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Conor Oberst, Hop Along & Big Thief discuss their favorite Saddle Creek LPs

Conor Oberst, who has released countless albums on Saddle Creek with Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos, and more, is on tour now (with The Felice Brothers as his backing band) and set to play Brooklyn’s Prospect Park this Thursday (7/20) with two great new-ish Saddle Creek bands, Hop Along and Big Thief. You can buy tickets or try to win a pair.

In celebration of the show, Conor, Hop Along singer Frances Quinlan, and Big Thief singer Adrianne Lenker each told us about their favorite Saddle Creek album of all time. Both Frances and Adrianne chose Bright Eyes albums, and Conor chose Mayday, another band of Cursive’s Ted Stevens. Here’s what each artist said:

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Conor Oberst – Mayday’s Bushido Karaoke: This is one of my favorite records/projects by Lullaby for the Working Class and Cursive member Ted Stevens. I remember him recording it in his house where a bunch of our friends lived over several months and every time I heard a new song I got more and more excited. I think its an amazing collection by one of my favorite Omaha songwriters.

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Frances Quinlan of Hop Along: Oh Holy Fools: The Music of Son, Ambulance & Bright Eyes: I bought Oh Holy Fools: The Music of Son Ambulance and Bright Eyes on CD at a Barnes & Noble in Eerie, PA in June or July when I was 17. I was really drawn to the cover. I loved that it was a painting. Someone told me to get Rilo Kiley’s The Execution of All Things, but I left with that one instead. I think it was because of the cover, as I hadn’t heard a single song from it (The Execution of All Things rips, by the way. I got it soon after the aforementioned purchase). I don’t know the story behind this record. I love Joe and Conor’s songs, and am still pretty amazed by how well they fit together. I love the absence of glamour to the whole thing, the songs while (sometimes) being fully arranged feel nude and strange. It’s unique, the kind of whole it manages to be. A very personal collaboration. I think it’s one of the most successful splits I’ve ever heard. That being said, my favorite song in the Saddle Creek catalog is still “Wonderful Scar” by Now it’s Overhead, and the new Big Thief and Land of Talk records are phenomenal.

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Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief – Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning: With unapologetic vulnerability and trembling, well-crafted poetry, I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning was one of my first encounters with music that made space and gave permission to feel and honor my own chaotic, guttural yearning and to examine the the manifestation of the pain of growing without self-criticism.

Meanwhile, Big Thief released their great new album Capacity this year and celebrated with two release shows during Brooklyn’s Northside Festival. We already posted one set of pictures of their Park Church Co-Op show, and we’ve got another set of pics from that show in the gallery above.

Conor Oberst — 2017 Tour Dates
Jul 17 The Mill & Milne (w/ Twin Limb) Knoxville, TN
Jul 20 Celebrate Brooklyn (w/ Hop Along, Big Thief) Brooklyn, NY
Jul 21 House of Blues (w/ Hop Along) Boston, MA
Jul 22 Upstate Concert Hall (w/ Hop Along) Clifton Park, NY
Jul 23 Prescott Park Arts Festival (w/ Hop Along) Portsmouth, NH
Jul 26 9:30 Club (w/ Hop Along) Washington, DC
Jul 27 F.M. Kirby Center Wilkes Barre, PA
Jul 28 Xponential Music Festival Camden, NJ
Aug 04 A Summer’s Tale Luhmuhlen, Germany
Aug 05 Beatpol Dresden, Germany
Aug 08 SuperUho Festival Primošten, Croatia
Aug 14 Openluchttheater Rivierenhof Antwerp, Belgium
Aug 15 Batschkapp Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
Aug 16 E-Werk Erlangen, Germany
Aug 17 Melkweg OZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Aug 18 O2 Shepherd’s Bush London, United Kingdom
Aug 21 O2 Academy Liverpool Liverpool, United Kingdom
Aug 22 O2 ABC Glasgow Glasgow, United Kingdom
Sep 01 The Wild Buffalo (w/ Phoebe Bridgers) Bellingham, WA
Sep 03 Oregon Zoo Amphitheater (w/ M. Ward) Portland, OR
Sep 05 Pub Station Ballroom (w/ Phoebe Bridgers) Billings, MT
Sep 07 The Palace Theater (w/ Phoebe Bridgers) Saint Paul, MN
Sep 08 Pabst Theater (w/ Phoebe Bridgers) Milwaukee, WI
Sep 09 The Riveria Theater (w/ Phoebe Bridgers) Chicago, IL
Sep 10 State Theater (w/ Phoebe Bridgers) Kalamazoo, MI
Sep 12 The State Theater (w/ Phoebe Bridgers) Ithaca, NY
Sep 13 Danforth Music Hall (w/ Phoebe Bridgers) Toronto, Canada
Sep 14 Asbury Hall at Babeville (w/ Phoebe Bridgers) Buffalo, NY
Sep 15 Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall (w/ Phoebe Bridgers) Munhall, PA
Sep 16 Taft Theatre (w/ Phoebe Bridgers) Cincinnati, OH
Sep 17 The Castle Theatre (w/ Phoebe Bridgers) Bloomington, IL
Sep 30 Belly Up (w/ The Felice Brothers) Aspen, CO
Oct 01 Eccles Theater (w/ The Felice Brothers) Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 07 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
Oct 13 Marathon Music Works (w/ The Felice Brothers) Nashville, TN
Oct 14 40 Watt Club (w/ The Felice Brothers) Athens, GA
Oct 15 Neighborhood Theatre (w/ The Felice Brothers) Charlotte, NC
Oct 16 Charleston Music Hall (w/ The Felice Brothers) Charleston, SC
Oct 17 Ponte Vedra Concert Hall (w/ The Felice Brothers) Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Oct 19 The Beacham (w/ The Felice Brothers) Orlando, FL
Oct 20 Culture Room (w/ The Felice Brothers) Ft Lauderdale, FL
Oct 21 State Theater (w/ The Felice Brothers) St. Petersburg, FL
Oct 22 Vinyl Music Hall (w/ The Felice Brothers) Pensacola, FL
Oct 24 The Lyric (w/ The Felice Brothers) Oxford, MS
Oct 25 Varsity Theater (w/ The Felice Brothers) Baton Rouge, LA
Oct 26 Revolution Music Room (The Rev Room) (w/ The Felice Brothers) Little Rock, AR
Oct 27 The Criterion (w/ The Felice Brothers) Oklahoma City, OK
Oct 28 The Blue Note (w/ The Felice Brothers) Columbia, MO

photos by Amanda Hatfield

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