Tonight in Seattle:  

The Magnetic Fields

Recommended Show + Ticket Giveaway! Win tix to Magnetic Fields at the Neptune {3/19 & 3/20}

Huzzah! The Magnetic Fields are coming to Seattle (!!!) and we've got a pair of tickets for you to win! One of the Imaginary Girls' favorite melancholy indie-pop bands will be gracing the stage at The Neptune for two nights: Monday, 3/19 and Tuesday 3/20. Their newest album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, was released 3/6 on Merge records. (You can take a listen to the single "Andrew in Drag" in the video above.)

But look, I don't need to explain to y'all how great they are, YOU ALREADY KNOW IT. On to the deets! Shoot an email over to tig {at} threeimaginarygirls {dot} com sometime between now and the end of the day Tuesday {3/13}, with the subject line "69 Love Songs". We'll pick a winner and notify you on Wednesday, 3/14 that you're on the list +1 -- just don't forget to let us know which night you want to attend! ♥

The Magnetic Fields — Love At The Bottom Of The Sea

The usual is all here for The Magnetic Fields fans: Stephin Merritt with Claudia Gonson, Sam Davol, John Woo, Shirley Simms, Johny Blood, and Daniel Handler making Spanish influenza-catchy, basement speakeasy lo-fi itchy, top shelf bourbon-breathed novelty hate snog orgies out of lyrical cliches, turned around and spanked sweetly.

However, there are some obvious twists on Love At The Bottom Of The Sea -- starting with the fact that they're back on Merge Records, the label that launched them as DIY synth-pop demigods in the 90s. And for the occasion TMF bring back the keyboards with all the squeaking, squonking, squealing, and the beep-beep-beeps beneath. The sweet fragrance of infatuations crooned and bleated on alt-boom classics like Get Lost and The Charm of the Highway Strip lingers here, but richly infused with the robust LP-learnin' Merritt and friends have been bringing in from late 60s/early 70s pop-folk-AM cabaret on their albums since the immense, ever-expanding 69 Love Songs.


Latest comment by: George: "Great album. We really enjoyed listening to it and writing down the lyrics. Check them out at the link bellow."

Recommended show: Stephin Merritt scores 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

a scene from 20,000 leagues under the seaWhy, it's Stephin Merritt week in Seattle! Hopefully you caught the excellent Strange Powers at SIFF Cinema eariler this week, but if not, you're not completely out of SM luck (though it was a great movie for Magnetic Fields fans!). He and Gothic Archies contributor/Lemony Snicket writer Daniel Handler have scored the 1916 silent movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and will be performing it on Wednesday, June 9th at the Paramount.

Like many of you, I could watch Stephin Merritt do anything and still be pleased. I've been positively fascinated with his opera and musical theater output, and I can't wait to see what he's done with this score. I have no idea what the music will be like, but I'm positive it will contain wonderful SM wit, and probably some wonderful Merritt/Handler chemistry (if you don't know what I'm talking about, go pick up your copy of 69 Love Songs and read the interview in the booklet). Plus, I hear there's a song called "I Don't Want to Wear Pants". This will probably be one of the best music fan SIFF events. Don't miss it!

Best news of the day: New Magnetic Fields album out in January

And just when we thought that a sunny day in November was enough to celebrate (and let's face it, it is!), news like this just drops in our laps. Prepare yourselves for a brand new Magnetic Fields album out January 26 on Nonesuch! It's called Realism, and as we can see, the artwork definitely takes a cue from 2008's Distortion.  And just think, if it's anything like the last few records, it'll result with a tour stop in Seattle! I should start buying kleenex now in preparation, because just thinking about how beautiful the last Town Hall shows were makes me want to weep. The track list is after the jump (thanks, Stereogum!). Who wants to take a gander or start rumors on what the theme of this album might be?


Discount tickets for Stephin Merritt's new opera

OK, so it's not in Seattle (and how I wish it were!), but because it has to do with our (my) favorite eccentric genius artist-who-only-wears-brown, Stephin Merritt, it's newsworthy to me! Our dear SM has created a new opera/musical based on Neil Gaiman's book (and now, movie) Coraline, it it premiers in New York May 7th for a limited engagement run at New York City's Lucille Lortel Theatre.


Merge's SCORE unleashes brilliant covers comp

Merge has done it again! For their 20th anniversary, a part of the brilliant subscriber only compilation series SCORE, the Chapel Hill label (run by none other than members of my favorite indie rock band, Superchunk) is releasing a compilation of covers of Merge bands by a ton of non-Merge artists.


Latest comment by: twiter: "I hope you do not mind if I posted a link on digg"

IG Shrie's Top Ten Plus Plus!

2008 was an interesting musical, and personal, year for me. I listened to a lot of indie rock, electronica and went to a shit-ton of shows (one of which was the best I've ever seen, thanks Of Montreal).


Latest comment by: Imaginary Shrie: "I mean, I know there are no real surprises here but there were so many good releases last year. IGshr*e"

Best of 2008: Top 10 Albums from Pete Greenberg of Chop Suey

The top 10 albums "that made my head spin (in a good way)" from Chop Suey booker Pete Greenberg.


Latest comment by: Alex: "Great list. I should have seen Frightened Rabbit last time they came through town"

Keenan's year end wrap up!

I'm always terrible at finishing best-of lists. I have a tendency of being at least half a year behind on albums everyone else loves.


Make your travel plans, Magentic Fields announce more US tour dates

The Magnetic Fields, back from their European tour, have announced a wee list of US tour dates. The closest they get to Seattle is Wisconsin (the horror!), but at least October is a great time to vacation on the East Coast.