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Cursive fills the Troubador with indie rock

It was standing room only at the Troubadour in Los Angeles earlier this month for a special, one-night-only show from popular indie rockers Cursive.

At the beginning of the night, the Eastern Conference Champions took the

stage. The Pennsylvanian trio features John Ostrander on

vocals and guitar, Greg Lyons on drums and synth and Vern on bass. They play “sleazy ‘stache rock,” according to bassist Vern, with a style of writing that will make you want to dance and then punch someone in the face because they are rocking so hard.

The ECC began to play some very catchy tunes that the entire crowd seemed to be into. The lead singer’s polished, almost Thom Yorke-ish voice and the vibrant sound of his guitar meshed well with the well-written bass lines and dead-on drums.

In between songs the band plugged their new EP, which supposedly came with a copy of the new gay porn feature film Vern starred in. In retrospect, I’m a little sad I didn’t purchase it…for the music, of course.

The ECC had great onstage chemistry and a fresh new sound that is rarely seen in the rest of the “sleazy ‘stashe rock” bands that are out today. They were an awesome live band, and a perfect choice to complement and primer the band that followed.

The Parson Red Heads took the stage next, with thier caravan of band members and special guest “Parsons.” Although there are seven permanent members of the group, on this night there were a total of nine people on stage.

The Parson Red Heads seemed to be the love child of The Polyphonic Spree and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, with their slew of members and upbeat songs mixed with an underground ’60s rock influence.

When the band began to play, they pumped up the crowd with an upbeat tune. I found myself wondering how a band can function so well with three guitar players and three tambourine players? Anybody would think that would be way too many layers of sound for any band, but it was apparent that they pulled it off seeing how many people in the crowd were dancing and clapping.

The only strange thing about the band was that there was an odd-looking older guy who mostly played tambourine and looked like he had a hard time jiving with the music. Other than that, they were an excellent band with a good show and catchy tunes.

Finally, around 10:15 p.m. Cursive took the stage led by a surprisingly sober Tim Kasher. Not to say that an intoxicated Kasher isn’t funny or a good performer, but the last couple times I have seen the band he was pretty hammered.

Cursive opened with the second song off its latest album “Happy Hollow” called “Dorothy at Forty.” It continued to enthrall the crowd with its usual favorites such as “Art is Hard,” “Rise Up,” “The Recluse” and “Sierra.”

In support of the brass lineup of “Happy Hollow,” Cursive brought some horn players from Chicago to the show, making the majority of the band no longer from Omaha, Neb. For some reason Clint, the latest drummer, was substituted by another Chicagoan.

In between songs, Kasher and second guitarist Ted Stevens had a battle over who loves Los Angeles the most. Ted said he loved L.A. so much that he wanted to make 100 babies and raise them here, to which Tim retorted, “Ted Stevens wants to overpopulate Los Angeles!”

The whole argument lasted about 15 minutes and ended up at a discussion about “Mexighetti,” which is a combination of spaghetti noodles, nacho cheese and jalapeño peppers. Afterward they promptly resumed the great music.

This show also made Cursive history because this was the first time the band let a fan propose to his girlfriend during a show, which has been asked of them several times apparently.

Cursive fans are the best fans in music. They are generally the nicest people, and during the show they feel the music and groove to it. This show was no exception. The entire crowd was constantly moving and singing. It was another great Cursive show to go down in the books.

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