The Magnetic Fields

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alongwaltz
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The Magnetic Fields

Post by alongwaltz » Mon May 05, 2008 3:14 am

I'm sure a lot of people will ignore or not appreciate this when compared to the rest of their catalogue but Distortion sits as my favorite album of the year so far and, with every listen, I appreciate it even more.

I'm consistently reminded of why they're my favorite band and, it might be overused, but I can't think of a better adjective than genius for Merritt.


'Xavier Says' is written in the form of a play. This is backed by a depressing Christmas song. Which in turn is followed by a traditional rhyming song, a noise-country song, and a sing-along drinking song.

I love that he rhymes words that look like they should rhyme on paper but don't actually, like blood and good.

I love that Shirley is back contributing vocals on this as the variety really is just lovely.

I love how I can't decide on which song to include on a mixtape because I love every single song for a different reason.


And I love how in 'The Nun's Litany', one of the verses is:
I want to be a dominatrix
which isn't like me, but I can dream
learn S, and M,
and all those gay tricks
and men will pay me to
make them scream


The fact that he didn't write S&M is clearly a reference to his initials as well as the double-meaning of "all those gay tricks". It's that kind of thing which just consistently wows me.


If you haven't given this album a chance, do so.
If you have, do so again and this time just sit and read along to the lyrics while you do.

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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by Trev » Mon May 05, 2008 10:16 am

I think 'Distortion' is a fine record. Not their best - but still a fine record.
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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by caramarydaisy » Mon May 05, 2008 10:48 am

i really really love distortion as well.. definitely up there with some of the best stuff hes done.
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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by wrapyrtroubles » Mon May 05, 2008 10:53 am

How embarrassing, I haven't even listened to Distortion yet :-/ How can I look people in the eye and say I'm a fan?

I'm happy because I've just cracked one of my big music mysteries this morning... I had a Stephin Merritt compilation CD someone made me with no proper tracklisting, one of my favourite of his songs was on there but any further information has been eluding me for years, and what's worse I lost the amazing compilation :(

Anyway here are the lyrics. I always thought it was "all dressed up in jeans"! That must be why I couldn't find it anywhere :-/ But All Dressed up in Dreams is more appropriate for me considering the title of my zine don't you think? ;)

So it's actually by the 6ths, from the album 'Wasps' Nests'. Hurrah. Anyone else like this one?

All Dressed Up in Dreams

I was happy
Which is not like me at all
For an hour
I was feeling ten feet tall
And I had myself a ball
I was heading for a fall

I got all dressed up in dreams
And I waited by the door
But you never even called
To tell me you don't love me anymore

You're so pretty
Everybody falls for you
In this city
It's the only thing to do
So I cried for 16 days
And I cried in 16 ways

I got all dressed up in dreams
And I waited by the door
But you never even called
To tell me you don't love me anymore

You said you'd arrive at 8
But you're 17 days late

I got all dressed up in dreams
And I waited by the door
But you never even called
To tell me you don't love me anymore

So I wander in the rain
As I slowly go insane

I got all dressed up in dreams
And I waited by the door
But you never even called
To tell me you don't love me anymore

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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by unboyfriendable » Tue May 20, 2008 1:12 pm

I like the new album quite a bit actually. After the first listen I wasn't sure, but I've had a chance to let it grow on me (and actually read the lyrics in the booklet instead of trying to make out certain words which, in some of the songs, is verging on impossible unless you know them already) and now I'm rather fond of it. There are some stellar tracks on this one and, even though it's not my favourite MFs album, it's a solid effort. However, since 69LS I've felt as though the output is lacking. Not necessarily in quality, but quantity. I always finish Merritt's albums wanting more songs!

Oh, and I like "All Dressed Up in Dreams" too, wrapyrtroubles. It's a good sing-along track for me. And I can totally understand your mishearing of the lyrics! It makes sense, after all. ;)

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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by cacophoney » Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:20 pm

wrapyrtroubles wrote:So it's actually by the 6ths, from the album 'Wasps' Nests'. Hurrah. Anyone else like this one?

All Dressed Up in Dreams
Yeah, that's a sweet one.
Oh and I love their vid of "With whom to dance"..

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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by alongwaltz » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:26 pm

I'm kind of disgruntled that my Distortion thread was turned into a generic Magnetic Fields thread. I don't see why we can't have two different ones.

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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by wrapyrtroubles » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:37 pm

alongwaltz wrote:I'm kind of disgruntled that my Distortion thread was turned into a generic Magnetic Fields thread. I don't see why we can't have two different ones.
i guess if there was a thread for every release by every band it would get kinda insane on here.

i'd just like to say i still love mf, and the 6ths, and i hope to continue to do so, forever. i only mention this in the light of some (not so) recent comments in the last fm thread, suggesting our love for magnetic fields was on the wane. also i have a friend who claims to love every track on 69 loves songs equally. i find this intriguing.

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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by let it ride » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:26 pm

Jonny and I will see MF play in Stockholm when we're there, which should be nice! It's in this beautiful old theatre, which is one of my favourite concert venues.
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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by glitterbadges » Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:42 pm

what light wrote:Jonny and I will see MF play in Stockholm when we're there, which should be nice! It's in this beautiful old theatre, which is one of my favourite concert venues.
Oh, I'll be there too, may see you around then (:
I know, cirkus is such a nice place! Love concerts when you just can sit down and listen/enjoy.

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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by jayen_aitch » Sun Jun 29, 2008 4:47 pm

This morning we got up, jumped into the Baltic Sea, painted some of a house, and then travelled back from one of the Stockholm Archipelago's 24,000 islands to Stockholm itself to see the Magnetic Fields.

We're getting a quick supper now and then we shall go to see them, I can't wait.

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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by let it ride » Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:36 pm

Ooh I enjoyed that! Darren Hanlon played support. It was a lovely little intimate gig, and they seemed to be in a great mood. It was Shirley's 30th! I had no idea what they looked like. They played the song Amy mentions above, and lots of lovely, lovely other ones.

Ah! A great and beautiful gig.

On a sidenote: The sound at Cirkus here in Stockholm deserves awards, it's so bloody good.
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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by jayen_aitch » Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:48 am

That's true, I hadn't thought about it, probably because there was nothing wrong with it, but the sound was really good, and the shape of the room looks sort of tricky... Is it always that good there, or do we think they brought their own sound person?

It was an excellent gig, best I have seen for some time. I felt both musically sated, and entertained.

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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by grumpytimes » Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:07 pm

would you say there is much on offer for a stephin merritt fan who isn't too fond of the post-69 love songs stuff?

i'm seeing them on the 9th...

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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by shaved head thrills » Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:25 pm

grumpytimes wrote:would you say there is much on offer for a stephin merritt fan who isn't too fond of the post-69 love songs stuff?

i'm seeing them on the 9th...
i dont really even like 69 love songs very much
too much ukelele :(
all i ever wanted was a happy happy heart!
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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by grumpytimes » Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:28 pm

shaved head thrills wrote:
grumpytimes wrote:would you say there is much on offer for a stephin merritt fan who isn't too fond of the post-69 love songs stuff?

i'm seeing them on the 9th...
i dont really even like 69 love songs very much
too much ukelele :(
i feel the same way, but never really had the guts to say so.

there are certainly songs on it i like, but don't enjoy listening to them in the context of the album.

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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by crystalball » Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:32 pm

Yeah, me too. It's too much of a concept album, isn't it? Holiday forever!

But they're always good live, I've found, despite Stephin invariably having health complaints. Last time I saw them he had ear trouble and wouldn't let us clap. It was well funny.

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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by shaved head thrills » Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:55 pm

haha i guess i finally said what everyone was thinking!
ive always prefered Wayward Bus... more than anything else
and Wasp's Nest by The 6ths is better than any mag fields record anyway.. in my opinion
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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by shaved head thrills » Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:58 pm

"falling out of love (with you)" is just so so great... so pretty and wonderful and everything
i put it on a mix i made for my girlfriend because it's just so lovely, but was sure to explain that i was not infact actually falling out of love with her... haha
all i ever wanted was a happy happy heart!
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Re: The Magnetic Fields

Post by grumpytimes » Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:01 pm

crystalball wrote:Yeah, me too. It's too much of a concept album, isn't it? Holiday forever!

But they're always good live, I've found, despite Stephin invariably having health complaints. Last time I saw them he had ear trouble and wouldn't let us clap. It was well funny.
i've heard about that ear thing a few times - apparently it reverbs or something. that's what wikipedia claims anyway.

I always thought of Charm of the Highway Strip as my favourite album until I got totally hooked on Holiday about a year ago. These days it's too close to call.

I think his recent output has proved his believe that sincerity has no place in music to be incorrect.

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