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Merritt, Snicket and the 'Tragic Treasury'

The cover of <em>A Tragic Treasury</em> resembles covers from "A Series of Unfortunate Events."
The cover of A Tragic Treasury resembles covers from "A Series of Unfortunate Events."

The days are short, the leaves are off the trees and the annual wintry gloom has begun to set in. In that spirit, singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt and The Gothic Archies have produced A Tragic Treasury, an album of depressing and hilarious songs written to accompany the 13 books in author Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events."

The wildly popular — and not a little disturbing — series follows the misadventures of the Baudelaire orphans (named after Charles Baudelaire, famous for his morbid poetry) and their villainous cousin and arch-enemy, Count Olaf. In October, the 13th and final installment was released, appropriately titled The End.

Author Daniel Handler (better known as Lemony Snicket) plays accordion in A Tragic Treasury. The album features such dirges as "Scream and Run Away," "This Abyss" and "Smile, No One Cares How You Feel." Handler and Merritt have been touring the country, performing songs from the album. During live performances, children in the audience have been known to act out some of the lyrics, including pretending to fall dead in their seats.

Merritt and Handler have worked together before; Handler performed as a memeber of Merritt's band, The Magnetic Fields, on their album 69 Love Songs.

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