Friday, 24 September 2010

Strange Powers

Stephin Merritt is a personal hero of mine. You'll probably know him from his most significant project, The Magnetic Fields. I love the philosophy behind his songwriting, love his use of melody and think his lyrics clever and engaging, facets that inform my own crude attempts at song-writing. And despite my dislike of 'concept records', 69 Love Songs stands out as an exception. A record detailing songs about love songs - absolutely brilliant!

I was fortunate enough to see the band play in New York earlier in the year, an enthralling and intimate experience which demonstrated Merritt's droll persona and his often brutal sense of irony (you can read my thoughts on this show by clicking here).

The Brisbane Underground Film Festival happens to be showing the Stephin Merritt (and The Magnetic Fields) biopic, Strange Powers, on the 29th of September at the Brisbane Powerhouse. As far as I know, it's the only showing of this film in Brisbane, so if you're a fan of the man and his band, this will prove to be very interesting. Apparently filmed over ten years, the reception has generally been good.

In the meantime, perhaps its time to revist the song by which the film is named after. I love the lyrics, particularly in the opening stanza, "On the ferris wheel / Looking out on Coney Island / Under more stars than / There are prostitutes in Thailand". Enjoy.

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