Conor in Rolling Stone and the sausage pizza that (didn’t) shock the world…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 2:00 pm February 3, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Conor Oberst did an interview with Rolling Stone, posted online last week (and in the current issue), that was more of a sidebar than a full-blown interview. Still, the writer, Patrick Doyle, managed to cram a lot of little facts into the piece, all handled nonchalantly.

Facts like: Conor has been secretly married for three years. Conor spent six months writing a screenplay that got shit on. Conor is working with a producer other than Mike Mogis on his next record. All of these facts were laid out without any explanation as to why they happened, reported matter-of-factly as mere asides. Sort of like, “Oberst then pulled down his trousers and revealed he was born with a tail. ‘Yeah, I’ve had it my whole life,’ Oberst said. ‘It’s the reason I’ve never been photographed swimming.'” No follow-up from Doyle, just move right along to the next question on the list. Very odd.

Oberst’s marriage has been widely rumored for years among people outside of his inner circle (who, presumably, knew all along). I got a tip about it back in 2010. “You should ask about how Conor got married last weekend in New York,” someone told me. So I did. I asked around and no one would confirm it. It’s one of those little things that would be embarrassing to report without a confirmation. More like gossip than news.

But Oberst’s marriage is significant in how the relationship played into his rather vocal, rather public protests against immigration laws in Fremont and Arizona in 2010. At the time, Oberst never really explained why he was leading the protest. Had he explained the context — the personal nature of his concern — it would have resonated with more people than just his fans. Instead, here he was raising his fist against backwards-thinking immigration laws, leaving people wondering “Why the fuck does this rich, suburban white boy care so much about the plight of illegal immigrants?

But the most surprising revelation from the RS article was this line: “‘She’s the reason to go home,’ he says, digging into a sausage pizza (he recently started eating meat again).” This was a true what-the-fuck moment. Oberst, once a vegan, has proudly hoisted the banner of vegetarianism for a long time — for as long as I’ve been listening to his music. Out of nowhere he drops the lifestyle and does it in a way that couldn’t be more “in your face” to vegetarians — eating a sausage pizza with a reporter. Of course there’s zero context for any of this in the article, no explanation and apparently no question from Doyle as to what happened and why, just Conor eating his sausage pizza, a statement unto itself.

On one level, it couldn’t be more flip; on another, what could Oberst have said about eating a sausage pizza that wouldn’t have offended a die-hard vegetarian?

Below, from the Peta website circa sometime in the first half of the last decade.

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It’s looking like another blah week for indie shows.

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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.

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Saddle Creek to release 7-inches; Rolling Stone archive goes online; Andrew Jackson Jihad tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:39 pm March 21, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Saddle Creek Records announced this morning that it’ll have four vinyl releases for Record Store Day, April 21, 2012, including three 7-inch singles.

Of the 12-inch variety, there’s Cursive’s Burst and Bloom EP, back on vinyl for the first time in years, pressed on RSD-exclusive yellow, white and black marbled vinyl limited to 1,500 copies. Very cool.

Ah, but what I’m excited about are the singles, which they’re calling “7-inch previews” since all preceed full-length releases by the bands:

Icky Blossoms

Icky Blossoms — “Babes” b/w “Chicas,” a Spanish version of the A-side, pressed on colored vinyl and limited to 1,000 copies.

Mynabirds — “Generals” b/w non-album track “Fallen Doves.” The 7″ features silk screened sleeves hand spray painted and numbered by frontwoman Laura Burhenn herself. Covers are available in five different paint colors, and limited to 1,000 copies on black vinyl.

PUJOL — “REVERSE VAMPIRE” b/w demo version of “PSYCHIC PAIN.” The record is pressed on colored vinyl and limited to 1,000 copies.

As an added bonus, each release comes with an mp3 download code, so you can listen to them on your “portable electronic device.” I love 7-inch singles, and wish-wish-wish Saddle Creek would develop a singles club like Matador has now and Sub Pop used to have…

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Believe it or not, I subscribe to Rolling Stone and have for years, though I don’t know why when these days they devote too much space to TV and teen film stars (Hey, how else am I supposed to keep up on the Twilight saga?). Anyway, yesterday RS emailed me that they’ve digitized every back issue, dating back to the iconic Nov. 9, 1967, debut with John Lennon on the cover. They call it Rolling Stone All Access, and the service is free if you’re a subscriber. We’re talking full scans of full pages of each issue, including the advertising, which can be as entertaining as the articles and reviews.  The archive even appears to be somewhat indexed , though I haven’t had a chance to really kick the tires on their search engine. However, when I searched for Cursive, up popped the April 3, 2003, issue, with the 4-star review of The Ugly Organ. For those interested in rock music history, All Access alone is worth the subscription price.

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Tonight at Slowdown Jr. a huge five-band bill featuring punk folkies Andrew Jackson Jihad, along with Cheap Girls, Laura Stevenson and the Cans, The Sidekicks and Roar! $15, 8 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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Strange Weekend Update: Nansel in Rolling Stone…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 2:15 pm February 18, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

rolling stone

I blogged this because it’s too long to post in Facebook and the story isn’t online at Rollingstone.com

There’s an interesting interview with Saddle Creek’s Robb Nansel in the new Rolling Stone (with Paul McCartney on the cover). The article focuses on the inevitable death of the Compact Disc, and opens with Robb and Laura Burhenn trying to find a John Prine CD in Leesburg, Virginia, for Laura’s step father. They come back empty handed. Nansel then goes on to talk about how Saddle Creek always debates whether or not to press CDs when it comes to put out a new release.

What the story forgets to mention is that Nansel and Saddle Creek just opened a new record store that focuses on vinyl (the Shop at Saddle Creek). That would have made for a clever twist on what turned out to be a rather dire article that predicts the end of the CD within five years.

Anyway, look for it in the news section of the new Rolling Stone. And look for a full  review of last nights Malkmus show at Slowdown right here on Monday, with a couple photos. (Spoiler alert: It was a great show).

I’m still debating whether to go to The Brothers or The Sydney  tonight…

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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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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