Tim Kasher coming to a living room near you
It’s a fun thing to imagine, having an idol sitting on your couch, strumming and singing in front of you and a handful of friends.
As fun as it is to think about, of course, it’s basically impossible.
But for at least one person in Appleton — maybe a few more if there are roommates or family involved — that scenario is going to play out almost as imagined. Tim Kasher, a singer-songwriter known best for fronting indie bands Cursive and the Good Life, is in the midst of a Living Room tour and will be stopping by a fan’s home in Appleton for a show on Thursday.
Part of the allure of these low-fanfare performances, set in intimate spaces around the Midwest for just a few dozen people each night, is the locations aren’t revealed until tickets are purchased. And those with tickets are encouraged not to spill the secret.
Kasher is working with the music group Undertow, who have helped acts including Clap Your Hands Say Yeah embark on similar tours. The performances are hosted for the most part by fans who are willing to turn their home or other space into a makeshift music venue for the night. Though dubbed Living Room shows, the host sites aren’t always apartments or houses.
“I know that I’m playing a salon in Omaha,” said Kasher, by phone from Chicago, before heading out on the 13-show trek. “I think the Undertow people told me a yoga studio somewhere. It sounds like quite a mix of spaces.”
The shows, seven of which have already sold out (including in Madison and Milwaukee), are an unconventional way for Kasher to get on the road and continue to promote his 2013 solo album, “Adult Film.” For now it’s a one-time deal — he’ll be back playing traditional shows overseas after this run ends — but was a fun alternative for someone who has spent about two decades playing clubs and theaters with rock bands.
“There’s a lot more of a connection between the audience and the performer,” Kasher said, “but I think more importantly for me is a connection with the music. I do a lot of quieter and more intense and sadder stuff, (and) you don’t always do that on a Friday night at a bar when you’re all kind of having drinks.”
The setup is a throwback to a time before Kasher’s bands were making noise in indie and alternative circles in the early 2000s. Before releasing a string of highly-regarded albums on Saddle Creek Records, Kasher was sitting in living rooms and other quiet places strumming songs like many young musicians.
“I have concrete memories of when we were all just playing each others houses,” he said. “And we would play just acoustic songs and everyone had pin-drop silence. It’s so much less appropriate to stand around and gab when you’re at somebody’s home.”
Joining Kasher on the tour will be Patrick Newbery, a multi-instrumentalist who has toured for years with Cursive. He’ll handle some keys, trumpet and likely some drums, while Kasher will play acoustic guitar and piano. The setlists will include material from across Kasher’s body of work, probably with some emphasis on his more recent solo material.
Taking just one other musician out on the road with him and driving from city to city in a station wagon, Kasher said he’ll probably wind up with a lot more down time than he would on a more traditional tour. That’s a good thing for fans, as he said he’s been writing a lot of new material for “the next couple albums,” although he couldn’t yet say what those were.
What he would divulge, though, was that Cursive was “definitely” going on tour, either later this year or in early 2015, for a re-release of 2003’s critically-acclaimed “The Ugly Organ.”
But before Kasher gets the Cursive machine back up and running and puts out whatever albums he’s working on, he’s got dreams to fulfill and living rooms to play.
7" / MP3
LP / Deluxe LP / CD / MP3