Thursday Music News

Stephin Merritt

photo by Renata Steiner (view set)

  • Stephin Merritt likes to keep it clever with his long-running project The Magnetic Fields. From 1999’s 3-CD set 69 Love Songs, to his recent A-Z tour (performing a song starting with each letter of the alphabet), and now a five CD set titled 50 Song Memoir scheduled for a March 3rd release on Nonesuch. Merritt began writing the album on his 50th birthday, with one song for every one of the years he’s been alive. He plays more than 100 instruments on the release. And today we’ve got five of those songs to share: “’74 No”, “’86 How I Failed Ethics”, “’93 Me And Fred And Dave And Ted”, “’02 Be True To Your Bar”, and “’13 Big Enough For Both Of Us.” On the upcoming tour, the band will play two nights in each city to play all 50 songs. (For Seattle, that’s Saturday, May 6th and Sunday, May 7th.) [Stereogum]


  • Back in 2010, Animal Collective recorded a song for western video game Red Dead Redemption. The game makers ended up not using the track, and it was left forgotten… ’til today! Check out the song “Mountain Game” below. (C’mon, tech people, it even has the word “game” in the song title!) [Under the Radar]

  • As we mentioned last month, Portland storytellers The Decemberists are reissuing their 2006 LP The Crane Wife as a 5xLP box set. The original album will be on two of those LPs, and the other three records will contain rare b-sides, bonus tracks, and previously unreleased material, like this below. Hear a previously unreleased home demo of “The Crane Wife 1, 2 & 3,” with just Colin Meloy and his acoustic guitar. What other rare gems will be on the release? Find out when it hits stores on December 9th via Capitol Records/Universal Music Enterprises. [Stereogum]

  • Toronto punk boys Pup have teamed up with young actor Finn Wolfhard for the clip for “Sleep in the Heat,” off their sophomore album, The Dream Is Over. If the kid looks familiar, you might recognize him from the Netflix original series Stranger Things as “Mike Wheeler,” one of the junior high Dungeons & Dragons-playing kids, searching for their missing friend, Will Byers. Or, he might look familiar from previous Pup videos: Wolfhard also appears in the 2014 video for “Guilt Trip.” Watch below, and if you haven’t watched Stranger Things yet, this writer highly recommends it, and there is a holiday weekend coming up. [Consequence of Sound]

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