Cursive’s Tim Kasher finds Montana a peaceful retreat

Cursive, in their last Billings appearance, 06.22.09

Originally published in Noise and Color

There’s stillness in Montana that is like no other. Here the expansive country unfolds like an artist’s palette, spurring resourcefulness and originality within its residents while allowing quietude amongst the rivers, mountains, and roads. Such a state has a magnetic pull, courting musicians with its intimate setting and level of anonymity, if they so choose.

In the fall of 2010, Tim Kasher, frontman of the longtime rock outfit Cursive, left California for colder pastures. He relocated to Whitefish, Montana, where he honed his songs at the local open mic. Here Kasher was just a guy with a guitar, not the high profile musician and founder of a cultishly popular indie rock band.

A nomad of sorts, Kasher has traipsed the country for years with his Omaha-based musical groups Cursive and The Good Life. After nearly a year of touring in support of Cursive’s 2009 release “Mama, I’m Swollen,” which routed the band through Missoula and Billings, Kasher spent a cold winter in Whitefish writing his debut solo album, “The Game Of Monogamy,” a self-reflective, unapologetic take on relationships.

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Cursive swells in small setting

After dragging his mic from the stage to the outdoors, Cursive frontman Tim Kasher sings in the midst of his fans.
Cursive
Cursive frontman Tim Kasher.

Like the storm that brewed during their set, Omaha rock band Cursive brought an thunderous ebb and flow of music to the tiny Yellowstone Valley Brewing pub Saturday.

Their first time performing in Montana, the band played to a small but grateful crowd, many finally able to check Cursive off their list of “Must-See Bands Before I Die.”

I saw the band for the first time in a large festival setting in Denver nearly a week ago, and they seemed better suited in the small, intimate venue. Frontman Tim Kasher confirmed my thoughts, saying that they do enjoy playing the smaller venues.
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Cursive scrolls through the West

Indie rock band Cursive performs at the Westword's Music Showcase in Denver, Colo.
Indie rock band Cursive performs at the Westword’s Music Showcase in Denver, Colo.
Crowds pass by a stage set up inside a trailer on the street in downtown Denver.
Crowds pass by a stage set up inside a trailer on the street in downtown Denver.
A spectator sits atop a roof in downtown Denver during the Westword's annual music showcase.
A spectator sits atop a roof in downtown Denver during the Westword’s annual music showcase.

This spring has already found me traveling from the mayhem that was the Sasquatch music festival in Washington to the more urban setting of Denver, Colo., last weekend to attend the Westword’s annual music festival.

The event, hosted by Denver’s free weekly arts and culture publication, featured a showcase of local musicians as well as a handful of well-known national acts.

Headlining the festival was indie rock band Built to Spill, though I was most excited to see Omaha, Nebr., rock band Cursive, also scheduled to perform in Billings Saturday, June 20. As I sidled thought the crowd to get a better view, craning my neck to see the band, I realized I was lucky to get to see them in a much more intimate setting at their upcoming show in Billings.

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Cursive dates announced in Missoula, Billings

Cursive
Indie rock band Cursive just released its seventh full-length album, Mama, I'm Swollen.

Omaha-based indie rock band Cursive has confirmed shows in Missoula and Billings in June. The quartet, hailed as one of the most exciting and inventive rock bands today, is currently touring in support of Mama, I’m Swollen, the band’s seventh album.

Released March 10 on Saddle Creek Records, Mama, I’m Swollen progresses the Cursive formula of thoughtful albums wrestling with life’s complex themes, showcasing the vivid writing of lyricist Tim Kasher (vocals, guitar) mashed with the band’s complex, explorative rock.

The band is scheduled to perform June 20 at Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co. in Billings and June 21 in Missoula at the Other Side. Tickets for the Billings show are available May 8 at www.1111presents.com.