Stephen Merritt, the most delicately depressive spirit ever to occupy the lower register, has spent his 42 years spelunking our emotional and sentimental wastelands, refining the crude maps of the heart that have been carelessly left behind by scores of songwriters who ventured out with but a fraction of Merritt's vision and talent. But even Merritt's own library, which spans two decades, three bands, and countless odes to loves lost and found, seems to prompt the question—is there more to say? But like our own hyperacusic Lawrence of Arabia, where we see sand, Merritt still sees an oasis. A Magnetic Fields song slips on like a hand-me-down cardigan, oversized and full of familiar holes, and though Merritt's reverberant chamber pop might seem repetitive as it enters its second decade, aren't most of our romantic pursuits? There's always demand for a good break-up song, and Merritt's got a few dozen to pick from. All ages.
Fri., Oct. 10, 8 p.m., 2008