In March 2017, I was lucky enough to get to catch both nights of The Magnetic Fields’ marvelous live rendering of 50 Song Memoir, their latest numbered opus. What intrigued me wasn’t just how Stephin Merritt wove his autobiography through the songs, but how the format of the autobiography seemed to draw him out in ways that we hadn’t heard on previous records. Combined with the live stage show, the live performance of 50 Song Memoir seemed to play as much with telling the story of one person’s life as it did with how we can tell our stories. And, as with all Magnetic Fields records, there was enough sarcasm and droll commentary to go around.

Response, the digital journal of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association was kind enough to read and publish the essay that I wrote about my experience. And now, it’s free to you. I tried to replicate as much of the experience as possible, so there’s all kinds of multimedia goodies in there as well.

Check out the essay here.