Entries tagged with: The Magnetic Fields
photos by Greg Cristman
John Cale & Wordless Music Orchestra @ BAM, 1/18/2013
Q. Of all your albums, why are you revisiting "Paris 1919"?Former Velvet Underground member John Cale played three shows at BAM in the last week as part of the Academy's Next Wave Festival. The first was a star-studded tribute to onetime VU singer Nico on January 16 featuring the vocal talents of Greg Dulli, Kim Gordon, Sharon Van Etten, Peaches, The Magnetic Fields, Joan as Policewoman, Meshell Ndegeocello and more.
A. It happens to be the one album where I finished all the songs before I went in to record. I wrote them when I had just moved to Warner to work in A&R. I took an office job and I was there every day, and I was writing these songs. After a while I realized, "This is nostalgia, pure and simple: I'm writing about the stuff that I miss about Europe." I wasn't writing to the album's title; I gave it the title afterward, and what it meant was: "Here we are in the height of the cold war; how did we get here?" This album seems to be about how we got there, looking back to the Versailles Treaty [signed in France in 1919]. - [NY Times]
Then on Friday and Saturday (1/18, 1/19) Cale collaborated with the Wordless Music Orchestra to perform his 1973 album, Paris 1919, in full, plus other songs from throughout his long musical career. Pictures from Friday's performance are in this post.
Stephin Merritt w/ Magnetic Fields at Beacon Theater in April (more by Chris La Putt)
As mentioned, The Magnetic Fields will be touring this fall surrounding their appearance at Asheville's Moogfest. And though the tour won't hit NYC (but comes close with Hudson, NY's Helsinki Hudson on October 25) Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt will be in NYC for three separate events beforehand. First, he'll be at City Winery on September 21 to discuss the 1968 Japanese film The Black Lizard and will choose a second film to screen at the show as well. Tickets for that are on sale now.
Then, he'll be at Public Assembly on September 22 for Emma Straub's 'Hollywood Variety Hour' with author Andrew McCarthy and blogger Maris Kreizman. Stephin will be performing as well as speaking with Emma. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Lastly, Stephin and Emma will team up again for the October 19 installment of John Wesley Harding's 'Cabinet of Wonders' variety shows at City Winery. Other guets for that show include The Citizen's Band (Angela McCluskey & Nina Persson), Nick Hornby, Eugene MIrman, and Aaron Neville. Tickets for that show and the other two announced Cabinet of Wonders shows (9/8 & 11/16) are on sale now.
On Labor Day (9/3), Stephin Merritt played three songs for the one-year anniversary of Big Gay Ice Cream's East Village shop. You can check out a video of that performance below.
Moogfest 2011 (more by Diana Wong)
Moogfest, which is becoming one of the most intriguing US music festivals, is returning to Asheville, NC this year on October 26 and 27. Like in past years, the festival includes some legends like Thomas Dolby and GZA performing Liquid Swords (like he is in NYC and other cities), some of our favorite newcomers like Julia Holter, Trust, and Disclosure, electronic heavy hitters like Orbital, Four Tet, Squarepusher, Richie Hawtin, Mouse on Mars, and Prefuse 73 with Teebs, in addition to a diverse list of other artists like Killer Mike, El-P, The Magnetic Fields, Explosions in the Sky, Primus, Santigold, Divine Fits, Actress, Pantha Du Prince, Bear in Heaven, and more. Tickets for this year's fest go on sale Friday (8/10) at noon. The initial lineup is listed below.
Orbital, who released their new album, Wonky, this year, which featured a track with Zola Jesus, have a few other North American dates this year (still none in NYC though).
For Divine Fits, the new band featuring Britt Daniel (Spoon), Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs), and Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks), who recently made their live debut in Austin, Moogfest is one of the few shows they've got scheduled this year, including the Chicago show they played last night (8/5) and an upcoming NYC show.
Moogfest 2012 lineup is listed below.
Magnetic Fields at Beacon Theater in April (more by Chris La Putt)
The Magnetic Fields released their solid new album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, this past March and supported it with a tour which hit NYC for two Beacon Theatre shows in April. The band have recently added a few more dates to go down this fall. None in NYC but they'll be nearby when they play Helsinki Hudson on October 25 in Hudson, NY. Tickets for that show go on sale today (7/31).
A list of all dates and the video for "Andrew in Drag" below...
DOWNLOAD: Laura Barrett - Bluebird (MP3)
Last night (3/10) marked the first of the Magnetic Fields' 3-night run at Town Hall (they also played a show at BAM earlier in the tour) in New York City with over two dozen songs spanning the band's 20-year discography. It also marked the release of the band's ninth album, Realism, ending Stephin Merrit's "no-synth" rule (reportedly, the upcoming album will be composed completely with synthesizers). The concert, like the new album, marked a direction towards a subdued (many critics calling it "folksy") sound to the Fields' repretoire; the antithesis of the band's 2008 album, Distortion, which was madeup entirely of guitar fuzz and feedback. Stephin serenely drolled on throughout the set, occasionally switching lead vocals with Claudia Gonson and Shirley Timms. During the set, Claudia announced that they'll be releasing 20 tickets for sale today, for tonight's show (I'm willing to bet there'll be some on Friday as well). Just get to the Town Hall box office before the show.
After this 3-day stint in NYC the band is off to Europe but you can can continue to see what's going on behind the scenes, and at the merch table, at their tour blog. Here's hoping that their NYC blog posts won't be all about Paul Rudd stopping by to see the show.
On April 20th, Merge Records will also be releasing the band's much celebrated 3-disc anthology, 69 Love Songs, on vinyl for the first time. Incidentally, the highlight of the show for me was finally hearing Wi' Nae Wee Bairn Ye'll Me Beget live.
What else is there for Stephin Merritt aside from composing music and lyrics to an off-broadway play and then having Peter Gabriel cover one of your songs? Well a documentary on Stephin and the band will be making its world premiere at SXSW next week entitled Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields. Take a look at the trailer below.
Laura Barrett opened for the band. More pictures and setlist below:
Magnetic Fields @ Loews Theater, Jersey City in Oct. 2008 (more by Chris La Putt)
"We did soft rock on I, hard rock on Distortion, and folk à la Judy Collins on Realism," [Stephin Merritt] says. "They were conceived as a trio, but particularly with Distortion and Realism, I thought of them as a pair." The titles he had in mind at first were "True" and "False," which got set aside when he couldn't figure which label applied to which album. Of course, that creative cul de sac is itself vintage Merritt.The Magnetic Fields will be touring in support of their new record, Realism, which is out today (1/26). Toward the beginning of the trip, on Saturday, February 13th, they'll be playing at BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House, a show that's sold out or close to it (BAM directs you to their box office phone, 718.636.4100, for inquiries).
"I asked myself, 'Would it be too simple to say that Distortion is false, and that Realism is true? Or would it be too annoying to say the reverse?' So I scratched that," he says, pausing at length. "And now it is what it is." [National Post]
The tour returns to NYC in March, and they've expanded their run at NYC's Town Hall to three nights. The added show will be on Friday, March 12th. Tickets for the first show are still on sale (but not the second). The third goes on AmEx presale Wednesday, January 27th at 11am. General sale starts Friday, January 29th at noon.
Openers, who each focus on eclectic folk sounds, have also been announced: Canadian singer/kalimba player Laura Barrett plays March 10th, Australian songwriter Darren Hanlon opens March 11th, and Brooklyn electronic-instrument craftsmen Dewanatron play the final date.
All tour dates (including Magnetic Fields' European leg), a new Realism video, and clips of Dewanatron (half of which opened for Music Tapes last March) are below...
DOWNLOAD: Portastatic - Foam Hands (Destroyer cover) (MP3)
The idea for a whole EP of Merge covers stemmed from both listening to the SCORE! Merge covers compilation and from doing bookstore events to promote the Our Noise book, wherein we'd play some acoustic covers of songs that came out on Merge. Time permitting, this really could have been a much longer record, but in the spirit of quitting while I was ahead and also turning this in before the end of the year, I stopped at seven songs. Obviously, the Merge catalog is full of hundreds-thousands, actually-of songs I love, so I picked ones I either knew well or thought I could re-create without defiling too harshly. It wasn't easy to narrow down, so I just tried not to think about it too much, and then time constraints set in... -Mac McCaughanMac does a mean Bejar! Check out the MP3 above. Get the full EP at Merge. Tracklist below...
Magnetic Fields @ Loews Theater, Jersey City in Oct. 2008 (more by Chris La Putt)
The Magnetic Fields are happy to announce that they will be touring early next year in support of their forthcoming album, "Realism," which will be out on Nonesuch Records on January 26, 2010. The US and Canadian tour dates will take place in February and March. After their US and Canada dates, the band will be heading to Europe for a string of dates in mid- to late-March.You can take a look at Realism's cover art, which is extremely similar to Distortion's cover art, below. Tracklist down there too.
The 2010 tour hits a bunch of major cities and includes three NYC shows over the course of two separate visits. Most dates are on presale now.
During the first NYC visit, the Magnetic Fields play BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House on Saturday, February 13th. There's a limited fanclub & BAM member presale on sale now. General sale tickets go up Friday, November 20th.
Album art, tracklist, more info and all tour dates are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
The Magnetic Fields @ Loews Theater (more by Chris La Putt)
MCC Theater presents Coraline, a musical with music and lyrics by Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields. Merritt's delightfully creepy and playful melodies and droll lyrics tell the story of lonely Coraline's discovery of another parallel world that is identical to her own -- with some scary differences. An animated film version of the story, based on the popular children's book by Neil Gaiman (author of the international sensation Sandman and 2009 winner of the prestigious Newbery Award) is currently in theaters. The production, which was adapted for the stage by celebrated downtown actor/playwright David Greenspan is the world premiere of Coraline for the stage.Tickets for the show are on sale, as are VIP tickets. (There are also student & under-30 rush tickets available the day of each show). Samples of Merritt's Coraline songs can be heard above.
Performances will begin at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street, NYC) on May 7 and continue through June 20, 2009. [press release]
In other rock musical news:
Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark, featuring direction by Julie Taymor (Across The Universe, Frida, The Lion King on Broadway) with music and lyrics by 22-time Grammy Award-winners Bono and The Edge (from U2) will be holding open casting calls at major cities across the country starting next week. [press release]The NYC audition is scheduled for Monday, April 13th at The Knitting Factory. Details on the casting call and info for other cities, below.
Advance group tickets are already on sale for Spider-Man, set to open February 18, 2010 at the Hilton Theatre.
Other bands with musicals in the works include Green Day, who are turning their 2004 album American Idiot in a Broadway show. About the adaptation, Billie Joe said to Entertainment Weekly:
It's about coming of age in a really politically-driven climate. It's pretty chaotic, and it's not by any means a conventional way of [doing] a musical. And that's why I liked [American Idiot director] Michael Mayer so much because of what he did with Spring Awakening. When I saw that for the first time I was like, this is not your grandparents' musical. He's going for it. He has a sense of anarchy in the way he approaches his craft.Those aren't the only acts making the switch: Yeasayer guitarist Anand Wildeis working on a musical as well. And Amanda Palmer is in the process of producing an Airplane Over the Sea-themed high-school play, opening May 7th at Lexington High School in Lexington, MA.
Will the show have dancing?
Not "dancing" dancing. I don't know how to really explain it. It's got physical and violent moves. It's not like a Lion King thing. It's dirty and it's got a lot of heart and it's got a street mentality. There are no singing cats. No little girls with big curly red hair. It should be pretty cool, man.
Full Spider-Man press release below...
photos by Natasha Ryan
As I write this, we're only hours away from sundown on Hanukkah night four, otherwise known as the fourth night in a row Yo La Tengo will play a show at Maxwell's in Hoboken. You already heard all about night two (12/22). The Magnetic Fields opened. Here are the rest of the pictures from that one...
photos by Natasha Ryan
Rainer Werner Fassbinder (May 31, 1945 - June 10, 1982) was a German film director, screenwriter and actor. A premier representative of the New German Cinema. Famous for his frenetic pace in film-making, in a professional career that lasted less than fifteen years Fassbinder completed 35 feature length films; two television series shot on film; three short films; four video productions; twenty four stage plays and four radio plays directed; and 36 acting roles in his own and other's films. He also worked as an actor (film and theater), author, cameraman, composer, designer, editor, producer and theater manager.As promised, The Magnetic Fields opened the Yo La Tengo show at Maxwell's Monday night (12/22). It was the second of eight Hanukkah parties which you can read more about HERE. More MF pics and the setlist, below...
Fassbinder was distinguished for the strong provocative current underlying his work and the air of scandal surrounding his artistic choices and private life. His intense discipline and phenomenal creative energy when working were in violent contrast with a wild, self-destructive libertinism that earned him a reputation as the enfant terrible of the New German Cinema, as well as its central figure. He had tortured relationships in his personal life with the people he drew around him in a surrogate family of actors and technicians. However, his pictures demonstrate his deep sensitivity to social misfits and his hatred of institutionalized violence. He ruthlessly attacked both German bourgeois society and the larger limitations of humanity. His films detail the desperate yearning for love and freedom and the many ways in which society, and the individual, thwarts it. A prodigiously inventive artist, Fassbinder distilled the best elements of his sources -- Brechtian theatrics, Artaud, the Hollywood melodramas, classical narrative, and a gay sensibility into a complex body of work.
Fassbinder died at the age of 37 from heart failure resulting from a lethal interaction between sleeping pills and cocaine. His death is often considered to mark the end of the New German Cinema. [Wikipedia]
We actually have more pictures of last night's show coming, but in the meantime I can confirm that The Magnetic Fields did open Yo La Tengo's 2nd 2008 Hanukkah show at Maxwell's. Stephin Merritt also stuck around to sing again during the encore, John Hodgman was the comedian, and Doug Gillard and Ira's mom were the other singing special guests.
Tonight/Tuesday is night three (12/23), and I'm not sure we've figured out who the opener will definitely be yet. Do you know? Night one and two's setlists below...
the Magnetic Fields @ Loew's, Jersey City (more by Chris La Putt)
As Walter kindly first pointed out, The Magnetic Fields (who are currently working on a new album) are opening for Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's in Hoboken tonight, Monday December 22nd - the second night of Hanukkah. You could say that night two ticketholders won the opener lottery.
Photos by Chris La Putt
Shugo Tokumaru opened for the Magnetic Fields at the Loews Theater in Jersey City, New Jersey last night (10/23). The headliner's setlist and more pictures from the show below...
Shugo Tokumaru's first-ever NYC show (it was his first US show, but then he added one earlier this month at Chicago) happens tonight (9/23) at Mercury Lounge in NYC. This who you can expect to see on stage with him:
* Jon Natchez (Beirut)Twi the Humble Feather open the late show.
* Bryan Devendorf (The National)
* Perrin Cloutier (Beirut)
* Lawson White (So Percussion)
(Lenka plays the early show at the same venue)
If you miss him, Shugo is back in the area in exactly a month, but next time as an opener for The Magnetic Fields, and in Jersey City. Tickets for the Loew's show are still on sale. All tour dates below...
photos by Ryan Muir
Magnetic Fields announced some dates that are now on presale. One of the shows is at Loews in Jersey City. All dates and more pics Ryan took at Noise Pop, below...
photos by Chris La Putt
Verbally meticulous, restrained and constitutionally glum, the songwriter Stephin Merritt is no one's idea of a rocker -- apparently not even his own. His band the Magnetic Fields usually performs in a quiet acoustic lineup. So "Distortion" (Nonesuch), their latest album, was a surprise, since its songs are awash in guitar discord over a big beat. Would the Magnetic Fields plug in and rock out for their four-night stand at Town Hall?The Magnetic Fields played their fourth of four shows in a row at Town Hall last night (Feb 24). These pictures from are from the February 22nd performance. More photos & stuff below....
On Thursday night the answer was no. [NY Times]
Stephin Merritt on Soundcheck - Feb 21, 2008
The release season really gears up next week with discs by Cat Power, the Drive-By Truckers, the Whigs, and more, but this week's list has at least one standout CD. Stephin Merritt releases the latest Magnetic Fields disc, Distortion. Among the rest of the list, I can wholly recommend the Tyler Ramsey album, A Long Dream About Swimming Across the Sea.
Eels release a greatest hits disc (with two unreleased tracks), Meet the Eels: Essential Eels 1996-2006, Vol. 1, as well as a rarities compilation, Useless Trinkets: B Sides, Soundtracks, Rarities and Unreleased 1996-2007.
What new releases you picking up this week? What can you recommend?
"Distortion" is out January 18th on Nonesuch...
Presale tickets are on sale now.
Regular sale for the two Town Hall shows starts Friday (oops, that's the Town Hall in Seattle.). Listen to a one-hour concert from 2005 @ NPR. All tour dates below....
DOWNLOAD: The Magnetic Fields - I Looked All Over Town (MP3)
The Magnetic Fields are happy to announce that their new album, titled Distortion, will be released on Nonesuch Records on January 15, 2008. The band will perform a small number of U.S. tour dates in February and March. Specific details regarding venues and ticket pre-sales will be announced shortly. Sign up for the House of Tomorrow newsletter for the latest updates.Two of those shows will be at Town Hall in NYC. Dates TBA. In related news, "that is indeed Stephin's voice in the new commercial for Volvo's XC-series wagon."