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Cursive's Domestica

Author: Peter D'Angelo
6/19/2000 | | | Feature
"The next album is going to be even better." These were some interesting words to hear from Tim Kasher, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for Omaha Nebraska's Cursive. With the recent release of Cursive's Domestica on Saddle Creek Records, the self-described "hard rock" band has started to garner some of the recognition they deserve. Their newest album is an emotional roller coaster that carries with it the bitter taste from Kasher's recent divorce as well as some hard hitting and exploratory musical passages.

Kasher, along with Clint Schnase on drums, Matt Maginn on bass, and newest addition Ted Stevens (Lullaby for the Working Class) on guitar and vocals, are quick to agree that they are "definitely very happy" with their newest release. They are also somewhat impressed with the success they have achieved. At a recent show in Boston, Schnase noted that he'd be happy if the amount of people there for the opening bands stayed to see him. (The crowd, incidentally, tripled by the time Cursive hit the stage and contained fans from as far away as Montreal.)

The most recent shows have been pretty interesting for these four friends from Omaha. According to Kasher, "this was the first time we had to go out with two albums of material we never toured for." The situation seems to have been most pleasing to Stevens, who had already toured with Lullaby For The Working Class but acknowledged with a grin that this was his first real "rock and roll tour".

Stevens fits into the role of second guitar player and vocalist rather easily, and his new band mates were quick to agree that they're definitely keeping him. During the band's live show, Their newest member can be found ripping twisted notes and puzzling sounds from his instrument, but he noted that, "a lot of the weird guitar sounds on the album are actually Tim."
"I never thought we would get labeled as a guitar band," said Kasher in response to reviews of the new album. "It seemed like the bass and drums used to carry the music, but all of a sudden people started talking about the guitar parts. We're not a guitar band, Polvo is a guitar band." Regardless of Kasher's conceptions, it is impossible not to notice the hectic fragility in the guitar interplay on their newest release. The compositions, all of which originate from the humble guitarist, are marked with the chaotic eruptions featured on earlier Cursive releases, as well as a few new tricks including some piano and a few drum effects. The band is also feeling good about the live versions of these new tracks. According to Stevens, the band "has been especially tight lately", a comment that can be attested to after seeing their powerful, sincere live show.

Far from showing any signs of tiring, Cursive is in the midst of touring
right now and are formulating plans to record and release another album by next Spring. On individual terms, Stevens said he might be doing one final project before calling an end to his earlier Omaha-based project, Lullaby For the Working Class. Not to be outdone, Kasher has started another band (also featuring Schnase), The Good Life, and will be releasing their first album in October as well as touring in the near future. The frighteningly prolific Kasher plans on spending most of the next year either touring or recording with one of his two projects. Not content to sit around at home, Maginn (the "serious one" according to bandmates) will be spending his brief vacation touring Japan as the bassist for his close friend Connor Oberst and his band, Bright Eyes. All this movement and action should come as no surprise for a band with a history such as Cursive's. After two previous albums, (1996's Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes, and 1998's The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song) a few 7"s and a split EP with Silver Scooter, the band had called it quits in 1998. They remained in the same area playing together in a handful of other projects including numerous stints as parts of Bright Eyes, before realizing late last year that Cursive was not yet done making music. With a bulk of new material, they reformed, played a handful of dates including a reunion show in Omaha, and headed back to the studio. Under the watchful eye of friend and noted local producer Mike Moogis, Cursive put together the impressive
Domestica in about three weeks, not nearly the amount of time they could have used according to Stevens, but long enough to lay down twelve tracks, nine of which made it onto the newest release.

After hearing their newest record, seeing their phenomenal live show, and spending some time with this band, it is clear that Cursive is a rare creature in today's musical environment. Good people making good music is about all one can ask for, and if Kasher's promise for the next album holds true then everyone involved should feel pretty fortunate. At some point in the night every member of the band mentioned how lucky they felt to be doing what they were, and their announcement at the end of the performance that, “We will and would love to talk to every one of you after this show" seemed to make the audience feel as lucky as the band.
Cursive's Domestica

Cursive's Domestica

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