10. letlive. - The Blackest Beautiful
9. Citizen - Youth
8. The Reign of Kindo - Play With Fire
7. The Dangerous Summer - Golden Record
6. Turnover - Magnolia
5. The National - Trouble Will Find Me
4. The 1975 - The 1975
3. Captain, We're Sinking - The Future Is Cancelled
2. The Wonder Years - The Greatest Generation
Cursive's The Ugly Organ came out ten years ago yesterday. This is not a nostalgic piece, I was four years old at that time. Rather, this is about my reactions to this record.
I picked it up from FYE because my brother had "The Recluse" on some of his old high school mixtapes, and he generally has pretty good taste in music. Generally. I had no reason to expect it to be good, and I honestly didn't. I got home, unwrapped this, Northstar's Pollyanna, and Thrice's If We Could Only See Us Now. I decided to put this on first since I'd no clue how it'd sound. The first track, "The Ugly Organist," was weird, being a fifty-second introduction rather than a real song. But when "Some Red-Handed Sleight of Hand" picked up, well, I actually said, "Wow," out loud.
Every song flowed seamlessly to the next. "Driftwood, A Fairy Tale" began with the spoken word sample and it was perhaps the strangest part of a song I'd ever heard. The transition from loud to quiet in "A Gentlemen Caller" came from nowhere. Hell, "Staying Alive" ends with three minutes of the exact same thing.
But what I loved most...the lyrics.
I'd never heard anything like it.
Tim Kasher's blatant, self-deprecating honesty is powerful in a whole different way than I was used to. "So why do I think I'm any different?/ I've been makin' money off my indifference/ we all pass the hat around/ this is my body/ this is the blood I found/ on my hands/ after I wrote this album/ play it off as stigmata/ for crossover fans/ some red-handed sleight of hand." That is a serious verse from this album. "Well here we go again/ the art of actin' weak/ fall in love to fail/ to boost your CD sales." Who the hell writes like that? Who the hell thinks to write like that?
Tim Kasher, and I'm glad he did.
He's writing about his life as a musician through music with a bitter honesty I doubt I've ever heard in lyricism before.
"So read on/ accuse me when you're done/ if it sounds like/ I did you wrong."
"Open your eyes so you can see through my disguise, bring you to your knees."
Thus is the chorus of "Cut Like Glass", a song I heard on a mixtape my brother had made years ago. This particular song stood out on a CD that also contained Stars Hide Fire and Finch. I looked up the lyrics and couldn't find it anywhere. I asked my brother (on Tumblr....) and he said it was LAnces Hero. After popping in two more mixtapes, I heard the songs, "Taurus & Leo" and "Your Ghost in Me". I searched on this website to find anything about them, and someone as selling new copies of their Only Motion That Matters EP.
Cut to yesterday, when I came home from school. I found a package bearing my name. When I opened it I found.............. Only Motion That Matters EP! (Now my avatar.) Pretty sweet.
Now today. I looked up the lyrics above, and eventually came to their PureVolume page. Only three songs were up, "The Only Motion That Matters", ""Taurus & Leo", and some song called "Cut Like Glass". That one I'd neer heard, so I clicked paly. And Then... "Open your eyes so you can see through my disguise, bring you to your knees." That was what I'd been looking for! I felt victorious.