Reviews

The Game of Monogamy

Author: Ryan B. Martinez
11/10/2010 | What's Up | www.whatsuppub.com | Live Show Preview
Don't expect a pick-me-up from the solo debut of Tim Kasher, lead singer of Cursive and The Good Life, two pillar bands on Omaha label Saddle Creek Records.

"The Game of Monogamy" is full of ho-humming about the futility of romance. If love's a game, Kasher seems to assert, then its odds are stacked against the players with traps like jealousy, adultery and boredom.

"The sheltered life of a couple/ is like living inside a bubble," he sings on the ironically buoyant-sounding "Cold Love."

The divorced Kasher has been known to flay personal demons on the rack of his songwriting, so the amazing specificity of his lyrics should come as no surprise. What's new is that he's made this album under his name, and with a palette of lush orchestral sounds partly arranged by Cursive bandmate Patrick Newberry.

We caught up with Kasher before his Monday show at The Percolator.

Q. What prompted you to make a solo album?
It's something I always planned on doing. I guess as a young teen, assuming or imagining I'd ever still be playing music in my mid-30s, I thought I'd eventually switch and sort of ride out the years under my own name assuming I can keep putting records out. I had done this 10 years ago with The Good Life but I didn't have the confidence, or was too nervous, to go out under my own name.

Q. You recorded the album in Whitefish, Montana. How did that affect the writing and recording of the album?
It's a great, small town like 8,000 people at the foot of a mountain, right next to Glacier National Park, a really cool area, just gorgeous. I don't know how much it affected it, but being up there I really enjoyed it being so far from any society and culture I'm familiar with. Everything felt hazy, kind of like a dream up there. I hope to seek that kind of stuff out there in the future, take a long vacation.

Q. Your lyrics have always drawn from life experience, and this record goes into quite a few specifics. How much of it is autobiographical?
There's definitely some elements in there, aspects of songs that kind of trace more than coincidentally trace some of my experiences in the last few years. But it's all coupled with building a story, creating a story. It's kind of (about) how most Americans are.

Q. What inspired you to include so many strings on the album?
Initially I was just kind of excited about the flexibility of being able to write any kind of instrumentation, and I'd just done a score for a film, and that really got me energized into using more orchestration. But yeah, there's also a really kind of borderline-ironic '50s soap-operative feel that we wanted to use to suggest that pre-sexual-revolution society.

Q. What movie score were you working on?
It's called "My Suicide." It's an indie movie. I just got a few e-mails for it, actually. They're pulling a new trailer together, they have some kind of distribution. It did amazingly well at the festivals a couple of years back. They're still trying to get a wide release for it. It features this new kid Gabriel Sunday, and he also wrote some of it as well, but also I guess of note is David Carradine it was one of his last movies before he died.

Q. You live in L.A. now, and you've been getting into movie work a bit, including screenwriting. What are you writing at the moment?
I have a few different ones. I have a quiet drama, and currently I'm working on more of a comedy, and then a creepy thriller that I wrote. I just really like storytelling; it's kind of nice to write in a larger format, as opposed to shorter songs.

Q. Speaking of songs, will you be playing any by Cursive or The Good Life on this tour?
Yeah, we do. We just do maybe one or two of each.

Tim Kasher
with locals We Are Passengers
and The Lusitania
The Percolator, 217 N. Stanton
Monday, Nov. 15
Doors open at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m.
$10 advance at The Percolator
$12 day of show
The Game of Monogamy

The Game of Monogamy

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