by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
Billboard yesterday published an extensive interview with Conor Oberst in support of his upcoming solo release, Upside Down Mountain. With the headline “Ex Boy Wonder of Indie Rock Moves to Major Label,” the rather long story only has a handful of Oberst quotes, including this response to leaving Saddle Creek Records for Merge earlier in his career:
“You know that old adage ‘Don’t mix business with pleasure’ or ‘Don’t work with your friends’?” Oberst says. “I can’t say I completely agree with that, but it becomes… complex. One day you look up and it’s like, we’re not stuffing 7-inches in my parents’ attic anymore, you know? Money got involved and we were having to make tough decisions to try and keep everyone happy.”
He goes on to explain why he went with Nonesuch instead of self-releasing the new album: “I kind of come from a prehistoric time I guess because I really want a record label,” Oberst says. “I’ve run record labels or been a part of running record labels before, and honestly none of that stuff interests me in the least anymore.”
He also weighs in on his song lyrics, acting, his proposed-but-never-produced Monsters of Folk sci-fi concept album and his older material: “In some ways it’s unfortunate that all my music is out there because I’m kind of embarrassed by some of it.” I’ll let you speculate which music he’s referring to.
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Also yesterday German website prettyinnoise posted a video interview with Tim Kasher. What makes this one particularly interesting is the approach by the interviewer, who asks questions that probably wouldn’t get asked by your typical indie music scribe.
Kasher talks about his first exposure to “guitar rock” (the first record he bought was Men Without Hats), the finer points of American health insurance (including how much he pays), battling his “shyness” and his dislike for house/techno music. It’s as if the interviewer was from another planet (or is director Werner Herzog) interviewing an alien life form, and I love it. The footage also includes some tasty live acoustic performances of songs off his last solo album. Check it out below:
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Tonight’s marquee show is Angel Olsen at The Waiting Room. I saw her and her band perform in an Austin church at South By Southwest this past March. If you dig her most recent album, Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Jagjaguwar), you owe it to yourself to see her perform it live. She has a touch of Tammy Wynette in her voice, though her music is typical indie rock singer/songwriter fare (with a twang). Opening is Nashville band Promised Land Sound (Third Man Records). $10, 9 p.m.
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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.