Unexpected rockers

Rasputina takes classical run at modern music armed only with two cellos and drums

August 02, 2007|By Aria White | Aria White,Sun reporter

Rasputina, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based chamber-rock trio that fuses classical instruments with rock music, will rock The Ottobar on Wednesday night.

"It's easier to think of what isn't unique about Rasputina. We're a group of musicians that perform and record," says founder Melora Creager.

She says the power trio's music, appearance and ideas are what's unique.

The group, which consists of two cellists and a drummer, has been touring since early July to promote its new CD, Oh, Perilous World, which came out in June.

Creager, lead singer/cellist, wrote the songs for Oh, Perilous World based on world events. She drew on real events including an Osama bin Laden speech, African children's armies and the destruction of Fallujah, Iraq.

In addition to Creager, the band's drummer/tour manager is Jonathan TeBeest, and the second chair cellist is Sarah Bowman. All three contribute vocally.

Creager, who majored in photography at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City, played in bands such as the Fingerlakes Trio and Ultra Vivid Scene.

The 27-year-old got the idea of creating Rasputina after playing cello on Nirvana's In Utero tour. Creager, who's been playing cello in rock bands since college, formed the band with the intention or creating an electric cello choir.

Original members of Rasputina were recruited through want ads. The group's Web site lists past members, including drummers, second chairs and third chairs.

"We're not part of a genre," Creager said. If anything, Creager defines the group as a precursor to freak-folk.

Rasputina also fosters its unique image with costumes ranging from Indian princess to medieval queen. In the beginning, the costumes worn were mainly Victorian whites, but as time went on, they changed to those of various female historical figures.

"We're stationary when playing, so I wanted to give the audience something nice to look at," Creager said, "Our costumes are full of detail that the audience will never see, but it helps us psychologically."aria.white@baltsun.com

Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 9 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $15. For tickets, go to missiontix.com. For more information, call 410-662-0069 or go to theottobar.com or rasputina.com. The Ottobar is at 2549 N. Howard St.

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