Stephin Merritt, is the master craftsman behind The Magnetic Fields, and one of contemporary pop’s most beloved and influential artists.

Merritt is celebrating his 50th birthday with his 50 Songs Memoir album and concert tour, in which The Magnetic Fields perform 50 songs covering everything from bedbugs and Buddhism to his conception by hippies on a houseboat! The Wall Street Journal described the album as 'a highly entertaining summary of pop culture of the past half-century'. 

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The songs will be performed over two nights, on the 28th and 29th of August, at Dublin's National Concert Hall, with each performance featuring a unique set of songs - night one covering songs 1 to 25 and night two with songs 26 to 50 - and a spectacular stage set featuring 50 years of artefacts. More details here.

Film 

Black Orpheus (a 1959 film made in Brazil by French director Marcel Camus) 

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Music 

I've been listening to different harpsichordists' versions of Couperin's four notebooks of harpsichord pieces. I like them all, but I particularly like the Richard Egarr. 

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Book 

I'm about to start Nabokov's translation of Pushkin's epic poem Eugene Onegin

Play 

Mac Rogers' The Honeycomb Trilogy, about an alien invasion. I love genre plays, especially his. 

Television Programme 

David Lynch's backstage TV comedy On the Air

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Gig

Upcoming? I hardly ever see concerts. Latest: Conlon Nancarrow complete player piano marathon at the Whitney, in 2015. 

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Art 

I had a dream two nights ago, about Mary Cassatt. 

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Radio/Podcast 

I love the podcast MonsterTalk, about skeptical approaches to cryptozoology. 

Tech

Happy Cow, the vegan restaurant app. 

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The Next Big Thing... 

A rock group: Shannon and the Clams. Shannon Shaw is a great singer, their lyrics are always surprising, and their melodies stick around for a week at a time. 

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