Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


Mama, I'm Swollen

Author: Joe Lawler
12/09/2009 | Des Moines Metromix | | Live Show Preview
Tim Kasher of indie rock band Cursive has been a part of the Omaha music scene since its birth.

He and bassist Matt Maginn were members of Slowdown Virginia, one of the first bands on Lumberjack Records, the label that eventually became Saddle Creek. For a time, Kasher even fronted the band Commander Venus with the poster child for Omaha rock, Conor Oberst.

But while Cursive remains an Omaha act, Kasher is no longer an Omaha resident. He moved to California last year, splitting his time between the band and working as a screenwriter. A few months ago he relocated to Whitefish, Mont., a long way from both the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and his bandmates in Nebraska. There, he hopes to build a local music scene, and is encouraging people to start up bands.

Starting up bands is something Kasher does with regularity. In addition to Cursive - which returns to Des Moines Saturday for the first time since the 2006 Midwest Popfest - he also has the groups The Good Life and new side project Edelweiss. Kasher doesn't expect Edelweiss to sound too different than Cursive or The Good Life.

"I used to care a lot more about making things different, but now I just like having different monikers for different projects," he said. "It's not really business savvy, having the different names, but I see it as putting out an album every year. The problem is if someone only likes Cursive, it seems like a long time between albums.

"As long as I'm staying afloat, I'm doing whatever feels right. The latest thing feels right."

Cursive's latest album, "Mama, I'm Swollen," is a departure from earlier work. Unlike the more political outlook of 2006's "Happy Hollow," with "Mama" Kasher aimed to sum up the difference between ethics and morality, while drawing imagery involving mothers and hell. He said "mama" can symbolize a number of things, but in his own case it's more representative of Earth and nature.

"Hell and Satan made me a little unsure about using those symbols, since 'Happy Hollow' was a more literal take on religion," he said. "This one I'm not using that at all, but it can seem that way. I've just always loved those images when discussing morality in society."

With: Capgun Coup, Wolves in the Attic
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Vaudeville Mews, 212 Fourth St.
Cost: $15
Info: Go to
Mama, I'm Swollen

Mama, I'm Swollen

LP / CD / MP3