Oberst/Bridgers’ BOCC plays Colbert show, drops debut on Dead Oceans; Noname tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:15 pm January 24, 2019

Better Oblivion Community Center is Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst, plus a host of indie rock veterans.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

In addition to rolling out Better Oblivion Community Center — the new band fronted by Conor Obert and Phoebe Bridgers — on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night, the band also dropped the entire debut album, released on Dead Oceans. Hey, who needs to wait ’til Friday to release an album?

Out front in the TV performance, which is embedded below, was a grizzled Oberst in Converse sneakers and the angelic Bridgers, who provided the prominent voice on song “Dylan Thomas.” Is Bridgers “Ally” to Oberst’s “Jack Maine”? We all know how that one ended. 

No, not quite; and the band also isn’t a return to the Laurel Canyon sound, as Rolling Stone seemed to imply in its 4-star review of the record. Instead, Oberst and Bridgers are building on top the current singer/songwriter movement associated with the artists like those in boygenius (Bridgers, Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus), Mitski, Big Thief, Soccer Mommy, and so on. Or maybe I’m just listening for Bridgers more than Oberst on these songs. Certainly you can’t miss Conor, who’s growly croon is an abrasive counter to Bridgers’ sweet coo. 

It’s easy to pick out who wrote what if you’ve been following along the last couple of years. The pretty, sad stuff is Bridgers; the folky slice of life stuff is Oberst. The sound isn’t so much a true duet as much as one guesting on the other’s songs. 

The only other person I recognized in the video last night was Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who’s as genius as ever on guitar.

Other BOCC participants according to the Q&A at the Secretly Store website are Carla Azar from Autolux; Wylie Gelber and Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes; songwriter Christian Lee Hutson on guitar and Anna Butterss on bass. The album was produced by Oberst and Bridgers with help from Andy LeMaster, who you might remember from Now It’s Overhead. 

Quite a splashy way to launch a project. I wonder when they’re going to drop the cheesy phone number/fake self-help program facade, which, because it wasn’t explained, came off clumsy last night on the Colbert show. My wife asked, “What’s with the graphics and the phone number on the screen?” It takes a long time to explain the joke. Hopefully they’ll leave it off when they play this weekend on CBS This Morning Saturday.

BOCC tour stops apparently will be announced next week sometime. Here’s hoping for an Omaha date. 

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Noname (a.k.a. Fatimah Warner) is a Chicago indie hip-hop artist. Her self-released debut Room 25 chronicles the two years since the release of her debut mixtape Telefone, “most notably her move from Chicago to Los Angeles and an intense, short-lived relationship that resulted in the loss of her virginity at age 25,” says the Wiki. She headlines tonight at The Waiting Room. Opener Elton kicks things off at 8 p.m $25. 

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Secret Oberst/Bridgers project to play Colbert show tonight; The Werks tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 2:04 pm January 23, 2019

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Is this the album cover of the new Better Oblivion Community Center album?

That “secret” Conor Oberst/Phoebe Bridgers project — mysteriously named Better Oblivion Community Center — is the musical guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight and will also appear on CBS This Morning Saturday on Jan. 26 as part of the show’s “Saturday Sessions.”

This according to Brooklyn Vegan, which added that CBS This Morning anchor Anthony Mason tweeted what appears to be the album cover last week. And a YouTube video tweeted by Oberst today indicates the new project will be announcing tour dates next week.

Tune in tonight to see who else is in the project.

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Dayton self-proclaimed jam band The Werks plays tonight at The Waiting Room. The band plays a throwback style of ‘70s prog rock mixed with funk elements and (at times) reggae beats — translated: They’re a jam band, right down to encouraging taping of shows a la The Grateful Dead. Omaha jam band Slow Stoics opens at 8 p.m.; $15.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Phoebe Bridgers and Jackson Browne cover McCarthy Trenching; new Taylor Janzen features Nate Van Fleet, Mike Mogis…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:31 pm November 29, 2018

Phoebe Bridgers covers McCarthy Trenchings’ “Christmas Song” with some help from Jackson Browne.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Red hot indie phenom Phoebe Bridgers today dropped her version of McCarthy Trenching’s “Christmas Song,” with ’70s superstar Jackson Browne singing background vocals. The song was first released on McCarthy Trenching’s Calamity Drenching album released on Team Love back in 2008.

Said Bridgers in Pitchfork: “The first time I heard this song it hit me like a ton of bricks. A lot of McCarthy Trenching songs do that. It’s not that often that I hear a Christmas song that doesn’t make me want to quit music.”

She went on to say that Jackson Browne heard her perform the cover at an LA show “and he came up to me after the show to tell me how much he loved the song.” A couple days later Jackson Browne bought a copy of Calamity Drenching on Bandcamp for $50. I’d love to hear Browne’s take on “Roasting Song.”

I have to think Bridgers first heard the song when her pal Conor Oberst, who she’s both recorded and toured with, played it for her. Total speculation. Maybe Conor and Dan can talk Phoebe into moving to Omaha…

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In other news involving up-and-coming singer-songwriters with an Omaha connection, Nylon Magazine yesterday dropped a new song by Canadian Taylor Janzen called “New Mercies,” which features Omaha’s Nate Van Fleet (See Through Dresses, Little Brazil) on drums. The track was produced and mixed by world-renowned producer and poll worker (he was working my polling site during the mid-terms) Mike Mogis of ARC Studios.

The track is Janzen’s first release with a full band. No word in the Nylon piece if this track is part of an album, but I wouldn’t be surprised. BTW, the song is gorgeous.

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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New Erie Choir (ex-Sorry About Dresden); new Phoebe Bridgers video features Oberst (she’s coming to O’Leaver’s in April)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:16 pm December 21, 2017

Conor does a soft shoe in Phoebe Bridgers’ new video.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Catching up on some news, fans of Saddle Creek Records band Sorry About Dresden take note that Eric Roehrig’s follow-up band, Erie Choir, has a new album out.

Some background: After a pair of self-released EP’s and a few lineup changes, Sit-n-Spin Records released Slighter Awake in 2006; 11 years later the follow up, Old Rigs, was released on Potluck Records last month.

The album is a solid collection of folk-rock reminiscent of classic Big Star. The lyrics are a reflection of the trials and tribulations of band life. According to the one-sheet: “In 2016, Roehrig and drummer James Hepler’s long-time Sorry About Dresden bandmate Matt Oberst passed away. While all the songs on Old Rigs were written prior to his death, the album’s meditation on friendship and loss serve in some small way as a tribute to their friend.

Check it out at Bandcamp, where you can also buy your copy.

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LA singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers released a new video for the single “Would You Rather,” a duet with Conor Oberst that appears on her latest album, Stranger in the Alps (2017, Dead Oceans). Conor shows up in the video dressed in cowboy gear and does a weird hoe-down dance that’s oddly inappropriate considering the songs’ somewhat dark lyrics. Fun!

Bridgers was just featured last week in a glowing LA Times profile and is headed out on a massive world tour in February that brings her to fabulous O’Leaver’s April 7.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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