Sep 072011
 

Twelve years ago today, the Magnetic Fields released 69 Love Songs. Initially conceived as a theatrical revue performed by drag queens, 69 Love Songs took a different status entirely as a beloved pillar of indie pop. Though hardly a best-seller then or now, it retains a certain mystique as an album one could devote years to (witness this book or this project documenting each song in graphic form). Everything Stephin Merritt had been building with the Magnetic Fields over the previous six albums came to fruition here and then some.

Sprawling even by Merritt’s standards, 69 Love Songs covers a mind-boggling array of genres. So, in honor of its anniversary, we’ve selected a set of 12 covers that do the same. Some songs will make you dance; others will make you weep. It’s a barely-coherent smorgasbord of sounds, sources, and interpretations. Given the source material, that seems appropriate. Continue reading »

May 122011
 

Download This scours the web’s dark corners for cool cover freebies. View past installments.

Here at Cover Me, we tend to see a lot of artists pop up over and over. Some, like Stephin Merritt, are covered all the time for the sheer versatility of their songwriting. Others, like James Eric, have the ear and the talent for releasing a near-constant stream of quality covers. Eric, in fact, has been even more of a staple on this blog than Merritt or his band the Magnetic Fields and was the first artist featured in our Cover Commissions series.

Now we’re featuring Eric not as cover artist, but as cover curator. 21 Love Songs: A Tribute To The Magnetic Fields isn’t the first of his compilations we’ve come across – we featured his Broadway collection last June – but it is his first and, by his own admission, his best. Despite the album 69 Love Songs-recalling title, we’re treated to covers of a vast swathe of the Fields catalog, going so far as to include “Plant White Roses” from Merge Records’ fifth anniversary compilation. Continue reading »

Apr 182011
 

This weekend’s Record Store Day brought a deluge of new covers, with some of the most hotly anticipated arriving on Franz Ferdinand’s 5-track Covers EP. The Scots teamed up with LCD Soundsystem to cover “All My Friends” for RSD 2009, and this year James Murphy returned the favor with his take on Franz’s “Live Alone.” Murphy’s previously-released cover is included on the EP along with offerings from Peaches, ESG, and Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields, as well as a collaboration between Franz and Debbie Harry. Continue reading »

Mar 172011
 

Download This scours the web’s dark corners for cool cover freebies. View past installments.

As their name implies, HI54LOFI Records releases music by artists who subscribe to the lo-fi, DIY ethic. They succinctly sum up their philosophy by saying that “the pie with the least amount of fingers in it [is] the best tasting pie.” Many an artist who has experienced recording an album with a booth full of record company execs looking on would surely agree. Continue reading »

Mar 092011
 

Having celebrated Stephin Merritt‘s birthday just over a month ago, we at Cover Me are no strangers to the work of The Magnetic Fields‘ songwriter. It seems that every cover we find offers a compelling testament to the man’s songwriting power. Today we have another. It’s Long Beach’s Kotomi delivering an ethereal version of Magnetic Fields track “All the Umbrellas in London.” Continue reading »

Jan 172011
 

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

magnetic fields covers

There’s no denying that it takes a versatile artist to write songs about love in ways that are both consistently inventive and precise. It takes an artist like Stephin Merritt to create songs that not only are beautiful individual pieces, but also paint a broader picture of hope and despair, murder and joy, beauty and hideousness. Merritt somehow manages to create a comprehensive picture of love with his songs, all while bringing his distinctive indie-pop sensibility to it. This book of love is never boring. He turns forty-five today. Continue reading »