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.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

This American Life song lyrics

I know Stephin Merritt didn't actually write the lyrics to the songs from the latest This American Life, but I took the liberty of transcribing the lyrics anyhow. I highly recommend you support Mr. Merritt and buy the songs here.


Big Blank Sheet of Paper
I had this big blank sheet of paper,
where I was going to write my reasons to live,
or why not end it all today?
And kids was the only reason I could give.

I felt betrayed by my religion,
& by the only person I had ever loved
& opened up to.
You bet I felt betrayed!

They all said pray!
Yeah, well, I prayed.

I've had the knife sitting in front of me.
I've had the pills sitting in front of me.
And I've been sitting right up on the cliff's edge,
with one foot dangling off the ledge,
& kids was the only reason I could give.

They all said pray!
Yeah, well, I prayed.

Colorado City
Back in Colorado City,
we did not associate with colored people.
But, in Ogden, it's okay.
These two kids who spoke Swahili -
we all had this barbecue -
& my girls loved them!
It was just like night & day,
seeing my kids play!

Back in Colorado City,
wearing shorts is like rebelling before God.
But, in Ogden they don't care,
so we wore just what we wanted.
Girls went shopping (skirts & dresses)
& played music!
We could never do that there -
everyone would stare!

We couldn't wear red because maybe that's what Jesus would wear,
we couldn't wear anything bought in a store.
We couldn't eat sugar, play games,
the kids couldn't have toys,
or do anything fun anymore.

But, in Ogden we had parties!
And the older kids went on a roller coaster,
& they went and got their hair done

Drive
I've lost hope,
& I lost my youth.
Lost my church,
& the whole darn truth!
I lost my health,
I can't do 9 to 5,
but I can still drive.

I started life again at 33.
I hauled my ass to Texas to be me,
to save my sanity!

I lost my family,
all the doors slammed shut.
I know who I am,
but I'm not sure what.
I did what I had to do to survive.
I don't sleep too well,
But I can still drive.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

This American Life, more

If you haven't listened to the latest This American Life, then not only are you not stereotypically right in the thrust of Stephin Merritt's usual demographic, but you're missing out on a mini-musical by Mr. Merritt himself. The episode, about regrets, features a really charming story told by producer Miki Meek and scored with original songs by Mr. Merritt. Listen to his segment here. If you find yourself uninterested in radio journalism, you can download just the songs here.

Also, due to either laziness or business (I'll let you decide), I neglected to mention that Stephin Merritt's Performance, a collaboration with choreographer Rashaun Mitchell that premiered in Boston last year, had a brief run in Los Angeles. I mention it after the fact only because there are some pretty enticing pictures at this link, including the one to the right.

As per usual, Mr. Merritt has been offering tons of interviews around the release of his new book. I'll spare us all by only posting two. This one, with Peter Sagal, is delightful, somewhat informative and features occasional background laughter from one handsome little blogger. And, this one, conducted at the LA Review of Books, is shorter but fun nonetheless.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pair of Interviews

I typically try to only post interviews in bulk or alongside something more substantial to avoid making this meager blog look more ugly and over-crowded than it may already be. But, there are two recent interviews that are both quite good and I thought it might be prudent to share them promptly as opposed to waiting.

The AV Club provides the first here, and in it Mr. Merritt answers a pretty diverse array of questions. Most of them aren't of particular substance necessarily, but if you're sick of reading the "I put the poems on index cards" story but still appreciate Mr. Merritt's punditry, then it is recommended.

The next with the New York City Center is here. In it, Mr. Merritt talks at length about his favorite obscure musical and goes into some detail about his own work in musical theater. I really recommend it. Thanks very much to Matt Weinstock for sending the interview my way!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

An event, some interviews

Next month, Stephin Merritt will be performing at Le Poisson Rouge next month with Tanya Donnelly. Also in attendance will be the inimitable Sam Davol. Tickets and further information can be found here.

There have also been several interviews lately, but to spare all of our sanity I'll only post those that offer the most information. Salon interviews Mr. Merritt here, the last line of which perhaps sums up every interview Mr. Merritt has done for the past 15 or so years.

Also, Mr. Merritt's recent interview at the JCCSF (part of his recent book tour) has been uploaded to Youtube. It's fairly fun and features a musicalized version of the poem "Aa," as well as a somewhat impromptu performance of "Roses," about which I reckon I am one of the few to be significantly excited. Find it embedded below.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Interviews, a new live date

Ever the trusty pundit, Mr. Merritt has been doing a few interviews to promote 101 Two-Letter Words. The first is this one with The New Yorker, whose title I can't believe isn't being used by every single goddamn article about the book.

The LA Times offers this short interview, wherein Mr. Merritt explains the impetus for making his mnemonic devices poems and not songs.

Paste Magazine offers this interview, which only serves as reminder of how badly I want to hear Mr. Merritt's song about Ethan Frome.

Most excitingly though, is the fact that Mr. Merritt is continuing his series of solo live shows. The day after his Chicago book tour stop, Mr. Merritt will be performing at The Old Town School of Folk Music in the same city. More information can be found here.

Having seen The Magnetic Fields play the same venue in 2008, I can attest to it being a really wonderful space for this music. If you go to the show, be sure to come say hi to a certain little blogger, as I've already procured tickets thanks to the overflowing kindness of one Mr. Andrew Horton and his friend Jessica.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

New York Times Interview

The New York Times did this interview with Stephin Merritt. It's a quick read and offers little in the way of new information, although the new book is discussed in some depth. So, there's that.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dans la cour

Stephin Merritt wrote the score for the new Catherine Deneuve film Dans la Cour (the English translation being In the Courtyard). The film premiered in France earlier this year, with an international release forthcoming. The film's plot revolves around a musician, so it's possible that the music is more than just incidental, although this is purely conjecture on my part. That being said, Mr. Merritt's incidental music for Eban and Charley is some of my favorite work of his, so I'd be excited to hear anything! Watch the trailer for the film below.