Classically trained cellist Melora Creager conceived Rasputina in 1991, and the group opened for Nirvana on its final tour. Comprising three cellists clad in Victorian garb playing driving rock with gothic undertones, Rasputina released three albums in its first decade of existence with a somewhat revolving cast of musicians. In 2003, faced with bandmate departures that left the cupboard bare, Creager added the first ever male band member, Jonathan Tebeest, on drums. With new cellist Zoe Keating, Rasputina invigorated its sound last year, digging through the Library of Congress history of Southern song for inspiration to create Frustration Plantation. Always theatrical, the band donned Civil War-era Southern garb for the tour, and gave its dark chamber rock a musical twist comparable to Flannery O'Connor's Southern gothic tales. While not exactly alt-country, it's an intriguing turn for this veteran outfit, veering from the low comic ("Wicked Dickie" relates the love of a man for his cow) to pointed rhetoric ("Girls' School" tackles educational gender-discrimination).
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