Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Zinnias

Hi all. As you can see, I've been rather inactive on this blog for the past months, due to an extremely overloaded work schedule. When you spend all day in front of a computer it just isn't always that exciting to come home and spend all night in front of a computer. So as much as I love sharing music, I've been losing the desire to do so via the blog.

However, thanks to the good efforts of Michael Williamson over at Aging Spinsters, I have been inspired to upload this gem from Magnetic Fields mastermind Stephin Merritt and company. In fact, it's already posted at Michael's site, and I thought I might as well make it into a post here as well. Maybe I will get The Mythic Signifier rolling again...

At any rate, The Zinnias were an early version of The Magnetic Fields, formed with Stephin Merritt and Claudia Gonson were in high school. They self-released a cassette titled Sand Dollar in 1986, then broke up when Claudia went to college. Stephin then remixed their recordings and released another cassette (with the same track list) as Compost. There's more info and somewhat of a discussion at Aging Spinsters.

I obtained these recordings on a bit torrent site some time ago. Since then they seem to have fallen out of circulation there, and mysteriously have not popped up on the blogosphere. I'll admit I have committed the cardinal sin of the torrent community (of which I am not a member, and about which I have mixed feelings) and compressed the original flac to 320kbps mp3. To remediate this situation somewhat, I am uploading both the mp3 and flac versions so you can take what you want. All thanks go to the kind soul who originally put these up as a torrent.


The Zinnias, Sand Dollar and Compost

1. Leeches (1:57)
2. Bed (1:13)
3. Country (1:55)
4. Otters (1:28)
5. Helium (1:07)
6. Barley (3:05)
7. Kings (2:24)
8. Screech (1:25)
9. Paul Bunyan (3:53)
10. Mindnight Slows (Weekend cover) (1:22)
11. Faberge (3:13)

UPDATE: links have been removed by request of the band.

28 comments:

mym said...

Hmm, Fabergé - aural archaeology!

Michael Williamson said...

You're still the coolest person ever for having these, by the way. 100,000 thanks to you.

Alex said...

Oh yes, FLAC! Thanks so much, I'm going to download it as soon as I get home.

Novemberer said...

Hey, just discovered your blog & am way impressed, you've uploaded so much stuff that I still only have on vinyl (in storage) & that nobody else seems to know about (those early Unrest 7"s & the Cupid Car Club e.p. for example).

Sooooo... just wondered if you do requests? I've been looking for the debut LP by The Nice (Cannanes' side project), self-titled on Feel Good All Over I believe? I only ever had it as a cassette dub & that's LONG gone. I've scoured the 'net to no avail, don't 'spose you can put me out of my misery can you, I'm getting desperate...?

Many thanks,
Ian x

smokeandmirrors said...

Sorry Ian, as much as I'd like to help, I don't have the Nice LP...

Novemberer said...

Meh. Thanks anyway...

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for the zinnias!

nice s/t for novemberer:
http://www.mediafire.com/?hjqhznzyy4b

Novemberer said...

Mr./Mrs. Anon. consider me eternally grateful for that! What a fantastic record... x

Jason Eaton said...

THANK YOU!
I have a ton of Magnetic Fields I got from Claudia/Recorded myself from 1994/5 to 1998... those were the best years in my opinion. Saw them live for the first time at the Teenbeat sponsored "Indie Flea Market" in '95... was blown away!!

pj said...

Dude... guess what? You're listed in Pitchfork today for this particular post. Congrats. I wish I could score this kind of press with my blog. PEACE!
Here is the link:
http://pitchfork.com/news/38038-pre-magnetic-fields-stephin-merritt-recordings-surface-online/

Anonymous said...

mp3 is estimated to take 2 weeks on my slower DSL? i wonder if i'm one of a million that came from p'fork. i'll try FLAC. thanks!

smokeandmirrors said...

Jason - I agree wholeheartedly. I didn't get to see them play until 1997, when Future Bible Heroes played in support of their first album, but over the next year I saw the Magnetic Fields proper three times at the Black Cat in DC.

I'm curious - amidst all those recordings, do you have a live recording of Josephine with Stephin singing? That is probably highest on my list to hear again since the first time I saw them...

smokeandmirrors said...

PJ - I know, that's crazy about Pitchfork, huh? Just goes to show that in the current digital age anybody can wind up in the limelight, even a blog that has had one post in 8 months. Though of course, since the P'fork story went up, over 2000 people have downloaded the Zinnias, but only 3 have left comments, so I'm not really sure that it really matters all that much.

franboyant said...

Thanks a lot!.
I still have a cassette with stephin singing some songs in a spanish radio show, how fucking romantic and others. I´ll try to rip them, that period (95-98) was awesome.

Michael Williamson said...

Hey, smokeandmirrors, I have a copy of Stephin singing Josephine. Believe it or not, it's from a show at the Black Cat in 1998 (I swear I'm not making that up), and it's absolutely gorgeous.

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=42Z9WZ88

This is the number three most-listened-to song on my iTunes.

Michael Williamson said...

Also, smokeandmirrors, can I get your e-mail address? I actually have some important information to share with you. If you want, you can just e-mail me (my e-mail is in my profile info) and I'll reply. Thanks and please let me know!

Jason Eaton said...

I sent you guys some shows - did you get them?They were: two shows from the Black Cat (97 and 98), and one from Fletchers in Baltimore in 98. Also a show from 95 and a "Claudiatron" show from 96. Josephine is all over them, along with a couple of covers, and amazing chatter from the band. The 97 and 98 shows I recorded on DAT, but I have heard the 98 Black Cat show in fragments from the soundboard, so I know it's out there! My holy grail is the 95 Indie Flea Market show... how the surfaces one day!

smokeandmirrors said...

Jason - how did you send them? I've received no notice. But I am deeply excited to hear these! Perhaps if you could give me your email address we can correspond off-blog. Let me know...

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for The Zinnias

Balloon said...

Fuck.... I would so love to hear this. Damn damn damn damn damn damn......

ibares said...

Somebody please torrent this on what or waffles or #IT.

Anonymous said...

off topic, but i was just really amused to see that 87 people have downloaded the nice s/t i uploaded for novemberer! if you like it, check out the cannanes (the singer's previous band: he's only on their first album though) & his later band ashtray boy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Nice s/t album. Been looking for that for ages and am very eager to hear it...and yes indeed, Ashtray Boy are so fucking ace.

Novemberer said...

Yeah, thanks again for that Nice linkage... x

ibares said...

these are now (finally) up on what.

Anonymous said...

hello, have you to it song When Will You Love Me Again? of the magnetic fields.

my email : alivejustforlove@hotmail.fr

viagra said...

Hello, I do not agree with the previous commentator - not so simple

Matt said...

I'm so bummed out that I missed the brief moment when these were available. I've been looking on and off for years! I will totally buy a copy off of you.