Tag Archives: The Gothic Archies

Recollection Volume 13 – The Tragic Treasury: Songs from A Series of Unfortunate Events

Recollection is a project to review my record collection. I will listen to an album I own and review it. The album will be chosen randomly by computron. Today computron chooses… 

Album: The Tragic Treasury: Songs from A Series of Unfortunate Events
Artist: The Gothic Archies
Released: 2006
Format(s) I own it on: CD

tragictreasury_largeWe are the Gothic Archies, death, tentacles, and pip.

Took longer than I expected to get to a Stephin Merritt project. The Gothic Archies is Merritt’s project of depressing bubblegum pop. The Tragic Treasury is a collection of songs created by The Gothic Archies for the young adult novels A Series of Unfortunate Events. Each audio book in the series began with a song by The Gothic Archies. 

Of the fifteen songs, thirteen were previously released on audio books. The other two include a song introducing the band aptly titled “We Are The Gothic Archies.” The other was an alternative song for one of the books.

You could count it as a comedic record if you want. I guess in many ways it is. While the lyrics are often humorous, it’s mostly just great music. Merritt is a master songwriter and it shows most when he has a theme, no matter how loose, to play with. Whether he’s writing 69 Love Songs, a record about the open road The Charm Of The Highway Strip,  Eternal Youth, or songs beginning with the letter i.

Highlights

The opening track “Scream And Run Away” is a perfect song about the book, but it’s actually a really fun and awesome song altogether. “Scream, scream, scream and run away. Run run run run run run run run or die die die die die die die die die die die.” These books are for children?

“Shipwrecked,” the song from the last book is probably my favourite. The tale of a man who purposely kills a boat’s crew to leave him and his love shipwrecked together… again.

Another favourite is “Walking My Gargoyle,” which tells the story of a monster who has a pet gargoyle. “Most people scream, most of the time, but always when I’m walking my gargoyle.”

Lowlights

“Dreary, Dreary” and “This Abyss” are amongst the tracks I would most regularly skip on this album. They’re a bit too slow and plodding.

Men 10.25 (79%) | Women 2.75 (21%)
Canada 4.8 (37%) | USA 6.53 (50%) | UK 1.66 (13%)
Ontario 1 (20%) | Quebec 0 (0%) | Nova Scotia2 (40%) | New Brunswick 1 (20%) | Manitoba 0 (0%) | British Columbia 0 (0%) | Prince Edward Island 0 (0%) | Saskatchewan 0 (0%) | Alberta 0 (0%) | Newfoundland and Labrador 1 (20%)
Northwest Territories 0 (0%) | Yukon 0 (0%) | Nunavut 0 (0%)

 

 

Stephin and co.

On Monday I’m going to see The Magnetic Fields at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in the CNE. I’ve never been there… I’ve also never been as excited to see a band since I went to see Paul McCartney for the first time. I really have no idea what to expect. I’ve yet to hear Realism yet, as I’m waiting until I can get my hands on a copy (I don’t want to buy the CD, I’d rather just buy the vinyl with a CD, but I haven’t heard from Criminal Records yet that it’s arrived). I don’t know what kind of material they’ll perform… new stuff, lots from 69 Love Songs, will there be any of Stephin’s solo material, or Future Bible Heroes songs, maybe Gothic Archies songs, maybe 6ths songs. Mr. Merritt has perhaps the largest collection of musicians who have only been performing for 20 years.

January 2010, in review

In December, I set goals for myself, how many films to see this year, how many shows to attend, how many records to purchase, and how many books to read. This is the standings, as of the end of January…

Books I read (1/10 – 10%):
Animal Farm by George Orwell | Originally published 1945

Films I saw (11/52 – 21%):
It’s Complicated | Originally released 2009
Magicians | Originally released 2007
A Single Man | Originally released 2009
Fantastic Mr. Fox | Originally released 2009
After Elizabeth II (Documentary, from CBC Doc Zone)
Crazy Heart | Originally released 2009
Brüno | Originally released 2009
Dan In Real Life | Originally released 2009
Men Who Stare at Goats | Originally released 2009
It Happened One Night | Originally released 1934
A Boy And His Dog | Originally released 1975

Albums I bought (7/52 – 13%):
Gene Clark by Gene Clark (vinyl) | Originally released 1971
The New Despair by The Gothic Archies (CD EP) | Originally released 1997
The Wayward Bus by The Magnetic Fields (CD) | Originally released 1992
Distant Plastic Trees by The Magnetic Fields (CD) | Originally released 1991
Not So Much To Be Loved As To Love by Jonathan Richman (CD) | Originally released  2004
Heartland by Owen Pallett (vinyl)
Mal De Mer by Ben Gunning (CD)

Shows I attended (5/52 – 9%):
Julie Doiron (w/ Will Kidman) @ The Cobourg; January 9, 2010
Krupke, Skip Jensen & Ginger & Irene @ Rancho Relaxo; January 15, 2010
$100 (w/ The Lonesome Ace Stringband & Stripmall Ballads) @ The Horseshoe Tavern;  January 22, 2010
Ben Gunning (w/ Allie Hughes) @ The Rivoli; January 29, 2010
The Dress Whites @ Bread & Circus; January 30, 2010