Friday, June 25, 2004

Concert Recommendation: Magnetic Fields, Old Town School of Folk Music, June 25-27

Stephin Merritt is one of the most gifted songwriters working today. His love songs are clever, funny and poignant. He's got about a zillion side projects including Future Bible Heroes and the Sixths, but the Magnetic Fields is his main gig. And he's finally followed up 1999's monumental with 69 Love Songs with i. With a mere 14 tracks, i lacks the scope of the previous work but it also eliminates the experimental filler that watered down some of 69's impact. Stephin and coconspirator Claudia Gonson take a wonderfully informal approach to their live performance. Arrive prepared to pay attention to the lyrics.

The Magnetic Fields play with Andrew Bird at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, 773.728.6000, at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 25 and at 3:30 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 26 and Sunday, June 27.

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