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Rasputina, American Murder Song, Eliza Rickman
August 24 • 8:00 pm• $14 – $16
On Friday, August 24, the Community Center for the Performing Arts and University of Oregon Campus Radio 88.1 FM KWVA proudly welcome Rasputina back to the WOW Hall along with special guests American Murder Song and Eliza Rickman.
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 performed in Europe with Nirvana on their final tour in 1994, and has performed/recorded with Marilyn Manson, Porno For Pyros, Cheap Trick, Goo Goo Dolls and many others. Hardened road-dogs, and with more than seven albums under their belt, Rasputina continues to amaze and amuse as they tour in support of their newest album, Unknown. A CD only release, this album doesn’t exist on the internet. Rasputina is Melora Creager (voice, cello, banjo), Luis Mojica (piano, beat-boxing) and Carpella Parvo (cello, voice) — who played on Rasputina’s debut album, Thanks for the Ether (1996), and returns after a twenty-year absence.
Cult musical filmmakers Terrance Zdunich and Saar Hendelman welcome you to American Murder Song. Having won the hearts of midnight movie audiences by starring in and co-creating the Lionsgate film sensation Repo! The Genetic Opera -—hailed as “this generation’s Rocky Horror Picture Show” (Hollywood Reporter) and counted amongst The 25 Best Cult Movies Of All Time by a Rolling Stone readers’ poll — Terrance teamed up with Saar to craft the music and tales for the film series The Devil’s Carnival. From there, the songwriting and performing duo veered into the dusty heart of America with American Murder Song, a collection of original Murder Ballads that explore history through a sensational rogues’ gallery of murderesses and cutthroats. Now, inspired by 1960’s television spook shows, they have imagined the one and only true retelling of The Donner Party experience via the lens of their own, fictional Twilight Zone style show: The Black Wagon.
rasputina, american muder song, eliza rickman at wow hall 8/24/18 page 2
There is always a hint of menace and reservoirs of force haunting the corners of Eliza Rickman’s voice, whatever register it occupies. Her presence on stage — whether she wears flowers in her hair, or stuffed birds; whether she plays a toy piano or a grand piano — is an enveloping, soft darkness, impossible to ignore. It has been three years between Rickman’s first album, O, You Sinners, and her newest effort, Footnotes for the Spring. In those intervening three years, Rickman added the autoharp to her repertoire, fought illness and heartbreak (and won), and turned 30. During those three years, Rickman’s vocal delivery has also developed a new breathlessness. She wrote all the string arrangements on her debut, but friend Jason Webley produced and orchestrated Footnotes. Here, Rickman’s voice casts its shadow against Webley’s shimmering strings and a Phil Spector style wall of sound, flecked with melancholy and nostalgia. This clutch of songs comprises, among others, “Lark of my Heart”, written to commemorate the wedding day of Margaret Rucker, an unknown poet whose scrapbook was found in a dumpster many years after her death; “Now and Then”, whose opening lines encapsulate the juxtaposition at the heart of the album — “Oh, to be young again/blood is on my hands” — and “Wax Nostalgic”, whose title speaks for itself. But this is nostalgia without sentimentality. Rickman’s voice has the power to hold the smallest grain of sadness, an intimation that the longed-for innocence depicted in her lyrics has slipped just below the glow of the orchestra and out of sight.
If you’ve never been to a Rasputina show, be warned that most longtime fans come dressed appropriately for the event. Better hit the used clothing stores first.
Tickets are $14 in advance, $16 day of show, and are available at U. of O. Ticket Office, WOW Hall and www.ticketweb.com. Doors open at 8:00 pm and showtime is 9:00. The WOW Hall is located at 291 W. 8th Ave. (the corner of 8th and Lincoln in Eugene) and is open for all ages (6-11 half price at the door when accompanied by parent or adult guardian; five and under no charge). Adult refreshments are available downstairs. For more information please call 541-687-2746.