TIM KASHER (of Cursive / The Good Life)
308 N. 2nd Ave.
Phoenix, AZ, 85003
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Late last fall Tim Kasher went north for the winter after nearly a year of touring in support of Cursive’s 2009 release Mama, I’m Swollen. Leaving sunny Los Angeles, it was in the frosty valley of Whitefish, MT – nestled next to Big Mountain and Glacier National Park – that he set about writing and recording his debut solo album, The Game Of Monogamy.
The album’s classical opening and its closing begin with an uneasy refrain of plucked notes on a harp, setting the tone for The Game Of Monogamy. The theatrical arrangements and lush instrumentation of the album’s moody orchestral pop evoke a 1950s, pre-sexual revolution atmosphere, and set the stage for a dilemma that remains thoroughly modern. The protagonist’s arc in The Game of Monogamy spans the wide range of distinctly human emotions tangled up around relationships in a starched shirt society. Call it the score for our collective sexual plight: expression routinely becomes repression in the name of romance. Kasher’s vision is as keen as ever, unapologetically honest, unflinching, and self-reflective.
Recorded during January at SnowGhost Music as well as his Whitefish rental home, The Game Of Monogamy marks the first time Kasher has written, recorded, and produced an album under his own name. Venturing independent, he fully took on the writing process and the result is more of an arranged record than his past releases. A tribute to his artistic drive and creative freedom, the album neither borrows from nor begs comparison to his two bands, Cursive and The Good Life, and all are grounded in the singular voice and perspective of his writing. Kasher enlisted Patrick Newbery (trumpet/keys for Cursive; also of Lacona and Head of Femur) to help with the arrangements and the production, and to play on the record. Minus The Bear’s Erin Tate and Cursive’s Matt Maginn also play some drums and bass, respectively. Members of the Glacier National Symphony were recruited for the classical instrument parts, which include strings, harp, oboe, flute, and trombone.
Renowned for his literate, lyrical, and thematic songwriting, Kasher’s albums with Cursive and The Good Life have been praised by key press, including Rolling Stone, Esquire, The New York Times, Alternative Press, Spin, and Entertainment Weekly, among many others. He made his network television debut with Cursive on The Late Show with David Letterman in March 2009, performing “From The Hips” off Mama, I’m Swollen. Kasher has been an acclaimed force in music for the better part of the past two decades. And, with his bands, he has released ten albums since 1997.
Though Stevenson began writing classically on piano early on, it wasn't until her late teens that she taught herself how to fingerpick the guitar, aspiring to have the quickness and intricacy of her "guitar god," Dolly Parton. The new instrument opened up a window of creativity and Stevenson soon began writing songs heavily influenced by the writers her father had raised her on, such as Neil Young, Gram Parsons, and Carole King, while also drawing inspiration from music that she discovered on her own like Leonard Cohen, and Jeff Mangum. Meanwhile, leaving her comfort zone, Stevenson started playing in friends' bands in and around Long Island, a time that she says, "taught me how to be on tour, how to give and take with other musicians, and not be afraid of my own ideas." With a new found confidence and a solid and supportive community of creative people behind her, Stevenson moved to Brooklyn in her early 20s and soon started performing her own material, loosely assembling a backing band of friends from other projects. In 2010, she released her bare-bones full-length debut simply entitled, A Record, which she quickly followed the year after with Sit Resist, the first solid document of her work playing with a full band. Those two albums and a healthy amount of touring brought Stevenson a dedicated fan base, drawn to her voice, her words, and her relatable down-to-earth persona.
While writing the 13 songs that make-up her newest record, Wheel, Stevenson sought to understand her place within the frame of time, nature, and among those that she loves. With her words, a careful twine of prose and humor, Stevenson manages to expose the nagging contradictions that make life so terrifying but also so worth living, how it is possible to simultaneously feel both fear and joy, the bitter aftertaste of something so beautiful it makes you sick. Themes of passage, the cycle of the moon, the seasons, and love's ever-shifting states of dependence, are all interwoven throughout Wheel as songs ebb and flow from her band's crashing walls of distortion and pounding drums, to sweet string-led overtures, to moments where it is just Stevenson and a guitar.
$14.00 - $16.00
Tickets Available at the Door
Wed, May 24
Thu, May 25
Thu, May 25
Thu, May 25
Fri, May 26