This Just In: 50 Song Memoir

The other day I said I’d love to watch Stephen Merritt and Robert Pollard arm wrestle. I’ve been on a steady diet of Pollard the past few weeks with the Circus Devils’ Laughs Last and Laughs Best releases, and now Merritt’s dropped a 50 song beast on us. I suppose America’s two most prolific songwriters will be arm wrestling, in my brain at least. So yeah, Magnetic Fields sees your 69 Love Songs and raises with 50 Song Memoir. Sure, it’s technically less songs, but it has a lot of bonus content like interviews and facsimile hand-written lyrics, making it a worthy addition to the MF cannon. Check out the video for “’68 A Cat Called Dionysus” below and read more about Merritt’s incredible musical autobiography, along with our weekly in-stock list! -MLE

Magnetic Fields – 50 Song Memoir 5LP Box Set
Listen/Watch: “’68 A Cat Called Dionysus”
“Nonesuch Records releases the Magnetic Fields’ 50 Song Memoir on March 10, 2017. The five-CD / five-LP set chronicles the 50 years of songwriter Stephin Merritt’s life with one song per year; it was produced by Stephin Merritt with additional production by Thomas Bartlett and Charles Newman.

Merritt began recording on his 50th birthday: February 9, 2015. Unlike his previous work, the lyrics on 50 Song Memoir are nonfiction—in Merritt’s words, ‘a mix of autobiography (bedbugs, Buddhism, buggery) and documentary (hippies, Hollywood, hyperacusis).’ As he says in the album’s liner note interview with his friend, the author Daniel Handler, ‘I am the least autobiographical person you are likely to meet. I will probably not write any more true songs after this than I did before, but it’s been interesting working on it.’

In addition to his vocals on all 50 songs, Merritt plays more than one hundred instruments on 50 Song Memoir, ranging from ukulele to piano to drum machine to abacus. In concert, the music will be played and sung by a newly expanded Magnetic Fields septet in a stage set featuring 50 years of artifacts both musical (vintage computers, reel-to-reel tape decks, newly invented instruments), and decorative (tiki bar, shag carpet, vintage magazines for the perusal of idle musicians). The seven performers each play seven different instruments, either traditional (cello, charango, clavichord) or invented in the last 50 years (Slinky guitar, Swarmatron, synthesizer). The stage extravaganza will be directed by the award-winning Jose Zayas (Love in the Time of Cholera, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter).

To date, Stephin Merritt has written and recorded twelve Magnetic Fields albums, including the popular and critically acclaimed 69 Love Songs. A song from that record, ‘The Book of Love,’ has been covered by Peter Gabriel and has appeared in numerous TV shows and films; notably, the Nairobi Chamber Orchestra performed the song at an official state dinner in Kenya, before Presidents Barack Obama and Uhuru Kenyatta delivered their toasts. Merritt has also composed original music and lyrics for several music theater pieces, including an off-Broadway stage musical of Neil Gaiman’s novel Coraline, for which he received an Obie Award. In 2014, Merritt composed songs and background music for the first musical episode of public radio’s This American Life. Stephin Merritt also releases albums under the band names the 6ths, the Gothic Archies, and Future Bible Heroes.” -Nonesuch

Stranger than fiction – new releases, reissues and restocks…
A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory 2LP; We Got It From Here Thank You 4 Your Service 2LP
Ryan Adams – Prisoner CD, LP
Afro-Haitian Experimental Orchestra – S/T LP
The Alchemist – Rapper’s Best Friend Vol. 4 2LP*
Aphex Twin – Cheetah EP 12”; Selected Ambient Works 85-92 2LP
Animal Collective – Hollindagan LP; Merriweather Post Pavilion 2LP; Strawberry Jam LP
Atmosphere – When Life Gives You Lemons LP
Devendra Banhart – Ape In Pink Marble LP
Battles – Mirrored 2LP
Beach House – Depression Cherry LP; Teen Dream 2LP
Black Market Brass – Cheat And Start A Fight LP
Black Sabbath – Master Of Reality LP
James Blake – Overgrown 2LP
Boards Of Canada – Music Has The Right To Children 2LP
Willie Bobo – Always There 12”*
David Bowie – Blackstar LP
Buena Vista Social Club Presents – Ibrahim Ferrer LP
Buzzcocks – Time’s Up! LP*
J.J. Cale – Troubadour LP
Neko Case – Live From Austin, TX LP*
Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison LP; Original Sun Sound LP
Circa Survive – On Letting Go: Deluxe 10 Year Edition LP
Eric Clapton – Slowhand LP
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker LP
Cohenbeats – Daily Affirmations LP*
John Coltrane Quartet – Crescent LP
Conflict – There’s No Power Without Control: The Singles 2LP*
Cream – Disraeli Gears LP
The Cure – Disintegration 2LP; Faith LP; Seventeen Seconds LP; Standing On A Beach: The Singles LP; The Head On The Door LP; Three Imaginary Boys LP
Daedelus – Baker’s Dozen: Daedelus LP
Daft Punk – Alive 1997 LP; Discovery 2LP; Homework 2LP; TRON: Legacy OST 2LP
Daughters – Hell Songs LP
Depeche Mode – 101 LP; Black Celebration LP; Music For The Masses LP; Some Great Reward LP; Songs Of Faith And Devotion LP; Ultra
LP; Violator LP
Discharge – Decontrol: The SIngles 2LP; Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing LP*
Disclosure – Settle 2LP
The Doors – L.A. Woman LP
Bob Dylan – Essential Bob Dylan 2LP
Livy Ekemezie – Friday Night LP*
Elbow – Little Fictions LP
Emperor – Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk LP; In The Nightside Eclipse LP; S/T LP
Brian Eno – Reflection 2LP
Nathan Fake – Providence 2LP*
Father John Misty – Fear Fun LP; I Love You, Honeybear 2LP
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues 2LP
Fleetwood Mac – Greatest Hits LP; Rumours LP
Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes 2LP
Funkadelic – Standing On The Verge: The Best Of Funkadelic 2LP
Gang Starr – Hard To Earn 2LP
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On LP
Genius/GZA – Liquid Swords 2LP
Grateful Dead – American Beauty LP; S/T LP
Hater – You Tried LP
Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced? LP
John Lee Hooker – That’s Where It’s At! LP*
Clutchy Hopkins & Fat Albert Einstein – High Desert Low Tide LP*
Hurray For The Riff Raff – The Navigator LP*
Insane Clown Posse – Tunnel Of Love LP*
Iron Reagan – Crossover Ministry LP
Michael Jackson – Bad LP; Thriller LP
J Dilla – Donuts 2LP; Jay Love Japan LP
Jay-Z – The Black Album 2LP; Vol. 1: In My Lifetime 2LP; Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life 2LP
The Jazz Jousters – Locations: USA LP*
Jesus And Mary Chain – Psychocandy LP
Paul Johnson – Bump Talkin 2×12”*
Durand Jones & The Indications – Make A Change 7”
Joy Division – Closer LP; Unknown Pleasures LP
Valerie June – The Order Of Time LP*
Krallice – Ygg Huur LP
Fela Ransome Kuti & Africa 70 – Expensive Shit LP
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly 2LP; Untitled Unmastered LP
Josef Leimberg – Astral Progressions LP*
John Lennon – Imagine LP
Less Than Jake – Sound The Alarm LP
Los Amigos Invisibles – Arepa 3000 2LP; The New Sound Of The Venezuelan Gozadera 2LP
Magrudergrind – II LP
Laura Marling – Semper Femina 2LP*
Metallica – Kill ‘Em All LP; Master Of Puppets LP; Ride The Lightning 2LP
Mild High Club – Skiptracing LP
Misfits – Collection II LP; Legacy Of Brutality LP
Thelonious Monk – Paris 1969 2LP
Morbid Angel – Altars Of Madness LP
Mothership – High Strangeness LP*
Motorhead – Another Perfect Day LP; Iron Fist LP; Orgasmatron LP; Rock ’N’ Roll LP; S/T LP
Mount Kimbie – Cold Spring Fault Less Youth 2LP
My Bloody Valentine – MBV LP+CD
Nouvelle Vague – 3 LP*; Bande A Part LP*
Gilles Peterson Presents: Havana Cultura 4LP Box
New Order – Brotherhood LP; Movement LP; Technique LP
Operation Ivy – Energy LP
Outkast – Aquemini 3LP; ATLiens 2LP
Parlor Walls – Opposites LP*
G Perico – Shit Don’t Stop LP*
Pete Rock – NY’s Finest 2LP+7”
Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon LP; The Wall 2LP
The Postal Service – Give Up LP
Prince – For You LP; Purple Rain LP
Quasimoto – Rappcats 12”
Queen – A Night At The Opera LP; Greatest Hits I 2LP; II LP
Ramones – Rocket To Russia LP
Porter Ray – Watercolor 2LP*
Refused – The Shape Of Punk To Come LP
Rolling Blackouts C.F. – The French Press LP*
Rolling Stones – Blue & Lonesome 2LP
Aaron Rose – Elixir LP*
Selena – Dreaming Of You 2LP*
Ed Sheeran – Divide 2LP
The Shins – Heartworms CD*, LP*; Wincing The Night Away LP
Shobaleader One – Elektrac 2LP*
Nina Simone – The Amazing Nina Simone LP
sir Was – Digging A Tunnel LP*
Sleater-Kinney – All Hands On The Bad One LP; Call The Doctor LP; Dig Me Out LP; S/T LP
Elliott Smith – Either/Or (Indie Record Store Ltd.) 2LP
The Smiths – Hatful Of Hollow LP
Solange – A Seat At The Table 2LP
Soundgarden – Screaming Life / FOPP CS; Ultramega OK 2LP*, CS*
Specials – More Specials LP+7″
The Strokes – Is This It LP
Sunny Day Real Estate – Diary 2LP; How It Feels To Be Something On LP
Swet Shop Boys – Cashmere LP
Talking Heads – Speaking In Tongues LP
Tame Impala – Currents 2LP; Innerspeaker 2LP
Tennis – Yours Conditionally LP
Thundercat – Drunk 4×10” Box Set*
Torb The Roach & Floppy McSpace – Tape Echo: Gold Floppies LP*
Tortoise – The Catastrophist LP
Tuamie – Holy Ghost Spirituals LP*
Various – 100% Dynamite 2LP
Various – Keb Darge & Cut Chemist Present The Dark Side 2LP*
Various – La La Land OST LP
Various – Miami Vice OST LP
Various – Ultimate Block Party Breaks Vol. 4 LP*
Washed Out – Paracosm LP
The Weeknd – Starboy 2LP
Kanye West – 808’s & Heartbreak 2LP+CD
Will Sessions ft. Elzhi – Knowledge Of 12th 7”*
Amy Winehouse – Back To Black LP
World Psychedelic Classics Vol. 5 – Who Is William Onyeabor? 3LP
Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) LP
DJ Yamin & Quickie Mart – King Cake Breaks Vol. 1 LP
Neil Young – Peace Trail LP
Your Old Droog – Packs LP*

*Indicates new release or new reissue