Cursive's Domestica

Author: Amy Graves
04/03/2001 | The Morning News | Album Review
“Write what you know." every creative writing class begins with that mantra. The same often seems to apply to musicians, for whom personal experience can be a powerful motivator. If that's true, then Cursive, from Omaha, Neb., seems to be making the most personal music of its career. Cursive will appear live at 9 p.m. today at Clunk Music Hall in Fayetteville.
Cursive is Tim Kasher, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter; Clint Schnase, drummer; Matt Maginn, bassist; and Ted Stevens, guitarist and vocalist. The band is on tour throughout the spring in support of its newest album, “Cursive's Domestica" (Saddle Creek Records, 2000).
“Cursive's Domestica" is the band's strongest album to date--and its most personal.
Kasher went through a divorce recently, and many critics have made much of the parallels between the music and his family difficulties. Kaster has insisted that the album is not wholly autobiographical
Reached by phone in Omaha, Kasher explained, “I stress that the album is fiction." He explained that he thinks it's a lie to mislead people into believing that all those situations described on the album actually occurred.
Even so, the music on “Domestica" marks a departure for the band. The songs are not abstract narratives: They tell a story, and that story is about what marks the end of a relationship. Songs like “The Martyr" and “The Game of Who Needs Who the Worst" make that clear.
Cursive often bills itself as a hard-rock band, but that's not the best description for Cursive's sound. Neither is emo, although there are similar qualities to some emo bands. Kasher explained that like emo bands, Cursive sings emotional music but does not play under the structure of emocore.
The band counts many important influences, and they help define Cursive's sound. According to Kasher, The Cure, The Smiths, Fugazi and Archers of Loaf are all important. For example, the song “Lament of Pretty Baby" sounds like it could be an angry Cure song. Kasher explained, “We try not to wear these things on our sleeves too much. We try not to make it too familiar."
While the influences cited above contribute to Cursive's sound, a closer association might be to Jawbreaker or Jets to Brazil. Kasher sounds a lot like Blake Schwarzenbach (lead singer of those bands) His voice is not smooth. And you can hear the frustration and the hurt in it, much like the experience one gets listening to Schwarzenbach.
The hard rock designation makes more sense when you see Cursive live. According to Kasher, “Our music comes off a lot more aggressive live--we don't attack the songs as much when we record them."
So if you've only heard Cursive on the radio or on your stereo, you may want to steel yourself for the Clunk performance. This is a bnad that has played with the Murder City Devils, if that helps any.
Fayetteville girly punk band Les Poochee opens the show. Cover is $6, and the show starts at 9 p.m. For more information on Cursive, check out For more information about this show, call 442-7213.
Cursive's Domestica

Cursive's Domestica

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