While Magnetic Fields mainstay Stephin Merritt hasnt tried to duplicate the scope of 1999s three-album set, 69 Love Songs, he hasnt been been resting on his laurels, either. A trilogy of synth-free albums i, Distortion, and Januarys Realism just came to a close, and Merritt has provided music for films and stage musicals on top of touring. And the Magnetic Fields isnt his only outlet: he also has the revolving-singer project the 6ths, the more electronic collaboration Future Bible Heroes, and the especially dour Gothic Archies. Whether or not hes lending his distinctive bass moan, his tunes share an arch wit, self-reflexive lyrics, and rubbery arrangements. With more than a dozen albums among his various personas, its no wonder the idiosyncratic songwriter is the subject of an upcoming documentary. The screening alone at SF360 Film + Clubs A Sneak Preview of a Film About Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields is worth the price of admission. But theres also a question-and-answer session with director Kerthy Fix, longtime band member and manager Claudia Gonson, and Merritt himself. Sandwiched between a pair of local Magnetic Fields shows at Noise Pop, this is the ultimate extra credit for fans.
Sun., Feb. 28, 7 p.m., 2010