Reviews

I Am Gemini

Author: Vanessa Franko
02/24/2012 | Riverside Press Enterprise | www.inlandsocal.com | Live Show Preview
When it came time to work on what would become Cursive's "I Am Gemini," the indie rock band was weary of the concept album approach.

Made up of core members vocalist/guitarist Tim Kasher, bassist Matt Maginn and guitarist Ted Stevens, Cursive has been a staple of Omaha's indie rock scene for more than a decade.

"Originally we were just going to do a rock record," bassist Matt Maginn said in a recent telephone interview. "I think Tim just gets more inspired if he can have a complete composition in mind. Almost everything he does always ends up having some total encompassing idea behind it."

Cursive released its first album in 2000 and has been growing stronger with each release. The band's 2009 album, "Mama, I'm Swollen," landed the band its network television debut on "The Late Show with David Letterman," performing "From The Hips."

But "I Am Gemini" is beyond a mere concept album—there are scenes, played out in the music (with the listener able to follow along with liner notes), intriguing characters and the epic, timeless battle of good versus evil with references from literature to Sisyphus and Dionysus coupled with films including "Fight Club" and "Jacob's Ladder."

"It's definitely the most rock opera-esque of anything we've ever done," Maginn said. "It's the most clearly defined, of anything we've done as far as telling one big story."

The story follows Cassius and Pollock, twins separated at birth who reconnect in a house that is not a home in a swirling mind game of cat and mouse between the two.

"Tim had the concept in his mind—at least that there was going to be duality and two forces struggling for control," Maginn said.

From a musical standpoint, the warring personas, the fury and the hauntingness play off each other in the music.

The group recruited keyboardist Patrick Newbery and drummer Cully Symington for the album. For live dates, such as the one at the Glass House in Pomona on Saturday, Cursive will be dipping its feet into the pool of "I Am Gemini."

"We're kind of just going for it and sticking songs in there amongst our other catalog tracks," Maginn said. "It's working pretty well."

7 p.m. Saturday, The Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona, 909-865-3802, $15, all ages. Visit www.cursivearmy.com for more on the band and www.theglasshouse.us for tickets.
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