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.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Videos, a short review

A few days ago, I got to see Mr. Merritt on his current solo tour. As expected, the show was really magnificent. While it's being billed as a solo tour, Mr. Merritt was accompanied by longtime Magnetic Fields cellist Sam Davol. The sparse arrangements this lineup led to were a thrill to see, with the songs sounding much different than I've ever heard them, including in other live iterations. Particular highlights were "Andrew in Drag," which sounded more heartbreaking than ever before and "The Dead Only Quickly," the string arrangement of which hasn't escaped my head since the show. While the bulk of the tour is over, Mr. Merritt does have some more events coming up this year on the east coast, and I highly suggest you go if it's at all feasible for you to do so. You will not be disappointed.

In the meantime, though, here are some videos from the current tour:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Stephin Merritt podcast apperance

Stephin Merritt appears on the podcast Food is the New Rock here. It is a food-based podcast, so they largely discuss Mr. Merritt's veganism, although they touch on other topics as well. It's a fun interview wherein Mr. Merritt appears pretty genial. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Two Coraline productions, more

This weekend (and this weekend alone), the University of Texas Pan-American will be putting on a production of Stephin Merritt's musical Coraline. More information about the production can be found here. Not to be outdone, Children's Theatre of Charlotte will be doing their own production of the musical starting in October. Information about this production is scant, but go here to view their current season.

If you live near either of these productions, I highly suggest you go see the show. I saw a production of it here in Chicago last year and it was phenomenal!

Ever the feather-ruffler, Mr. Merritt wrote a scathing review of literary darling Roxanne Gay's latest novel here. There were a lot of reactions to this piece, some more warranted than others.

Don't forget to go see Mr. Merritt and Sam Davol on their current tour!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Stephin Merritt Summer solo tour

This May, Stephin Merritt will be heading out on a short string of solo dates, accompanied by longtime Magnetic Fields cellist Sam Davol. Dates can be found here, at the much-revamped House of Tomorrow tour calendar.

I imagine there are dates that have not yet been officially announced, as I just purchased tickets for a show in Columbus here. Naturally, I'll try to stay abreast of dates as they're announced. I'm beyond excited to see the Columbus show, though, and am anxious to see any other potential dates that may be announced.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Million Trillion Bugs

Stephin Merritt wrote a song entitled "A Million Trillion Bugs" for the HBO documentary Saving My Tomorrow. The song is short and charming and can be heard here. The documentary is a youth-focused nature documentary with  a weird all-star cast. More information here.

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

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.