Sunday, May 13, 2012

More Music With Merritt

SOTW welcomes back salutes Stephen Merritt,  arguably America's most clever songwriter-lyricist, who's back, as Magnetic Fields, with a thoroughly delightful new album, ' Love At The Bottom of the Sea.'  Up today, that CD's terrific lead-off single, 'Andrew In Drag, ' a wry, rhyme-laden tale of fleeting love found in unexpected places....

Merritt has assembled an extraordinary songbook both through his main vehicle, The Magnetic Fields (immediate left), and through other projects such as Future Bible Heroes and The Sixths. Merritt's deep, droll voice are perfect for his balance of cynicism and vulnerability; he's the intersection of burned fingers, a hungry heart, and a sharp tongue... Icing on the cake: he's gay, 40-something, and enamored of synthesizers....

Imagine a gay, new wave Cole Porter, and you begin to get the idea....  Merritt's memorable song titles include: "(It's A Good Thing) I Don't Have Any Feelings," "I Thought You Were My Boyfriend," "(My Heart's Like) A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off..."

The 'Andrew In Drag' video does not disappoint!:

On stage in Vancouver, the group shines with the spiteful 'Your Girlfriend's Face..., '
'a pleasant song that will make you laugh...

You may remember Merritt's last appearance on SOTW, back in February 2008, with the awesome ' Too Drunk to Dream.'

'Quick' will be the album's next single:

Favorite Merritt couplet:

"In Las Vegas where the electric bills are staggering;
the decor, hog wild and the entertainment, saccharine;
What a golden age, what a time of right and reason;
the consumer's king, and unhappiness is treason

and I can't sleep / 'cause you've got strange powers
you're in my dreams... stranger powers'
- from 'Strange Powers'

More examples of Merritt-ian cleverness:

"Eligible, not too stupid
Intelligible, and cute as Cupid
knowledgable, but not always right,
salvageable, and free for the night"

- 'Chicken With It's Head Cut Off', from '69 Love Songs'

"Since you went away / it's nighttime all day
and it's usually raining, too "
- 'I Don't Believe In the Sun," also from '69 Love Songs'

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