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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.

Celebrating their tenth anniversary, Dirty Three headed back into the studio. Initially, the trio had recorded songs for a follow-up to Whatever You Love, You Are in early 2001; however, the songs were scrapped. White went on to tour with Smog and Will Oldham. Turner founded his own label, King Crab Records, and worked with Marquis de Tren. Ellis joined his fellow mates Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds for a monumental world tour in spring 2002. Somewhere amidst all this activity, Dirty Three reconvened with producer Fabrice Laureau, chief of Prohibited Records, who recorded part of the soundtrack to Amelie. Together, he and Dirty Three arrived with the enigmatic, dark album She Has No Strings Apollo in February 2003. Cinder, which features appearances by Cat Power's Chan Marshall and Sally Timms from the Mekons, followed two years later.

Following the release of Cinder, all three bandmembers concentrated on various solo projects for the next six years. White moved to Brooklyn from Chicago; he recorded and toured with PJ Harvey, Nina Nastasia, Marshall, and Bonnie "Prince" Billy. Ellis joined the Bad Seeds full-time, and was a member of a Bad Seeds off-shoot band, the short-lived Grinderman. He also became Nick Cave's film-scoring partner. Turner issued a solo album, and focused on his career as a successful visual artist. Dirty Three secretly began working on another album in 2011 and emerged with Toward the Low Sun, their debut for Drag City, in early 2012. ~ Jason Ankeny & Thom Jurek, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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I once heard their song in the Aussie movie Praise, then I found out Warren Ellis had joined The Bad seeds (Nick Cave being one of my favourite artists ever) ...since then, there's no going back. Cave and Ellis' movie scores are amazing! That was was is by far my favourite (that whole album is), but I love Sue's last ride, and pretty much every other song I don't know the name of. Just start at the beginning of the album and keep going
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OK, I gave these guys about 2 1/2 minutes for their song to get going and impress me and they failed. Later -
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cbc321456
The sounds and emotion coming from these three are so free and yet setting at the same time. Prestige drumming. I can feel this music, every fragment. Beautiful. Thanks. -bcam
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drone.head
I WAS LUCKY enough to see them play at a small venue in San Diego during the tour for the album she has no strings apollo. Amazing live show.
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kitkatack
Meant to slow dance with a lover.
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Wow, just listened to 'Alice Wading' from 'She Has No Strings Apollo'. Wonderful! Will be checking for more of this group.
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I can honestly boast that I saw them live in a small, intimate setting. Elmo's Houston. So amazing. I didn't so much cry as much as they charmed and coaxed the f**king moisture outta my f**king eyes! They were that amazing live.
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elrod696
Amazing. I have lived too long without this. Dirty Three looks and breathes directly to your soul.
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This band is genius. Warren Ellis is a madman on violin!
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uhstoryuhshi p s
so money...
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kbarton73
I saw these guys in Minneapolis sometime in the late 90's opening up for Low. I was just blown away by their sheer awesomeness. I think most people were.
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stopdavestop
I've read that The Dirty Three have created some of the best music of the twentieth century, and I tend to agree. Horse Stories is one of the greatest albums ever made.
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When I saw them live, the violin player was smoking while he played and the smoke wafted right into his eyes, but he just squinted through it. All we talked about right after the show was how much that must have stung. It did look cool, though.
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dang... impressive.
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thomaspratt0 1
Simply stunning. I have a weakness for instrumental music in general, but this is a cut a cut above a lot of music in that genre.
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Cool stuff.
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I love Dirty Three...I saw them perform in NYC and it was UNBELIEVABLE ! They sound amazing live...The crowd was enthralled with their performance, and shouts could be heard demanding "sues last ride", to which they graciously complied.
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I like these dirty cats
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These guys are awesome, but yeah, they need to rework the similar system
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bromide01
I actually could agree more.
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dtaylor097
these guys are good!!!
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PANDORA ALSO SAYS ARCH ENEMY & THE GATHERING ARE SIMILAR . I COULDN'T AGREE MORE
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Pandora says Judas Priest is a "similar artist". I couldn't agree more.

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