by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
I’ve read the description of Cursive’s new concept album, I Am Gemini, a half dozen times and it’s still disturbing. The story: Twin brothers separated at birth, one good and one evil, have an unexpected reunion that “ignites a classic struggle for the soul, played out with a cast of supporting characters that includes a chorus of angels and devils, and twin sisters CONJOINED AT THE HEAD” (The all-caps are mine, although I would suggest the fine folks at Cobra Camanda Publicity use all-caps in future press releases, if only for effect).
Maybe someone can explain why the first thing to pop into my head was the classic Star Trek episode, “Let That Be Your Battlefield,” which featured Frank Gorshin, more famous for his role as The Riddler (maybe because I’m a nerd?). So combine that with the best parts of Angels in America, Ordinary People, Stuck on You and Erasurehead, and you’ve got a first-rate concept album.
Seriously though, this sounds like Cursive’s most ambitious concept album since, well, their last concept album. Just the idea of making a concept album seems ambitious in an age when young listeners are more likely to download a single track rather than an entire album. But you have to remember that frontman and primary songwriter Tim Kasher also is a playwright, and judging by the press release, approached this one with a story in mind, having “wrote album lyrics in a linear fashion, in order, from song 1 to song 13.”
We’ll all have to wait until Feb. 21 when Saddle Creek Records releases the album to hear how it all worked out, unless of course Cursive does a “secret show” somewhere around town as a warm-up for the support tour, which kicks off in Denver Feb. 12. You have to wonder if the band will perform the entire record as a rock opera, a la The Who’s Tommy or Styx’s Paradise Theater. Imagine Ted Stevens and Matt Maginn in full drag playing the entire set forehead-to-forehead. OK, now that’s entertainment.
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Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s our old friends The Appleseed Cast, with Hospital Ships and local chamber rockers Skypiper. $12, 9 p.m.
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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
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