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  • Stephin Merritt, Magnetic Fields Documentary "Strange Powers" Now on DVD

    Strange Powers, the documentary that offers an intimate portrait of Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields, is now available on DVD. Special features include previously unreleased deleted scenes of the band in the studio, on tour, and backstage; official music videos; the official film trailer; and a commentary track with Merritt and band member Claudia Gonson. The New York Daily News gives the film four stars, calling Merritt "one of the greatest American songwriters to emerge in the last two decades."

  • Stephin Merritt, Magnetic Fields Documentary, "Strange Powers," Opens in Theaters

    The new documentary feature Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields, receives its North American theatrical release at the Film Forum in New York City tonight; the band and the filmmakers will attend. A new Magnetic Fields exhibition opens at Other Music in Manhattan as well. In the coming months, the film will open theaters in Toronto and in cities across the US, including Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Dallas, and Seattle.

About this Album

In May 2004, Nonesuch released i, the label debut by The Magnetic Fields. The long-awaited follow-up to the acclaimed 1999 release 69 Love Songs, i finds singer/songwriter Stephin Merritt in full possession of his acerbic wit. Featuring lyrics ripe with melancholy and bittersweet imagery, the record’s fourteen tracks are possibly the most personal Merritt has created to date—a departure from the many voices on 69 Love Songs.

Produced by Stephin Merritt, i features The Magnetic Fields’ four-piece lineup: Merritt on vocals and assorted instruments, including ukulele; Sam Davol on cello; Claudia Gonson on piano and drums; and John Woo on guitar and banjo. Unlike recent Merritt projects, i was recorded using only hand- played instruments, without synthesizers.

i is the seventh Magnetic Fields album since the band’s debut in 1990 with Distant Plastic Trees. In 1999, the band’s three-CD collection 69 Love Songs established Merritt as one of this generation’s most talented songwriters. It drew worldwide attention with comparisons to legends Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. SPIN graded it 10 out of 10, Rolling Stone described it as “gorgeous,” and the New York Times hailed the triple CD as a work of “genius.” Between Magnetic Fields releases, Merritt has released albums with his other bands, Future Bible Heroes, Gothic Archies, and the 6ths. He collaborated with theater director Shi-Zheng Chen on the Chinese opera The Orphan of Zhao for the Lincoln Center Festival and the opera Peach Blossom Fan, which premiered at Los Angeles’ REDCAT Theater in April 2004. He also wrote the soundtrack to the movie Pieces of April.

Credits

MUSICIANS
Stephin Merritt
Sam Davol, cello
Claudia Gonson, drums and percussion, piano, harpsichord, background vocals
John Woo, banjo, guitar, electric sitar
No synths

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Recording: Charles Newman, Ravi Krishnaswami
Additional production and mix: Charles Newman
Mastering: Jeff Lipton at Peerless

All songs written by Stephin Merritt

Design by Evan Gaffney
Cover art: Gravity in Four Directions by Fred Tomaselli

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