Tim Kasher

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Tim Kasher
Tim Kasher in the crowd during Big Bang at the Concert for Equality.JPG
Tim Kasher performing in the crowd with Cursive at the Concert for Equality
Background information
Born (1974-08-19) August 19, 1974 (age 49)
Omaha, Nebraska, US
Genres Indie rock, emo, post-hardcore, alternative rock, folk rock
Instrument(s)Vocals, accordion, guitar, organ, keyboard, vuvuzela, bass
Years active1993–present
Labels Saddle Creek

Timothy J. Kasher (born August 19, 1974) is an American musician from Omaha, Nebraska, and is the frontman of indie rock groups Cursive and the Good Life, [1] both of which are on the Omaha-based record label Saddle Creek Records.



Slowdown Virginia

Slowdown Virginia was formed in Omaha in 1993 by Kasher with Matt Maginn, Steve Pedersen, and Casey Caniglia after the dissolution of a previous band called The March Hares. With a sound described as a heartland Pavement [2] and into the Pixies, [3] Slowdown Virginia recorded and released one album, Dead Space , on Lumberjack Records, with the help of funding from friends. [3] The band was short lived, breaking up in 1995, but it inspired other bands to form in Omaha like The Faint and Bright Eyes, [2] the formation of Saddle Creek Records out of Lumberjack Records, [4] and the name of Omaha's indie music venue, Slowdown. [4]


Kasher, Maginn, and Pedersen formed a new band, Cursive, in 1995, adding Clint Schnase to the band. The bands released two albums, described as full of emotion and distortion, [5] [6] before disbanding in 1998 as Kasher moved to Portland, Oregon, after getting married. [7] Kasher also spent some of this time playing guitar in Commander Venus, recording and releasing two albums. Pedersen left Omaha to study law at Duke University in North Carolina [8] shortly afterward.

Kasher's marriage and time away from Omaha did not last long; he returned within eighteen months of leaving Cursive and Omaha. With Pedersen away, Kasher recruited Ted Stevens to join the previous other band members. The re-formed Cursive soon recorded and released their third album, Domestica, at Presto! Studios in Omaha, using the stock room of the USA Baby store where Kasher worked as the band's practice space. [7] [9] Domestica showed this version of Cursive to have a tight-knit, hard-rock sound with the addition of Stevens as well as Kasher's newfound focus on introspective, storytelling focused lyrics. [7] [9] Cursive added cellist Gretta Cohn for the next several releases and the band, and Kasher's writing, found critical success with 2003's The Ugly Organ , [10] a "gale force" of "personal indigence." [10]

Cohn departed Cursive in 2005, [11] and the band continued on without a cellist. Cursive has subsequently recorded and released three more studio albums, also concept albums [12] - a style that Kasher began loosely with The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song [6] and developed full-blown with Domestica. [9] Cursive's last release was Vitriola in 2018.

The Good Life

The Good Life was originally planned to be a solo project. Kasher wanted to experiment with different types of lyrics and melodies. [13] He released Novena on a Nocturn under the name the Good Life on Better Looking Records in 2000, five months after Cursive's Domestica. [13] Novena on a Nocturn touched on the same themes of Domestica, mainly ones of divorce and loss, and was noted in reviews for Kashers intense focus on his lyrics and personal storytelling. [14] [15] 2002's Black Out was also a mostly solo effort with friends assisting in the recording, and was released on Saddle Creek Records. As with Novena, the album was noted for its focus on melodies and lyrics, with Dan Ocean of Punk News describing the sound as "a slower paced Cursive with some electronica and an abundance of hooks." [16]

After using the Good Life as essentially a side project, Kasher decided to make the Good Life a full-fledged band. [13] Kasher recruited Ryan Fox, Roger Lewis, and Stefanie Drootin-Senseney and released Album of the Year in 2004. [13] Despite his intention to make the Good Life a band in its own right, Kasher still retained most creative control over the band for much of Album of the Year [13] and similarly for 2007's Help Wanted Nights , described by Pitchfork 's Eric Harvey as "two consecutive concept albums dealing with boozers and their second homes." [17]

The Good Life took a break after 2007. Kasher released two albums with Cursive and two solo albums before reconvening the Good Life in late 2013. This time Kasher approached the Good Life with recording the album as a band, with all members contributing to the process of writing the songs. [13] The result was the rock-oriented Everybody's Coming Down , released in September 2015.

Solo work

His first solo album, The Game of Monogamy , was released to mixed reviews [18] on October 5, 2010, on Saddle Creek Records. Written after Kasher moved from Los Angeles to Montana, Kasher's first truly solo work was noted for its lyricism and instrumentation but also for again repeating on the themes of a broken romance that dominated early releases by the Good Life and Cursive's Domestica. [19] [20] Chris Parker from Alternative Press called the album "overture to middle age and the declining allure of the bars and hook-ups scene." [21] The follow-up EP, Bigamy: More Songs from the Monogamy Sessions , was released in August 2011. Bigamy continues the same themes as Monogamy with seven additional songs. [21]

Adult Film , Kasher's second solo album, was released on Saddle Creek Records in 2013. Featuring a more reserved vocal style and stripped-down instrumentation as compared to The Game of Monogamy, Adult Film's topic touch on mistrust, anxiety, and the fears of adult life. [22] [23]

Kasher's fourth solo album, "Middling Age", was released in April 2022. [24]

Musical style and influences

Pitchfork's Taylor Clark once described Kasher's singing as "perhaps the worst great voice in indie rock," noting his lack of ease in singing with a range and a deficiency in enunciation. [25] His voice is commonly recognized as a signature part of Cursive's sound. [26] [27] Kasher's songwriting receives similar attention, particularly 2003's The Ugly Organ, which took an introspective meta view on the songwriting process itself. [10] For his part, Kasher has said that a lot of the inspiration for grand visions for his solo albums came from David Bowie.[ citation needed ] Kasher cites Bowie for helping him to "wake me up to, well, you can do whatever you want. I mean, you’re doing a solo record. You can go in absolutely any direction."[ citation needed ] Even prior to this, Kasher's writing for albums moved more and more towards a screenplay style of writing, to the point of the lyric sheet for I Am Gemini being described by one reviewer as "a full-blown libretto ." [12]

Personal life

In 2007, Kasher moved from Omaha to Los Angeles, California. While also working on new music with both Cursive and the Good Life, he took up writing screenplays. In late 2009, he relocated to Montana to focus more explicitly on his writing. He is currently again living in Los Angeles. [28]

He has an undergraduate degree in English, with a minor in Philosophy. He has stated that if he was not pursuing music full-time, he would have become an English professor, teaching writing or literature.

He is the youngest of six children, with four older sisters and one older brother.

In 2015, Kasher married his long-term girlfriend Gwynedd, the digital managing editor at Los Angeles Magazine . [28]

In 2017, a feature film No Resolution — written and directed by Kasher starring Maura Kidwell and Layne Manzer — was released. In an interview with The Reader , Kasher said an earlier version premiered at the Omaha Film Festival a year prior in 2016. [29]


Solo albums

Other work

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saddle Creek Records</span> American record label

Saddle Creek Records is an American record label based in Omaha, Nebraska. Started as a college class project on entrepreneurship, the label was founded by Mike Mogis and Justin Oberst in 1993. Mogis soon turned over his role in the company to Robb Nansel. The label is named after Saddle Creek Road, a major street that cuts through Midtown Omaha, and the beginnings of a scene whose members included Justin's brother Conor Oberst, Tim Kasher, and others. Collectively, they were known unofficially as the "Creekers". Saddle Creek first appeared in print on a show flyer, offering to "Spend an evening with Saddle Creek" Saddle Creek became an incorporated entity as a result of a class project on entrepreneurship. Distribution is handled by Redeye Distribution.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Conor Oberst</span> American musician

Conor Mullen Oberst is an American singer-songwriter best known for his work in Bright Eyes. He has also played in several other bands, including Desaparecidos, the Faint, Commander Venus, Park Ave., Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Monsters of Folk, and Better Oblivion Community Center. Oberst was named the Best Songwriter of 2008 by Rolling Stone magazine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cursive (band)</span> American indie rock band

Cursive is an American indie rock band from Omaha, Nebraska. Stylistically described as emo and post-hardcore, Cursive came to prominence with 2000's Domestica and found commercial and critical success with 2003's The Ugly Organ. The band has released eight studio albums, a compilations album, and a mix of singles and EPs since 1997. They have released recordings on several labels, including 15 Passenger Records, Saddle Creek Records, and Big Scary Monsters (UK).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Good Life (band)</span> American indie rock band

The Good Life is an indie rock band on Saddle Creek Records.

Slowdown Virginia was an indie rock band from Omaha, Nebraska. Formed in 1993, the band recorded and released one album, Dead Space, on Lumberjack Records in 1994, the predecessor to today's Saddle Creek Records. After playing an influential role in inspiring the later formation of other Omaha bands like Bright Eyes, The Faint, and Desaparecidos with their energetic live shows and recordings, Slowdown Virginia broke up in the spring of 1995. A month after breaking up, Kasher, Maginn, and Pedersen regrouped with a new drummer to form Cursive. Omaha's mixed entertainment venue Slowdown is named in honor of the band.

<i>Black Out</i> (The Good Life album) 2002 studio album by The Good Life

Black Out is the second album by Omaha indie rock band The Good Life. It was released on March 4, 2002 by Saddle Creek Records. It contains 14 songs, running approximately 50:08.

<i>Domestica</i> 2000 studio album by Cursive

Domestica is the third studio album by the American indie rock band Cursive, released on June 20, 2000. This album was the 31st release by Saddle Creek Records, released on CD as well as both red and black vinyl.

<i>The Ugly Organ</i> 2003 studio album by Cursive

The Ugly Organ is the fourth studio album by American rock band Cursive, released on March 4, 2003, through Saddle Creek Records. It was released both on black and translucent green 180 gram vinyl.

Matt Maginn is a musician from Omaha, Nebraska. He plays bass guitar in the indie-rock band Cursive and is a frequent contributor on a number of Bright Eyes records. He was also a founding member of Slowdown Virginia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">A. J. Mogis</span> American guitarist

A.J. Mogis is a musician from North Platte, Nebraska. He currently plays bass guitar in the indie-rock band Criteria. His brother is Mike Mogis. Together, they founded Presto! Recording Studios and have recorded almost all the albums released by Saddle Creek Records as well as albums by friends' bands. They were also members of Lullaby for the Working Class. Criteria has so far released two albums.

<i>Novena on a Nocturn</i> 2000 studio album by The Good Life

Novena on a Nocturn is the debut album of the band The Good Life from Omaha, Nebraska. The band is the side project of Tim Kasher, lead singer of Cursive. It was released on Better Looking Records in 2000.

<i>The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song</i> 1998 studio album by Cursive

The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song is the second full-length album by the American indie rock band Cursive, released in 1998.

Clint Schnase is a musician from Omaha, Nebraska. He played drums in the indie-rock band Cursive from 1995 until late 2006. He also recorded and toured with Bright Eyes, Lullaby For The Working Class, The Good Life, Smashmouth, Gravy Train, Gymnastics, McVoy, Dumb, Race For Titles, My Fellow Acrobats, The Brigadiers, Pinkerton

<i>Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes</i> 1997 studio album by Cursive

Such Blinding Stars For Starving Eyes is the first full-length album from Omaha, Nebraska band Cursive. Unlike Cursive's later releases, which were released by Saddle Creek Records, this album was released by Crank! Records.

<i>The Difference Between Houses and Homes</i> 2005 compilation album by Cursive

The Difference Between Houses and Homes (2005) is a compilation by American indie band Cursive of some of their early material. It is subtitled Lost Songs and Loose Ends 1995-2001. This compilation features songs from The Icebreaker 7", The Disruption 7", Sucker and Dry 7", and the split between Cursive and Small Brown Bike.

<i>Happy Hollow</i> (album) 2006 studio album by Cursive

Happy Hollow is the fifth album by the American indie rock band Cursive. It was released on August 22, 2006, on Saddle Creek Records. Saddle Creek Records began shipping pre-orders on August 8, 2006. The album is named after a neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska.

<i>Help Wanted Nights</i> 2007 studio album by The Good Life

Help Wanted Nights is the fourth album by the Omaha-based band The Good Life, released on September 11, 2007 on Saddle Creek Records. Currently, frontman Tim Kasher has moved to Los Angeles and has written a screenplay entitled Help Wanted Nights. He has stated that the screenplay acts as a 'counterpart' to the album:

I tried to have the songs be less storytelling, and less narrative...since I was writing this fictionalized counterpart to this thing, I kind of liked the idea of writing songs to [exist] more as ideas that complement something else that was written. I tried to focus less on narrative and more on those big ideas.

<i>The Game of Monogamy</i> 2010 studio album by Tim Kasher

The Game of Monogamy is the first solo album by Cursive and The Good Life frontman Tim Kasher. It was released on 5 October 2010 in the UK.

<i>Everybodys Coming Down</i> 2015 studio album by The Good Life

Everybody's Coming Down is the fifth studio album by indie-rock band The Good Life, released on August 14, 2015 on Saddle Creek Records.

<i>Bigamy: More Songs from the Monogamy Sessions</i> 2011 EP by Tim Kasher

Bigamy: More Songs from the Monogamy Session is a solo extended play album by Tim Kasher of the bands Cursive and The Good Life. The album was released on August 16, 2011 on Saddle Creek Records for download and physical copies were sold on tour only. Tracks from the album were written during the same period as Kasher's debut solo album, The Game of Monogamy, released on Saddle Creek in 2010. Songs from Bigamy were recorded after the ones from Monogamy, with the exception of "A Bluer Sea", which was recorded as a song for Monogamy. The EP also has a cover of "Trees Keep Growing" by Saddle Creek label mate Azure Ray from their second album, Burn and Shiver.


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