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Culture, The Exhibitionist Someone Racist Like You? Unpacking Stephin Merritt's Comments on Adele Fans

Someone Racist Like You? Unpacking Stephin Merritt's Comments on Adele Fans

Last week, singer Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields created a gossip-blog blip when an interview with LA Weekly revealed his belief that the popularity of Brit vocalist Adele is rooted in a racist fan base. Merritt expressed his general…
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Music, All Shook Down Live Review, 3/24/12: The Magnetic Fields Do Quirk Quietly at the Fox Theater

Live Review, 3/24/12: The Magnetic Fields Do Quirk Quietly at the Fox Theater

The Magnetic Fields Saturday, March 24, 2012 The Fox Theater, Oakland Better than: Whispering at the library. On Saturday, the Magnetic Fields gave the mellowest performance six people have ever given at the Fox Theater in Oakland. Well, anyway,…
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Culture, Stage "Coraline": Even Stephin Merritt can't save SF Playhouse's disappointing musical

"Coraline": Even Stephin Merritt can't save SF Playhouse's disappointing musical

Sometimes an idea is so good that it can't get out of its own way. When I first heard about the musical adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel Coraline, I practically peed myself in spite of the hostile reviews dogging last…
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Calendar, Night&Day Walking Into Yourself

Walking Into Yourself

We all went through it as kids. Everything was so unfair: the constraints, the responsibilities, the boredom. Then one day we opened a door in our house and there it was — a perfect existence, where all was right and…
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Calendar, Night&Day Walking Into Yourself

Walking Into Yourself

We all went through it as kids. Everything was so unfair: the constraints, the responsibilities, the boredom. Then one day we opened a door in our house and there it was — a perfect existence, where all was right and…
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Music, All Shook Down

Stories from the Sea: Stephin Merritt Scores a Jules Verne Classic

The textures and melodrama of silent films always seizes me. I love the body language. The ambient tones. I love the speedy scores and heightened drama. Oh man, do I love how an old organ trills. So when I…
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Music, All Shook Down Music Picks For the San Francisco International Film Festival

Music Picks For the San Francisco International Film Festival

The San Francisco International Film Festival will fill theaters with the sound of music over the next two weeks. Launched yesterday, the 53rd edition of SFIFF promises both music-related films and live events, including an opening-weekend conversation with T…
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Music, Reviewing Noise Pop headliners' new CDs

Reviewing Noise Pop headliners' new CDs

Noise Pop offers opportunities to check out up-and-coming bands from home and abroad, but it's also a chance to hear established acts show off new wares. Get up to speed on the recent releases festival headliners will be supporting this…
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Calendar, Night&Day Merritt Based

Merritt Based

While Magnetic Fields mainstay Stephin Merritt hasn’t tried to duplicate the scope of 1999’s three-album set, 69 Love Songs, he hasn’t been been resting on his laurels, either. A trilogy of synth-free albums — i, Distortion, and January’s Realism —…
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Music, All Shook Down Stephin Merritt Spends Spring in SF, Scores for SFIFF

Stephin Merritt Spends Spring in SF, Scores for SFIFF

If you've listened to any amount of Magnetic Fields music, you know main man Stephin Merritt loves few things more than (playfully) reaming the idea of love. That being said, the droll lyricist and musician seems to truly love the…
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Music, Let's Get Killed Getting 'Touchy' in 2008

Getting 'Touchy' in 2008

Forget naughty and nice. The real lists to consider in December come from music fans. After sorting through hundreds (thousands? kabillions?) of CDs and MP3s, every media outlet from the biggies to the bloggers puts pop culture through the same…
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Music, Let's Get Killed Talking Music series emphasizes the brains behind the songs

Talking Music series emphasizes the brains behind the songs

The entertainment at live shows is usually formulated into the same split: 90 percent music, 10 percent banter. Generally, that's a fine balance. Hearing some conversationally impaired frontman mumble bad jokes is a buzz kill. But every once in a…
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Music, All Shook Down Janet Jackson, Xiu Xiu and Margaret Cho: The Weekend Hitlist

Janet Jackson, Xiu Xiu and Margaret Cho: The Weekend Hitlist

With a rather somber September 11th under our belt, it's time to embark on the weekend. Here are some suggestions. Friday night venture to Underground SF on Haight Street for a Killswitch dance night with Broker/Dealer. "Featuring subterranean bass lines,…
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Music, Magnetic Fields: Stephin Merritt Goes Heavy on the Deadpan

Magnetic Fields: Stephin Merritt Goes Heavy on the Deadpan

Ethan Frome. What a terrible book. Edith Wharton's bleak novella tells the tale of its doomed titular "hero," who, in an effort to do the right thing, marries Zeena, the woman who nursed his mother on her deathbed. He then…
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Music, Reviewed Magnetic Fields

Magnetic Fields

The earliest albums released by the Magnetic Fields (particularly 1995's Get Lost) featured burbling synth-pop in the vein of OMD and Soft Cell, long before such new-wave influences were prevalent or trendy. Perhaps that's why Distortion, the eighth Magnetic Fields…
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Music, Reviewed Loney, Dear

Loney, Dear

Emil Svanängen has a knack for the understated. One of those conductor-without-an-orchestra types, the Swedish multi-instrumentalist otherwise known as Loney, Dear flaunts his rocker capabilities in the Grandaddyish blog buzz tune "I Am John." But decibels don't really suit him.…
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Music, Reviewed The Hidden Cameras

The Hidden Cameras

While it's tempting to compare the Hidden Cameras' Joel Gibb with other literate gay singer-songwriters, if Rufus Wainwright or Stephin Merritt were to sing about the joys of anal penetration or swallowing urine, it would be nothing short of hilarious.…
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Music, Reviewed The Magnetic Fields

The Magnetic Fields

Stephin Merritt isn't a genius; i proves it. Sure, the Magnetic Fields' seventh long-player sounds great -- a determinedly non-synthesized, proto-classical layering of cello, banjo, harpsichord, piano, etc. -- but the giddy thrill of previous offerings is missing. Here's a…
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Music, Hear This Hear This

Hear This

What do you do after writing and recording 69 love songs, getting praised as the second coming of Cole Porter by the New York Times, and ending up on a gazillion Best Records of the Year lists? If you're the…
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Music, Reviewed Pete Krebs & the Gossamer Wings

Pete Krebs & the Gossamer Wings

Portland guitarist Pete Krebs has a fairly diverse résumé: punk-pop with the bands Hazel and Thrillhammer, semitrad bluegrass with Golden Delicious, and wonderfully oddball mutant blues/folk/country with Bad Livers main man Danny Barnes. I Know It By Heart, his fifth…
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