The flowers she sent and the flowers she said she sent
Tuesday night, Sky and I saw the Magnetic Fields play at Town Hall. It was a lovely show – they played a lot more old songs than I’d expected. I was struck (again) by how melancholy and ennui evoking Merritt’s lyrics are: most of the walk home I felt as if my reality had been pierced full of thousands of tiny holes. It was hard to tell if the resulting out-of-sorts feelings were even related to my present life or if they were echoes of emotions I’d felt in the past when listening to the songs. It felt like 1998 all over again.
Here are some bits and pieces that I remember…
They played “I Have the Moon” which contains lyrics that held the highest seat of lyrical honor in the late nineties: it was my e-mail signature line for many months:
\\You have to fly around the world all day //
\\to keep the sunlight on your face ////////
I had no idea that this song was about a Vampire in love, but apparently it is; Merritt’s intro to the song was “This is a song about vampires and apartness.”
It was great to see that my imaginary boyfriend, Sam Davol, had aged well. Click his name to read a sweet little NY Times article on how he revamped a Boston loft in which to raise his little twee family.
They ended the show (if you don’t count the encore) with one of my absolute favorites – 100,000 Fireflies. I’ve spent weeks at time with this song stuck in my head, and it was amazing to hear it played live. It’s a really unique song in that I can’t think of many others that have the same quality: it’s intense but breezy and light, and if I had to describe it with one word I’d call it “twinkly.”
Why do we still live here
in this repulsive town?
All our friends are in New York.
Why do we keep shrieking
when me mean soft things?
We should be whispering all the time.
– 100,000 Fireflies, Magnetic Fields
You can listen to the song by playing this YouTube video (nevermind the weird, blurry fankid graphics that go along).
For those playing along at home, there’s a set list posted on the Line Out review of the show.