Cursive (band)

Cursive (band)

Cursive performing at the 2007 Siren Music Festival
Background information
Origin Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Genres Post-hardcore,[1][2] indie rock
Years active 1995–1998, 1999–present
Labels Saddle Creek
Tim Kasher
Matt Maginn
Ted Stevens
Cully Symington
Past members
Clint Schnase
Gretta Cohn
Steve Pedersen
Cornbread Compton

Cursive is an American indie rock band from Omaha, Nebraska,[3] on Saddle Creek Records.



The band was formed in 1995 by Tim Kasher, Matt Maginn, Steve Pedersen (all formerly of Slowdown Virginia), and drummer Clint Schnase. In 1997, they released Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes. After a couple years of touring, the band broke up in 1998.[4] They "posthumously" released The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song in the fall of that year. A year later, in the summer of 1999, the band re-formed. Pedersen had started law school[4] and later formed The White Octave, so Ted Stevens (formerly of Lullaby for the Working Class) stepped in and joined the band. In 2000, their album Domestica, a concept album, gained them much attention from fans and critics.

Cursive added Gretta Cohn (on cello) in 2001; the strings added complementary sounds to that summer's Burst and Bloom. In 2002, the band toured on the Take Action! Tour.

Saddle Creek Records released The Ugly Organ in 2003. Music magazine Rolling Stone gave the album a 4-star rating,[5] while alternative music magazine Alternative Press rated the album a perfect 5 out of 5.[6] In 2004, The Cure selected Cursive to tour with them on their Curiosa tour, alongside Interpol, The Rapture, Mogwai, Scarling., and The Cooper Temple Clause. Afterwards, the band went on hiatus, with no specified return date.[7]

The label put out a compilation album of unreleased songs and B-sides, The Difference Between Houses and Homes, on August 9, 2005. In mid-2005, Gretta left the band to pursue other musical opportunities,[8] and has since formed the Brooklyn, NY-based band Twin Thousands. Instead of replacing her, the band remained four-piece.

After Cursive's hiatus, Saddle Creek announced that Kasher had temporarily stopped his work on his side project, The Good Life, to start recording an album with Cursive. The album, Happy Hollow (named for the Dundee-Happy Hollow Historic District in Omaha, Nebraska), was released on August 22, 2006. Its first single was Dorothy at Forty, released on July 11, 2006. With this album, Kasher turned his focus away from self-reflective lyrics to concentrate on what he thought were bad politics, empty suburban lives, and religious hypocrisy[citation needed]. Music Magazines Spin, URB, Time Out New York, and Blender gave the record a 4 star rating, and Rolling Stone gave the album a 3.5-star rating[citation needed], while alternative music magazine Alternative Press rated the album a perfect 5 out of 5,[9] saying “Cursive haven't just redefined their sound—they've transcended it.” Happy Hollow features a five-piece horn section, adding new texture and redefining the bands sound.

In October following the release, the band revealed plans to bring audience participation to its catalog, offering fans a chance to remix its song "Bad Sects" through a competition on the website; the finalist is scheduled to appear as a B-side on an upcoming Cursive single.[10]

Cursive's most recent album Mama, I'm Swollen was released on March 10, 2009 on Saddle Creek Records.

Cursive made their network television performance debut on March 13, 2009 on Late Show with David Letterman, playing "From The Hips".

On the 16th November 2011, they announced that the follow-up to their album Mama, I'm Swollen will be called I Am Gemini and will be released on February 21, 2012.

Band members

  • Tim Kasher – lead vocals, organ, keyboards, guitars (1995–present)
  • Ted Stevens – guitars, backing vocals (1999–present)
  • Matt Maginn – bass (1995–present)
  • Cully Symington – drums, percussion (2009–present)


Cursive discography
Studio albums 6
Compilation albums 1
EPs 6
Singles 8
Music videos 11
Other appearances 4

The discography of Cursive consists of six studio albums, one compilation album, six EPs, eight singles, and eleven music videos.

Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions
Billboard 200
1997 Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes[14]
  • Released: September 9, 1997
  • Label: Crank!
  • Format: CD, LP
1998 The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song[15]
2000 Domestica[16]
  • Released: 2000
  • Label: Saddle Creek
  • Format: CD, LP
2003 The Ugly Organ[17]
  • Released: March 4, 2003
  • Label: Saddle Creek
  • Format: CD, LP
9 227 19
2006 Happy Hollow[18]
  • Released: August 22, 2006
  • Label: Saddle Creek
  • Format: CD, LP
96 8 96
2009 Mama, I'm Swollen[19]
  • Released: March 10, 2009
  • Label: Saddle Creek
  • Format: CD, LP
104 11
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Compilation albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions
2005 The Difference Between Houses and Homes[21] 37 296 21


Year Album details
1996 The Disruption
1998 The Icebreaker 7"
  • Released: 1998
  • Label: Saddle Creek
  • Format: EP
1999 Silver Scooter / Cursive[22]
  • Released: May 4, 1999
  • Label: Crank!
  • Format: EP, CD
2001 Burst and Bloom[23]
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: Saddle Creek
  • Format: EP, CD
2002 8 Teeth to Eat You[24]
2009 Cursive / Ladyfinger (ne)[25]
  • Released: April 18, 2009
  • Label: Saddle Creek
  • Format: EP


Year Single Album
1997 "Sucker and Dry" n/a
2001 Small Brown Bike / Cursive
2003 "Art Is Hard"[26] The Ugly Organ
2004 "The Recluse"[27]
2006 "Dorothy at Forty"[28] Happy Hollow
2007 "Bad Sects"[29]
"Big Bang"[30]
2010 "Discovering America"[31] n/a
"n/a" denotes singles that are not from albums.

Other appearances

The following Cursive songs were released on compilation and tribute albums. This is not an exhaustive list; songs that were first released on the band's albums, EPs, or singles are not included.

Year Release details Track(s)
1999 Linoma II: Riot on the Plains[32]
  • Released: 1999
  • Label: -ismist
  • Format: CD
  • "Pivotal" (demo)
2003 Saddle Creek 50[33]
  • "Nonsense"
2004 How Soon Is Now?[34]
  • Released: October 26, 2004
  • Label: Sorepoint
  • Format: CD
  • "Frankly, Mr. Shankly"
    (originally performed by The Smiths)
2005 Lagniappe[35]
  • Released: October 25, 2005
  • Label: Saddle Creek
  • Format: CD
  • "Ten Percent to the Ten Percent"

Music videos

Year Song Director Album
2003 "Bloody Murderer" Todd G. Bieber The Ugly Organ
"Some Red Handed Sleight of Hand"[36] Jun Kawaguchi
"Art Is Hard"[37] Travis John Dopp
2004 "The Recluse"[38] Mike Malone
2005 "A Disruption in the Normal Swing of Things"[39] Rob Walters The Difference Between Houses and Homes
2006 "Dorothy at Forty"[40] Michael Grodner Happy Hollow
2007 "Big Bang"[41] David Johnson
"Bad Sects" Nik Fackler
2009 "From the Hips"[42] Michael Grodner Mama, I'm Swollen
"I Couldn't Love You"[43]
"Let Me Up"[44] Evan Glodell


  1. ^ "Video Premiere: Cursive, 'Big Bang'". Spinner. 2007-03-06. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  2. ^ D'Angelo, Peter J.. "Cursive - Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved May 12, 2011. 
  3. ^ Ambrose, Anthony. "inTuneMusic Online: Cursive / The Love Language @ Hoboken 8/6". Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  4. ^ a b Jason Kulbel & Rob Walters (directors) (2005). Spend an Evening with Saddle Creek (documentary video). Plexifilm. 
  5. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa (2003-04-03). "The Ugly Organ : Review". Rolling Stone (919). Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  6. ^ "The Ugly Organ : Review". Alternative Press. 2003-04-01. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  7. ^ "Saddle Creek Records". Retrieved 2006-12-27. 
  8. ^ "Cellist Gretta Cohn leaves Cursive". 2005-08-24. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  9. ^ Karan, Tim (2006-12-05). "The Da Vinci Code for Indie Rockers". Alternative Press. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  10. ^ "Bad Sects Remix Contest". Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Cursive: Charts & Awards: Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  12. ^ "Cursive Album & Song Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard charts. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  13. ^ a b "Cursive Album & Song Chart History: Independent Albums". Billboard charts. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  14. ^ D'Angelo, Peter J.. "Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  15. ^ Dabkowski, Brendan. "The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  16. ^ Strickler, Yancey. "Domestica". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  17. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "The Ugly Organ". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  18. ^ Brown, Marisa. "Happy Hollow". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  19. ^ Lymangrover, Jason. "Mama, I'm Swollen". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  20. ^ "Cursive Album & Song Chart History: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard charts. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  21. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "The Difference Between Houses and Homes: Lost Songs and Loose Ends 1995-2001". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  22. ^ Huey, Steve. "Silver Scooter & Cursive". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  23. ^ Morris, Curt. "Burst and Bloom". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  24. ^ Cramer, Stephen. "Eight Teeth to Eat You". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  25. ^ "Cursive/Ladyfinger (ne) - Record Store Day Picture 10". Saddle Creek Records. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  26. ^ "Art Is Hard/Sinners Serenade". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  27. ^ "The Recluse". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  28. ^ "Dorothy at Forty (Single)". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  29. ^ "Bad Sects". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  30. ^ "Big Bang". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  31. ^ "Cursive – 'Discovering America' (Stereogum Premiere)". Stereogum. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  32. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. "Linoma, Vol. 2: Riot on the Plains". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  33. ^ Sendra, Tim. "Saddle Creek 50". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  34. ^ Wilson, MacKenzie. "How Soon Is Now?: The Songs of the Smiths By...". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  35. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "Lagniappe: A Saddle Creek Benefit for Hurricane Katrina". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  36. ^ "Some Red Handed Sleight of Hand". Cursive. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  37. ^ "Art Is Hard". Cursive. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  38. ^ "The Recluse". Cursive. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  39. ^ "A Disruption in the Normal Swing of Things". Cursive. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  40. ^ "Dorothy at Forty". Cursive. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  41. ^ "Big Bang". Cursive. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  42. ^ "From the Hips". Cursive. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  43. ^ "I Couldn't Love You". Cursive. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  44. ^ "Let Me Up". Cursive. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 

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