Dirty Three

Melancholy instrumental trio Dirty Three formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1992, led by classically trained violinist Warren Ellis, who began writing and performing music for art openings and plays and also tenured in the groups Blackeyed Susans, Paranoid, and the Nursing Mothers. After enlisting Blackeyed Susans guitarist Mick Turner and drummer Jim White -- veterans of Melbourne bands including the Sick Things, the Moodists, Fungus Brain, and Venom P. Stinger -- Ellis formed Dirty Three; at the group's debut performance, he used a rubber band to attach a guitar pickup to his violin, giving the instrument a distorted, feedback-drenched feel far removed from its original sound. Recorded as a demo, the trio's debut Sad & Dangerous appeared in 1994; subsequent tours in support of Pavement, Sonic Youth, and John Cale helped win Dirty Three a deal with the Touch & Go label, which issued a 1995 eponymous effort and 1996's acclaimed Horse Stories. In 1998, Dirty Three resurfaced with Ocean Songs; Whatever You Love, You Are followed two years later.