6 May 2004
Pieces of Stephin Merritt 
Just picked up the excellent soundtrack by Stephin Merritt (also known as The Magnetic Fields, furthermore known as The 6ths, known to dabble as Future Bible Heroes] to last year's US indie movie Pieces of April which starred Katie Holmes [Dawsons Creek]. The short but sweet album contains tunes from [the 3CD set] 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields, a couple of tracks from Hyacinths and Thistles by The 6ths (or The Sixths if you prefer) plus some new Stephin Merritt tunes. It's ridiculously over-priced in the UK but can be had at a snip of around USD 12.99 in the States.

The new album by The Magnetic Fields, succinctly titled 'i' [Nonesuch] was released on Tuesday 4 May 2004 and to coincide The House of Tomorrow, the official website for all things Stephin Merritt has very recently announced that The Magnetic Fields are playing live in London on 10-12 June 2004 at the Lyric Hammersmith, King Street, London, W6. The shows will begin at 8pm. Tickets are priced 20 Euros [10 Euros for a limited number of concessions tickets].

Mr Merritt is certainly not one to rest on his laurels...

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A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

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