Best inexplicable band - 2000
Nicholas Urata's Latin-Slavic-flavored ensemble is one spicy ethnic feast. If you're a sucker for strings -- or if you just like something deliciously eclectic -- this cosmopolitan chamber troupe should resin your bow. The Chicago-transplanted outfit's new full-length disc, Super melodrama, combines wild neoclassical inventiveness with frenetic guitar-rock sustenance. It also features the kind of violin playing that could put Frankenstein's monster (the Boris Karloff version, that is) into a goofy, smiling, trancelike stupor. Though the band plans to relocate to the East Coast later this year, the fun-loving bunch remains one of the best live acts to bless this town in ages. Oh, DeVotchKa, we hardly knew ye.