Los Angeles–based Stephin Merritt is best known as the principal singer and songwriter for The Magnetic Fields, whose albums include 69 Love Songs (1999; Merge) and 2010’s Realism (Nonesuch). Merritt’s work as a composer includes the scores for the films Pieces of April and Eban and Charley and the theatrical musicals My Life as a Fairytale and Coraline.
For our 15th CD, Esopus asked 10 musicians to create songs from scratch based on the television shows of their choice. Their selections, ranging from Democracy Now! to Cheaters, are a reminder of how one can run across just about anything on the tube—from the high to the low, the sublime to the ridiculous. The resulting songs offer proof that TV, whatever the cynics may say, can also serve as an excellent source of creative inspiration.