Recommendation: The Magnetic Fields

Cat recommends…

The Magnetic Fields have been around for 20 years now. They have released nine albums (including the epic three-disc 69 Love Songs) and they’re also responsible some of the very subversive songs in terms of gender and sexuality issues. Their first two albums, in particular, bundled on the Wayward Bus/Distant Plastic Trees compilation, are especially striking and ahead of their time nearly two decades since their release, including songs dealing with such matters as fanciful as bisexual werewolves or as serious as having a relationship with an FTM in a trans-hostile world. While Stephin Merritt, the band’s songwriter, is a cissexual gay man and often sings from what is presumably his own experience, he very convincingly writes through others’ perspectives, and confounds gender in his choice of singers.

The 69 Love Songs album also is fantastically diverse in its array of gender and sexuality perspectives and the frequent “mismatch” between the two. Anyone who’s a gender outlaw and likes literate, witty indie pop ought to give them a listen.

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Posted by on February 11th, 2011 at 08:00 am

Category: music, recommendations 6 comments »

6 Responses to “Recommendation: The Magnetic Fields”

  1. Anonymous

    I love this photo, with stephin glaring at the camera in the background from behind a claudia.

    “blue eyes blazing, and he’s going to be my wife”


  2. Lanthir

    I was actually just listening to I Need A New Heart a little while ago. (^_^)


  3. Stuart

    I just love the Magnetic Fields. I also think Stephin looks a lot like Mandy Patinkin, who also makes me feel wobbly inside.


  4. kendall

    papa was a rodeo < 3


  5. Keanan

    I really like their song The Book of Love. It’s a pretty funny song. Peter Gabriel does a really good cover of that song. They sound like a cool band and I want to check out their other music.


  6. George Grey

    I’m listening to 69 love songs right now! ‘I like your twisted point of view Mike’ is one of my favourite ever opening lines to a song.


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