Aug. 21, 2003

Cursive to Write Its Way Through Chicago

By Randy J. Klodz

The band name Cursive may first sound like something a lesson from the educational “School House Rock” children’s series but the quintet from Omaha, Neb. will once again unleash its brand of cello and organ-infused rock when the band hits Chicago’s Metro on Sept. 12.

Cursive—which includes Tim Kasher (vocals, guitar, organ), Ted Stevens (guitar, vocals), Matt Maginn (bass), Clint Schnase (drums) and Gretta Cohn (cello)—is currently touring behind “The Ugly Organ” which was released in March on Saddle Creek Records.

For this initial leg of the tour, the Seattle-based screamsters the Blood Brothers will warm the stage for Cursive. This may seem like an odd selection for a talented hardcore act such as the Blood Brothers to be opening for a solid rock band that includes a cello in its strings section, but Stevens can make the connection.

“We’re really trying to expand our fan base and they have a really good draw amongst the younger crowd as well as we do,” said Stevens. “There is some crossover, I think, in the crowd. They’ve kind of told us that, now that they’ve been out on the road, that they are getting a great response from their fans like, ‘Yeah it’s great you’re coming back with Cursive.’ Hopefully it works both ways.’”

The band’s crafty instrumentation is the root of what makes Cursive stand out in a crowd full of indie rockers and low-key rock all-stars. Songs such as “Butcher the Song” and “A Gentleman Caller” glisten with heavy guitar rifts, high and low vocals and sarcastic yet poignant lyrics.

“Butcher the Song” starts out heavy and then simmers to close with the lyrics: “The organ’s playing my song / but this song’s gone on too long / What a day to sever such ugly extremities / ‘What a lovely day,” says the butcher as he raises his arm.”

Metro is at 3730 N. Clark St. Tickets for this all-ages show are listed for $12 each. Show time is scheduled for a start at 6:30 p.m. For more information on Cursive log on to

Cursive Photo: Saddle Creek