Magnetic Fields were not part of CMJ but played during CMJ week which, this year, is good enough. Live, Stephin Merritt and company dip into the many MF albums, along with choice tracks from his many side projects and soundtrack work making each show full of surprises. As mentioned in an earlier post, the newest MF album, ‘Distortion’ missed its mark a bit, in part, due to a retardedly high bar of expectations that Stephin Merritt has set for long time MF fans. A pre-release proclamation that ‘Distortion’ is “more like Jesus and Mary Chain then the Jesus and Mary Chain” didn’t help either. The conceit made for good copy at press time but just further raised the impossible expectations and, in practice, resulted in muddy production that didn’t do the songs any favors.
One of many reasons to see Magnetic Fields live these days is that the songs off of “Distortion” are played as they probably should have been recorded – minus the busy melody burying ‘JMC-esque’ production. Here is one such buried gem.
[audio: http://thesoundofindie.com/archive/2008/20081216/MF-ZombieBoy.mp3|titles=Zombie Boy (Live)|artists=Magnetic Fields]
Download: Magnetic Fields – Zombie Boy (Live)