Interview: The Strange Powers of Stephin Merritt & the Magnetic Fields

photo by Christopher Nelson

I still remember the first time Stephin Merritt visited the KEXP studios a couple of years ago. He performed alone, sitting on one of our creaky chairs, ukulele in hand, but he was trailed by a two-person camera crew, who I was delighted to learn were film directors Gail O’Hara and Kerthy Fix.

Earlier this year, those three people returned to our station, and funnily enough, that very creaky chair. (“I remember this chair,” Stephin drolled.) That 2008 in-studio performance had been captured in their documentary Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt & the Magnetic Fields, making its local debut at the Seattle International Film Festival, and we managed to bring them by for a quick chat, which you can read on the KEXP Blog here.

As the film returns to Seattle, screening for a week at the Northwest Film Forum, KEXP returns to this interview to bring you an exclusive, un-aired and un-published conversation between Stephin, Gail, Kerthy, and KEXP’s DJ El Toro discussing their favorite documentaries:

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We’ll also be airing audio from this interview on The Afternoon Show today, streaming worldwide at KEXP.ORG. You can also listen to our on-air segment here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt & the Magnetic Fields is showing at the Northwest Film Forum from Friday, December 10th-16th, with additional showings nationwide.

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