Chris Knox, who suffered a stroke in June 2009. Note that Chris Knox was the singer of the 6ths track "When I'm Out of Town."
August 3, 2008:
The Magnetic Fields will be touring the United States this October. See the House of Tomorrow's calendar page for more details.
Stephin Merritt wrote the music and lyrics for a theatrical adaptation of Coraline by Neil Gaiman, which will premiere in NYC on May 6, 2009. More info is here.
The guitar tab site has been updated with tab for Distortion and The Tragic Treasury.
January 18, 2008:
A Wiki devoted to all things Stephin Merritt was launched this week: You're So Technical. You are encouraged to visit and contribute writings to what will undoubtedly be a valuable resource. (Thanks to Nigel E.)
January 15, 2008:
The new Magnetic Fields album Distortion was released on Nonesuch today. The group will be doing two-to-four day "residencies" in various cities this February and March.
Merritt was selected for the first installment of "Project Song," from NPR's All Songs Considered. He was asked to create a song in two days inspired by an image and a word or phrase, and the result was a track called "A Man of a Million Faces."
Also...you may have heard Stephin in two Volvo commercials; one of them uses an adapted version of a familiar childhood bus passenger chant, and the other features a new tune called "I'm in a Lonely Way."
December 17, 2006:
ld beghtol's field guide to 69 Love Songs is out now on Continuum. Amazon has it here.
September 17, 2006:
Merritt has contributed a track for the compilation album Exodus - Plague Songs, commissioned by Artangel and to be released on 4AD Records. Each of the album's songs is based on a different biblical plague, and Merritt's song is "The Meaning of Lice." Other contributors include Nonesuch labelmate Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno with Robert Wyatt, and Scott Walker. A related event will be occurring on Exodus Day (September 30) in the town of Margate, with local singers and musicians performing the songs from the album (not the original musicians).
On certain dates of his book tour to promote the final installment of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket will be joined by Merritt, who will perform songs from the upcoming Gothic Archies tie-in album, The Tragic Treasury (Oct. 10 release on Nonesuch). At this time, I do not know which appearances will feature Merritt and which ones will not, unfortunately. Read this conversation between Merritt and Snicket published by the Guardian.
The 92nd St. Y in New York City will host "The Lyricist's Voice: Stephin Merritt with Rick Moody" on November 27 (Mon), which will feature discussion and several songs by Merritt and his ukulele. Details, along with ticket info, are here.
(Thanks to David Jennings and Mark Ynys-Mon!)
July 23, 2006:
Future Bible Heroes have a track, "Mr. Punch," on the compilation Where's Neil When You Need Him? The album, which was released on July 18 on Dancing Ferret Discs, features songs inspired by the stories of Neil Gaiman (Sandman, American Gods, Coraline).
On June 11, 2006, Merritt participated in an eight-hour performance of "Vexations" by Erik Satie, a piece which is repeated 840 times when played according to Satie's specification. This event, called Pianoless Vexations, featured various musicians including Alan Licht, David Grubbs, author Rick Moody, and Margaret Leng Tan (who played a toy piano on the 6ths track "I've Got New York"). Ubu has MP3s of the whole performance, here.
At the Experience Music Project Pop Conference this year, in Seattle in April, Merritt was the keynote speaker. The conference had the theme of "Ain't That a Shame": Loving Music in the Shadow of Doubt, and some of Merritt's comments sparked a few reactions, to say the least.
The Gothic Archies album to be released on Nonesuch this October, tying in with Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, is to be called The Tragic Treasury.
And lastly, "I Think I Need a New Heart" by the Magnetic Fields is being used in commercials for Cesar Canine Cuisine dog food.
February 16, 2006:
ld beghtol is currently writing a book about 69 Love Songs, and he is making an open request for "anecdotes, images, and other stuff related to the record, its songs and how it's affected people's lives/art/etc." - this also goes for live performances of 69LS. If you'd like to contribute something, email him at this address: tmf69lovesongs at aol dawt cawm
Check out this recent interview with Claudia Gonson.
January 29, 2006:
The Gothic Archies plan to release a CD this Fall of songs which accompany Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. This will coincide with the release of the 13th and final book of the series, on October 13 (Friday the 13th, by the way), and the CD will include 13 songs plus bonus tracks.
Stephin Merritt has a new weekly DJ gig, called the Phantastic Invisible Tentacle, which happens every Monday at 9 PM at the Beauty Bar (231 East 14th St. near 3rd Ave.) in NYC. Along with DJ Go-Karff and DJ Shermy, Merritt will spin a mix of psychedelic bubblegum music, and there's no cover charge.
Magnetic Fields vocalist ld beghtol has been selected to write an entire book about 69 Love Songs as part of Continuum's 33 1/3 series. This will be published some time in 2007 or 2008.
January 12, 2006:
The new Stephin Merritt album, Showtunes, will be released by Nonesuch on March 14. It will include selections from three plays, The Orphan of Zhao, Peach Blossom Fan, and My Life as a Fairy Tale. Cover art and a track listing may be seen here.
Presented by Stephin Merritt and David Yarritu, RUNT occurs every Wednesday at Nowhere Bar (322 E. 14th St. [1st-2nd Ave], NYC) and is a gathering for people of modest height.
Meaningless is "a dedication to the songs of the Magnetic Fields" and features numerous Merritt covers available as MP3 downloads.
The guitar tab site has been updated with tab for Eban and Charley, Pieces of April, i, and the tracks "Kings" and "Babies Falling." Go nuts.
May 1, 2005:
Merritt's third collaboration with director Chen Shi-Zheng, My Life as a Fairy Tale, is a “musical fantasia about [Hans Christian] Andersen's life and work” and will star Fiona Shaw and Blair Brown. It will premiere at the Lincoln Center Festival in NYC July 27 through 30 and will also be performed in Aarhus, Denmark on September 2 and 3. More details are at the House of Tomorrow.
Two Chinese Operas, a two-disc set scheduled to be released by Nonesuch this July, will compile music from the first two Merritt/Chen Shi-Zheng collaborations, The Orphan of Zhao and Peach Blossom Fan.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman (the audio book of which featured original music by Merritt) is going to be adapted into a full-blown musical, with Merritt as the composer. It is tentatively scheduled to be ready in the Fall of 2006 and will be performed at St. Ann's Warehouse in NYC and other theatres in the U.S.
stuff I should have mentioned here before:
Meet the Lucky Ones: Merritt created a theme song for the Mercury ad campaign “Meet the Lucky Ones”; the web site also features excerpts from various other Merritt tunes.
February 14, 2005:
Merritt-related release roundup, 2004:
* The Magnetic Fields: i
(Nonesuch) - the
long-awaited new album!
The songs that inspired the songs about songs: announcing Stephinsources, the Stephin Merritt MP3 blog with no music actually by Stephin Merritt.
Every week, I will post two
new MP3s for your listening pleasure, each of which will
fall into one of the following categories:
This blog will never, I repeat - never, post music that was actually made by Merritt. It will be updated every Monday, and each song will be available for 10 days.
May 1, 2004:
The Magnetic Fields will perform off and on throughout May and the Summer. Check the House of Tomorrow for the latest information regarding venues/ticketing/etc.
Read an article about the Magnetic Fields at Salon and a review of the new album in the Seattle Weekly.
February 14, 2004:
Hooray! The new album by the Magnetic Fields - simply entitled "i" - will be released by Nonesuch on May 4, 2004. It will consist of 14 songs that all begin with the letter i, including a re-recorded version of "I Don't Believe You." The band plans on supporting the album with live performances.
Merritt-related release roundup, 2003:
* Stephin Merritt: Pieces
of April (Nonesuch)
- contains 4 new songs by the Magnetic Fields, 1 new Merritt
tune, and 5 previously released Magnetic Fields/6ths tracks.
READ NEWS FROM 2002-2003
Comments may be mailed to longvermontroads at yahoo dawt cawm. This is not an official site.
Many thanks go to Chris Heschong, a generous and kind soul who has graciously provided the server/networking resources for this site and the mailing list since the very beginning.