The Pauses, Campdogzz
Sat · October 27, 2018
$16.00 - $18.00
Tickets at the Door
This event is all ages
All patrons must have a valid form of identification present, regardless of age, at the time of entry for all 18+ and 21+ shows and events.
No backpacks, large bags or large purses allowed. Maximum Size 4.5′ x 6.5"
No professional audio/visual or any digital recording equipment will be allowed into the venue, without prior permission and arrangements. You must be on the artist photo pass list in order to enter with cameras with detachable lenses.https://www.foundation-presents.com/event/1744702/
Cursive has naturally developed a pattern of releasing new music every three years, creating records not out of obligation, but need, with the mindset that each record could potentially be their last. 2015 came and went, however, and the band remained silent for their longest period to date. But the members of Cursive have remained busy with solo records, a movie (the Kasher-penned and directed No Resolution), and running businesses (the band collectively owns and operates hometown Omaha’s mainstay bar/venue, O’Leaver’s). The band even launched their own label, 15 Passenger, through which they’re steadily reissuing their remastered back catalogue, as well as new albums by Kasher, Campdogzz, and David Bazan and Sean Lane. And like many others, the band members have been caught up in the inescapable state of confusion and instability that plagues their home country, and seems to grow more chaotic with each passing day.
Which brings us to 2018 and Vitriola. For the first time since Happy Hollow, the album reunites Kasher, guitarist/singer Ted Stevens and bassist Matt Maginn with founding drummer Clint Schnase, as well as co-producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, M. Ward, Jenny Lewis) at ARC Studios in Omaha. They’re joined by Patrick Newbery on keys (who’s been a full-time member for years) and touring mainstay Megan Siebe on cello. Schnase and Maginn are in rare form, picking up right where they left off with a rhythmic lockstep of viscera-vibrating bass and toms, providing a foundation for Kasher and Stevens’ intertwining guitars and Newbery and Siebe’s cinematic flourishes. The album runs the sonic gamut between rich, resonant melodicism, Hitchcockian anxiety, and explosive catharsis -- and no Cursive album would be complete without scream-along melodies and lyrics that, upon reflection, make for unlikely anthems.
There’s a palpable unease that wells beneath Vitriola’s simmering requiems and fist-shakers. Fiery opener “Free To Be or Not To Be You and Me” reflects the album’s core: a search for meaning that keeps coming up empty, and finding the will to keep going despite the fear of a dark future. The album directs frustration and anger at not only modern society and the universe at large, but also inward towards ourselves. On “Under the Rainbow,” disquiet boils into rage that indicts the complacency of the privileged classes; “Ghost Writer” has a catchy pulse that belies Kasher chastising himself for writing about writing; and “Noble Soldier/Dystopian Lament” is a haunting look at potential societal collapse that provides little in the way of hope but balances beauty and horror on the head of a pin.
Vitriola raises a stark question: is this it? Is everything simply broken, leaving us hopeless and nihilistic? Maybe not. There can be reassurance in commiseration, and the album is deeply relatable: Cursive may not be offering the answers, but there is hope in knowing you're not alone in the chaos.
On Unbuilding, the Pauses have evolved their collaborative songwriting, and few tracks show the pop heft of that effort as well as “Digital Detox.” It slams you almost like a wall of sound, with Tough’s typically clear-as-a-bell vocal distorted to great effect, evoking ‘60s girl groups with warped sensibilities. Trumpets, timpani, cello, theremin and electronic elements are called upon to create the Pauses’ authentic sound, and then whisked away to allow the vocals space, as in the sparse, unusual dreamscape on “Had/Have.” Other times, the sound can bound in bilateral increments, like the playful piano to guitar crush of “The Means.” Their range is key, with loud live rockers like “Don’t Wake Me Up” and “Animus?”, which is particularly intense as it dangles wildly at the album’s end and concludes, “What a way to feel nothing real.” That line evokes an overarching theme of the album, which gazes into the black mirror and is smart enough not to take it seriously. Songs like “Eventually, Everything Connects,” “Digital Detox” and “Don’t Wake Me Up” suggest a rebellion against the online drone, with lines that invite you to throw your arms up and sing out, “I don’t need the details shoved down my throat.”
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