Rhythm & Views


This season we call spring brings with it all kinds of clichéd ideas of rebirth and regeneration and dumps it on your doorstep until it's all you can do to stop yourself from frolicking among the tulips, despite the bitch who left you or the prick who stole all your money. There's this weird sort of catharsis in tragedy--as they say, you've got to burn to shine; sometimes you just gotta die to feel alive.

Cursive's Domestica is about that dying moment and the waking up afterwards. The Omaha, Neb., band called it quits in 1998 after their highly-praised The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song. Tim Kasher, Cursive's songwriter and frontman, got married. And then he got divorced. And then Cursive got back together. All this starting and stopping and starting again translates into every song on Domestica, where things keep happening again and again--the phone keeps being thrown, the moon is raping someone.

"The night has fallen down the stairs," begins Kasher, screaming Ian Mackaye-style as the guitars push you down along with the night. As you lay on the floor, the album spins around your head like those little birdies in cartoons, spiraling through Kasher's stories of homelife, desperate arguments and loss.

Most of the songs on Domestica are actually dialogues between "Sweetie," and "Pretty baby"; one will say something and then the other reacts to what has been said. Each song starts out with a powerful melody and breaks for the lyrics, creating a give and take, a tension between the two voices. Unless you look at the lyrics printed on the CD insert, you don't know who's talking, much like in an actual argument. Kasher's not the only one singing, too; guitarist Ted Stevens (also of Saddle Creek labelmate Lullaby for the Working Class) and bassist Matt Maginn provide a layering of pained male vocals. Cursive's Domestica is something akin to opening the door of your closet the first day it's warm: look at all those heavy sweaters. You don't have to wear them anymore.

Catch Cursive with Mala Vita tonight, Thursday, March 29, at Solar Culture at 9 p.m. Admission is $5. Call 884-0874 for more information.