Cursive “The Recluse”

Mike Malone
Add Date:
May 5, 2004


Hello everybody! Its Andy Gesner and the staff from HIP Video Promo finally home from my 34 day HIP Video Promo National Tour 2004 and very pumped to present to you the third (and my personal favorite) video from our pals Cursive. It’s been our great pleasure to promote videos by this ambitious and accomplished quintet, and we’re excited to draw your attention to the latest clip from this much talked about Omaha based band.

Positive response to the videos for “Some Red Handed Sleight Of Hand” and “Art Is Hard” compelled the group to create a third from the critically acclaimed The Ugly Organ CD (Saddle Creek). The vid for “The Recluse” comes to you as they start their nationwide “Plea for Peace” tour: part music, part spoken word and all about the socially aware aesthetic of getting the public out to vote. We must be the change we wish to see in this world and Cursive hopes to reach out to the youth of America to espouse the importance of having our voices heard.

Since the 1995 release of the landmark “Disruption” seven-inch on Saddle Creek, Cursive has been one of the most popular and uncompromising independent-label acts in America. They’ve done it by staying true to their initial mission – gut-wrenching, unflinchingly honest, confessional rock music. Just as 2001’s harrowing Domestica painted a vivid portrait of a disintegrating relationship,The Ugly Organ follows its narrator through the self-loathing and empty sexual encounters in the wake of a break-up. Throughout, singer Tim Kasher’s impassioned, straight-to-the-heart vocals join off-kilter calliope, Gretta Cohn’s plaintive cello and thunderous, chaotic drums and guitar to create one of indie rock’s most unique albums.

“The Recluse” might not be the centerpiece of The Ugly Organ, but it is a bitter distillation of one of the album’s central concerns: the disorientation that comes with sleeping around. Over a gorgeous, aching track reminiscent of the Cure, Kasher spins out reflections and regrets from the bed of a woman he hardly knows. Desperate, rueful, self-interrogating, his voice heavy with uncertainty and regret, he examines his own behavior with the articulate fury so characteristic of Cursive.

Equal parts nightmare and B-movie homage, the video for “The Recluse” is claustrophobic, paranoid, self-referential and darkly humorous. Playing on the spider and vampire imagery in Kasher’s lyrics, director Mike Malone casts Todd Baechle, singer/frontman for The Faint as a horror-movie victim – prostrate before the object of his affection, penned in by his own desire. Yet Kasher is conscious of his own complicity: he sees himself, and his lover, caricatured in a black-and-white TV movie. Waiting, stranded in an unfamiliar bed, his fears are paraded before him on the small screen of the television, and, by extension, on the big screen of his consciousness.

Those who championed the videos for “Some Red-Handed Sleight Of Hand” and “Art Is Hard” will recognize the Cursive visual tone: shadowed, mysterious, intelligent, threatening, maybe a little arch. These are art pieces; conceptual and challenging, perfectly suiting the signature musical style of this important act. This clip for “The Recluse” extends the group’s winning streak. Through these videos, Cursive continues to find ways to enrich the meaning of an already complex – but always compelling – full-length album.

If the coherence of the project has solidified Cursive’s artistic reputation, relentless touring and ferocious live performances have built the group a devoted and expanding following throughout the country. Fans of the group are hardcore: the Cursive Army expands with every performance and every release. Cognizant of the band’s effect on its audience, Cursive has taken their cache on the much anticipated “Plea for Peace” tour. If you would like to be in attendance, interview the band or have any Cursive needs that have not been fulfilled, please get in touch. Call me at 732-613-1779, or email

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For info on Cursive’s previous video “Red Handed Slight of Hand” click HERE

For info on Cursive’s previous video “Art Is Hard” click HERE