Monday, September 12, 2011

Tim Kasher, Friday at the Jackpot

Tim Kasher turns heartbreak into rock.

Posted By on Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 9:44 AM

444BC16D-34F1-48E7-94C3-0DA027E10CA5_Belkin.jpg
If Sadbastardville were a real place, Tim Kasher would be its poet laureate. This is not meant to be derisive, because we’ve all been there. Lived there. Still reside there. Keep a vacation home. Something like that. Despite a bio claiming he’s from Omaha (which, to be fair, bears a striking resemblance to Sadbastardville), Tim Kasher was born in Sadbastardville and lives there to this day. With his bands Cursive and the Good Life, he's made no less than three (count ’em, three!) breakup albums — Cursive’s Domestica; the Good Life’s Album of the Year; and his most recent solo record, The Game of Monogamy.

Kasher and his band took the stage right around midnight, opening with “Opening Night,” the best track from his spotty leftovers collection Bigamy EP. The quiet, acoustic intro proved to be an excellent gauge of what kind of crowd this was going to be, even if it proved that people in Lawrence just can’t shut the fuck up when someone is playing a quiet song. Luckily, the idle chatter was confined to the back of the bar, and though it carried up to the front a bit, the crush of bodies near the stage was the polite type.

A7F9DBAF-44D9-45E2-8D56-69234D6944F4_Belkin.jpg
Which was a good thing, because the highlights of the night were the ultra-hushed standouts off Monogamy. Though his backing band was more than capable, when it was just Kasher up there with a guitar (and some occasional female vocal accompaniment), it was almost magic. “You all seem to be in a fairly patient mood, I’m gonna try to do one that’s awfully quiet,” Kasher said, before going into “Strays.” The track was the most tender of the evening and trod the tightrope of emotional devastation without falling into the pit of oversentimentality. Such is the work of a songwriter who deals in incisive and gruesome details laced with self-deprecating jabs. Kasher asked the audience if they really wanted to spend their Friday night listening to “some schlub sing about how unhappy he is.” The audience didn’t seem to mind.

Another highlight of the evening was a solo rendition of the Good Life track “Album of the Year,” which is probably the best song Tim Kasher has ever written. It's a thesis statement for a back catalog of love gone wrong as well as a surefire sing-along and crowd pleaser. More Good Life (or even Cursive) songs would have been most welcome, especially given that the crowd mostly lost their shit during the opening chords of “Album of the Year,” but this solo tour seemed like a necessary maneuver for Kasher. A way to cleanse the palate, keep the songwriting fresh and interesting for himself so he can keep putting out better breakup albums with his other bands. The peppier tunes of the evening—“I’m Afraid I’m Gonna Die Here,” “Bad, Bad Dreams” and “Cold Love” — made jubilant work of their dour subject matter with the help of Patrick Newberry’s trumpeting and peppy keyboard work. The blend of hook-laden indie rock and downcast heart-on-sleeve folk that made Omaha famous (well, made Kasher chum Conor Oberst famous) kept things from getting stale. It was a show that found Kasher amiable and at home. The look of glee on his face when the band laid into a cover of Elvis Costello’s “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea” said it all.

C0DEA363-BAED-4A7A-8861-D3F9D0D93E89_Belkin.jpg
Critic’s Bias: Once listened to Album of the Year whilst curled up on a pile of dirty clothes in a closet. No lie.

Set List:

Opening Night
I’m Afraid I’m Gonna Die Here
The Jessica
Bad, Bad Dreams
A Bluer Sea
Strays
Surprise, Surprise
A Grown Man
The Prodigal Husband
Empty Bed
Album of the Year
(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea (Elvis Costello cover)
Cold Love
No Harmony

Tags: ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Popular Stories

Slideshows

All contents ©2014 Kansas City Pitch LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Kansas City Pitch LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.

All contents © 2012 SouthComm, Inc. 210 12th Ave S. Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of SouthComm, Inc.
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Website powered by Foundation