[Rasputina's Melora Creager, the undisputed doyenne of cello-based, kinda-goth, steampunk-avant-la-lettre indie music, has graciously agreed to guest-blog for West Coast Sound in anticipation of their upcoming LA gig at the Troubadour, this Saturday, August 14. She's been sending us these awesome letters from the road, which you can read exclusively here. This is the first installment.]
August 7, 2010
Dear True Friends,
We of Rasputina are on the road and want to write and tell you how it is going.
It is going very well, thank you. We are on the 4th day of the second leg, that being pretty much all of July and August on tour.
Why did I say yes to a show in Shreveport, Louisiana just 2 days previous? That may be my only regret in life, thus far. Our recital in Austin, Texas last evening was, however, very fine & excellent.
We are travelling in a small phaeton–only 4 horses to pull us. We've got my 8-month-old baby Ivy along and that colours the whole vibe. She's an excellent traveller, with a sweet and accepting disposition. Young as she is, she might take these strange circumstances as normal ones. I wonder if she thinks we're on the lam, on the run from the law? Rushing in and out of hotel rooms night after night, dealing with large amounts of cash, dying our hair with shoe polish in gas station restrooms…
Lay-persons assume touring must be wild times of luxury and depravitous fun. In truth, at this level, it's the hard work of a dog, pretty much 24 hours a day. We cannot accept well-intentioned offers from friends of dinner and amusements. For weeks at a time, we keep an unchanging rhythm of wake-up too early, drive too far, load-in, sound-check, eat, perform, break down the stage, sleep. I do like this strange work though. I like the intensity of the shows, and the feeling of being outside of society in a mini-community of our own, where we desperately hang on to souvenirs and shared jokes, our only possessions besides our cellos.
Our days off are rare, but when we do have one, I try to arrange a Rasputina Field-trip™. We've visited murder sites, slave cabins, bayou huts, and have taken historical house tours of all kinds. Last leg, we visited George Washington's Mt. Vernon and Mark Twain's boyhood hometown, Hannibal, MO. Since the West is so big, all upcoming days off are “driving days”, but I do look forward, as always, to the dramatic landscapes of the Southwest.
So now, as we head from Austin to Dallas, I'm just looking forward to the next day, the next day and the next, ad infinitum. I will let you know how it goes.
August 7, 2010
Hi Friends & Readers,
Rasputina Road-Report, Entry #2: I didn't expect anything from
Dallas– I wasn't aware of any real Rasputina following there or
anything, but what a sweet show it was- great sound, and an
attentive, affectionate, non-drunk audience. For their rapt silence
during the banjo section of the show, I gave them a prize. They
While on the road, I'm designing a fashion-show invitation for
designer Anna Sui. She wants some embroidery like my 'Sister
Kinderhook' album cover. So I've got my little craft bag, needle
case, photo references from Anna, and I work on it a little every day
(in the van). It's so funny to take a picture with a phone of some
embroidery and send it by bluetooth to a computer so I can email it
to Anna for approval.
I don't get to read all day like the other guys. Drummer Melissa
and 2nd chair cellist Daniel both just finished Mia Farrow's
autobiography and became obsessed with her! Just about all they do is
analyse Woody Allen and project which character in Mia Farrow's life
they might be most like. Now they're reading Mackenzie Phillips' new
memoir and I can't say that this little book club is on a very
Today is a leisurely day off/driving day. We may perhaps reach
Amarillo, Texas, en route to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
I miss my 11 year old daughter, Hollis. She spends summers with
her father. I've always tried to use her school-vacation times to
tour, so we're used to this kind of separation, but it's still hard.
She's just starting to comprehend what I do for a living and that
it's unusual and pretty cool.
Touring is such a 'deprived' condition. Self-imposed, yes, but
self-imposed deprivation- deprivation of space, privacy, cleanliness,
As we approach the Southwest, I look past looking forward to it
and look on to California. I do love LA. I've always had such
eccentric and loveable friends there. You know who you are! Anyplace
where you can know the natives and spend time with them becomes
interesting (no matter how superficial it might seem on the surface).