"Merritt's Musical Memories" Now Published

46 comments

If you haven't had a chance to see the two night run of The Magnetic Fields' 50 Song Memoir, go. It's a concert experience unlike just about any other that you'll have. The 50 songs are played sequentially over two nights with interpolations from the autobiographer and subject of the album, Stephin Merritt. In true Merritt-ese, these added bits seem culled from André Breton's long lost book of observational humor. 

I got a chance back in the spring of 2017 and started thinking about how we construct ourselves in songs, the ways in which "indie" is its own construction of a construction, and how "confessional" songwriting is its own mask. If that seems a bit in the weeds or convoluted, I spend a lot more time parsing it out in "Merritt's Musical Memories: The Magnetic Fields’ 50 Song Memoir and Autobiography" now published online, for free, from Response, the journal of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association.

Don't worry, it only sticks its toe into narrative theory. Think of it more as an explainer for the record. I included a lot of material from the live show to try and give the reader the experience of being there for both nights. It's not the same thing as being there, of course, but for a record that took on such a theatrical dimension as this one, following along with the staging is important. 

So, check it out. Hope you like it, and feel free to shoot me any feedback that you may have here or on Twitter (which I recently joined) @soidistant.

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