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, May 23, 2011

NEW STEPHIN MERRITT RELEASE!

That's right!  A long-awaited Stephin Merritt rarities collection is in the works, and it has a super delicious-looking cover.  Can words express how excited I am by this prospect?  NONONO!

Sure, half the tracks are available on 7" records and other such things, but the other half are songs that have never before been released!!  There are three songs from the as-yet unfinished Stephin Merritt/Daniel Handler musical collaboration The Song From Venus, one 69 Love Songs outtake, and the heavy metal song "Scream (Till You Make the Scene)," which Mr. Merritt briefly mentions in Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields.

The album, about which I am having trouble not pontificating at this point, is being released August 23rd by Merge Records (which seems strange, but most of these songs were originally released on Merge, so I assume it's a legal issue).  I highly recommend that everyone read this Stereogum article, in which Mr. Merritt extrapolates about each song on the forthcoming release.  More excitingly, it features an mp3 of "Forever and a Day," a song from The Song From Venus.  It's a very beautiful ukulele wedding song that sounds like it would have fit perfectly on 69 Love Songs.

I haven't been this excited to post a piece of news on this blog in a long time!  Let us all rejoice!  I have yet to locate a place where a preorder is available, but you can assume it'll be mentioned here as soon as it becomes available to preorder.

22 comments:

  1. That cover's pretty cool. At first glance I was expecting it to be the soundtrack to "20000 leagues". That never ended up getting bootlegged or anything, did it?

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  2. I haven't heard anything about "20,000 Leagues," much to my chagrin. While I cannot source it right now, I'm relatively sure Mr. Merritt is quoted as saying that he has no intention of releasing it any form. Kind of a bummer.

    Also, Merge Records has "Plan White Roses" listed as A Buffalo Rome song. This is leading me to believe that it is a pre-TMF Shirley-sung version of the song, and not simply the Susan Anway version from Distant Plastic Trees and The Long Secret. If this is the case, HOLY SHIT OH MY GOD YES. I've been dying to hear that stuff for years now.

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  3. excellent news. one can only hope that this encourages Mr Merritt to open the vaults even further.

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  4. My sentiments exactly, Mr. Pena. There are tons of good songs that could be featured on Obscurities volumes 2-6, at least.

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  5. minimally! remember he once said that the MFers could go on for 20+ years after he's gone with all the stuff he has now. he's just a tease at this point.

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  6. Haha, still no "Satan, Your Way is a Hard One."

    I'm very excited for this.

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  7. I believe the master recording of "Satan, Your Way is a Hard One" was lost in a computer crash of some sort, though I'm not remembering the source of this information...

    The title of that song has always intrigued me beyond belief though. Hopefully "Scream (Till You Make the Scene)" will make up for its absence.

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  8. I've posted a cover of "Forever and a Day" on youtube, with lyrics and chords, if anyone is interested. I didn't know what a "sine qua non" was until now!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiptOIcmUOk

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  9. Mr. David! This is lovely! Thank you for actually recording the piano and the backing vocals, both of which are lovely, if subtle, flourishes to the song. Also, thanks very much for sharing.

    I really do think this is a really beautiful cover. Though, I must admit, it is funny to hear the words "and I'm a baritone" sung in that voice!

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  10. A pretty slim picking. Most members of the Merrittocracy will have these obscurities anyway, and the rest will pick up the morsels via itunes or illegal downloads. (Which I deplore, but that's a fact).

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  11. I know most of the ripped vinyl B-sides aren't the best quality, so there's an incentive to get a proper-quality recording of them. And there's a half-dozen unreleased songs. Not that I'm not hungry for more. I'm probably most excited for the 69LS b-side, just so I can queue it up with the rest of them and hear how it sounds. Really, he should have had THREE 69LS b-sides, so the albums would stay balanced :)

    Thanks for the notes on my cover, Michael. I feel slightly less ridiculous singing the baritone line knowing that few can travel the depths to which Stephin's voice descends!

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  12. Mr. Nicholls: My excitement over the five new songs prevents me from being overly concerned about paying for nine songs of which I already own multiple copies. Of course I understand such trepidations, though, especially considering Mr. Merritt's wide back catalogue from which to draw rarities.

    Mr. David: Listened to some other songs on your account; your voice is so good! Of course, I enjoyed "Reno Dakota" tons and tons (and you nailed the uneven tempo), but I also really like the Sufjan cover. Keep up the good work, for sure, sir!

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  13. I just discovered something, the song "You Are Not My Mother and I Want to Go Home" is listed by The Gothic Archies. I guess this means that they probably didn't have to change the name of the band...

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  14. Not being as studied in law as I wish I were, I'm not sure if the fact that the song was originally credited as The Gothic Archies years ago has anything to do with this... After all, in repressings of the albums, the name hasn't changed either.

    But, lord knows.

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  15. it just occurred to me that this is a Merge release. they're no longer on the label, which means if Merge wants to get some Merritt Cash, they need to purge and release what's in the can!!! they must release more rarities!!!

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  16. Preorders available on Merge. $14 for the CD version and $18 for the LP version with a download coupon.

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  17. This is off topic, but it might interest you to know that I have discovered some very scant information about the A Buffalo Rome cassette, 'Cooking For The Priests'. A current or former owner of a copy (he's very vague) has told me that it was a "cassette-only release by Stephin Merritt of songs which would later appear on the first two Magnetic Fields albums". I'm trying to make more headway. We'll see how it goes.

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  18. Woo-hoo! Just discovered it's getting a UK release via Domino Records on September 5th!

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