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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Magnetic Fields perform 50 Song Memoir at Carnegie Music Hall June 19 and 20

Posted By on Thu, Jun 14, 2018 at 12:29 PM

  • Photo courtesy of Marcelo Krasilcic
Stephin Merritt knew when Magnetic Fields’ contract with Nonesuch Records came up for a renewal because the date coincided with his 50th birthday, in 2015.

When he and Nonesuch president Robert Hurwitz
discussed its renewal — over lunch at the Grand Central Station Oyster Bar — Hurwitz suggested the voice behind Magnetic Fields should celebrate his half-century on their next album. Merritt immediately devised a 50-song album, and Hurwitz responded enthusiastically.

To some musicians, this might seem like a daunting concept.

But Merritt is the same songwriter who created
69 Love Songs, the Magnetic Fields’ opus that approached the idea of amour from that many angles, lyrically and musically, from ukulele-driven folkiness to synth-pop to experimental sound. Released on Merge Records in 1999, the album is considered a high watermark for indie rock and established Merritt as a skilled composer with an unmatched lyrical wit and sense of melody.

Speaking from his New York home in his dry, understated
manner, Merritt explains his approach to the five-record/five-CD 50 Song Memoir.

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