Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fourteen-agers from Mars

Real-life Zombie Boy,
artist and model Rick Genest
To wrap up this weekend devoted to the spooky songs of Stephin Merritt, we're presenting a song by his primary band, The Magnetic Fields. Although The Magnetic Fields often feature several different singers, both male and female, "Zombie Boy" is sung by Merritt himself, in his distinctive so-deep-it's-sad-even-when-he-sings-happy-songs voice. 

Like many Merritt songs, the lyrics in "Zombie Boy" are clever, the tune is catchy, and the gender/sexuality lines are blurred -- in this case, in addition to being gay, the zombie is a cross-dresser. During the moonlight strolls he takes with the song's narrator, he dresses up in silk slips, high heels and mink stoles, and swivels his hips as the narrator works the controls.

The song comes from one of my favorite Magnetic Fields albums, 2008's Distortion, which was influenced by feedback-drenched 80s/90s band The Jesus and Mary Chain. If you like "Zombie Boy," you should seek out the whole album because it's great! The rest of Stephen Merritt's oeuvre is too, of course, and, as you will hear, he can write a gay zombie love song like nobody's business.


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