Hear This: With The Gothic Archies, Stephin Merritt and Daniel Handler made music absurd

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week, we’re picking our favorite unlikely collaborations.

The Gothic Archies, “Scream And Run Away” (2006)

The Baudelaire orphans would have had it so much easier had they heard this song before meeting Count Olaf, the first of a 15-song collaboration between The Magnetic Fields’ frontman Stephin Merritt and Daniel Handler, a.k.a. Lemony Snicket, author of A Series Of Unfortunate Events. Each audiobook in the series came with a song, performed by the appropriately dreary-voiced Merritt describing the Baudelaire’s misfortune. “Scream And Run Away” is part expository, part rueful commentary on The Bad Beginning, the story in which the Baudelaires first the meet the unhygienic, wheezy-voiced Olaf. Much like Snicket’s narration, the real charm of “Scream And Run Away” is not in the story but in the deadpan, comic delivery …

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