NPR : World Cafe

Filed Under:

The Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt On World Cafe

The Magnetic Fields' music provides one of several outlets for frontman Stephin Merritt's inspired songwriting. The band began recording a string of eclectic albums in 1993, and finally found mainstream recognition with 1999's three-disc 69 Love Songs. Merritt focused mostly on side projects until 2004's i, which did not include any synths — a trend which continued with 2008's guitar-heavy Distortion and 2010's Realism. Singing clever and emotive lyrics with a deep and resonant voice, Merritt playfully explores both dramatic events and everyday trifles.

The band returns to its classic synth-pop style with the release of Love at the Bottom of the Sea. In this World Café session, Merritt discusses his relationship with the band and describes The Magnetic Fields as his musicians rather than accompanists or collaborators. Merritt also describes his recent U.S. tour and his personal distaste for touring in general. Shedding light on his songwriting process — and explaining his distaste for touring — Merritt says he prefers to write songs in a "dimly lit atmosphere surrounded by disco music and drunks."

Copyright 2012 WXPN-FM. To see more, visit http://www.xpn.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Is D.C. The Butt Of The Joke Or A Comedy Powerhouse?

Humor isn't often the subject of scientific inquiry, but the results of a new "humor algorithm" devised by the University of Colorado ranks D.C. among the funniest cities in the country.

NPR

Bake Bread Like A Pioneer In Appalachia ... With No Yeast

Bacteria can make a bread rise and give it a cheesy flavor. That's the secret ingredient in salt rising bread, which dates to the late 1700s in Appalachia, when bakers didn't have yeast on hand.
NPR

Obama Assures Japan Of U.S. Security Commitment

The president is on the first stop in an eight-day trip to Asia that also will see him visit Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea.
NPR

Weekly Innovation: An Inflatable Car Seat That Comes In A Backpack

Parents, you are going to want to read about this prototype from Volvo. It's fully inflatable and designed to make what's normally a clunky and heavy seat both lighter and more portable.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.