Band I Really Love: The Magnetic Fields

The Magnetic Fields: because nobody else does hilarious, cranky, sweet, biting, romantic songs like Stephin Merritt (vocals/ukelele/harmonioum/keyboard) and his merry crew, aka Claudia Gonson (vocals/percussion/piano), Sam Davol (cello/flute), John Woo (banjo/guitar) and Shirley Simms (vocals/autoharp/ukelele).

For example, Andrew in Drag, from their latest record, Love at the Bottom of the Sea. It’s been stuck in my head for weeks and so now I’m going to share it with you, so I won’t be the only one singing the chorus under my breath at random and inappropriate times. (Note: contains nudity, may be unsafe for work!)
The Magnetic Fields – Andrew in Drag
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This one is called With Whom To Dance and every time I listen to it, I observe, wistfully, that really as far as I’m concerned the only wretched part of being single is not having anyone to slow dance with at weddings. You know? Everyone else gets up to sway and spin and there I am perched on the edge of my chair feeling kind of lonely and awkward about everything. Thank you for capturing that emotion in song, Mr. … Continue reading

Band I Really Love: Pop Will Eat Itself

This is Eich Bein Ein Auslander from Dos Dedos Mis Amigos, first released in 1994, and the first PWEI song I ever heard.

It was in a club — I think it was the Electric Ballroom in London sometime in 1998, but I could be wrong — and what I remember is watching the people on the dance floor swaying and stomping to the thudding beat, all gracefully synchronized within their personal space bubbles and not smushed into each other, as I had experienced elsewhere.

It was mesmerizing, and I immediately wanted to join them.
Pop Will Eat Itself – Ich Bin Ein Auslander
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Also very popular in clubs at the time was Def Con I, from This Is the Day…This Is the Hour…This Is This!, originally released in 1988.
Pop Will Eat Itself | Def Con One
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Because this was the Dark Ages Before mp3s, I then spent some time digging through used CD racks and bins on both sides of the Atlantic … Continue reading