Sunday, July 19, 2009

Magnetic Fields - miscellaneous live

Hell, while I'm at it, I figure I might as well post some more Magnetic Fields for you guys. This is a bit of a mish-mash of tracks that I downloaded mostly in 1999-2001, during the waning days of Napster and the heyday of Kazaa and especially Audiogalaxy. Those systems promoted file-by-file downloading, and so I got all this stuff without really having any idea where it was recorded. The best thing about this collection is that it mostly covers the period immediately before 69 Love Songs came out - which showed the band moving towards more acoustic arrangements live, while still using mostly electronics in studio - shifting slightly away from the vibe of the mid-90s concerts like the one I posted earlier. During this period they were also debuting a number of songs that would appear on the 6ths's second album, here recorded with Stephin Merritt singing and a much more pared-down accompaniment. To me, the versions of "As You Turn to Go" and "Kissing Things" here will always trump the CD versions, lovely as they are in and of themselves.

Because of their random origins, the recording quality in these files does vary dramatically - though I've left off a lot of really crappy-sounding tracks that I also have. All these songs should have itunes tag information that lines them up in the order below, though I'm never clear on how well the tags translate from computer to computer - and if you're not using itunes I suppose you've got some re-tagging to do. Or you can just listen to them in whatever order you want. Regardless, I hope you like it. I'll have more Magnetic Fields up in the weeks (months?) to come.

The Magnetic Fields, miscellaneous live collection, dates unknown:

1. I Don't Want to Get Over You (live on the BBC, 11 November 2000) (2:13)
2. Grand Canyon (2:54)
3. Just Like a Movie Star (2:47)
4. He Didn't (2:23)
5. The Saddest Story Ever Told (2:03)
6. I Don't Believe You (live on KVRX) (3:01)
7. Smoke and Mirrors (live on KVRX) (3:09)
8. All the Umbrellas in London (live on KVRX) (3:17)
9. Aging Spinsters (live on KVRX) (2:47)
10. 100,000 Fireflies (3:13)
11. Amnesia (2:10)
12. Ever Falls the Twilight/Your Long White Fingers (3:14)
13. Come Back From San Francisco (3:16)
14. Candy (2:28)
15. Jeremy (2:39)
16. Summer Lies (2:55)
17. Looking for Love in the Hall of Mirrors (3:02)
18. As You Turn to Go (1:50)
19. Kissing Things (2:10)
20. Young and Insane (2:06)
21. Alien Being (2:15)
22. When You Where My Baby (2:30)
23. Pillow Fight (2:31)
24. I've Got New York (2:18)
25. Lindy Lou (2:03)
26. Old Orchard Beach (2:49)
27. Winter in July (2:28)
28. I Have the Moon (2:21)
29. Famous (3:00)
30. The Desperate Things You Made Me Do (2:57)

Get the whole disorderly mess here. Enjoy.

Andrew Beaujon singles

Hello again. Earlier I posted some Eggs singles, which led the band's singer, Andrew Beaujon, to visit the site. Ever since I have been meaning to post these singles Andrew put out under his own name and with his short-lived (or at least not prolific) band Women in Rock. It seems it's about time I actually completed the post. Hopefully this time I'll get all the recording speeds right. Without further ado:

Andrew Beaujon, Marylebone Station 7", 1997
Happy Go Lucky, no. 7

A: Marylebone Station (2:45)
B: Feeling Relatively Good (3:52)

Andrew Beaujon and Women in Rock, Throw the Apes 7", 1998
555 Recordings, no. 14

A: Throw the Apes (3:29)
B: Click and Drag (3:10)

Also, breaking out of my pretty-much-vinyl-only regimen, I'm adding this CD EP. It was released on vinyl too, but I have the CD, which I guess has one fewer song. What I don't have is an image of the cover art - there's no scanner chez Mythic Signifier and I just don't feel much like photographing the CD cover, photoshopping it to a decent size, and uploading it right now. Hopefully sometime soon I will do that. For now, you just get the music.

Andrew Beaujon, Morning, 1997
Neptune, no. 23

1: Snowglobe Hearts (4:15)
2. Little Wings (3:35)
3. Initials K.K. (3:39)
4. Horse Girl in the Passing Lane (5:48)

Get all three singles here. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Magnetic Fields

It's actually pretty surprising that I haven't posted any Magnetic Fields yet, considering they are probably my favoritest of bands. If you don't know them, I don't even know where to begin describing their brilliance, so I won't even try. You can gather more information on them via their website.

I will, however, recount the somewhat oddball way I came to discover them and enter the wonderful world of Stephin Merritt: It was the summer of 1997 and I was in NYC interning. I tagged along with a number of fellow interns to see Combustible Edison play. (Remember them?) There were two opening bands--the first consisted of 4, yes 4, theremin players, who made an unholy racket as a rhythym guitarist tried to provide some structure; the second was Future Bible Heroes, which is Merritt's synthpop side project/alter ego band. One song and I was hooked--I went to Kim's and bought their album the next day and the rest is history. What's funny is that I don't even think that Future Bible Heroes were touring, and a few years later when I saw the Magnetic Fields in DC, I asked their drummer Claudia Gonson, who was manning the merch table, when Future Bible Heroes would be playing again. Her typically laconic answer: "When we stop sucking."

Sadly I don't have any document of Future Bible Heroes's shows (though I'd especially love to hear a recording of their more recent--2002?--show at Mercury Lounge in NYC), but what I do have is this great recording from the first Merge Fest at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC in 1994. I kick myself continually that I lived in Chapel Hill at that time and didn't have the good sense to go to the Cradle that night and discover the band a few years earlier than I did. What was particularly great about them at this stage in this pre-69 Love Songs stage of their career was that while the albums were all really synthy and full of studio wizardry, they transcribed all the songs to a more classic indie-rock format when they played live. Also, Stephin Merritt generally sang all the songs, regardless of who sang them on the album (Susan Anway for the first couple records, and then a whole variety of people in the 6ths--another side project). All this made the concert experience very unique and special. Recently, with their latest album Distortion, they've moved back to this distinction between albums and concerts, but in a much more quiet, contemplative manner. Back in '94, they were all indie rock (or as you can hear Claudia pronounce in the recording, tacky indie rock).

Count on seeing more Magnetic Fields concerts and rarities as I fitfully progress with my posting. For now, enjoy this particular concert here.

The Magnetic Fields live at the Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
Mergefest, July 29, 1994

1. When I'm Out of Town (3:26)
2. Either You Don't Love Me or I Don't Love You (2:14)
3. Born on a Train (3:48)
4. 100,000 Fireflies (3:36)
5. Strange Powers (2:55)
6. Lonely Highway (4:08)
7. Deep Sea Diving Suit (2:00)
8. Love Goes Home to Paris in the Spring (3:08)
9. Dream Hat (feat. Mac McCaughan) (2:53)
10. Candy (3:53)
11. San Diego Zoo (4:30)
12. Rot in the Sun (3:36)
13. Desert Island (3:53)
14. Summer Lies (3:47)
15. Young and Insane (1:58)