Stephin Merritt

stephin-merritt

Is Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt a Racist Troll, Literary Celebrittante, or Both?

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Yesterday morning, Stephin Merritt, literary celebrittante and lead pleonast of The Magnetic Fields, published a snide little report on Roxane Gay’s An Untamed State and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See for The Morning News’ Tournament of Books. I’ll not take issue (overmuch) with the post’s critical content, mostly because I don’t believe it to be a piece of literary criticism. It’s more just a tedious procession of half-formed and not-argued judgments masquerading as likeable cantankerousness, or a bunch of casuistic setups for one-liners unworthy of a Comedy Central Roast.
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A Selection of Great Duets We’d Love to See

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As we’ve written here in the past, the duet is an inexact science — some of the collaborations that you’d think should have been roaring successes proved to be disastrous, and vice versa. We’re still on the fence as to which group the new St. Vincent/David Byrne collaboration Love This Giant, which is out today, falls into — but either way, the fact that two of our favorite artists have made a whole record together got us thinking about other dream duets we’d love to see. We’ve started the discussion with a bunch of suggestions. Who would you like to see in the studio together?
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Stephin Merritt Is Very Good at Words With Friends

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Apparently Brooklyn writer Emma Straub (who we interviewed about her fantastic debut short story collection, Other People We Married, here) has been working for the Magnetic Fields for the past 10 years. We had no idea! The indie pop group’s Tour at the Bottom of the Sea kicked off earlier this month, and she’s… Read More

10 New Albums You Need to Hear in August

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Early in the week it was books, and today we’re looking at August’s album release schedule in search of the best new music to be had this month. And music lovers will be happy to know that August is shaping up to be a good ‘un — there’s a pretty impressive variety of genres that have noteworthy releases, from hip hop and brainy techno to blissed-out psychedelia and good old-fashioned indie pop. After the jump, we’ve selected the albums that we’re most looking forward to over the next four weeks. Let us know in the comments what’s going to be on your shopping list this month.
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Daily Dose Pick: Strange Powers

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Strange Powers, a documentary which took directors Kerthy Fix and Gail O’Hara ten years to make, provides an intimate look at both Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields. While the focus is on Merritt’s relationship with longtime pal Claudia Gonson (Magnetic Fields manager and keyboardist), the film also chronicles his music-making process, with observations from well-known fans such as Peter Gabriel, Neil Gaiman, Carrie Brownstein, and Sarah Silverman.
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Neil Gaiman's Coraline Gets a Magnetic Fields Makeover

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Henry Selick’s Coraline, the not really for kids kid’s movie based on Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel of the same name, didn’t break any box office records (it only made $74m), but before the film was released plans to stage a musical adaptation of the tale were already in the works. And this morning we found out that it will feature music and lyrics from Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields.
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