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The Magnetic Fields' '69 Love Songs' Coming on 6×10" Vinyl Box Set

Posted by: on May 20, 2009 | Comments (1)

Well, it only took them ten years, but we take such news when we can get it!

The Magnetic Fields’ brilliant song cycle 69 Love Songs is finally seeing a vinyl release. Spread across six 10″ records, each in a separate gatefold sleeve, the set will be bound with a cardboard slipcover and a large version of the CD version booklet. It should be out sometime in August April 20, 2010, it’s apparently limited to 3,000 copies, and it’ll cost about $100.

I’ve had a running list of albums that should be on vinyl going for quite some time, and 69 Love Songs has been right up near the top since its release ten years ago. Most record companies in 1999 didn’t see any benefit to releasing vinyl, although Merge Records has always been great about LPs—they even pioneered the LP+mp3 download coupon idea, which I covered pretty extensively here last year. Now if they could just release Crooked Fingers’ Red Devil Dawn on vinyl, we’d be set!

There’s a whole lotta other dream albums out there that would be released on vinyl if there were any sense of justice in the world. Here’s a few from the ongoing wish list. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments below.

Please, Record Industry: Put These Albums Out on Vinyl!


Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

 


The Boredoms – Seadrum / House of Sun

 


Los Lobos – Colossal Head

 


K’naan – The Dusty Foot Philosopher

 


John Prine – In Spite of Ourselves

 


James Carter – Chasin’ the Gypsy

 


Gillian Welch – Time (the Revelator)

 


The Velvet Teen – Out of the Fierce Parade

 


Uncle Tupelo – Anodyne

 


Smoking Popes – Born to Quit

 


Arvo Pärt – Alina

 


Steve Earle – Transcendental Blues

 


Camille – Le Fil

 


Nellie McKay – Get Away From Me

 


The Rentals – Seven More Minutes

 


Don Byron – Ivey Divey

 


Greg Brown – Over and Under

 


Bebo & Cigala – Lagrimas Negras

 


Old 97’s – Too Far to Care

 


Wynton Marsalis – Live at the House of Tribes

 


Robert Earl Keen – Gravitational Forces

 


Knife in the Water – Soundtrack

 

Vinyl, Mp3s, Sermons, Reissues

Posted by: on Mar 10, 2008 | Comments (0)

While researching my Bohemian article on the independent music industry phenomenon of including free mp3 download coupons inside of vinyl LPs, I had the pleasure of talking to a number of labels whose records I’ve listened to and loved for half my life. Vinyl comes and goes pretty quickly these days, and there’s a lot of records that everyone owned at one point but somehow sold, lost, or loaned out for good. So it was exciting to find out during my interview that Merge Records will soon be introducing a “Merge Classic Reissues” series, revisiting out-of-print or previously-unavailable-on-vinyl titles and repressing them on LP. Matador did this with the first three Pavement records recently, and it’s fucking awesome that Merge is starting it too.

The first three titles to be reissued: A Series of Sneaks and Girls Can Tell by Spoon, and The Charm of the Highway Strip by Magnetic Fields, all elegantly pressed on 180-gram vinyl. Here’s hoping they press 69 Love Songs and Red Devil Dawn, which have criminally never been on vinyl, and No Pocky For Kitty, which is just a damn great record, in the near future.

Also, Jon Collins over at Dropcards was telling me about all the various projects they’ve worked on, including a Hannah Montana card for Disney and a huge promotion for Vitamin Water. I asked him what the weirdest project they’ve done, and he told me about a Southern baptist preacher who ordered an mp3 of his sermon on a bunch of Dropcards so he could hand them out to his congregation. Crazy.

Collins also used to work at an independent record distributor in Philadelphia, and I think it’s pretty cool that a guy who now does business with Kelly Clarkson,  Red Bull and SnoCap has a record collection that looks like this.

The January Awards

Posted by: on Jan 31, 2008 | Comments (0)

Best Lyrics: Magnetic Fields – Distortion

The album title, Distortion, refers to the Psychocandy-esque fuzz that permeates every song on this album—making it sound drearier and more hungover than anything you’d expect from Magnetic Fields. But holy bejeezus, the lyrics are a goddamn hoot. Some reviews of the album have actually complained about the lyrics in particular, citing Stephen Merritt’s ongoing “downtrodden, sad-sack schtick,” causing me to wonder if Noel Coward could very well be out of work if he was born in the 21st Century. Making mirth out of the morose is a tight market these days, apparently.

From “The Nun’s Litany”:

I want to be a topless waitress
I want my mother to shed one tear
I’d throw away this old, sedate dress
Slip into something a tad more sheer

I want to be an artist’s model
An odalisque au naturel
I should be good at spin the bottle
While I’ve still got something left to sell

From “Too Drunk To Dream”:

Sober, life is a prison
Shitfaced, it is a blessing
Sober, nobody wants you
Shitfaced, they’re all undressing

No one should listen to any Magnetic Fields album before they listen to 69 Love Songs, but for the already initiated, the sharply pained ribaldry of Distortion’s lyrics will remind you of at least one of a hundred reasons why you fell in love with the band in the first place. They’re playing two nights at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco on Feb. 28-29, and man, is it ever sold out.

Best Sonic Quality: Black Mountain – In The Future

I saw Black Mountain late last December and it was undoubtedly one of the year’s highlights. I drove down to the show in San Francisco on a complete whim and had no idea what to expect, brandishing only an ardent fascination with their self-titled debut, released three years ago.

The lights went down. The guitar amplifier billowed smoke. The drums illumined with each bass kick. The voices of Amber Webber and Stephen McBean cavorted together, intertwined, above a thundering morass. I was stupefied.

In The Future doesn’t quite capture all of Black Mountain’s hazy bombast, and its songs aren’t as classic as those on the band’s first record, but it’s a mind-transporting headphone album nonetheless that just sounds great. They’re playing at the Independent in San Francisco on Monday, Feb. 4.

Strange New Band: MGMT – Oracular Spectacular

They’re too hippie-sounding for the fixed gear crowd but they’re, like, too concerned with their own image for the stoner crowd. I still can’t figure out if I like ‘em or not. Their video, though, is an absolute work of art. So, yeah: strange new band.