Saturday, May 13, 2017

Magnetic Fields 50 Song Memoir: Parts I & II

Went for the two-night show staged by indie pop band The Magnetic Fields for their new 2017 album '50 Song Memoir'. Stephin Merrit is well, the primary songwriter and producer, and vocalist of the band. He has written a ridiculous number of songs. The record is Merritt's 50th birthday present to himself, with each track representing a year of his life, from 1966 to 2015.

The Stranger's Rich Smith isn't hot about this new album. He wrote, "It's unfair, but it's impossible not to compare this new opus with 69 Love Songs, one of the last and greatest musical achievements of the 20th century. If you don't have a five-paragraph essay in your brain about each one of those 69 songs, I am envious of you. Stop reading this article and go listen to that album. Your life is about to get so much better."

I'm less judgmental. I'm pretty okay with it. Some songs work, some don't, and many would end up hating half the songs or more. There're 50 short songs! The two-night show was totally enjoyable! The graphics and animation projected on the screen were fantastic. They did a great job for sure! I was completely fixated on it for a few songs. '1976: Hustle 76' was all disco fun! The first night ended with '1990: Dreaming in Tetris'. 😍

The second night was less fun than the first night. Adult-hood and all that. Heh. I quite like a few songs still- '2007: In the Snow White Cottages', '2008: Surfin', '2009: Till You Come Back To Me'. There were no such thing as an 'encore' for the two nights. Logical, I suppose. Playing those old songs would have just sacrificed the poignancy of performing the new album in its entirety.

If there's an anthem, I guess it would be in '1977: Life Ain't All Bad'. Not what I think I like or what might resonate, but more of what Stephin Merrit thinks. Hahahahahah.

When I write my memoirs
You will read them with pain and with shame
You'll be searching in vain for you name
For your bleak, insignificant name

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