Tito & Tarantula

Tarantism

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Dylan once hand-picked Tito Larriva's Plugz to back him up on Dave Letterman's show. But when the multi-culti punk group morphed into the Cruzados, Larriva's rock career went off-road. Tarantism is his return -- a blues-rock study on bugs and the angel of death. At its best, Tito & Tarantula sound like a dark, spaghetti western theme band, the Stones ("Slippin' & Slidin'"), Cream, and the folky Led Zeppelin ("Sweet Cycle") all in one. When Larriva sings instead of screams, he sounds like Jack Bruce, as on "Back to the House" and "Jupiter." It's just OK, but Larriva is the kind of guy you want to root for: audiences cheered big time when his Desperado character shot Quentin Tarantino. As a bit-part actor and composer, you can't better his hip filmography -- from Repo Man to Freeway to She's So Lovely. He also played Hammy in the original Pee Wee's Playhouse.

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