The Game of Monogamy

Author: Amy Plitt
10/07/2010 | Time Out New York | | Live Show Preview
Tim Kasher isn't a particularly cheerful guy; at least that's what his music would have you think. Most of his work, both with Cursive and with his side project, the Good Life, is rife with themes of dissatisfaction—with life, relationships, meaningless sex, growing up, you get the idea. His first solo effort, The Game of Monogamy, released on Monday, isn't much different; if Cursive's bleak 2000 album, Domestica, detailed the dissolution of a marriage (it was famously inspired by Kasher's divorce), then his solo album could be seen as a prequel, a guide to what makes a relationship go sour. While musically it's slightly more upbeat—the first single, "Cold Love," is as close to catchy as Kasher's songs get—the lyrics are as brutal and confessional as ever. ("Cold Love" is about the complacency that's almost inevitable in couplehood; in "There Must Be Something I've Lost," he sings about mooning over old girlfriends.) This isn't the record to listen to if you're doubting your own long-term commitment.

Considering the intimacy that Kasher brings to pretty much everything he does, it only feels right to see him in a smaller venue, where the raw, confessional element of his songs won't get lost. The Rock Shop, which recently opened in Park Slope, fits the bill: Fans were squished into the teeny space, with barely any room between the crowd and the stage.

Kasher seemed in fairly good spirits, chugging from a cup throughout the evening (of water? booze? he never specified) and chatting with the crowd; after playing "Don't Get Caught," a recent B-side, a fan called out, "What was that song, Tim?," and he happily answered the question. Kasher and his band delivered a tight hour-long set that featured solo songs as well as a few Good Life and Cursive tunes. One of the joys of seeing Kasher perform, either in a band or solo, is his total commitment to the show: He yelps, screams, flails, shakes his head until you think he might give himself a wicked migraine, and it's all because he's that into the song he's playing. The act of performing is clearly cathartic for him, and it's hard to not feel like you've gone through the wringer with him. (Which, judging from the crowd's reaction, is how fans seem to like it.)
The Game of Monogamy

The Game of Monogamy

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