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.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Spinner

Spinner.com has posted a brief, but insightful, interview with Mr. Merritt here, wherein Mr. Merritt dissects the Judy Collins influence on Realism, his plans to score a silent film (something he's wanted to do for a while, to my knowledge), and the potential sound of the next Magnetic Fields record.

Again, the interview is short, but I, for one, am excited about this bevy of information. I'd kill to see 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with a score by Mr. Merritt.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Eamon

The following video features Stephin Merritt and Claudia Gonson (with accompaniment from Mr. Michael Hearst of One Ring Zero) performing a cover of Eamon's Fuck It (I Don't Want you Back) at Kenny Mellman's Our Hit Parade. It's a pretty bare-bones cover with a (obviously) completely different mood and perspective. I'm not musically inclined and thus can't say what instrument it is that Mr. Merritt is playing, but perhaps someone can let me know in the comments. Either way, enjoy!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone! NME has put up a free download of the Magnetic Fields "Everything is One Big Christmas Tree from Realism, presumably in celebration of the holiday with which it concerns itself. Download the song here.

The song is more laid back than the previous download, "We Are Having a Hootenanny," and features a lovely vocal and lyric from Mr. Merritt, and really, is just a really good damn song. The chorus is in German, and I'd love a preemptive translation if someone could. I'm currently awaiting a lyric book so that I may be able to do it myself. I don't want to spoil all of "Realism" before January 26, but these downloads are really making me too excited for words at this point.

Thanks to Nadav Appel of the Stephinsongs mailing list for letting me know this information.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hootenanny

The website Insound just listed the pre-order option for Realism. If you preorder it, you get an instant (and free) download of the song "We Are Having a Hootenanny." Also, if you enter the code magfieldsrealism10, you will get 10% off of your order total.

Having just listened to the song about five times in a row, I can say without guilt that it is pretty much totally worth it. The instrumentation is really, really beautifully arranged, and (as one could guess from the title), it's a completely fun little ditty. The emphasis on the z's makes me smile, Mr. Handler's accordion makes me giddy, the fiddle solo at the end makes me jump for joy, and in general, folks, you have one excited blogger on your hands. Please download and enjoy and support Mr. Merritt's upcoming album all you can.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Claudia

This is a video of Ms. Claudia Gonson singing at an event highlighting the songs of Mr. Nick Hallett known as "Man in the Matriarchy." It's a brilliant song, as are several of the others from said event.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Europe

The Magnetic Fields have announced their 2010 European tour dates. They can be found here.

Ewen

So, this is a bit of information more related to myself than Mr. Merritt, but I still thought I'd share.

A few months ago, I bought a cassette by the Future Bible Heroes on eBay called Vacationland. It was a flummoxing find, to say the least, as I thought I owned, or at least knew about, every item in the vast Merritt catalogue. Vacationland, as it turns out, is a pre-Memories of Love demo featuring several demo versions of Future Bible Heroes songs, plus three songs never released elsewhere. In the booklet that came with the casette, there is a phone number and a message asking you to call said number for more information on the band.
I had considered calling the number several times in the past, but have shyed away from it each time simply because I never assumed anyone would pick up (the cassette is over ten-years-old, after all). But, today, on a whim, I did call the number and was greeted by none other than Mr. Chris Ewen of Future Bible Heroes.
I will go ahead and say that I will not release his phone number or the details of our conversation. All I will say is that Mr. Ewen is a cordial, humble gentleman and speaking to him was a pleasure. He did say that the cassette I held in my hands was indeed a demo they sent out when they were trying to get signed and that probably less than 100 still existed (it was released on PopUp Records, the label Mr. Merritt started in order to release his first few pieces of music).
For those curious, I will give a hint as to the details of our conversation. Read this article and you may get some sort of idea.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Update

There hasn't been much to update on lately, and this blog has henceforth remained with its four little tiny posts. But, just to let anyone who is actually reading my garbage know, I am still very vested in this little project of mine. So, here's an old interview with Mr. Merritt from around the time of the 2008 Distortion tour. Thanks again to the many people who have commended me for my nerdiness. <3

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Largehearted

I have heard tell that Ms. Claudia Gonson is going to appear at this event (via this Twitter account). It's not completely confirmed as it isn't on the Knitting Factory page, but either way it qualifies as news for this blog because Ms. Emma Straub is headlining the event. For those not in the know, Ms. Straub is one half of The Magnetic Fields' merch booth aficionados and a burgeoning young writer to boot.

Film

While Gail O'Hara has said in the past that she is working on a documentary about Stephin Merritt, and I have seen pictures of Miss Kerthy Fix in action over at Airplanes. Donuts. Distortion., I had no idea exactly how official that whole idea was.

Which is to say, the film is currently listed as being in post-production at IMDB. It is entitled Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields, and apparently only features Mr. Sam Davol. It is purported to be released in 2010. All of this information, clearly, is still quite hazy, and I will henceforth try to keep updated on this exciting bit of information.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Realism, Tour, Stroke



The Magnetic Fields recently announced their new record entitled Realism, to be released on Nonesuch Records on January 26, 2010. See its cover above.

About the record, Mr. Merritt says he views it as a companion to 2008's Distortion. A bevy of insight into Mr. Merritt's process with the record can be found here, (where one also has the option to preorder the record on CD, vinyl, or MP3). Of particular interest is the presence of Johnny Blood on tuba, who has not appeared on a Magnetic Fields release since 1994's Holiday.

The Magnetic Fields have also announced a 2010 tour, starting February 4th. See the dates and find links to purchase tickets here.

Stephin recently contributed a track to Stroke: Songs for Chris Knox. Stephin does a cover of the Tall Dwarfs song "Beauty." Chris Knox contributed vocals to The 6ths song "When I'm Out of Town," from 1995's Wasps' Nests. Stroke was recently released in New Zealand, and will be released via Merge Records in February 2010.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This is a test.

I have been contemplating the idea of creating my own Stephin Merritt fan site for quite some time now, but have had inhibitions about doing so due to my lack of HTML skills. So, I have copped out and created Aging Spinsters on Blogspot, which I hope becomes a better idea than it seems to be.

A little backstory is in order, I suppose. My name is Michael, and I hope in future entries to avoid speaking in third person. My love of Mr. Merritt's music is far from minimal; thinking of the obscene amount of money I have spent on completing my collection and the countless hours spent researching every ounce of information I could find makes my head spin. So, not to be immodest, but I consider myself to be quite a reliable source on most things Stephin-related.

We shall see how long this project really lasts...