20 Jan 2006
Stephin Merritt's 'Showtunes' out 14 March 
From The House of Tomorrow Newsletter

Stephin Merritt's 'Showtunes' is set for release on March 14 on Nonesuch Records. This 26-song CD contains a selection of compositions created for Chen Shi-Zheng's 'Orphan of Zhao' (2003), 'Peach Blossom Fan' (2004), and 'My Life as a Fairy Tale' (2005), and features members of the original casts and ensembles. The complete recorded score, including selections not on the CD, will be available through iTunes and many major pay-per-download services.

Also, Stephin Merritt (as The Gothic Archies) and novelist Daniel Handler (as Lemony Snicket) are set to release a CD of songs to accompany the book series 'A Series of Unfortunate Events'. The CD will feature 13 songs plus creepy bonus tracks. If nothing goes according to plan, the release will coincide with the unveiling of Lemony's 13th and final volume of the series, scheduled for release on Friday 13 October 2006.

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A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

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