In conversation and song hosted by Daniel HandlerSinger and songwriter Stephin Merritt currently plays principal roles in four bands, including The Gothic Archies, Future Bible Heroes and The 6ths, but is best known as the sardonic front man of the Magnetic Fields. The 1999 album, 69 Love Songs, is just that - 3 hours of songs that encompass a wide range of genres, from country to jazz, but all of which feature the biting, emotional lyrics that have become Merritt's trademark. In 2002, Merritt performed all 69 songs over two nights at the Lincoln Center to a sold-out, multi-generational audience. He has also composed operas for the Lincoln Center, written musical scores for films and regularly DJs at the Beauty Bar in New York City. Though Merritt's melancholy bass evokes Johnny Cash, he cites influences as varied as Stephen Sondheim, Bob Mould and the Swedish pop group, ABBA. Merrit rarely performs live and cultivates an anti-rock star persona. In the words of his Gothic Archies bandmate, Daniel Handler, "He doesn't want to stay up all night drinking beer with other bands. But he's always the first to bring cognac and discuss Henry James." - City Arts & Lecturesmoreless
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