The Elusive Stephin Merritt To Release “Obscurities” Album

The Elusive Stephin Merritt To Release “Obscurities” Album (photo)

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Ukulele connoisseur and The Magnetic Fields mastermind, Stephin Merritt is releasing a collection of hard-to-find recordings dating back to before “69 Love Songs,” the album that brought Merritt out of obscurity, before all the FOX news morning shows and endlessly awkward interviews.

Titled, “Obscurities” the album features five previously unreleased songs, 14 total, all recorded prior to “69 Love Songs.” Three of the unreleased tracks come from an unfinished science fiction musical that Merritt began writing with Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, called “The Song From Venus.” Also included are five songs from various 7″ vinyl singles by The Magnetic Fields, Merritt’s side project the 6ths, a track from a rare K Records cassette-only release, and others.

Real “It was raining broken glass in the forgotten part of town” type stuff. “Obscurities” comes out on Merge Records August 23rd.

Download! “Forever and a Day,” the first song from “Obscurities.”

Here’s the full track listing:
1. “Forever and a Day” (previously unreleased)
2. “Rats in the Garbage of the Western World” (The Magnetic Fields)
3. “I Don’t Believe You” (The Magnetic Fields)
4. “Plant White Roses” (Buffalo Rome)
5. “Rot in the Sun” (the 6ths)
6. “The Sun and the Sea and the Sky” (previously unreleased)
7. “Yet Another Girl” (the 6ths)
8. “Scream (Till you Make the Scene)” (previously unreleased)
9. “The Song from Venus” (previously unreleased)
10. “Beach-A-Boop-Boop” (The Magnetic Fields)
11. “When I’m Not Looking, You’re Not There” (The Magnetic Fields)
12. “Take Ecstasy with Me” (The Magnetic Fields)
13. “When You’re Young and In Love” (previously unreleased)
14. “You Are Not My Mother and I Want to Go Home” (The Gothic Archies)

And if you missed it, read my rare interview with Merritt where we talk about Hawaiian music, his father, and the film “Strange Powers.”

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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