A postscript to yesterday’s words, for there’s another link between the Magnetic Fields and Saint Etienne beyond music geekery. A few years back, Time Out New York asked Stephin Merritt to come up with one of those ‘best of’ lists that hung about the millennium like a groupie around an LA hair metal band; something special from each year of the twentieth century, irrespective of genre (probably wise; the 1920’s wasn’t renowned for its grindcore scene) or format. Thus individual tracks and entire albums mingle esoterically with orchestral suites and an opera.
So yeah, a pretty weird list (I’ll post the complete 100 in the comments section), published without any justification or methodology. He’s got 1966, for example, spot on, and 1980’s choice, which I wouldn’t have nominated myself, thrilled me nonetheless. Still, there’s some random stuff going on, including 1994, when Saint Etienne’s “Like a Motorway” was apparently the best thing in music.
Seriously, Stephin? It doesn’t even feature on Foxbase Alpha, for my money one of the best album covers of the decade if not necessarily one of the best albums…
Below: “Beachy Head” by Veronica Falls, from 2009. One reason why this is a tangential music blog rather than a series of ill-informed reviews of recent gigs and new releases, is that I like to have a drawn-out and complex courtship with a track. I like to peep behind the immediacy to ensure it’s love, not lust (it’s why I rarely play Let It Come Down or You Are The Quarry; after the initial thrill of getting my hands on a new Spiritualized or Morrissey long player, any conviction I held that it would be a long and happy marriage wilted. They’re both good, but alas not great).
The twenty-second century’s version of Stephin Merritt isn’t going to pick “Beachy Head” as best in show for 2009, but it’s a record that’s resided in and around the LGM stereo since release. Which qualifies it as magnetic, and therefore worthy of featuring here.
Veronica Falls / Beachy Head.