Hear Conor Oberst flesh out Ruminations via NPR First Listen with new Salutations LP

Conor Oberst | photo by Tony Bonacci | courtesy of the artistConor Oberst | photo by Tony Bonacci | courtesy of the artist
Conor Oberst | photo by Tony Bonacci | courtesy of the artist

If you haven’t been keeping up with Conor Oberst as of late and that headline doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, let me explain. Last October, Oberst released Ruminations, a ten song set of straight-to-tape solo performances. It featured some of the sharpest tunes we’ve heard from the guy in years, and he did it with just voice and guitar or voice and piano. Now, only a few months later, he’s updated the record with Salutations, a full-band reimagining of those tracks with seven more cuts thrown in for good measure. It’s out this Friday, March 17th via Nonesuch, but you can stream it now in its entirety via NPR First Listen. Continue reading →


Watch Conor Oberst play an intimate bookstore show to celebrate Ruminations

conor oberst | NPR show @ Housing works | screencap via performance vid
Conor Oberst | NPR show @ Housing Works | still from video

Singer-songwriter Conor Oberst recently put on a very personal performance at Housing Works Bookstore in New York to celebrate his new record Ruminations. Looking through his lens of helplessness and worry, Oberst easily entertained a friendly atmosphere of fans with three tracks off of the new record.

With a recent health scare in the form of a brain cyst, Oberst moved back home to Omaha and would eventually make the record in a 48 hour recording session, resulting in a reflective collection of songs about his situation.

Continue reading →


XPN MusicNotes: Watch Jim James, M. Ward, Conor Oberst and Zooey Deschanel reunite Monsters of Folk and She & Him

Monsters of Folk | via Pitchfork

Supergroup Monsters of Folk reformed in LA over the weekend, reuniting Jim James, Conor Oberst & M. Ward for the1st time in 6 years. Zooey Deschanel also joined M.Ward for a couple of She & Him songs. Watch some fan video of “Vincent O’Brien”, “To Save Me”, “Never Had Nobody Like You” and “Magic Trick.” Continue reading →


Dawes backs Conor Oberst at a sold-out Union Transfer show

Conor Oberst | photo by Michelle Montgomery
Conor Oberst | photo by Michelle Montgomery

Singer-songwriter Conor Oberst took the stage at Union Transfer playing a sold-out show on Wednesday night. Touring in support of his latest solo LP, Upside Down Mountain, Oberst played a guitar-heavy mix of new tracks and old favorites. Since Upside Down Mountain was released just days before the show, many of the country/folk-inspired songs were not previously heard by the audience. Oberst was backed by roots rock band Dawes, who also opened the show. Playing in Philly for the first time since the 2012 XPoNential Music Festival, Dawes played an energetic set in support of their 2013 release Stories Don’t End. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.


Stream Conor Oberst’s new release, Upside Down Mountain, via NPR Music

Photo by Butch Hogan
Photo by Butch Hogan

Singer-songwriter Conor Oberst releases his new album, Upside Down Mountain on Tuesday, May 20th. You can listen to it in its entirety here via NPR Music. WXPN Welcomes Conor with special guests Dawes to the TLA on Wednesday, May 21st. The show is sold out.

Writing about the album for NPR Music, Tom Moon says:

Upside Down Mountain suggests that Oberst is growing, rapidly, as a craftsman. It’s the first truly intimate set of songs he’s offered in a while — really since his 2008 eponymous gem, though contemplative moments seeped into 2009’s Outer South, which he recorded with the Mystic Valley Band. Oberst visits some of the rowdy backbeats of those previous works, but even in the driving rock tracks (the -ish “Zigzagging Toward the Light”), he’s brokering interior thoughts, choosing clusters of words for the ways they thrive, or sometimes disappear, inside the sonic swirl.

Upside Down Mountain was co-produced by Jonathan Wilson, who also plays various instruments throughout the album. Oberst gets some additional help from Blake Mills, Orenda Fink, Mike Moogis and Andy LeMaster. The gorgeous back up vocals are performed by Klara and Johanna Söderberg, known to many as the duo First Aid Kit.

Listen to Upside Down Mountain here.


Conor Oberst releases an ode to the festival-goers with track “Governor’s Ball” from upcoming LP Upside Down Mountain

Conor Oberst | Photo by David McClister

Conor Oberst appears to be returning to his Omaha, Nebraska roots, with the recently announced country/ blue-grass inspired album Upside Down Mountain, set to be released on May 20 via Nonesuch Records.

Oberst has now uncloaked the second track from that album, titled “Governor’s Ball”: an upbeat number with climatic sax instrumentals that really bring the song to life, and vocals that are far less somber than anything we’ve come to know and love from Bright Eyes. Whether the song is a ploy to reach the hearts of the ever-expanding scene of festival-goers, or a true to life tale of a van-riding boy and “klonopin-eyed girl”, or both, I’m not sure; but the song sounds really good, and Oberst’s maturity as an artist moving between genres is certainly commendable.

Get tickets for when Conor Oberst plays Union Transfer on May 21 here, and listen to “Governor’s Ball” below. Check here for a full list of tour dates.


WXPN Welcomes Conor Oberst to Union Transfer on May 21st

Photo by David McClister
Photo by David McClister
XPN Welcomes Conor Oberst to Union Transfer on Wednesday, May 21st, a day after he releases his new album, Upside Down Mountain. The country flavored collection of songs is Oberst’s first record for Nonesuch, and was produced by Jonathan Wilson. Backing Oberst on this tour is Dawes, however, while they have not been officially announced for this show, well, maybe you can draw your own conclusions.


Have a pool party in Maria Taylor’s poppy video for “Up All Night” (playing Boot and Saddle 2/5)

maria taylor
Photo by Kelly Steffy |

Seasoned singer/songwriter Maria Taylor heads out on a national tour in support of her latest solo album, Something About Knowing, released October 29th via Saddle Creek records. Something About Knowing is Taylor’s first release following motherhood, and the album displays a musical as well as emotional maturity that can only stem from life altering events. Taylor recently released a video for the track “Up All Night”, an upbeat California pop tune with happy-go-lucky melodies that at times juxtapose the heavier story of becoming newly pregnant (“Remember that day we got the news I was scared as hell and so were you”). It’s scary, but celebratory, and the video embodies that celebration with a pool party filled with friends and family. Maria Taylor will be making her Philadelphia stop at Boot & Saddle on Wednesday, February 5th. Tickets are on sale now.