Reviews

The Ugly Organ

Author: Mike Dutkewych
09/25/2002 | Real Detroit Weekly | Live Show Preview
After reclaiming their position at the forefront of the surging Omaha, Nebraska underground with 2000's reunion offering, Cursive's Domestica, the members of Cursive find themselves basking in the glow of full creative control in the midst of creating their most anticipated album to date. The Ugly Organ, due out at the end February, should be a welcome addition to the band's growing catalogue. And for singer/guitarist Tim Kasher, the bands fourth full-length should offer some much-needed relief from the constant associations with his failed marriage, as heralded in the prolific conceptual masterpiece of Domestica. After talking to Kasher about his approach to the new record and his awe-inspiring song writing, it became evident that the steady anticipation should prove well worth it.

Real Detroit: Can fans of Domestica look forward to another concept record in The Ugly Organ?
Tim Kasher: Well, even though I really enjoy writing thematically, I wanted Ugly Organ to seem a little less thematic. People have told me it's very thematic, and I'm fine with that. I like to put songs together and have them relate to each other, which should always happen since I'd like to think of my records as a book of short stories. I always appreciate an author who can somehow loosely bind it all together. I still kind of tried to de-concepualize this new one, and so it's a lot looser.

RD: Right after Domestica came out, I read about how the record was not autobiographical. But later I read that you admitted a good amount of the subject matter - like throwing phones, etc. - actually happened in your marriage. So how conscious is the decision to keep a line between your real life and the life of your characters?
TK: I'd say really couscous because it's real people that you're going to end up hurting. Initially, when that [record] came out, I was under a lot of pressure and I was hesitant to say any of it was nonfictional; but as everything died down, I was more willing to say what I should have said all along which was, "Hell, most songwriters write things that have something to do with their own experiences." No matter how fictional it is, there tend to be some similarities.

RD: How fine is that line between you and your characters?
TK: it's not always such a fine line, and it's important that I express that because people get too adjusted to thinking that everything I sing about is some kind of brash nonfiction, and it's not.. There's a lot of fiction, and there should be. I don't want to be held to only writing diary excerpts or something like that. And it's dangerous, because songs here and there go deeper into these darker fictions that may confuse people into thinking that it's me. Well, it's not me, and I hope they won't end up feeling let down or something.

RD: I'm sure you've gotten this a lot lately, with the recent success of of Bright Eyes and The Faint, but how do you feel about Omaha being hailed as the next Seattle?
TK: I think Omaha's being referred to in a mocking way, almost. I think people are trying to say it in a sweet way, but come on--- it's almost an insult. It's like am emo tag or something. We're just proud of what we've done, and we have no interest in being considered the next Seattle. We'd rather be considered Omaha.
The Ugly Organ

The Ugly Organ

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