Fellow LxLer Austin wrote here earlier this week about how Conor Oberst’s Upside Down Mountain is a return to form of sorts, with the Omaha singer/songwriter utilizing his strengths and not worrying about his weaknesses. Now, we give you our 10 favorite Conor songs, regardless of project. That means Desaparecidos, Monsters of Folk, his solo work, and of course Bright Eyes, were all considered for this list. We also considered songs off of Upside Down Mountain, though due to our lack of a quality time with the album, none of the new songs made the list. So without further ado, the 10 best Conor Oberst songs according to LxL.
(P.S. Looks like we got scooped by Paste by a day, who also ran their version of this list yesterday.)
Continue reading “The 10 Best Conor Oberst Songs”
Upside Down Mountain
Conor Oberst, when speaking about his new album, Upside Down Mountain:
“For me, language is a huge part of why I make music. I’m not the greatest guitar player or piano player—I’m not the greatest singer, either—but I feel if I can come up with melodies I like that are fused with poetry I’m proud of.”
Notice, Oberst knows himself very well. He specifically points out that he isn’t the greatest guitar player, piano player, or singer. But, he never comes out and says he isn’t the greatest lyricist around today, because he may very well be. Confidence begets success, and even if Oberst isn’t completely confident in every facet of his life, he controls his musical output with a rare ease.
Continue reading “Conor Oberst Review: Upside Down Mountain”
Today, we are looking at the top ten folk artists of all time. I think at the end of piecing this list together, none of us were particularly happy that some of our individual favorites didn’t make it. But that’s what happens when three individuals make a list this comprehensive. Setting that aside, let’s venture into the wonderful world of folk music through a little exercise I like to call Folk University – or Folk U. Sorry about the bad pun, but I couldn’t help myself this time.
Folk music has a lot of definitions, so we tried to stick to artists that have a wealth of material that would widely be considered “folk music”. This cut a couple borderline people out, but thus is the process of trying to form these lists. Each of the next ten artists holds a special place in our heart for one reason or another. Let us know who we left out, and who some of your favorite folkies are. Enjoy!
10. Nick Drake
Nick Drake burned extremely bright for a few years before dying of a drug overdose. He remains mysterious in almost all ways except for his talent, highlighted by his breathy vocals and vocal style that Trey Anastasio has clearly taken a few cues from.
Folk U Mandatory Listening: “One of These Things First”
Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Folk University – A Primer in Folk Music”
We decided it was finally time to make a list concerning the combination of kindred vocals. Duets that is. A guy and a girl is the most popular concoction, but there is certainly room to wiggle with that formula on this list. For frame of reference, we attempted to stay away from two very specific types tracks that may be considered duets. The first area is hip hop tracks. R&B tracks are fine, as long as they don’t interfere with the next criteria, but it seems every hip-hop song has multiple rappers, or at the least one rapper and someone else for the hook. Just seemed a little too muddled. The second criteria we aimed to stay away from were artists that have two vocalists, where almost every one of their tracks might be able to be considered duets. Sorry, but we were looking for duets where the source recording is at most part of a one-off album. As always, I think we crafted a solid list, but am certain we missed something along the way. Feel free to offer suggestions, and enjoy.
10. The Postal Service & Jenny Lewis – “Nothing Better”
Ben Gibbard & Jenny Lewis combine for an electonic-infused back and forth on The Postal Service’s 2003 track “Nothing Better”. The conversational tone of Gibbard and Lewis vocals is about as fun as it gets, and makes us thirst for more than just a Postal Service tour reunion. Record a new album!
Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Duets to Die For”
Titus Andronicus has emerged two years after The Monitor with something a little more accessible in Local Business. This comes at the expense of a very good thing Titus Andronicus had going though. The long-form Americana punk rock, Desaparecidos-era Conor Oberst style vocals, and most of the fuzz on the guitars is mostly gone. Insert more succinct song structure, vocals nearing on cartoonish, and cleaner instrumentation, and Local Business is a very different animal.
Continue reading “Titus Andronicus Review: Local Business”
Santa Barbara Bowl
Santa Barbara, CA
One of the best things about Conor Oberst is his unpredictability, and when I say this, I mean this in almost every facet of his music. In just the past three years alone, Conor has played tours and recorded albums with three different bands, taken on many different genres of music, all while also being on some highest of the highs, and lowest of the lows of his career. One thing that you can always seem to predict, however, is the high quality of his music.
Continue reading “Bright Eyes Show Review”