Strange Powers

The Magnetic Fields

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Years in the making, Strange Powers is an intimate documentary portrait of songwriter Stephin Merritt and his band the Magnetic Fields. With his unique gift for memorable melodies, lovelorn lyrics and wry musical stylings that blend classic Tin Pan Alley with modern sounds, Merritt has distinguished himself as one of contemporary popʼs most beloved and influential artists. Both a prolific recording artist and composer of theater and film scores, he performs most famously as the Magnetic Fields, whose 1999 three-disc opus 69 Love Songs is widely considered a masterpiece of traditional songcraft and irresistible synthpop.

Strange Powers explores Merrittʼs songwriting and recording process, and focuses on his relationships with his bandmates and longtime manager Claudia Gonson, revealing an artist who has produced one of the most engaging and confounding bodies of work in the contemporary American songbook.

The DVD will include a commentary track by Stephin and Claudia as well as two of the bandʼs Claudia Gonson–directed Super-8 music videos “Strange Powers” and “Born on a Train.” Five deleted scenes have been included as DVD extras. Among them: a lighthearted moment with Stephin in front of a Texas BBQ joint; Claudia taking pictures of Stephin and Lemony Snicket author Daniel Handler for a Gothic Archies recording; and a sweet riposte to the song “Reno Dakota” by the real Reno Dakota.