After toiling virtually underground for a decade, Magnetic Fields finally won mainstream acclaim via 1999's three-volume 69 Love Songs
-- plus enough good press to wallpaper the Louvre. Of course, 2004's belated follow-up, i
, could never equal that achievement, but singer/songwriter Stephin Merritt has retained his gift for penning impeccably crafted love songs in the custom of Cole Porter. With luck, the Magnetic Fields' inaugural South Florida appearance will showcase Merritt's dry wit and the spunky skills of his chamber-pop ensemble rather than his petulant (and legendary) irritability. -- Jeff Stratton
Magnetic Fields perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 7, at the Manuel Artime Theater, 900 SW First St., Miami. Tickets cost $19. Call 305-575-5057.