In concert: Cursive & The David Wax Museum (03/17/2010)

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Cursive Tim Kasher of Cursive, while not as popular as old fellow Omahaian Conor Oberst (whom he mentored when the former was a glasses-wearing runt with a propensity for squeaky-voiced grandiosity), certainly – like Oberst – wears his lyrical heart on his sleeve. Yet, whether through his work with Cursive or The Good Life, he's had arguably a more consistent (if not as diverse) run of releases over the last 10 years than his old pal. Kasher's a hell of a writer (a screenwriter, even), and most of his discs are conceptual in origin, albeit not of the Pink Floyd variety. The band's latest, "Mama, I'm Swollen," might be the least guitar-centric of Kash's oeuvre, but it has a harrowing narrative minimalism Chris Offutt or Pinckney Benedict might well be proud of. Don't worry, however: the band still crushes live. With Alkaline Trio. Amos Southend (Timothy C. Davis)

The David Wax Museum Bandleader David Wax (guitar, voice, Jarana) spent time in rural Mexico learning, absorbing its folk music and now adds those rhythms and flourishes into an exploration of American roots, bluegrass and folk. The weave of Mexicana and Americana is quite riveting. The Boston combo recalls Latin-flavored rock of Calexico and Los Lobos while tipping hats to early Jayhawks, all on an acoustic tip. The new album, Carpenter Bird, is about as consistent as it gets. The Evening Muse (Samir Shukla)

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