RASPUTINA AT THE TROUBADOUR, 10/22/03
Two cellists and a drummer. Hardly the stereotypical line-up for a rock band, but Rasputina pulls it off beautifully. Self-described as a “pseudo-classical, hard-core ‘positive goth’ cello band,” Melora Creager and the revolving line-up of the “Ladies Cello Society” (currently featuring Zoe Keating on second cello and Jonathon TeBeast on drums) have been pumping out morbidly amusing (or rather amusingly morbid) musical oddities for eleven years now. Wednesday night saw them performing selections from their three studio albums as well as a generous preview from the upcoming Frustration Plantation. Lead cellist and vocalist Melora, who is also Rasputina’s sole songwriter, has become so notorious for introducing her songs with bizarre jokes that an exhaustive set of her between-song antics has been compiled on the band’s website (www.rasputina.com). Tonight was no exception. “My torrid affair with a robotic abominable snowman is nobody’s business,” she announced before launching into “The New Zero,” which astoundingly enough actually is about that subject. She also spoke about her work on an upcoming movie biography of Howard Hughes, and how she attempted to replace the fake urine Leonardo DiCaprio was to drink in his role as the title character with the real thing. The audience naturally responded with great enthusiasm, matched only by the cheers during the covers of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” and Heart’s “Barracuda” during the encore. The previews from Rasputina’s forthcoming album also went over quite well, and songs like “My Mama Was An Opium Smoker” suggest that Melora still hasn’t lost her Edwardian sense of humor. Hopefully, Rasputina will be doing another tour in early 2004 to promote the new album.
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