NAME: Cursive
PROGRESS REPORT: Sequencing their sixth studio LP, Mama, I’m Swollen, recorded at Mike Mogis’ ARC Studios, for release in Spring 2009.

“We’re in that screwed-around-too-long-something’s-gonna-break phase,” says Cursive bassist Matt Maginn. This time it’s not the band — though Cursive dissolves and reforms after each album, they’re past that decision and wrapping up Mama, I’m Swollen. They already finished recording at Mike Mogis’ Omaha studio and they’ve mastered individual tracks. Picking the order’s been the challenge. “I think [the album] really sounds like the band going into a different phase from the beginning to the end,” Maginn explains. They’re deciding how to balance those phases.

According to Maginn, Mama, I’m Swollen sounds most like Cursive’s first two records; it’s darker and more melancholy — though not all melancholy, says Tim Kasher. “If there’s anything I can recognize, it’s moodier, certainly moodier than Happy Hollow. We were searching to go in such a far direction from [2003's] The Ugly Organ that [Happy Hollow] was kinda bashed out, brighter overall,” Kasher says. “This time around we didn’t have any previous records that we hated so much that we had to go so grossly in the opposite direction.” For the record, Kasher says he doesn’t hate The Ugly Organ, though he seems uncomfortable rehashing past albums as much as past line-ups.

Maginn and Kasher have different methods of talking about their new album and old band — Maginn is self-deprecating, Kasher, a little more self-conscious. But now that half of Cursive left Omaha (Maginn lives in Missouri and works for Team Love, Kasher is in Los Angeles, recording solo and writing screenplays) their planning and discussions happen in short bursts. Mama, I’m Swollen’s songs were really polished by playing them live. “Just being forced to know it well enough to not fuck it up live brings it closer to you,” says Maginn of their last few “mostly new stuff” shows. Kasher wrote “pretty nonstop” just to have completed songs ready for the band. “There’s a decent amount of money, flying everybody in and putting everybody up,” he says. “If I were to fuck off one month and go off on some kind of tangent and then everybody shows up and there’s no songs, I would have been in a lot of trouble.” Right now Maginn’s favorite song from Mama, I’m Swollen is one of its “odd” ones, “Let Me Up.” Cursive debuted the song on Daytrotter back in May. Kasher says the track hasn’t changed since the Daytrotter session, though “Let Me Up” did need “a lot of extra fun epic production.” It was not only epic, but cinematic as well. “We used a gong. I swore to Ted [Stevens] that I wouldn’t ever reveal that because he was really embarrassed,” Kasher says. “It reminded me of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which is precisely why he thought it was a bad idea.”

Unordered Mama, I’m Swollen tracklist:
“Couldn’t Love You Anymore”
“From the Hips”
“In The Now”
“Going To Hell”
“Let Me Up”
“Mama, I’m Satan”
“Mama, I’m Swollen”
“What Have I Done”

You can catch the band on tour this winter:
1/14 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
1/15 – Marquette, MI @ Northern Michigan U
1/16 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s
1/17 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
1/18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Hall
1/19 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
1/21 – Columbus, OH @ The Summit
1/22 – Columbia, MO @ Mojos
1/23 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
1/24 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
3/09 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg


If there’s a band you want Progress Report to drag out of the studio, or bed, for an update, shout out in the comments or e-mail

Comments (14)
  1. chris  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2008 0

    band of horses, seabear, yeasayer, arctic monkeys, chris garneau please.

  2. oceanRain  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2008 0

    Small world. Was arguing the merits of Domestica vs. The Ugly Organ the last night. We decided they were both awesome, before, y’know, things got ugly.

  3. Philip  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2008 0

    Thank you.

  4. christian  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2008 0

    it’s a shame they aren’t too hot on the ugly organ. it’s their masterpiece!

  5. Evan  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2008 0

    Pretty excited for this new record!!

  6. Jonny the Boy  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2008 0

    Hail Social, Foreign Born, Octoberman, The Comas

  7. Rentals. Please. Thank you.

  8. I was very curious about how this was coming along, thanks!

  9. What ever happened to Greta from Cursive? Wasn’t she supposed to go solo?

  10. Nate  |   Posted on Dec 18th, 2008 0

    Listen, Mark. I’m pretty sure Matt Sharp has a listed number in Los Angeles and he is waiting for anyone to call.

  11. drew  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    yeah I guess gretta was supposed to go solo but I haven’t heard anything about it. I hope this album is great. I love everything Kasher. The Good Life…whew!

  12. daver  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    SONIC YOUTH, please and thank you. new album in a few months?

  13. Ralph Nader  |   Posted on Dec 24th, 2008 0

    i stopped caring after i heard Happy Hollow- that album blows. What is going on with their album/track titles ? “Mama, I’m Swollen”… ? There’s more than 1 person on this planet that can agree to use that title ?

  14. Porkspam  |   Posted on Dec 26th, 2008 0

    John Frusciante, Pigface, anything with Mike patton

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