Stephin Merritt (of the Magnetic Fields) – Tickets – Aladdin Theater – Portland, OR – May 12th, 2015

Stephin Merritt (of the Magnetic Fields)

Stephin Merritt (of the Magnetic Fields)

Darren Hanlon

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Aladdin Theater

Portland, OR

$25.00 ADV/DOS

Stephin Merritt
Stephin Merritt
Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt will embark on a rare solo tour of the U.S. starting May 2, accompanied by long-time bandmate Sam Davol on cello. The duo will play 14 dates across the country including two dates in Los Angeles and shows in Washington, D.C.; Austin; San Francisco and more. See below for full tour itinerary.

For this series of performances, Merritt will present a set of solo, acoustic versions of selected songs from his extensive catalog. Merritt will perform exactly 26 songs with each song title starting with a different letter of the alphabet and running in alphabetical order.

Merritt has written and recorded ten Magnetic Fields albums over two decades. The Magnetic Fields’ debut album, Distant Plastic Trees, was released in 1991. In 1999, The Magnetic Fields’ three-CD collection, 69 Love Songs, established Merritt as one of his generation’s most talented songwriters and garnered him widespread acclaim, including year-end “best of” lists in Rolling Stone, SPIN, The New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post and other major national publications. 69 Love Songs was followed by three albums on Nonesuch Records: i in 2004, Distortion in 2008 and Realism in 2010.

Between Magnetic Fields releases, Merritt has recorded side projects and albums with his various other bands, Future Bible Heroes, the Gothic Archies and the 6ths, as well as soundtracks to the films Eban and Charley and Pieces of April. In 2006, Nonesuch also released a collection of songs Merritt wrote under the name The Gothic Archies to accompany the Lemony Snicket books, The Tragic Treasury: Songs from a Series of Unfortunate Events. In 2009, Merritt scored the Off-Broadway adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel Coraline—for which he received an Obie Award.

Merritt and the Magnetic Fields have performed as part of Lincoln Center's “American Songwriters” series and at BAM’s “Next Wave of Song.” In 2012, Merritt released his latest Magnetic Fields album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, and in 2013, he released a Future Bible Heroes album, Partygoing—both on Merge Records. In the fall of 2014, Merritt penned the first-ever musical episode of NPR's popular show, “This American Life."
Darren Hanlon
Darren Hanlon
Darren Hanlon grew in a place described in tourist brochures as: "the town that saved Queensland". The grandiose statement refers to the discovery of gold in Gympie in 1867. The house overlooking the river in the Southside of the regional town contained his parents, his sister and their scant record collection but it seemed the two albums played continually were Kenny Rodgers 'Greatest Hits' and Slim Dustys 'This is Your Life' which they'd all listen to from their rooms at bedtime. "We might even get to hear side 2 if dad stayed awake long enough to get out of bed and turn it over," he remembers.

Scarily, his musical education could have started and ended there if it wasn't for a music teacher from a rival school who lived on his street. Owning a record collection that spanned 3 double arm lengths and 4 shelves high, it was from this stack miscellaneous enlightening gems would be plucked at random on the afternoons Hanlon would arrive uninvited. Whether or not the teacher put them on to actually educate this inquisitive rural nerd or simply shut him up was unimportant. He would sit there bug-eyed hearing everything from the Sex Pistols to the Smiths for the first time (and that was just the selections under "S"). The pestered neighbour eventually moved away but Hanlon found his new address by simply asking another teacher.

Fleeing Queensland after high school to Music College in Lismore his eyes were opened wider. If one would visit the town now it's hard to imagine that at the time it was a hotbed for original music and creative energy. From a long list of local bands, the 7 or so venues would fill their chalk boards most nights of the week, Hanlons favourite being University art-pop combo, Playground. He slowly got to know them by loaning them his guitar leads and was soon asked to join as guitarist, was fired on grounds of being "too country" and then rejoined in time to record their first EP under new name 'The Simpletons' and with them he toured Australia for the first time. Over five or so years, standing stage right of songwriting genius Shane Gelagin, he was happy to embellish tunes rather than build them. "To witness Shane working out songs was equally awe-inspiring and intimidating. He had limited musical background so therefore had no pre-conceived ideas on harmonic or melodic theory. He made his own rules. I wouldn't dare try compete."