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Merritt Based 

Wednesday, Feb 17 2010
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 — just came to a close, and Merritt has provided music for films and stage musicals on top of touring. And the Magnetic Fields isn’t his only outlet: he also has the revolving-singer project the 6ths, the more electronic collaboration Future Bible Heroes, and the especially dour Gothic Archies. Whether or not he’s lending his distinctive bass moan, his tunes share an arch wit, self-reflexive lyrics, and rubbery arrangements. With more than a dozen albums among his various personas, it’s no wonder the idiosyncratic songwriter is the subject of an upcoming documentary. The screening alone at SF360 Film + Club’s “A Sneak Preview of a Film About Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields” is worth the price of admission. But there’s also a question-and-answer session with director Kerthy Fix, longtime band member and manager Claudia Gonson, and Merritt himself. Sandwiched between a pair of local Magnetic Fields shows at Noise Pop, this is the ultimate extra credit for fans.
Sun., Feb. 28, 7 p.m., 2010

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Doug Wallen


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