I've got a whole city to hold down

April 14, 2004

Rockin Cellos

Posted By Roy Stalin

When I was but a lad, I was a big fan of the Electric Light Orchestra. In part it was the cool airbrushed space ship album covers, the extensive lyric sheets, and Jeff Lynne's weird oxygen-less production style. But it was also the classical-rock fusion that I dug. In fact, the only thing I really remember from my first rock concert at age ten was ELO's cello player playing a solo on a white cello with laser lights reflecting off it (well, that and the kids who sat in front of my dad and I and smoked funny smelling cigarettes).

ELO's novelty wore off a few years later for me, and to this day hearing those distinctive (and annoying) Jeff Lynne production fingerprints on the radio makes me cringe at my younger foolishness.

All of which is prelude to my very recently realized fascination with Rasputina, who are some weird cross between Jane's Addiction, Kronos Quartet and 19th Century American composer Stephen Foster. As with any acute infatuation that involves attractive young ladies in bodices, this one may be short lived. But for today, I really like how these guys extract evil sounding noises from the cello.

They play the House of Blues in Chicago on April 18 and the 400 Bar in Minneapolis on the 19th.