"Beghtol bends his baroque goth-pop westward in the new band's autotelic debut, Tragic Realism is a gory, uke-joint country (think Haggard ca. '68 via Lovecraft and horror flix), backwoods folk-gospel raveup sure to bring a Zoloft smile to your face, and often." -- VILLAGE VOICE. File under: Experimental Countrypolitan Deathpop. TRAGIC REALISM, the hi-fi debut by New York ensemble LD & the New Criticism, features 16 original rollicking pop songs (no, really!) about cheating, lying, fucking, stealing, murder, suicide, revenge and other natural disasters both public and private. TRAGIC REALISM's baroque-hoedown swirl will set your toes a-tappin' even as you're wondering why it is you're laughing out loud at someone else's dire misfortune. Colored with Beghtol's glossy Brill Building pop sensibilities, TRAGIC REALISM is sure to please those whose taste includes everything from The Carter Family and George Jones to REM and Unwound, with some Happy Goodman Family and Cheap Trick thrown in just to trip you up. It's like a liquored-up zydeco wedding band lost inside your iPod... With liner notes by bestselling horror novelist Peter Straub. Beghtol is the leader of orchpop collective Flare, one half of the willfully obscure bicoastal experimental duo, Moth Wranglers, and approximately one third of The Three Terrors (with Stephin Merritt and Dudley Klute). Like Flannery O'Connor, Beghtol is not as innocent as he looks. LD & the New Criticism is: LD Beghtol - vocals, ukes, guitars, keyboards, percussion, etc. Chuck Plummer - acoustic guitars, mandolin, vocals Pinky Weitzman - viola, Stroh violin Jim Andralis - accordion, vocals Douglas Quint - bassoon, bass, percussion, vocals With guest stars: Doug Hilsinger (Waycross) - electric guitars, pedal steel, banjo; Kenny Mellman (Kiki & Herb) - piano, organ; Ernest Adzentoivich (Flare, The Three Terrors) - Fender bass, upright bass; Jonathan Segel (Camper Van Beethoven, Sparklehorse) - violin; Hadley Kahn (Escapade) - the drums; Shirley Simms (The Magnetic Fields) - vocals; Kendall Meade (Mascott) - vocals.
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