Clint Schnase on his return to Cursive; Baby Tears, Techlepathy tonight; Orenda Fink Sunday…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , — @ 12:59 pm May 27, 2011
The classic Cursive lineup, from left, Matt Maginn, Clint Schnase, Ted Stevens and Tim Kasher.

The classic Cursive lineup, from left, Matt Maginn, Clint Schnase, Ted Stevens and Tim Kasher.

by Tim McMahan,

This is what I wrote back in March 2007 when I found out that drummer Clint Schnase had left seminal Omaha rock band Cursive:

Schnase is probably the most under-rated and under-appreciated musician in the Omaha music scene. His drumming is at the core of Cursive’s explosively rhythmic music, the bedrock along with Matt Maginn’s bass on which all of Cursive’s bombastic sonic freak-outs are built. He won’t be easily replaced, and those of you who never had a chance to see and feel his white-knuckled stickwork live on stage are the lesser for it.

I thought that was the end of Schnase in Cursive. I was wrong.

This week the folks who run the MAHA Music Festival announced that Schnase would be returning to Cursive for one night only, for the band’s festival performance Aug. 13.

Schnase said the opportunity to rejoin his comrades was a matter of timing.

“When MAHA announced that Cursive was playing I sent a text to Matt to say congrats on getting the invite,” Schnase said. “He mentioned to me that Cully (Symington, one of the drummers who replaced Schnase along with Cornbread Compton) was not going to be able to play and asked if I wanted to fill in for the night. I don’t think he believed me when I said yes. He had offered me a show here and there over the past however many years and the timing just wasn’t right. This time it has just fallen into place.”

But anyone who has ever seen the shock-and-awe power of Schnase knows that he couldn’t just pick up where he left off four years ago; it would be like Michael Jordan walking off the golf course and strolling onto the court to rejoin the Bulls without so much as a practice under his belt (and the Bulls could have used Jordan last night). Muscles must be rebuilt, power must be restored.  Schnase knows this.

“I have been playing in a cover band (the Weezer tribute band Pinkerton with another former Cursive member, Steve Pedersen) for three months now,” Schnase said. “It has been so much fun! I told the guys after our first practice that it felt like I had just played yesterday when in reality it had been three plus years. We have a show at The Waiting Room coming up on June 11.”

No doubt Schnase will be ready, but is this really just a one-and-done show with Cursive?

“Yes,” Schnase said. “(I’m) not ready to jump back into the whole touring world. Don’t know that I ever will be. I enjoyed nearly every minute I got to tour and share music with people, but I think that chapter is closed. I stepped away from it to start a family and settle down. I have a two-and-a-half year old girl (Eleanor) and she is my world now. I stay home and take care of her. I’m in a great place.”

Still, it must have been as weird for Schnase (as it was for me) seeing someone else playing drums with his former band. Schnase said it did feel “strange, but it thrills me to no end that the boys are still out there making music and touring. We had an amazing run but I think you can expect even better things from them in the years to come.”

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Speaking of MAHA, festival organizers announced yesterday that local electronica band Somasphere has been added to the local stage.

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Now, onto the three-day weekend…

Tonight at The Hole (located behind Subway, via the alley entrance, in Benson) it’s Bullet Proof Hearts, Baby Tears, Dads, and Scratch Howl. If you haven’t checked out this new all-ages venue, tonight’s the night. 7:30, $5.

Meanwhile, over at O’Leaver’s, it’s Techlepathy, Qing Jao and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Out west at Shamrock’s, 5338 N 103rd St., Ragged Company headlines a show with Traveling Mercies and The Fergesens. 9 p.m., no idea on the cover.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Hot Shops is hosting a fund raiser from 3 to 10 p.m. that will feature music from Matt Cox, Southpaw Bluegrass Band, Whiskey Pistols, a DJ set from The Faint’s Jacob Thiele with Depressed Buttons. Find out more at the event’s Facebook page.!/event.php?eid=204013532959380

Also Saturday night Fortnight plays with Blue Bird and Betsy Wells at Stir Lounge at Harrah’s Casino. $5, 9 p.m.

At O’Leaver’s, Snake Island plays with The Spook Lights and Sleepers. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And let’s not forget Primus playing in Benson outside The Waiting Room Saturday night with The Dead Kenny G’s. $32.50 adv/$35 DOS. Starts at 7:30.

Finally Sunday, perhaps the most under-the-radar show of the weekend, Orenda Fink plays at The Barley Street Tavern with Whispertown (solo) and McCarthy Trenching. How the Barley will pull this off with its limited capacity is anyone’s guess. This is a “do not miss” show. $5, 9 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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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