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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:29 pm 
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I started by buying the first disc of 69 on a whim, so length was never an issue for me. I do think it's their most accessible album. It's more consistent and open in its pop sensibilities than much of their earlier stuff, without being as violently cute as what would follow; the production, while not quite as lush as that of Realism or as magical as Trees, is exceptionally clean.

I'm working now on a ~45 minute mix that touches on everything, from the Anway era to present. Hopefully it will serve as both a digestible and comprehensive intro to the band. I'll put it on Grooveshark and post the link here when I'm satisfied.

Avery_Island wrote:
No. They've not toured the UK in a few years. :(


It's an awesome experience. Very intimate in a very un-rock way, to put a twist on the "chamber pop" label. Stephin was in good spirits when I saw them, cracking plenty of jokes about dead cats, although I'm sure your mileage will vary — Claudia is the real frontman, anyway. Worth it just to hear all these great synth- and feedback-heavy songs (in the case of Distortion) performed with strings.

BTW I saw the link to your Last.fm and req'd you, if you're wondering who that is.


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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:37 pm 
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Here's an extended discography. All of these releases should be in the OP, although I suppose the Zinnias stuff is borderline. But why not. I was also tempted to include the not-yet-resurfaced Buffalo Rome demo, Cooking for the Priests, which was recorded in 1983 (!!!) and featured Shirley Simms on vocals.

I also rejiggered the tiers a bit, which we can discuss (rules of engagement dictate that I give my arguments first, but this post is long enough as it is).


The Magnetic Fields

Studio Albums:
Distant Plastic Trees (1991)
The Wayward Bus (1992)
The Charm of the Highway Strip (1994)
Holiday (1994)
Get Lost (1995)
69 Love Songs (1999)
i (2004)
Distortion (2008)
Realism (2010)

Other Releases:
The House of Tomorrow (EP)(1992)
Distant Plastic Trees/The Wayward Bus (2 for 1 album)(1995)

Recommended First Listen: 69 Love Songs


Side Projects

The 6ths
Wasps' Nests (1995)
Hyacinths and Thistles (2000)

Stephin Merritt (solo)
Eban & Charley (2002)
Pieces of April (2003)
The Orphan of Zhao (2006)
Peach Blossom Fan (2006)
My Life as a Fairy Tale (2006)
Showtunes (Compilation)(2006)
Coraline (2010)

The Gothic Archies
Looming in the Gloom (EP)(1996)
The New Despair (1997)
The Tragic Treasury: Songs from A Series of Unfortunate Events (Compilation)(2006)

Future Bible Heroes
Memories of Love (1997)
Lonely Days (EP)(1997)
I'm Lonely (And I Love It) (EP)(2000)
Eternal Youth (2002)
The Lonely Robot (EP)(2003)

The Zinnias
Sand Dollar (1986)
Compost (Remaster)(1986?)


Last edited by the train wife on Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:04 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:40 pm 
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Location: stabbing any blogging faggot hipster with a pitchfork
I'd argue Get Lost for red personally.


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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:53 pm 
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Personally I think it's about twice as good as Holiday, but it seems to be considered the least of that trilogy. I guess red is fine for it. In that case I should probably bump DPT to bold, making Distortion vs. i the only point of dispute. Distortion wins as an album (sold better, more acclaimed) but i does have a few of their best known songs on it, particularly I Don't Believe You. I would give Distortion the nod.

I'm also wondering if Highway Strip shouldn't be orange.


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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:12 am 
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Get Lost seems to be considered the best of the trilogy and Holiday the worst from personal experience. DPT should definitely be bold. Holiday could arguably be dropped down to bold as well.

Highway Strip shouldn't be orange, none of his other material comes anywhere near 69LS in terms of acclaim.


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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:45 pm 
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charm of the highway strip is great


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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:14 am 
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Location: in a pungent rose petal
spinning 69 Love Songs as I type , on track 11 of 1st side ....

this is pop music as pop music gets .... and im not complaining , nothing fancy , nothing OTT , simple lyrics , the simplest ways of singing , and great arrangements and instrument usage on some of these tracks ..... and sounds like good music to just chill and listen without putting too much effort into listening it if you know what i mean ....

dude has an amazing baritone voice just perfect for such songs, so that helps too ...


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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:10 pm 
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"I bought you crows and candelabra,
And I went moth-eating with you.
I held you down when you had seizures,
And read to you at bedtime.
Railroad boy of mine."


Susan Anway's vocals on that song are so chilling, I wish she was on more albums.


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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:43 pm 
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zephead8 wrote:
charm of the highway strip is great


It's one of a small number of albums — certainly countable on one hand — that I call perfect.


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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:13 pm 
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I feel the same way about The Wayward Bus. One of the very few albums I would call perfect.

Also, regarding the best bridge in a MFs song as fearoftrains was talking about a couple of pages back, for me it has to be the "The house we bought was really a lake" verse of "Jeremy".


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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:47 pm 
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Does it get any moe beautiful than this?



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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:04 pm 
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Oh yeah, that one is another world. Otters in the hall and whirlpools in the floor!

I listened to the top twenty songs I posted the other night, in that order, and it didn't make me misty-eyed; I was literally sobbing behind the wheel. Art doesn't do that to me. It was pathetic but awesome. I cannot get over how fascinating Swinging London is, and I'm such a sucker for lyrics about planets and suns and shit, which give the song a real epic feel. They're even more effective with that understated delivery. And yes, so strange. Obviously it's about a dissolving intense relationship between people who never quite connected. One was more cerebral, the other an adventurer, or is that too literal? It's uncharacteristically tough to... grok.


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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:10 am 
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I made a playlist of my top 50 MF songs on my iPod and have listened to it so often recently. Every single song just flaws me one way or another.

"Swinging London" is great, but you still can't be "Sad Little Moon" from Holiday for me, such a beautiful little number.

And I'm really into Wasps' Nests atm.


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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:06 pm 
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Listening to the Zinnias album now. I think I've heard "Otters" somewhere before. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: The Magnetic Fields/The 6ths/Stephin Merritt
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:14 pm 
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the man has an excellent voice ,sounds untrained, but to hell with all the being in pitch and all that crap, i dont care... sounds really good...

disk 1 of 69 love songs was a success.... and that means i heard each song about 3-5 times.... very good indeed ....


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