Saddle Creek | Tim Kasher | Reviews


The Game of Monogamy

Author: Tim McMahan
11/17/2010 | | | Live Show Preview
Friday night at The Waiting Room.

Conduits are poised to be a next-level success story, that is if someone is smart enough to sign them. But in this day and age, getting signed isn't necessarily the most important thing that can happen to your band (but it certainly helps). Conduits has something just as good as a record deal — people are beginning to notice them. They're being associated not only with Omaha but with Saddle Creek, thanks in part to Roger Lewis' connection to The Good Life and Tim Kasher, who made a special guest appearance during their set for one song that was obviously a Kasher composition. It sounded nothing like the rest of their set, which continues to evolve into a series of epic masterpieces, tonal ambient journeys into dark yet familiar worlds decorated in '90s shoe-gaze, low-hum dream-noise. It's moody and effective, each song taking on a life of its own. It's only a matter of time before the whole set bleeds together into one 45-minute epic soundscape.

I don't think second-slot filler Darren Hanlon could have been a bigger contrast. The Aussie singer/songwriter performed a solo set that was a cross between Billy Bragg and John Wesley Harding — long story-songs played on guitar or banjo set atop a backdrop of crowd noise that came roaring from the back of the room, which was ballooning to well over 300. Hanlon's songs were… cute. Late in the set they were propelled by guest drummer Craig D (Tilly and the Wall), who even provided an improvised drum solo.

Finally, it was Kasher's turn. The biggest compliment I could give his set: At one point, I realized that I wasn't paying attention to minuscule details, I wasn't mentally taking notes, I became lost in the performance and the songs, which for me hasn't happened in a long time. Kasher played most of the songs off his new album, The Game of Monogamy, punctuating each phrase with a knowing glance or gesture, trying to connect the music to the audience. The usual chatty Kasher said very little between songs, only once talking freely about the making of the album, saying that he was listening to a lot of David Bowie while up in Whitefish, all as an intro to a very Kasher-ian cover of Bowie's "Soul Love." The rest of the covers were Good Life chestnuts that seamlessly fit into the set. As you would expect, Kasher's backing band was amazing. The standout was Lewis Patzner on cello — the best sounding (and mixed) cello I've heard on any live stage, it added a layer of drama that these songs yearned for. If Patzner's name sounds familiar you might be thinking of his brother, Anton Patzner, who performed with Bright Eyes circa Cassadaga. Talent with strings obviously runs in the family.
The Game of Monogamy

The Game of Monogamy

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