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Future Bible Heroes, Luxury Liners 

When: Wed., July 17, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $18, $15 in advance
If your knowledge of Stephin Merritt’s music doesn’t extend beyond the 1999 Magnetic Fields release 69 Love Songs, a three-disc carousel of cheekily amorous numbers that’s become his most enduring and popular work, you can think of Future Bible Heroes as an entire project devoted to songs like “I Can’t Touch You Anymore” and “Long-Forgotten Fairytale”: arch, gushy synth-pop miniatures with mordantly funny lyrics. Merritt writes all the words, often in classical couplets, but in Future Bible Heroes he trades vocals with Claudia Gonson of Magnetic Fields (they sing every other song on FBH albums); Christopher Ewen provides the musical backdrop. They’re touring behind last month’s Partygoing (Merge), their first album in nine years, which also happens to be the best thing Merritt’s done since 69 Love Songs—a welcome return to the jumpy, creaky haircut pop of his early career. Unfortunately, at this show you’ll have to hear the music without Merritt, whose hyperacusis (a painful sensitivity to certain sounds) is preventing him from joining his bandmates on tour. —Tal Rosenberg The Luxury Liners open.

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