Rasputina • Charming Disaster
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Pioneers in the use of cello as the sole instrument within a rock band, Rasputina has been inspiring young string players to commit a number of musical sins since 1996. The group's concept was written as a manifesto, and manifested accordingly by directress Melora Creager as a wily subterfuge for a plot to open audiences to adventure. The funny, the sad, the heavy, the tender-- it can all exist together. Employing elaborate costuming spanning a number of historical periods, Rasputina brings marginalized historical female figures and stories to light in the pop form, using archetypal characters such as Indian princesses, Hawaiian handmaidens and Medieval queens. Melora last performed in Europe with Nirvana, on their final tour in 1994. Over the years, Rasputina has performed/recorded with Marilyn Manson, Porno For Pyros, Cheap Trick, Goo Goo Dolls and many others. Hardened road-dogs, and with more than 7 albums under their belt, Rasputina continues to amaze and amuse.
About ‘UNKNOWN’- the new Rasputina album:
Melora says, “Unknown’ is 14 new songs recorded alone in a dank basement studio. I quite liked it though, that dank basement studio. I didn't feel at all alone. Using only one microphone, the whole album poured out of me in just 3 weeks- writing, recording, the whole thing. “Unknown is a CD only release- non-digital. Why? At one level, this album is about trauma, Melora’s trauma at being hacked- silently and anonymously observed through the Cloud. Conceptually, this album doesn’t exist on the Internet. It’s a real and physical thing. Anyone who purchases it is known to her.
MELORA CREAGER - voice, cello, banjo
Kansas born & raised, she moved to NYC in the 1980’s. Melora received classical music training as a child, but her performance career began with rock bands and East Village drag/performance artists. She founded the alternative/ historical cello ensemble Rasputina in 1991 as a way to meet like-minded girls- girls that wanted to rock out on the cello and wear fine costumery. The sound and visual concepts that began in Creager's Rasputina manifestos presaged and influenced movements and trends such as Modern Victorians, Steampunk, freak-folk, corsetry, and crafting. In 19 recordings, and countless public performances, Creager has led a 20 year exploration in cello amplification, recording, and performance.
LUIS MOJICA- piano, beat-boxing
Luis uses the piano to cast, wild narrative spells. His eyes are that of an androgynous monk with rainbow tentacles. Luis loops words, chants, and sounds through a loop pedal AKA beatboxing, ‘Beat-Boxing Baroque’. Luis brings his musical madness to Rasputina today.
CARPELLA PARVO- cello, voice
Cello-fingers in flight and with the voice of a bird, Carpella is from another country, but keeps it a secret which one. She played on Rasputina's debut album, Thanks for the Ether (1996), then succumbed to the very condition from which she takes her name- carpal tunnel syndrome. Having healed over 20 years, Carpella jubilantly returns to Rasputina in the 21st century.
Brooklyn-based musical duo Charming Disaster was formed in 2012 by Ellia Bisker (of Sweet Soubrette and Funkrust Brass Band) and Jeff Morris (of Kotorino). Inspired by the gothic humor of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton, the noir storytelling of Raymond Chandler, the murder ballads of the Americana tradition, and the dramatic flair of the cabaret, they write songs that tell stories, using two voices to explore dark narratives and characters with a playful sensibility.
In their critically acclaimed albums Love, Crime & Other Trouble (2015) and Cautionary Tales (2017), Charming Disaster has explored themes like love, death, crime, myth and folklore, and the supernatural. In their theatrical live performances, they combine vocal harmonies and clever lyrics with ukulele, guitar, and virtuosic foot percussion, drawing listeners into an offbeat universe of paranormal romance, con artists, circus performers, and ancient mythology. They have toured around the United States, playing club venues, festivals, and cultural institutions; recent performances include Joe's Pub at The Public Theater in NYC, Brooklyn’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery, and the Poe Museum in Richmond, VA.
Their song “Ghost Story” was featured on the hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale and appears on Love, Crime & Other Trouble, described by New York Music Daily as “twistedly delicious…if you aren’t hooked on this by now, there’s no hope for you.” Charming Disaster’s latest album, Cautionary Tales, expands on the duo’s spooky, offbeat universe with songs about espionage, occult practices, supernatural creatures, and the end of the world as we know it, with references to cult fantasy novels and ancient lore from Greek and Norse mythology.
Their third album, SPELLS + RITUALS, will be released on June 7, 2019.
15711 Waterloo Rd
Cleveland, OH, 44110