[Listen to their set on Spotify!]

Stephin Merritt recently wrote a book of poetry celebrating 101 two-letter words, commonly seen in Scrabble and other games. To promote the book, he grabbed his mandolin and hit the road with Sam Davol accompanying him on cello.

Opening act Amy BezunarteaOpening act Amy Bezunartea

Stephin and Sam played a total of 26 songs, one for each letter of the alphabet. It was a really cute novelty, and translated well in terms of set length and song length. Songs from the Future Bible Heroes, the Magnetic Fields, the Gothic Archies, and Stephin’s own solo career were played. It was great!

IMG_5362Stephin Merritt and Sam Davol

I’ve been listening to this band for well over a decade, and this is actually my second time seeing them. Seeing some of my favorite songs played live was a great thing to experience, so I didn’t take a lot of pictures or try and take too many notes. I just enjoyed the set!

Stephin Merritt and Sam DavolStephin Merritt and Sam Davol

I bought a copy of his book, and it came pre-signed! All the joy of a signed copy, none of the associated waiting in line.

Signed copy! Signed copy!

After I bought the book, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I recognized the woman selling them. It was Claudia Gonson, who had actually been playing piano with Stephin the last time I saw the band in Atlanta, GA!

Claudia Gonson was kind enough to pose for a picture with me! How cool is that?!Claudia Gonson was kind enough to pose for a picture with me! How cool is that?!

Here’s the setlist, in alphabetical (and chronological!) order:

Andrew in Drag (Magnetic Fields)
The Book of Love (Magnetic Fields)
A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off (Magnetic Fields)
The Dead Only Quickly (The 6ths)
Epitaph For My Heart (Magnetic Fields)
Forever and a Day (Magnetic Fields)
Give Me Back My Dreams (The 6ths)
100,000 Fireflies (Magnetic Fields)
I Wish I Had an Evil Twin (Magnetic Fields)
Josephine (Magnetic Fields)
Kiss Me Like You Mean It (Magnetic Fields)
Love is Like a Bottle of Gin (Magnetic Fields)
My Husband’s Pied-a-Terre (Magnetic Fields)
The Nun’s Litany (Magnetic Fields)
One Long Fairytale (Coraline Soundtrack)
A Pretty Girl Is Like (Magnetic Fields)
Quick! (Magnetic Fields)
Reno Dakota (Magnetic Fields)
Shipwrecked (The Gothic Archies)
This Little Ukulele (Stephin Merritt)
The Ugly Little Duck (Stephin Merritt)
Very Funny (Magnetic Fields)
The World is a Disco Ball (Future Bible Heroes)
Xylophone Track (Magnetic Fields)
Your Girlfriends Face (Magnetic Fields)
Zombie Boy (Magnetic Fields)