At first, when Justin started putting Magnetic Fields songs on mixes for me, I loved the Magnetic Fields.
Then we went to their show last night, and you were not allowed to go to the bar or bathroom through the whole show. Justin was like “He’s kind of picky.”
The onstage banter was sort of like the D&D table in a high school cafeteria. Stephin sounded like a less funny version of Joss Whedon. (Though he did make a lot of vampire jokes that were hilarious… coincidence?) The audience was a very eye-rolly, “let’s use big words because we’re college sophomores and smarter than you” bunch. I wanted to give wedgies and swirlies to the group that was sitting behind me.
One girl near us got tanked and committed the ultimate Magnetic Fields sin: yelling “WOOOO” repeatedly through the show – and I was sort of loving how much she annoyed everyone else. (Though at one point she burped super loud and the whole place cracked up, including the band – it was truly a great moment to be alive.)
People would yell out requests and Claudia would sigh, “We have them all pre-planned on this list, my dear.” At times, the way they treated the audience make me feel guilty, like, “Wow, I’m so sorry I inconvenienced you by coming to watch you perform.”
That night, Justin was like, “You either love Magnetic Fields or you hate Magnetic Fields.” I fell asleep hating Magnetic Fields.
Then I found out today that the set-up is because Stephin has a hyper-sensitive ear condition. But that he is still widely considered a dick? Also I forgot that he was that guy who did a lot of music for Pete & Pete?
So now I have no idea how I feel about Magnetic Fields. I’m just kind of cranky about the whole thing.
The same thing happened with Yo La Tengo: I adore all the songs Justin that gives me, but at the show they would just jam and make all this noise. I didn’t get it at all but everyone around me was crying like they were at church. I just felt sort of stupid. Plus the air conditioner was so cold and I had to cuddle with Justin, wrapped in my coat, and despite the insanely loud music I ended up sleeping through half of it.
And then cut to the ride home, where I’m explaining who Rihanna and Chris Brown are and why they broke up and why he needs to care. And trying to communicate the beauty of “She Bangs” by William Hung. And like, introducing him to Lady GaGa.
It’s such a weird dynamic sometimes. I still don’t know how to feel about Magnetic Fields.