IF YOU GO
Who: Tim Kasher with Laura Stevenson, The Brigadiers
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St.
Tickets: $11 at etix.com, Homer's Music or the door
Information: onepercentproductions.com or 402-884-5353
* * *
Tim Kasher is very much freaking out.
On the Cursive frontman's new solo album, he sings “I know, I know, I know the end is near … I truly believe the sky is falling down.”
Aptly titled “Truly Freaking Out,” the song deals with death — but not necessarily Kasher's — amid a rolling rhythm, peppy keyboard notes and all those “I knows” in a singalong cadence.
From his Chicago home, Kasher calmly told me by phone about his new album, “Adult Film,” which comes out Tuesday on Saddle Creek Records.
“As we're getting older, it seems clear that any given phone call from your mother, it could be that it's bad news,” the Omaha native said.
Full of rock and pop, “Adult Film” is much more accessible than much of Cursive's sharp and bombastic rock. As a solo artist, Kasher presents his vocals pretty straightforwardly; with Cursive, his singing often turns to near-howling.
Kasher didn't let an overarching theme take over the record, even if some of the songs deal with relationships, death and other major life issues. His focus was on writing enough songs for a record, and he started creating these songs almost immediately after finishing the last Cursive release.
“Adult Film” is less classically orchestrated than his first solo album, 2010's “The Game of Monogamy.” It is straight ahead keyboards, guitar and drums without horns and strings.
“Not that I wanted it to be a raw acoustic album, but spare in the sense that I wanted to stay on top of the excess bells and whistles that can be easy to add into an album or into a song,” Kasher said.
“American Lit,” “Truly Freaking Out” and “A Looping Distress Signal” are the album's rockers, and they're cut with the acoustic “A Raincloud is a Raincloud” and the meandering piano ballad “Where's Your Heart Lie.”
Kasher, now 39, is still making music and writing — he has a number of screenplays and short stories to his credits — 25 years after he started. He's happy, but his reality doesn't quite match up with his dream. It's even better.
Kasher thought maybe he'd be a college professor and still write and make music on the side, but he's had enough success to be able to be a writer for a living.
“I'm definitely happier,” Kasher told me. “I love being able to set my own rules. I make sure that I'm writing all the time. Had I ended up working at a university, it would all be for the end result to get as much time to write.”