Posts Tagged ‘Conor Oberst’

Conor Oberst Releases "No One Changes" and "The Rockaways"

Conor Oberst dropped two new gloriously melancholy singles on Bandcamp Wednesday morning: “No One Changes” and “The Rockaways” The former is a somber, introspective piano number which elegantly drops lyrics like “a goddamn shit show.” The latter is somber, introspective, post-breakup acoustic song with Bright Eyes’s  Nathaniel Walcott contributing keyboard parts.

The songs can be purchased digitally now and will be made available as a double A-side 7″ single on February 1st, 2019.

In August, the Oberst’s song “LAX” was featured on the soundtrack to the Ethan Hawke film Juliet, Naked. Hawke covered the song as his aging Gen X singer-songwriter from the film. Oberst then re-recorded a new version of the song with Phoebe Bridgers added vocals for Amazon Music’s “Produced By” series. The track was produced by Simone Felice of the Felice Brothers (his backing band) for Amazon Music’s “Produced By” series. Felice’s session also features songs by Bridgers, Wesley Schultz (the Lumineers), and more. Oberst’s song, indeed, does take its name from the Los Angeles airport. The artist formerly known as Bright Eyes includes lines in his bittersweet narrative like “It’s raining in L.A./and everyone’s gone mad” and “I’ll pick you up, just tell me when you land” over simple solo piano chording and snippets of electro acoustic ambience.

Conor Oberst’s last proper full-length Salutations came out in 2017, which was mainly a reworking of his 2016 album Ruminations.

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Desaparecidos is a 5-piece rock band fronted by Bright Eyes singer/songwriter Conor Oberst (vocals, guitar) and featuring Denver Dalley (guitar), Landon Hedges (bass, vocals), Ian McElroy (keyboards), and Matt Baum (drums). Matt and Ian are familiar to many of you from the various incarnations of Bright Eyes‘ touring band of which they played in.

Conor Oberst may be better known for his confessional songwriting and storytelling, but Desaparecidos is nothing of the sort. Indeed, similar vocal melodies and song structure are present, but the guitars are loud and distorted, the bass is pounding, and the drums and keyboards round out this hi-energy, pop-rock band without the lyrical focus of personal relationships. Oberst screams out observational commentary about urban development, the sacrifice of human value for the dollar bill, and the new American Dream.

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Setting out to capture the rawness of the band, the record was recorded over one week at Presto! Recording Studio in Lincoln with producer Mike Mogis. Bright Eyes fans will love it, but it’ll also appeal to anyone who’s ever dug At The Drive In, The Pixies, Weezer, Dinosaur Jr., etc.

This album was originally released February 11th, 2002

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‘Ruminations’ is one of singer songwriter Conor Oberst’s most personal records — and it was a surprise, even for its creator. He didn’t intend to make an album — he was trying to recover from exhaustion after he was rattled by a health scare, a cyst on his brain. But when he left New York, N.Y., and moved back to his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska., the songs started coming. He recorded ‘Ruminations’ on piano, guitar and harmonica in 48 hours during the winter after he moved home. The result is a collection of brave, dark songs that confront Oberst’s thoughts during that time head-on and include his best work to date .

Housing Works Bookstore in New York is a place that’s meant a lot to Oberst over the years. It’s a book shop with a mission to help the homeless and those with AIDS and HIV. He was at the very first performance at Housing Works nearly a dozen years ago, and he’s played there a few times as well — including one Halloween show where he dressed as a skeleton. So on the day he released Ruminations, it was fitting that he return to Housing Works to perform all the songs from that album — some of them for the first time.

For this performance Conor Oberst is largely seated at a piano, a harmonica strapped around his neck. His bassist, MiWi La Lupa, lays a small foundation for songs that they’re still learning to play, but that are unmistakably moving and contain some of Oberst’s best lyrics and imagery.

SET LIST,
“Tachycardia” – 0:48
“Gossamer Thin” – 4:46
“Barbary Coast (Later)” – 9:37
“Counting Sheep” – 15:41
“Mamah Borthwick (A Sketch)” – 20:18
“Next of Kin” – 25:42
“The Rain Follows the Plow” – 29:50
“A Little Uncanny” – 34:24
“You All Loved Him Once” – 39:33
“Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out” – 45:32

Conor Oberst is streaming new album ‘Salutations’

This album is a companion piece to 2016’s “Ruminations”. When Oberst wrote and recorded the songs on Ruminations, entirely solo with just vocals, piano, guitar and harmonica, he intended to ultimately record them with a full band. But in the midst of putting together that band – upstate New York’s The Felice Brothers plus the legendary drummer Jim Keltner (Neil Young, Jackson Browne, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and many more) – the passionate responses Oberst was getting to those first solo recordings, from friends and colleagues, encouraged him to release the songs as-is, in their original sparse form.

“Salutations” so soon after is a surprise release. After the previous “Ruminations” 10-track album written and recorded by Conor Oberst in the cold confines of Omaha, Nebraska which came out last year, the news that a second album, with full-band arrangements of those same 10 songs plus seven more, would be released this year was an unexpected bonus. Featuring the contributions of The Felice Brothers and Jim Keltner, it promised a new treatment of some of Oberst’s most raw compositions. The result is a fulsome new release, markedly different from its 2016 cousin.

If nothing else, Salutations is a fascinating look at the changes that come from collaboration and evolution in a studio setting versus the isolation in which these songs were born. Instead of relying solely on piano, acoustic guitar, and harmonica, Conor Oberst and company employ accordions, organs, strings (of both the orchestral and fiddle varieties), and ethereal sound collage elements to build up these tracks and give them a more unique new character.

In place of sparse confessionals, Oberst offers amblers, anthems, and torch songs. The first track of the album, “Too Late to Fixate”, announces Salutations as such – a slow groove with his trademark combination of wry humor, self-pity, and world-weary reflection. The album’s new additions tend to be its more raucous ones, approaching a Southern rock vibe in songs like “Napalm” and “Anytime Soon”. Despite those rollicking numbers, much of Salutations moves at a slower pace, with the addition of percussion and string-accompaniment often turning Oberst into a crooner see: “Rain Follows the Plough”. The record has an overall jam band quality, but it’s one to sway and swoon to, with clean electric guitars and steady ballads.

 The themes are recognizable to anyone familiar with Oberst’s prior work. There is a particular focus on the peculiar nature of celebrity, most notably “It’s a Little Uncanny” and “You Loved Him Once”. Oberst seems captivated by how people in the public eye have a strange hold over the rest of us in ways that can affect the lives of both those adoring and adored.

The album also presents Conor Oberst struggling with his own mortality. Health issues, including a diagnosis of a cyst in his brain, originally prompted the singer to step back from a planned tour and pour his worries onto the page. The echoes of that remain on Salutations in songs like “Tachycardia” and “Counting Sheep” with lyrics like “everything ends, everything has to.” Oberst seems to be contemplating his own end, trying to reassure himself about both the meaning and inevitability of it.

Through the fuller production, however, Oberst softens the blow of these thoughts. There was a bare earnestness to Salutations’ predecessor, a sense in which Oberst was sequestered in his own confessional in Nebraska, pleading his case and wrestling with his demons. In the confines of the studio, the lyrics have the same potency, but Oberst himself is more languid, the instrumentation more amiable than arresting. It turns passages in songs like “A Little Uncanny”, where Oberst sings “I miss poor Robin Williams”, from sad laments into fond remembrances.

But the same ruminative qualities remain on the record. Salutations focuses on the fleeting, fickle nature of just about everything. Success, romance, veneration, discipline, fidelity, and life itself all appear to be phantoms that can never truly be captured or pinned down in Oberst’s estimation , “Salutation”, “Afterthought”. Oberst is seemingly beleaguered by the uncertainty and the march of years, with many songs that mention his finding refuge in various substances, geographic escapes, or more carnal distractions.

In “Mamah Borthwick (A Sketch)”, he speaks of finding something “sacred till the end,” after beauty, wealth, and achievement have faded and crumbled. He seems to settle on art as one of those few things that can be pure, that can withstand the panicked paradoxes of the day-to-day and perhaps even death itself .

Oberst strikes the notes of a man trying to find something permanent, beautiful, and unblemished .

Conor Oberst has shared a new music video for “Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out,” which was filmed at the very same bar in Manhattan’s East Village that inspired the song. Its director, Greg Marinaccio, also directed Conor’s “You Are Your Mother’s Child” video.

Conor Oberst will release a new album, “Salutations”, on Nonesuch Records, on March 17th, 2017. The album is a companion piece to 2016’s lauded Ruminations.

With The Felice Brothers as his backing band, Oberst will tour in support of Salutations beginning March 9th in his hometown of Omaha, with stops at LA’s Greek Theater in May and then Celebrate Brooklyn Festival in July (full schedule below). Oberst has partnered with Plus 1 so that $1 from every ticket sold on US headline dates will go to Planned Parenthood and their work delivering vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people in the US and worldwide.

18 London, UK @ Koko tickets *

20 Brecon Beacons, UK @ Green Man Festival tickets

21 Liverpool, UK @ O2 Academy tickets *

22 Glasgow, UK @ O2 ABC tickets *

It’s just been announced that Conor Oberst is working with the Felice Brothers band again on a new (sort of) album. “Salutations” is going to be 7 new tracks, plus all the songs from “Ruminations” done with a full band instead of solo. Yesterday they released the first new track, “Napalm,” as well as their version of  “A Little Uncanny.” .Created with help from The Felice brothers Jim Keltner , the record will also feature My Morning Jackets Jim James as well as Blake Mills , Gillian Welch and others .

Salutations also features Oberst’s Monsters Of Folk bandmate Jim James and drummer Jim Keltner. The Felice Brothers will join Oberst on tour (seriously must-see live) for dates in Europe as well as a handful in the States.  The album is up for pre-sale through Nonesuch Records.

“Napalm” is, in an electrifying track Conor Oberst has released since “Roosevelt Room” which appeared on Outer South. There’s a little twang in the vocals on some lyrics, and since Ian Felice isn’t focused on singing he’s free to go wild on lead guitar.

Conor Oberst’s “Napalm” from his 2017 album, Salutations.

Ever since his early teens, songwriting has come fairly quickly to Conor Oberst. Whether as a solo artist, with Bright Eyes, in Desaparecidos, or in the supergroup Monsters Of Folk, he’s stayed steadily prolific while performing with nervy intensity at every stop on his winding and unpredictable career path. So it makes sense that Oberst would need a break, and that it would take him back to a quiet winter spot back home in Omaha.

It also makes sense that he’d end up spending that time writing a record, albeit a quiet one, with the telling title “Ruminations”. Gone are the lush, soulful full-band arrangements of his 2014 solo album Upside Down Mountain, to say nothing of Desaparecidos‘ blistering rock. Here, Oberst’s distinctive warble is set against a spare patchwork of acoustic guitar, piano and the occasional harmonica, drawing most of the attention squarely to his words.

Conor Oberst live on The Current

“Next of Kin”
“Tachycardia”
“Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out”

All songs from Conor Oberst’s 2016 album, Ruminations, releasing Friday, October. 14th, on Nonesuch Records.
The effect can be raw, rustic, even shambling — the whole thing was recorded, with the aid of longtime collaborator Mike Mogis and engineer Ben Brodin, in less than 48 hours — but the songwriting remains on point. Recorded during a bleak Nebraska winter in the aftermath of a serious health scare involving a cyst in the singer’s brain, these are some of Oberst’s darkest and most personal songs, rooted in isolation, with less overt politics (“A Little Uncanny” aside) and more reflection befitting Ruminations‘ title.

Throughout the record, Oberst tells stories of human fragility, channeling weary numbness (“Next Of Kin“), the search for comfort and escape (“Barbary Coast [Later]“), the frayed nerves of a man just barely holding his life together (“Gossamer Thin“), and a fight against self-medicating and otherwise self-destructive impulses (“Counting Sheep“). In that last song, Oberst directly references his own health — “Life is a gas / What can you do? / Catheter piss / Fed through a tube / Cyst in the brain / Blood on the bamboo” — making it clear that he’s not merely playing roles here. That unsparing quality helps Ruminations stand out, no matter how simple its adornment.

Conor Oberst, 'Ruminations'

Last fall, Oberst says, he “crashed and burned.” In the middle of a tour, he ended up in the hospital for anxiety, exhaustion and laryngitis, and returned home to Omaha, Nebraska, to rest. “Out of the blue, songs started to arrive,” Oberst says. The result is a spare, emotional set recorded in just two days, with Oberst accompanying himself on piano, guitar and harmonica. “There was nothing to hide behind,” he says. “The songs are forced to stand on their own.”

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After the success of Oberst’s band Bright Eyes, the punk-leaning Desaparecidos seemed inked in the Nebraska indie history books as a one-and-done project after releasing the Read Music / Speak Spanish LP in 2002. But after Bright Eyes waned in the public spotlight, the band regrouped in 2010 for Nebraska’s Concert for Equality, an event that aimed to aide the repeal of anti-immigrant legislation in Fremont, Nebraska. A mini-tour in 2012 followed, and the ball started rolling on new material from the five-piece outfit. The inevitable LP doesn’t play out like an old band finding its footing. With an election just around the corner, Oberst and Co. seem anxious not only to churn out some great punk tunes, but to also turn that high-gain energy toward the political landscape. That energy is Payola’s best asset. Though its 14 tracks were recorded sporadically across something like three years with co-producer Mike Mogis, you’d be hard-pressed to hear a lack of momentum or consistency. The tracks cover a wide-range topically but with Oberst cutting any and all metaphorical fat, his points rise above the glorious racket of gliding synths and feedback. Rebellion hasn’t sounded this awesome—or honest—in a long time

Desaparecidos is a band from Nebraska. It is a project headed by singer/guitarist Conor Oberst, the frontman of the indie folk band Bright Eyes.
“City On The Hill” by Desaparecidos from the album ‘Payola’, out June 23rd, Conor Oberst’s new punk band Desaparecidos just announced Payola, their first album in thirteen years. It will be released June 23 via Epitaph.
Today, the band have shared a video for “City on the Hill”, comprised of ads, news footage, and clips from movies and television. It was directed by Rob Soucy. The band are Desaparecidos its members are Conor Oberst
Landon Hedges, Casey Scott, Matt Baum, Denver Dalley, Ian McElroy