Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields are hard at work at a long album, entitled "50 Song Memoir." It is projected for release by Nonesuch Records in the start of 2017. We will update you with more album release information over the next months.
Additionally, the band will be performing live, starting at the end of 2016, and throughout 2017.
Here is ticket information for the first three announced shows:
Brooklyn Academy of Music - Brooklyn, NYProgram A - December 2nd, 2016Program B - December 3rd, 2016
Royce Hall, UCLA - Los Angeles, CAProgram A - April 27th, 2017Program B - April 28th, 2017
Moore Theater - Seattle, WAProgram A - May 6th, 2017Program B - May 7th, 2017
More tour dates and album information to follow! Stay tuned!
― we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 25 May 2016 10:47 (three years ago) link
― flappy bird, Wednesday, 25 May 2016 15:24 (three years ago) link
― le Histoire du Edgy Miley (difficult listening hour), Wednesday, 25 May 2016 16:06 (three years ago) link
― NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 25 May 2016 20:02 (three years ago) link
I wonder why they're on Nonesuch again.
― self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Thursday, 26 May 2016 05:08 (three years ago) link
tryina recapture that super long magic?
― j., Thursday, 26 May 2016 05:15 (three years ago) link
But 69 Love Songs was a Merge release?
― Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Thursday, 26 May 2016 13:02 (three years ago) link
Oh, maybe that wasn't a direct response to the Nonesuch q.
― Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Thursday, 26 May 2016 13:03 (three years ago) link
I'll be interested to see how this unfolds, because you never know if he feels like being the singer or not being the singer, or going synth heavy or not going synth heavy.
― Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Thursday, 26 May 2016 13:04 (three years ago) link
I'll be intrigued to see how much singing Claudia does if it's a "memoir" -- some, surely?
― we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 May 2016 18:03 (three years ago) link
We are happy to announce that Nonesuch Records will be releasing the new Magnetic Fields album, 50 Song Memoir, on March 3, 2017. This 50-song record chronicles the 50 years of Stephin Merritt's life with one song per year. Pre-order to get one song from each decade now. And for a limited time, Nonesuch pre-orders also come with an exclusive print signed by Stephin. Available in 5-LP and 5-CD editions and as a standalone book with a full-album download.
― Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 17 November 2016 16:26 (three years ago) link
anyone taking the plunge on this? I'm a fan, but have a difficult time picturing myself giving these 5 CDs as much attention as they probably deserve, and even if I do, I can even less imagine a situation in which I will ever do so more than once.
― Wimmels, Saturday, 11 March 2017 20:31 (three years ago) link
I'm having a hard time finding the enthusiasm to give this a listen. I realised recently that I haven't fully enjoyed any of his albums since the second 6ths album. He's had moments of genius since then, but his albums have been all over the place.
― kitchen person, Saturday, 11 March 2017 20:39 (three years ago) link
The last one I loved was Distortion. I'm super excited for this, just not quite ready to spend $35-40.
― geoffreyess, Saturday, 11 March 2017 20:56 (three years ago) link
The last one I loved completely is "I". "Distortion" is half great and everything since has left me flat. He had a hell of a run from 1991-2004, though. I wonder what changed for him.
― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 11 March 2017 21:04 (three years ago) link
I Thought You Were My Boyfriend, It's Only Time and I Don't Believe You are three of my songs he's ever written. There's not much else I really like on I. I went back to Distortion recently which didn't stand up well. Three-way is a brilliant opener and I have a soft spot for California Girls, but I found myself getting bored very quickly. I do still love just about everything he put out in the 90s.
― kitchen person, Saturday, 11 March 2017 22:11 (three years ago) link
I think i is an underrated album. In addition to the three songs kitchen mentions, I really love "I'm Tongue Tied," "I Don't Really Love You Anymore" and "I Looked All Over Town." I remember a lot of people not really digging that album when it came out but I never really got why
I thought Distortion was a bore, though, and kinda tuned out after that
― Wimmels, Saturday, 11 March 2017 22:42 (three years ago) link
I think it stands to reason that if you spend your entire career the curmudgeonly misanthrope who hates to play live, hates touring, would prefer to have other people sing his songs, and in general seems a man out of time who would prefer the behind the scenes punch the clock anonymity of Tin Pan Alley to pretty much anything he has to deal with in the contemporary era, something's going to give.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 11 March 2017 23:27 (three years ago) link
but I love him for basically all of those things
― Wimmels, Saturday, 11 March 2017 23:44 (three years ago) link
― Treeship, Sunday, 12 March 2017 01:20 (three years ago) link
Will never stop loving this band. Though every record post-Get Lost is the same trajectory for me -- a burst of enthusiasm on first listen, then eventually I find I stop going back to listen to the whole album, though each one has several songs that stick with me forever: "Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side," Busby Berkeley Dreams," "Too Drunk To Dream," "Three-Way," "You Must Be Out of Your Mind," etc. which is more than you can say for, well, almost anybody else's records.
Have listened to about half of the new one. Am in my enthusiasm phase. So far I suspect "Hustle 76" is the one that will stick with me.
― Guayaquil (eephus!), Sunday, 12 March 2017 01:46 (three years ago) link
UK dates are now on sale. It's a trek to Liverpool for me so I'm unable to attend both nights. I haven't worked my way through the albums yet, do I go for night 1-25 or 26-50?
― Grantman, Saturday, 18 March 2017 22:06 (three years ago) link
i like "No" v much
― Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 19 March 2017 03:34 (three years ago) link
Having listened to the whole thing all the way through once and most of it again on shuffle, 1-25 feels like the stronger set to me.
― Vaguely Threatening CAPTCHAs, Sunday, 19 March 2017 03:57 (three years ago) link
It seemed clear that after 69 love songs he became cynical about the possibilities of the pop lyric as a form, his better songs since are either throwaways or explicitly about this problem. I suspect his musicals are less deflated in their affect. I am guardedly positive about the possibilities the form of this one engenders, though so far I have only listened to the five song sampler.
― the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Sunday, 19 March 2017 04:19 (three years ago) link
He had a lot of strengths that had nothing to do with the stupid media-related pose that he's taken for several decades, and it's really a pretty sad loss. Good example of someone who should not have been allowed to read his own reviews.
― dlp9001, Sunday, 19 March 2017 17:45 (three years ago) link
He's written as many good and uneven songs as he used to. The problem is he insists on singing all of them.
― the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 19 March 2017 18:04 (three years ago) link
He's fallen off badly. Someone who always wanted to be clever, pushed way over the edge via self awareness. He couldn't write San Diego Zoo now. That part of him has been gone for years. In some ways, probably good for him financially, so the art part might not really matter in the grand scheme of things. He put out enough good albums to deserve to make a living.
― dlp9001, Sunday, 19 March 2017 18:19 (three years ago) link
Nothing to do with this album but goddamn I love "Dream Hat."
― Guayaquil (eephus!), Sunday, 19 March 2017 19:55 (three years ago) link
Wasps Nest and Holiday still his best collection of songs.
― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 19 March 2017 20:19 (three years ago) link
xps i dont really love you anymore is one of my favourite songs of all time
― nxd, Sunday, 19 March 2017 20:31 (three years ago) link
"Weird Disease" is real good too.
Good example of someone who should not have been allowed to read his own reviews.
Hmmm... based on the little personal knowledge I possess, he didn't frequently agree with his reviews.
He couldn't write San Diego Zoo now. That part of him has been gone for years.
Tho I like "SDZ" just fine, if so I don't care. If I was a songwriter in my 50s I wouldn't stay in that mode either.
― Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 18 April 2017 17:14 (two years ago) link
"Me and Fred and Dave and Ted" and "My Ex and I" quietly challenge monogamy.
― the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 18 April 2017 17:34 (two years ago) link
I threw together a list of his keepers last night
― the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 19 April 2017 15:04 (two years ago) link
i went to the 1-25 show here last week and was utterly charmed the whole time (couldn't attend night 2 bc of conflicts). hustle 76, dionysus, danceteria, and tetris were standouts but i liked the whole thing
― maura, Wednesday, 19 April 2017 15:07 (two years ago) link
For a guy whose music I used to love, I could not for the life of me imagine going to two nights in a row.
Well, he's mostly (always?) just been flitting from one form of formalism to the next.
Merritt seems like another of those acts whose reception hinges on first exposure. Like, I recall hearing Charm right around when it came out - no doubt I had heard Superchunk's MF cover, and I had Boston friends hip to the early stuff, and Feel Good All Over was based here and I knew the nut that ran it, I was a fan of Chickfactor, etc. - and heard Holiday not long after. My thoroughly mediocre band played with the MF the first time they played Chicago, at Lounge Ax, and they inexplicably went long; I want to say it was a 2+ hour set, at the time (and maybe ever?) the longest set in Lounge Ax history. Get Lost and Sixths were the firsts ones I looked forward to, and tbh 69 Love Songs was the first one that disappointed me. Which obviously puts me in a small minority, since for most I imagine that was their introduction.
― Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 19 April 2017 15:49 (two years ago) link
bringing the 50 songs to the Apollo Theater in June; also Pittsburgh.
― ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 14 February 2018 22:16 (two years ago) link
Stephin sitting in and DJing with Irwin Chusid right now at wfmu.org
― the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 16 May 2018 19:56 (one year ago) link
Three years later, I got around to listening to the first half of this yesterday. It's fine! Enjoyed the assorted period genre parodies in particular. What is wrong with the grumps?
― brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 25 March 2020 14:43 (two weeks ago) link