Funny timing: The Magnetic Fields are performing tonight at First Avenue, and now comes word of a new all-star Minnesota music project based around the Boston band’s most famous work.
“Absolutely Cuckoo: Minnesota Covers the 69 Love Songs” will feature 69 different local acts covering -- you guessed it! -- each of the tracks from MFs’ 1999 opus “69 Love Songs.” The music is slated to arrive around the middle of next month as a free download, which is the set-up for a First Ave concert on Dec. 29 and a charity drive around the recordings. Proceeds from the concert will go to OutFront Minnesota, which had a hand in defeating the same-sex marriage ban in the election and actively promotes equality for the LBGT community.
“I think it might be the largest-ever collaboration of Minnesota musicians,” boasted Zombie Pub Crawl and Trivia Mafia co-founder Chuck Terhark, who is involved in the project along with its chief originator, singer/songwriter Matt Latterell. You can hear Latterell among the recordings, along with Solid Gold, Communist Daughter, Zoo Animal, Aby Wolf, the Chalice, Mayda, Dan Israel, Darren “Kid Dakota” Jackson, the Roe Family Singers, Fort Wilson Riot, Chris Koza, Adam Levy, Bethany Larson, Gospel Gossip, Me & My Arrow, Martin Devaney, Actual Wolf and, oh, 52 more. You can see the whole list here on the newly launched "Absolutely Cuckoo" website (named after the original collection's opening track). A Facebook page has also been set up.
The song-by-song track listing and samples of the music are yet to be posted. The Magnetic Fields themselves have reportedly been notified of the project and “they've been super gracious about it,” Terhark said. Along with the “Minnesota Beatle Project, Vol. 4” and the annual Replacements tribute at First Ave on Nov. 23, this holiday season looks to to be a good one for showing off how well local musicians (and their supporters) are at: a) covering classic songs and b) working together for a good cause.
Here's probably the best-known tune to be covered for "Absolutely Cuckoo."