Every schoolboy knows that singing and playing the bass is one of the most difficult multi-tasking feats in music. But what about singing and playing cello? That can't be a walk in the harmonic park, either, what with all the vibratos and double-stops and the large bowed string instrument wedged next to your throat. Tell it to Melora Creager. Once a sought-after solo cellist who toured with the likes of Nirvana and The Pixies, Creager formed Rasputina in 1992 to redress the industry's lamentable lack of cello-based goth-rock acts. With Creager on lead vocals and playing first chair, the trio released its debut album, Thanks for the Ether, in 1996 and opened for the likes of Bob Mould and Porno for Pyros before severing ties with Columbia Records in 1998. Since then, Rasputina has been a steady and singular presence in the indie rock scene, releasing four albums and trademarking a Victorian steampunk sensibility that's equal parts The Decemberists and Tank Girl. Plus, they play something called an Appalachian dulcimer. Where else you gonna see that?

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