I Don't Want to Get Over You

The man behind the Magnetic Fields.

The man behind the Magnetic Fields. Source: John W. Poole, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Source: John W. Poole, NPR

Oddly, the first song I ever loved by the Magnetic Fields wasn't their song at all. It was a cover of Superchunk's "100,000 Fireflies,"I heard sung by another band. It was Superchunk's cover of the Magnetic Fields' "100,000 Fireflies,"* and it was one of the theme songs for one of my best friends and I, the summer before our senior year of high school. When I later heard the original, the tinkly instrumentation, drum machine, and ethereal vocals sounded as innocent as capturing the little blinky bugs on a summer evening... but the lyrics were much more grown up, a nod to our impending adulthood. My next Magnetic obsession fit my moody freshman year of college, when I'd listen to Get Lost on repeat, especially "All the Umbrellas in London." By then I knew that Stephin Merritt was the man behind the music, an incredibly prolific, creative, and nimble songwriter with the perfect dose of temperamentality needed to attain the moniker of artistic genius. I've seen him live a handful of times, sometimes petulant due to rowdy drunks playing pool, but more often poetic and generous, taking requests from the audience and playing like he's got all night. So this is going to sound like a shameless plug, but I hope by now I've convinced you of my sincerity... the new NPR Music site is an absolute gem, and the Project Song with Stephin Merritt literally took my breath away. They gave him two days and two prompts — a photo and a date, 1974 — to write a song. And it's absolutely beautiful.

*Commenter roosevelt, you are SO RIGHT! Of course! I completely got turned around in my head writing this (meant to say I heard the cover first, arrgh, what a dummy!), but of COURSE the original is the MF version. You are so right.

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It just struck me!

TOTN is alot more interesting as a blog than it ever was as a broadcast. Not that the producer(s), editor(s) or technicians are at fault. (In fact, having a guesthost ALWAYS seems to help the show. What does THAT infer???)

Finally, I can post my 2 cents, (after calming down), anytime I feel like it.

This is one of the best ideas to ever come to NPR ! Sure, I'll have to IMAGINE the sound of everyone's voices, but at least the conversations have become meaningful.

BTW, Sarah, Barrie, Gwen? What do you ladies sound like?

Sent by Harold | 2:28 PM | 11-7-2007

"100,000 Fireflies" is a Magnetic Fields original. Superchunk's version is the cover.

Sent by roosevelt | 10:28 AM | 11-8-2007

thank you roosevelt - in hasty writing I got completely turned around in my head and royally wrecked that one. you're absolutely correct - please see the above amended post, with thanks to you!

Sent by Sarah | 11:58 AM | 11-8-2007