Triple J, an Australian radio station, has a covers show called “Like a Version,” which is a spectacular name for anything covers related. The Shins recently appeared on the show where they covered “Andrew in Drag” from the Magnetic Fields’ Love at the Bottom of the Sea.
Stephen Merritt has triumphantly reigned as one of the most depressed men in music since the start of the Magnetic Fields. But aside from just being sad, he’s impossibly clever and witty and sarcastic, so his moping often translates beyond dejection and into dark humor. As one of the hosts points out this is “a tragic, yet hilarious love story,” and he’s absolutely right. Merritt himself is a homosexual, but he often plays with the idea of gender roles in his songs, and thus “Andrew in Drag” is about a heterosexual man who falls in love with his best friend in drag.
The Shins perform the song acoustically, which only amplifies the humor as it sounds like a genuine song about heartbreak, à la Shins style. While James Mercer claims he doesn’t personally relate to the song, he does admit to having recently dressed in drag, which you can see for yourself in this super strange video.
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