Tim Kasher Confronts His Past

August 25th, 2011

Tim Kasher – Mercury Lounge – August 24, 2011

Mercury Lounge is the perfect venue for Tim Kasher. It’s as intimate and dark as his first solo record, The Game of Monogamy. He’s got a lot in common with close friend and fellow Omaha, Neb., native, Conor Oberst, and both have made a living exposing their most personal moments through their own clever sort of masochism. No stranger to raw, theatrical catharsis, Kasher has repeatedly drawn inspiration from his own life. The concept album Domestica—done with Cursive—resulted from a bitter divorce, and the follow-up, The Ugly Organ, was written after a collapsed lung left him bedridden for months.

For his latest solo album, most of which was played last night, Kasher’s traded some of the literal self-abusive displays of emotion from the Cursive days for a more subtle vocal delivery style and a beat-up acoustic guitar. His three-piece backing band provided an eclectic mix of trumpet, organ and melodica, but the sentiment is still the same: He’s plagued by “Bad, Bad Dreams” of doing bad things and there are “No Fireworks” left in the tattered shreds of his relationship. Railing against a cheating partner while pointing out his own Internet stalking of an ex-girlfriend from high school, he at least seems to be enjoying himself in the process, cracking jokes with the audience, even asking for suggestions after finishing the set list.

In this very public self-examination of failure and lust, Kasher is finally putting to words what a lot of those in attendance have been through in one form or another. He’s going to exorcise those demons in front of them every night, with the help of whatever was in that stainless-steel coffee thermos. —Jason Dean

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane |