Strange Powers of Magnetic Fields

Posted on: October 28th, 2010 at 6:21 am by

While the Magnetic Fields has been recording music for two decades, their seminal 1999 album 69 Love Songs remains their benchmark for creative output. The triple-record showcased the brilliant songwriting of Stephin Merritt, and featured an eclectic smattering of musical instruments. Yet of the 69 love songs, one has almost attainted anthemic status to some Lower East Side denizens.

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That song is called “The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side.” And that’s precisely who principle songwriter Stephin Merritt is. Strange Powers, a new eighty-two-minute documentary by Kerthy Fix and Gail O’Hara, sheds some light on the man and his creative process. How he holes up in his “East Village studio apartment with his keyboardist, manager, and collaborator since adolescence, Claudia Gonson, as they hammer out melodies at a piano, adding sounds from kitchen whisks, gongs, homemade chimes, and whatever other instruments they improvise from the clutter.”

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Strange Powers is now playing at the Film Forum.

And below is a wonderful fan homage to “The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side.”

[via Slate]

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