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Stephin Merritt

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ENTERTAINMENT
November 5, 2010 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
The way it goes with singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt is that you are either wild about his music or you've never heard of him. A new documentary called "Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields" is likely to move people from the second category into the first. Though he has somewhat of a reputation for being a grumpy iconoclast, Merritt sat still for a filmmaking process by Gail O'Hara and Kerthy Fix that lasted 300 hours spread over 11 years. Clearly, the directors have to be Merritt advocates to hang in there that long, but the film that resulted has elements that keep it from being simply a fan's notes.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 29, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Pop Music Critic
The moment of unplanned silence prompted by a midceremony miscue between groom and DJ still stings. Music, after all, was to occupy a key spot in our recent wedding, playing a role otherwise reserved for scripture, prayer, meditation or hymn in a more traditional religious ceremony. In place of the usual wedding march, my nephew Leo, 11, and his guitar teacher had earlier serenaded the gathering with an expert - objectively speaking, of course - version of the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" as my soon-to-be wife, Jenny, and her father walked down the aisle.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 8, 2010
'20,000 Leagues' and Stephin Merritt A splendid combination of sight and sound is in store Sunday for those who venture to the Cinefamily. Not only is the 1916 silent version of Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," complete with then-state-of-the-art underwater photography, going to get a rare screening, but the live musical accompaniment is by the gifted Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields. Merritt, whose music enlivened the indie hit "Pieces of April," will be working from a score commissioned by the San Francisco Film Society.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 5, 2010
"Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields" Unrated Running time: 1 hour, 21 minutes Playing: Laemmle's Sunset 5, West Hollywood
ENTERTAINMENT
November 5, 2010
"Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields" Unrated Running time: 1 hour, 21 minutes Playing: Laemmle's Sunset 5, West Hollywood
ENTERTAINMENT
June 29, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Pop Music Critic
The moment of unplanned silence prompted by a midceremony miscue between groom and DJ still stings. Music, after all, was to occupy a key spot in our recent wedding, playing a role otherwise reserved for scripture, prayer, meditation or hymn in a more traditional religious ceremony. In place of the usual wedding march, my nephew Leo, 11, and his guitar teacher had earlier serenaded the gathering with an expert - objectively speaking, of course - version of the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" as my soon-to-be wife, Jenny, and her father walked down the aisle.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 1999 | ELYSA GARDNER, Elysa Gardner is an occasional contributor to Calendar
There are some two dozen people scattered throughout the cozy downtown cafe, but it's not hard to figure out who the quirky underground musician is. Stephin Merritt, the critically revered songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist who is the creative force behind the Manhattan-based outfit the Magnetic Fields, is sitting at a table in the back, looking blissfully unkempt and somewhat distracted.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 4, 2008 | Mikael Wood, Special to The Times
Claudia Gonson of the Magnetic Fields opened the band's two-hour show Sunday at the Music Box @ Fonda by welcoming the capacity crowd to "sleepy performances night." Was this a sly dig at the seated audience's relatively muted enthusiasm? Several fans evidently thought so and quickly sent up a cheer to demonstrate devotion. "No, it's OK," Gonson said. "We like the quiet." In fact, they need it.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 20, 2004 | Richard Cromelin, Times Staff Writer
When he took the stage at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Saturday with his band the Magnetic Fields, Stephin Merritt didn't look much like a man who's going to revive the film musical and take over Broadway. Drably dressed in brown and tan, he sat on a tall stool and moved only as much as necessary as he sang and strummed his ukulele. He didn't much sound like it either, singing in a morose voice that suggested Leonard Cohen with a head cold.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2008 | Richard Cromelin, Times Staff Writer
"What do you do about the morning sunlight?" Stephin Merritt asks, like a newcomer seeking advice from a local about earthquakes or some other native affliction. Merritt knew he'd be dealing with this when he moved to L.A. from New York, and he does what he can to resist. His Los Feliz apartment is darkened by heavy curtains. When he parks his Mini Cooper after a short drive, he fits a foil-surfaced reflector inside the windshield. He picks the shadiest block for the walk to a bistro on Vermont.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 5, 2010 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
The way it goes with singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt is that you are either wild about his music or you've never heard of him. A new documentary called "Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields" is likely to move people from the second category into the first. Though he has somewhat of a reputation for being a grumpy iconoclast, Merritt sat still for a filmmaking process by Gail O'Hara and Kerthy Fix that lasted 300 hours spread over 11 years. Clearly, the directors have to be Merritt advocates to hang in there that long, but the film that resulted has elements that keep it from being simply a fan's notes.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 8, 2010
'20,000 Leagues' and Stephin Merritt A splendid combination of sight and sound is in store Sunday for those who venture to the Cinefamily. Not only is the 1916 silent version of Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," complete with then-state-of-the-art underwater photography, going to get a rare screening, but the live musical accompaniment is by the gifted Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields. Merritt, whose music enlivened the indie hit "Pieces of April," will be working from a score commissioned by the San Francisco Film Society.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 4, 2008 | Mikael Wood, Special to The Times
Claudia Gonson of the Magnetic Fields opened the band's two-hour show Sunday at the Music Box @ Fonda by welcoming the capacity crowd to "sleepy performances night." Was this a sly dig at the seated audience's relatively muted enthusiasm? Several fans evidently thought so and quickly sent up a cheer to demonstrate devotion. "No, it's OK," Gonson said. "We like the quiet." In fact, they need it.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2008 | Richard Cromelin, Times Staff Writer
"What do you do about the morning sunlight?" Stephin Merritt asks, like a newcomer seeking advice from a local about earthquakes or some other native affliction. Merritt knew he'd be dealing with this when he moved to L.A. from New York, and he does what he can to resist. His Los Feliz apartment is darkened by heavy curtains. When he parks his Mini Cooper after a short drive, he fits a foil-surfaced reflector inside the windshield. He picks the shadiest block for the walk to a bistro on Vermont.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 20, 2004 | Richard Cromelin, Times Staff Writer
When he took the stage at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Saturday with his band the Magnetic Fields, Stephin Merritt didn't look much like a man who's going to revive the film musical and take over Broadway. Drably dressed in brown and tan, he sat on a tall stool and moved only as much as necessary as he sang and strummed his ukulele. He didn't much sound like it either, singing in a morose voice that suggested Leonard Cohen with a head cold.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 1999 | ELYSA GARDNER, Elysa Gardner is an occasional contributor to Calendar
There are some two dozen people scattered throughout the cozy downtown cafe, but it's not hard to figure out who the quirky underground musician is. Stephin Merritt, the critically revered songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist who is the creative force behind the Manhattan-based outfit the Magnetic Fields, is sitting at a table in the back, looking blissfully unkempt and somewhat distracted.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 21, 2000 | (Richard Cromelin)
The 6ths, "Hyacinths and Thistles," Merge. In studio recluse and cult hero Stephin Merritt's grand romance, characters eloquently open their hearts in a series of luminous nocturnes. The result is both sweeping and intimate.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 22, 2012
MUSIC The Magnetic Fields' first effort for Merge Records since 1999, the 15-track "Love at the Bottom of the Sea" reclaims the willfully dinky synth-pop sound the New York indie-pop outfit renounced in recent years in favor of fuzzed-out guitar rock and strummy chamber folk. Fans of buzz-building mid-'90s albums such as "Get Lost" and "The Charm of the Highway Strip" will instantly recognize "God Wants Us to Wait," the shimmering pro-abstinence ditty that opens the CD with a bracing spritz of big-city sarcasm.
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