In some ways it’s a pity that Melora Creager and her troupe of corseted cellists have been saddled with the “goth” tag, since there’s hardly a more direct way to ensure disparagement by the cultural gatekeepers. But it doesn’t seem to bother her much, and it shouldn’t: she’s got nothing to prove and a sweetly creepy sensibility that’s as “experimental” as anything else out there clinging to a pop skeleton with bloody fingernails. They were never to be mistaken for a second for part of any wave of glamorous young classical players, but neither are they a novelty act. What they do is make distinctive pop with weird instrumentation–namely cello, dulcimer, piano, and drum programming. Rasputina’s third full-length, Cabin Fever (Instinct), is a coyly sinister and girlishly dreamy fantasia in a post-Siouxsie Alice-in-Netherworld vein. Creager indulges her whimsical tendencies to further good effect with the new comp 12 Tales (Instinct), on which Rasputina and 11 other bands (including Siouxsie’s project the Creatures, the Cranes, Miranda Sex Garden, and the Legendary Pink Dots) contribute songs that complement a dozen of her Tanith Lee-meets-Edward Gorey story-poems. Creager can fairly be derided at times for tweeness (and will no doubt be unfairly derided for “femininity”), but the woman has a vision, and her music deserves admiration for its stubborn beauty and utter seductiveness. Wednesday, June 12, 9 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee; 773-489-3160.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Merri Cyr.