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Tragic Realism
     

Tragic Realism

by LD & the New Criticism
 
"I wouldn't cry if you were run over by a train/But I might just laugh if the train cut you in half/And spread your brains like lime jello all over the track/You won't be coming back" is quite possibly the single most brutal opening verse to a breakup song ever, but by the end of the debut album by LD & the New Criticism, that jaunty little kiss-off, "Elegy for an Ex,

Overview

"I wouldn't cry if you were run over by a train/But I might just laugh if the train cut you in half/And spread your brains like lime jello all over the track/You won't be coming back" is quite possibly the single most brutal opening verse to a breakup song ever, but by the end of the debut album by LD & the New Criticism, that jaunty little kiss-off, "Elegy for an Ex," sounds par for the course. LD is LD Beghtol, likely best known as an adjunct member of Stephin Merritt's Magnetic Fields. Another member of the Magnetic Fields orbit is Daniel Handler, far better known as best-selling children's book author Lemony Snicket, and Tragic Realism sounds like Beghtol shares Handler's pitch-black sense of humor. All 16 songs on Tragic Realism are about death, in a wide variety of unpleasant fashions, and all of them are as dryly funny and philosophically bleak as vintage Dorothy Parker. The sense of humor extends to the artwork: the album's elaborate liner notes are structured like a college lit. textbook, complete with an extensive critical essay (by noted horror author Peter Straub, no less) and helpful guides to the recurrent themes and symbols in the album's lyrics. Musically, the Magnetic Fields are clearly the primary influence, both their early days as a minimalist synth outfit with Phil Spector fantasies, and the later 69 Love Songs era where Merritt and his associates created a form of 21st century chamber pop. Fans of that brand of ironic but affectionate twee indie pop and snarky smart-arses everywhere will be sure to enjoy this one.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/15/2005
Label:
Darla Records
UPC:
0708527016923
catalogNumber:
169

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

LD & the New Criticism   Primary Artist
Jonathan Segel   Violin
Hadley Kahn   Drums
Douglas Quint   Bassoon,Group Member
L.D. Beghtol   Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Glockenspiel,Hammond Organ,Tambourine,Ukulele,Vocals,Xylophone,Snare Drums,sleigh bells,finger cymbals,Floor Tom,Casio,Handbells,Toy Piano,Toy Xylophone,Baritone Ukulele,Group Member
Shirley Simms   Vocals,Background Vocals
Jorge Morales   Choir, Chorus
Kenny Mellman   Piano,Hammond Organ
Ernest Adzentoivich   Bass,Upright Bass,5-string Bass
Kendall Meade   Background Vocals
Doug Hilsinger   Banjo,Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar
Andrew Whitehead   Choir, Chorus
Jim Andralis   Accordion,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Train Whistle,Group Member
Clint Asay   Choir, Chorus
Jim Bentley   Bass,Electric Guitar,Washboard
Ashley Bogard   Choir, Chorus
Ben Caron   Tap Dance
Chris Ehrmann   Choir, Chorus
Cynthia Focht   Choir, Chorus
Full Gospel Tabernacle Choir Of Bushwick   Choir, Chorus
Isotoners   Background Vocals
Larry Krone   Choir, Chorus
Ben Lerman   Choir, Chorus
Colleen McHale   Choir, Chorus
Kermit Medsker   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Jonathan "Chuck" Plummer   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Background Vocals,Guitar (Baritone),Group Member
Pinky Weitzman   Violin,Viola,Group Member

Technical Credits

Peter Straub   Liner Notes
L.D. Beghtol   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Jorge Colombo   Contributor
Jim Bentley   Engineer
Joe Orton   Author

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