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Friday, June 11, 2010

How The Good Life's Rock Resembles Messy Relationships

Posted By on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 9:26 AM

  • Chris Stevens

The Good Life

@Bottom of the Hill

June 10, 2010

Better than: Some bullshit escape

The anatomy of a messy relationship: Step 1. The first meeting. The Patron Saint of Messy Relationships, Mr. Tim Kasher, the driving force and lifeblood of Saddle Creek indie rock group the Good Life, climbed onto the miniscule Bottom of the Hill stage last night. Trailing behind him, a drummer, another guitarist, and a very pregnant bassist. Eyes squeezed shut, Kasher let out a signature holler and the foursome rushed into a frenzied buildup of a song. Short and quick, it ended abruptly.

Step 2. Our constant fights were peppered with tender moments: The Good Life softened their set with a slower-paced set of songs. "You're a fool for the wounded, I'm a man in need of bandages."

Step 3. The arguments grew nasty: This was followed immediately by frantic lovers quarreling in "Lovers Need Lawyers." The fast-paced, up-tempo song off Album of the Year sent the eager crowd into its first fit of hysterics. Mouth agape, eyes wide, Kasher spit the words, "make the best me that you can."

  • Chris Stevens

Step 4. We had our ups and downs: the audience seemed to collectively experience a wide range of emotions - from earnest tears staining cheeks to orgasmic, gleeful screams. Kasher deserved it. He was working overtime, skillfully plucking his guitar while alternating between a deep-voiced, melodic vocal and a scratchy holler.

Step 5. There was a moment of remarkable clarity: Halfway through the set, Kasher removed his guitar and moved to the keyboard. During "Notes in His Pocket," also off 2004's Album of the Year, he pounded the keyboard, periodically slamming his entire arm across the keys.

The energy in the room picked up as the crowd threw their heads back and forth, screaming lyrics that occasionally overpowered Kasher's own megaphone-sized voice.

Step 6. We lost control: With that surge of power, the recognition for their hollering efforts, the audience's interruptions took on a new urgency. Midway through "Some Bullshit Escape" off the more electronic-based 2002 album Black Out, Kasher had to stop. The side comments and orgasmic yelps of the womenfolk caused him to lose his concentration. "Can I keep playing?" he asked, laughing.

  • Chris Stevens

Final step. The relationship fell apart, but we needed closure: Kasher walked off stage at the end of "A Little Bit More" only to return moments later for a final few songs. Closing out the set, a return to the start, the beginning of yet another doomed relationship - the kind Kasher describes so brilliantly in the Good Life's four-album catalogue. The sparse song begins, "the first time that I met her I was throwing up in the ladies room stall." The crowd, whipped into a frenzy, helped Kasher call out the final lyrics "we started laughing 'till it didn't hurt." And repeat.

Critics Notebook:
Personal bias:
The Good Life once provided the soundtrack to my own messy relationship.

Random detail: They played an excellent cover of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain."

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Emily Savage


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