Cursive frontman Tim Kasher continues his graphic storytelling on sixth album Mama, I’m Swollen, out this week on Saddle Creek. He keeps it blunt and lyrically entertaining on the Omaha group’s moodiest LP yet, with song themes ranging from masturbation to tales starring Pinocchio. Kasher is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with him.
John Updike passed away recently, and though I’m not the type to get too carried away by the lives and deaths of people I have never met, this one particularly struck me. Mostly because I had been reading Rabbit, Run for the second time (the first was more than a decade ago) and was really loving it, much more so than the first time. Which is one of the reasons I felt bad for his passing away, because I had dismissed him over these past 10 years, replacing him with Philip Roth (I’ll get to him later this week), but these guys are different writers. Updike was a beautiful writer, so I’d like to use this temporary editorial pedestal to do my part in defending Updike. He has had many critics claim that his writing, though colorful, was often times no more than just that, a lot of stunning imagery veiling a supposed subtext that didn’t actually exist. Accusing him of an “Emperor’s New Clothes” type of writing style, fooling us with metaphor in the guise of substance. Well, I don’t have much rebuttal, other than the lame, “You just don’t get it.” And it’s not an intellectual thing; that ain’t me. I just feel that I understand where he’s coming from. But hey, Updike isn’t for everyone, but he might be for you. I would suggest picking up a copy of Rabbit, Run, the first in a four-book series following the life of the fictional Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom. John Updike, rest in peace.