Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Magnetic Fields - Why I Cry

The Magnetic Fields are my favorite band. Now normally The Pixies would be my reply to that question. However I have been enjoying the work of Mr. Merritt so much lately that I think I might have to move them to that coveted spot. It's a difficult thing to say, as I've had much history with the Pixies. Then I need to shape Joanna Newsom into this judgement, my favorite musical thing in the world right now. She's not a band though, but rather is a singer/songwriter per se. I hate that terminology. In any case 69 Love Songs is my favorite album ever. This entry is my 69th since starting the blog. How better to celebrate than the Magnetic Fields?

My favorite Magnetic Fields song isn't on 69 Love Songs however. "Why I Cry" comes from their 1995 album Get Lost. It's one of those albums where as a whole it isn't as good as the previous record, but the best songs are better than the best of the previous. So in this case Get Lost is not as good as Holiday, yet "Why I Cry" and "All the Umbrellas in London" are better than Holiday's best tracks. Actually this song is how I discovered the Magnetic Fields. The Adventures of Pete and Pete, what I regard as the greatest television show ever, bar none contained three Magnetic Fields songs on its soundtrack as well as one from the 6ths and one from the Gothic Archies, two Stephin Merritt's side projects. Well the Magnetic Fields songs on the show were "The Flowers She Sent and the Flowers She Said She Sent," "Lovers from the Moon" and "Why I Cry." Typically the music is mixed into the show's background during a particularly emotional or poignant scene. "Why I Cry" however was played during the credits of Farewell My Little Viking Pt. 2, the episode where Artie leaves the show. I'll admit to shedding a few tears to this episode. So when I was sitting there in from of the TV emotionally distraught I heard the song come on and was taken aback. It was perfect. It's now one of my Top 10 songs ever.

The Magnetic Fields - Why I Cry

"All the summer days
Where we used to play
Walking hand in hand
Castles in the sand

So you say good night
But you meant good bye
Now our love has died
This is why I cry

From the madding crowd
Pointing up at clouds
Summer turned to fall
Pictures on the wall"

Ben Gibbard's first Death Cab for Cutie side-project All-Time Quarterback did a cover of the song in 1999. He sings in a strange falsetto for it, something which if you didn't know about before hand, you'd mistake the vocalist as a female. For being recorded on a Walkman, it's pretty good. It's got nothing on the original however.

All-Time Quarterback - Why I Cry

Farewell My Little Viking end credits-

The Adventures of Pete and Pete Season 1 (For $13.99 this is the deal of a lifetime)

The Magnetic Fields - Get Lost
All-Time Quarterback@


Anonymous said...

Completely agree with Holiday being better than Get Lost but with better featured tracks. Holiday has some great, great, songs, though. I don't care much for the Get Lost era. Was always more of a Charm of the Highway Strip fan.

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