Tarantula A.D. insures that classical music hasn’t lost all relevance in our ProTools-dependent culture of pop hooks and generic three-minute songs. Tarantula — a trio whose members play far more than just three instruments between them — employ cello, violin, and piano to create dark landscapes populated with the occasional tearing guitar chord or haunting lyrical verse.
But don’t assume that just because Tarantula’s debut full-length, Book of Sand, is primarily instrumental, it will soar and echo like a Beethoven symphony. Tarantula’s classical-rock fusion is heavily cacophonous and deeply shadowed, owing more of a debt to Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” or Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.” Book of Sand is not completely without vocals though: Devendra Banhart lends his talents on “The Fall” and CocoRosie’s Sierra Casady moans overtop a background of squeaking violins on “Sealake” and offers operatic cries at the end of the gloomy “Empire.”
Comprised of the multi-talented Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans, and Gregory Rogove, Tarantula took an unconventional approach to recording Book of Sand and their earlier EP, Atlantic. Sessions took place over two weeks on Pacific coast and included very little high-tech equipment and the sound of the ocean creating an impromptu backing track. Later, they recorded Casady’s vocals in European hotel bathrooms and the Paris Metro.
Tarantula A.D. Tour Dates
11/7, Washington, DC (Black Cat) 11/8, Norfolk, VA (Relative Theory Records) 11/9, Charlotte, NC (The Milestone) 11/10, Knoxville, TN (The Pilot Light) 11/11, Little Rock, AR (White Water Tavern) 11/12, Norman, OK (The Opolis) 11/13, Houston, TX (Walter’s) 11/14, Austin, TX (The Parish) 11/16, Phoenix, AZ (Modified) 11/18, Tucson, AZ (Solar Culture) 11/19, Los Angeles, CA (Spaceland) 11/20, San Francisco, CA (Cafe Du Nord) 11/22, Portland, OR (Berbati’s Pan) 11/23, Seattle, WA (The Crocodile Cafe) 11/27, Milwaukee, WI (Onopa Brewing Co.) 11/28, Iowa City, IA (Gabe’s Oasis) 11/29, Minneapolis, MN (The 400 Club) 11/30, Chicago, IL (Schuba’s) 12/2, Cleveland Heights, OH (Grog Shop) 12/3, Grand Rapids, MI (Ten Bells) 12/4, Toronto, ON (Horseshoe Tavern) 12/5, Montreal, QC (Green Room) 12/7, Burlington, VT (Higher Ground) 12/8, Cambridge, MA (T.T. the Bears) 12/9, Northampton, MA (Iron Horse)