Video: When You’re Young and In Love – Stephin Merritt

As you probably all know, I'm an unabashed Stephin Merritt groupie. Magnetic Fields, Gothic Archies, you name it. I like it all. I just can't get enough of his gloomy pop melodies. So, of course I was going to buy the new record, Obscurities.

This was right around my birthday, that I went looking.  And, sure enough, when I tried to purchase the CD, Amazon warned me that someone might have already bought it for me.  Eh?!  Huzzah!  Turns out it was my sweet peach of a wife.  Anyway, the whole record is pretty good, but two songs, in particular, really stand out.  The first is the more electronic version of "I don't believe you" (a folkier version having been released on the "I" record).  The second highlight of the record is a previously unreleased song called "When you're young and in love".  And, that's the song I can't get outta my blasted head.  So, I attempted to exorcise it through ukulele video.

Since I couldn't find any chords for this song already posted out there, I came up with the following arrangement.  The only questionable chord in there is Dm7.  But, I didn't have the CD handy when I did this so I couldn't really compare it.  When I listen to it again, I'll update these chords if that Dm7 sounds goofy.

When You're Young and In Love
by Stephin Merritt

Tabs by Ukulele Guy

C   - 0003
G   - 0232
Am  - 2000
Em  - 4432
F   - 0201
Dm7 - 2213 

        C                        G
You can teeter on the brink of a precipice
Am                 Em
Ov'r an infinitely deep abyss
F                    C
And somehow not even notice this
When you're young and in love

        C                   G
You can grow a little older every day
Am                     Em
Watch your stupid life wasting away
F                     C
Somehow everything is a-ok
When you're young and in love

But when you're not,
The poisoned fangs of time
Become quite plain
When you're not,
It almost seems a crime
Dm7       G
Not to go insane

You can whirl and twirl on the world's carousel
Hurdle round and round, and feel quite well
Never even knowing you're in hell
When you're young and in love

You can know the world has nothing left to give
Be condemned to die, content to live,
And be happy--if and only if, you're young and in love

But when you're not,
The poisoned fangs of time
Become quite plain
When you're not,
It almost seems a crime
Not to go insane

You can teeter on the brink of a precipice
(A precipice!)
Ov'r an infinitely deep abyss
(A deep abyss!)
And somehow not even notice this
When you're young and in love

You can grow a little older every day
(Old, every day!)
Watch your stupid life wasting away
(Wasting away!)
Somehow everything is a-ok
When you're young and in love 

Video : You Must Be Out of Your Mind by The Magnetic Fields

Well the good thing about my new aNueNue Banjo Ukulele is that it doesn't take much convincing to get myself motivated enough to do a video.  I mean, chances are the uke is already in my hands, so I just have to turn on the camera.  I seriously cannot get enough of my aNueNue!

Anyway, the song I did today was You Must Be Out of Your Mind by The Magnetic Fields.  This is definitely my favorite song of the Realism record.  On an only somewhat related note, does anyone know when the Magnetic Fields movie is supposed to come out?  When my wife and I saw them in Seattle they had some cameras with them so I'm kind of hoping the footage from that show makes an appearance.  Maybe you'll even be able to see when Stephin Merritt walked offstage and right over to the person who had just finished videotaping "Papa was a Rodeo".   That guy got some harsh words, no doubt.

Anyway, you might notice that I switched the 2nd and 3rd verse.  This wasn't intentional, but I didn't feel like doing it over just because of that.  So, consider it an alternate rendition.

Here's the tabs:

You Must Be Out of Your Mind
by Magnetic Fields

F  - 2010
C  - 0003
Bb - 3211
Gm - 0231
Dm - 2210

INTRO: F  C  Bb  F

F           Bb            C         F   C   Bb   F
You think I'll run, not walk, to you

F           Bb            C         F
Why would I want to talk to you?

Gm                Bb
I want you crawling back to me

F                   C
Down on your knees, yeah

Gm           Bb
Like an appendectomy

Sans anesthesia

F         C       Dm          Bb
If you think you can leave the past     behind

F           C            Bb    F
You must be out of your mind

F         C     Dm      Bb
If you think you can simply press rewind

F           C            Bb
You must be out of your mind, son

F           C            Bb    F
You must be out of your mind

You want what you turned off turned on
You call it sunset, now it's dawn
You can't go round just saying stuff
Because it's pretty
And I no longer drink enough
To think you're witty...

You want to kindle that old flame
I don't remember your real name
It must be something scandalous
Lurks in your shallows
If you need a Santa Claus
To buy your gallows...

A guy in love…. (covers Magnetic Fields, of course)

So, today I felt like I needed to do something special for my wife, Erika.  I stayed up super late playing poker and maybe drinking too many beers and I slept in too late, etc.  She's the center of my world and I knew I needed to remind her of that today.  So, what did I do?  Well, I covered some Magnetic Fields, of course!

Maybe this doesn't make sense to everyone, but Magnetic Fields are pretty much a touchstone for us.  Hell, our youngest son's middle name is Merritt for heaven's sake.  We're pretty rabid fans.

But, this song is something special for us.  A fantastic Missoula band, The Oblio Joes, played on our wedding day and they played this song as "our song".  I actually sang it with them (although, I guess I probably should have been dancing with Erika, right?) and it sealed this song in time, as ours.

Then several years later, The Oblio Joes played their last show ever in Caras Park in Missoula.  Well, this last show took place on the anniversary of our wedding.  So, as a surprise to Erika, I jumped up on stage and sand Strange Powers with the Obes for the last time.

Well, today I had to do it without the Obes, but I did as best as I could.  There are 11 tracks in this song and they are:

  1. muted strumming on a Tacoma acoustic guitar
  2. muted strumming on a Rogue baritone ukulele
  3. muted strumming on a Lanikai CK-TEQ tenor ukulele
  4. bass on my Applause acoustic bass
  5. guitar on my Tacoma acoustic guitar
  6. ukulele on my Lanikai CK-TEQ tenor ukulele
  7. vocals
  8. backup vocals
  9. tiny hook on my Kala Pocket Ukulele
  10. weird harpsichord (?) part on my Lanikai CK-TEQ tenor ukulele
  11. synth electric guitar sound from my Eleuke

Oh yeah, and I recorded it on my MOTU Traveller interface.  I love it!  And I used an AKG C 2000B Microphone.  But, enough of all that tech jibber jabber.  This one is for my baby.  I hope you like it, Erika.

Strange Powers (Magnetic Fields Cover) - by Ukulele Guy, for Erika

P.S.  I need a windscreen for my mic.... I know.  I'm buying one today as well as new Aquila strings. 😉

P.P.S. I'd love to make a video for this song.  You know one of those rad videos that shows me playing each of the instruments as the part comes in for the first time.  But, that seems like a ton of work and I'm not really sure what software to use.  Does everyone do those with Adobe Premier?  It seems like it has a steep learning curve (and costs about a million dollars).  Any other suggestions?

P.P.P.S  Crap.  I just realized that I muffed the lyrics in a few spots.  Hopefully Stephen Merritt never hears this because I'm not sure I could stand up to his sardonic comments and cool stare.

Video: “Oh, Paris” – Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele

So, once again I find my way into a ukulele artist that I know absolutely nothing about.  What a pleasant surprise this video is!  From the tiny bit of information that I've been able to pick up so far, Dent May is apparently from Jackson, Mississippi and he's on tour right now.  Fair enough.

I really like the song writing and production.  Dent May has the pop sensibilities of Trevor Horn, from The Buggles, and he even looks a tiny bit like him.  But, he also seems to have a strong Stephin Merritt leaning as well.  That's fine by me.  Hell, I named my second born after Stephen Merritt, so I'm pretty much a rabid fanboy in that regard.  Anyway, check out the video.  It's charming and delightful!