The acerbic, poetic Stephin Merritt is simply too prolific for just one band: when not writing for Magnetic Fields, he also dabbles in side projects like The 6ths, Gothic Archies, and Future Bible Heroes, who are performing this Friday, July 12th at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard.
Future Bible Heroes reunites him with his Magnetic Fields partner-in-crime, Claudia Gonson, and Merritt’s longtime friend and collaborator, Christopher Ewen. Earlier this month, this trio released their third full-length on Merge Records, titled Partygoing, which, true to its name, is filled with songs about dancing and drinking, all set to sweet synthpop beats.
(And if you’re just catching up with Future Bible Heroes, you’re in luck, as Merge Records has recently reissued all three of their albums, with an additional disc of EP tracks, into one newly-remastered collection entitled Memories of Love, Eternal Youth, and Partygoing.)
Sadly, this is one party Stephin Merritt is sitting out (okay, fine, he probably passes on lots of parties): he won’t be joining the band on tour this summer due to his ear condition, hyperacusis (discussed in the documentary Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt & the Magnetic Fields -- read a chat with Merritt and the directors on the KEXP Blog here). Instead, Gonson and Ewen will be joined by another Magnetic Fields collaborator, the velvet-voiced Shirley Simms, and Anthony Kaczynski.
Don’t miss this rare west coast appearance, this Friday, July 12th at the Tractor Tavern. Luxury Liners are opening. 21+ show. Tickets are $15, and are available online here.
And if you’re longing to hear the plaintive vocals of Stephin Merritt, just watch this 2012 session he recorded for us in the KEXP bathroom: