50 Song Memoir is the new album from songwriter Stephin Merritt’s beloved recording project, the Magnetic Fields. This personal album, containing fifty songs, one for each year of the artist’s life, was released in March 2017 on Nonesuch Records. The album commenced recording on Stephin Merritt’s fiftieth birthday, February 9, 2015. Unlike Merritt’s previous work, the lyrics on 50 Song Memoir are nonfiction, a mix of autobiography (bedbugs, Buddhism, buggery) and documentary (hippies, Hollywood, hyperacusis). There is one song per year for the fifty years since the songwriter’s birth in 1965.
In concert, the music is played and sung by seven performers in a stage set featuring fifty years of artifacts both musical (vintage computers, reel-to-reel tape decks, newly invented instruments), and decorative (tiki bar, shag carpet, vintage magazines for the perusal of idle musicians).
The stage extravaganza is directed by the award-winning Jose Zayas (Love in the Time of Cholera).