Tim Kasher

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.

Laura Stevenson

Laura Stevenson was schooled in the traditional music of her grandfather and grandmother (composer of "The Little Drummer Boy" and vocalist for the Benny Goodman Orchestra respectively) from an early age. It wasn't until she started performing with Bomb The Music Industry in her teens, that she began writing on her own. Privately crafting songs on the softer side of indie rock and traditional folk, Stevenson was soon tapped as the band's opener and, with the addition of Mike Campbell and Alex Billig in 2007, Laura Stevenson and the Cans solidified. Their live band grew into a quintet, often times swelling to eight members, and the following debut LP, A Record, won them fans far and wide having been downloaded over 25,000 time since it's 2008 release.

Sit Resist, an album centered around never sitting stagnant, sees a matured band that has been continuously at work writing, arranging and touring for the past three years. Lyrically, Stevenson's pen has a sharp, poetic tone, making it impossible not to be taken in by her stories. Where A Record crackled with Stevenson's intimate voice alongside gentle acoustics, begging the listener nearer, Sit Resist commands the attention of all within earshot with its rich instrumentation and textured melodies.

Over the course of the album's thirteen songs, you'll hear the band weld a variety of musical styles that dreamily caress and nurture one another into a wholly unique rendering of Americana. "Master of Art" with its Phil Spector-esque, girl-group tease of an intro, explodes with the energy of Stevenson's voice - an instrument that is as strong as it is lovely. "Caretaker" conjures up ghosts and memories of homes inevitably / regrettably left behind. You'll find major-key resolution in the juxtaposed tale that is "The Healthy One," and "I See Dark" waltzes you, dear listener, into the lonely night, hand-in-hand.

The overall effect achieved by Laura Stevenson & the Cans is an album that's as invigorating and life-affirming as it is quietly emotional and delicate. This is an intelligent, literate album crafted of fragments of fleeting memories of time and place, yet it manages to convey volumes. Sit Resist is a true piece of art! Out now on Don Giovanni Records.

The Glass Cavalry

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Tim Kasher with Laura Stevenson, The Glass Cavalry

Thursday, November 14 · Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:30 PM at The Firebird