The Magnetic Fields “Distortion”
Oddly enough, I’d been playing older songs by The Magnetic Fields around the house the past week or so, because our friend Kate told my wife it was her favorite band. My wife, Judie had never heard of them and quickly became a fan. So the discovery of this release was rather serendipitous.
For some, this new release “Distortion” may be a tough listen. Truth in advertising be told; the unifying sound here is distortion. The whole record sounds recorded in the red. This sound can be fatiguing, but I’ve always enjoyed my Magnetic Fields in small doses, sprinkling their cuts in mixed tapes or iTunes equivalents. For me, even a distorted Magnetic Fields record is a welcome gift. There’s a sarcasm in their songs that seems like it can only come from my corner of the world — and I appreciate it.
Radiohead “In Rainbows”
I’ve owned this for some time now, but this is a sneaky record. It didn’t grab me like “Kid A” or “OK Computer” once did. This is more placid, almost background music. The lyrics don’t seem to jump out. Usually, when I take the train into Manhattan, I’ll listen to something that’s not distracting so I can read, but also drown out the incessant banter of inane cell phone users. “In Rainbows” has done the trick. But I need to actually start paying more attention. My friend Adam tells me there are some brilliant tunes here.