Entries tagged with: Conor Oberst
"Conor claims Joanie's just an embittered superfan, who gushed about him and Bright Eyes as recently as January 2013 -- writing about how the last time she saw Conor in concert is her best memory ever. She even listed "Bright Eyes" as her favorite band on Facebook." [TMZ]
Conor Oberst's new album is titled Upside Down Mountain and it's out on Nonesuch on May 20. The album was produced by Jonathan Wilson and features guest vocals from First Aid Kit. The first single is "Hundreds of Ways," which will be out as a 7" on Record Store Day and you can stream it right now, below.
Around the time of the album's release Oberst will begin his summer tour which currently wraps up in NYC at Central Park Summerstage on July 29 (Rumsey Playfield).
No word on when tickets go on sale for the Summerstage show but you can keep checking Ticketmaster. Early in the tour, Oberst will be in the NY area for a show at Long Island's The Space at Westbury on May 22. No word on tickets for that show either.
UPDATE: Tickets for both NYC-area shows go on sale Friday (2/14) at noon and Dawes open both shows.
Speaking of, Jonathan Wilson is in NYC this week: Bowery Ballroom on 2/12 and Music Hall of Williamsburg on 2/14. Tickets for both are still available.
All Conor Oberst dates are listed, along with the new song stream, below...
Governors Ball and Hangout Fest lineups were just announced today (and Firefly yesterday and Coachella not long before that), and now comes the lineup announcement for another big fest, Atlanta's Shaky Knees Festival. The fest goes down from May 9-11 at Atlantic Station with The National, Modest Mouse, Spoon, Local Natives, The Gaslight Anthem, Violent Femmes, Conor Oberst, Iron and Wine, Jenny Lewis, Dawes, Foals, Deer Tick, The Hold Steady, Tokyo Police Club, Graveyard, Mutual Benefit and many more. There's also one headliner still TBA. Outkast?
Tickets go on sale Friday (1/17). Full lineup and flyer below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin, Soundwave photos by Caitlyn Ridenour
Preservation Hall Jazz Band & Desaparecidos @ Voodoo Fest Day 1 - 11/1/13
"The Friday Voodoo line-ups are usually pretty slow, so I came into City Park expecting to have a lot of downtime (which ended up being a good thing because for some reason Voodoo never deems it necessary to label anything, so every stage is always unmarked).... I had some time to kill before the night truly began, so I marveled at all of the extraordinary costumes festival goers brought to the park (Walter White was an obvious favorite).Other sets on Voodoo day 1 included Anamanaguchi, Those Darlins and New Orleans's own Preservation Hall Jazz Band, all three of which also had over to our Soundwave stage hosted by the funny Dave Hill and Billy Jones (Soundwave schedule HERE).
The night began with Desaparecidos. I'm a huge fan of post-hardcore--I love Fugazi, Minor Threat, Rites of Spring, you name it, I probably at least like it. I've also been to (probably more than) my fair share of post-hardcore shows (getting stuck in an Against Me! mosh pit is arguably the punkest thing I've ever done), so when I say that Desaparecidos's Voodoo performance was the best post-hardcore show I've ever seen, it definitely means something. Conor Oberst definitely brought his best cynical self to the show, spouting political statements and really getting into the music with major head banging." [The Daily Reveille]
The day's big headliner was Pearl Jam, who recently played two big shows at Barclays Center, and whose...
headlining set [at Voodoo] started emotionally when guitarist Mike McCready introduced Steve Gleason, the Washington state native who settled in New Orleans after his days with the New Orleans Saints ended. Stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease, the wheelchair-bound Gleason rolled to declare, in his computer-generated voice, "This is my hometown; this is my hometown band." Gleason's presence lingered throughout the show as McCready wore a Team Gleason T-shirt and Eddie Vedder, a wristband. Vedder later dedicated the show and 2006's "Inside Job" to Gleason and his family, and announced that the band let Gleason write the set list -- which led to the inclusion of a quiet "Chloe Dancer" alongside a number of songs from the new Lightning Bolt. [SPIN]Pearl Jam's full setlist and pictures from the whole day, costumed attendees included, are in this post. Pictures from Day 2 are HERE. More Day 1 below....
still from 'Inside Llewyn Davis'
Inside Llewyn Davis is the new Coen Brothers film starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund and Justin Timberlake, which has been on the festival circuit this year (including this fall's New York Film Festival) and will open in December. The music in the film was executively produced by T-Bone Burnett, and mostly consists of covers of old folk songs. The soundtrack will be released on November 12 via Nonesuch.
The film's music will be celebrated and performed in NYC on September 29 at Town Hall during a big concert that features Jack White, Patti Smith, Colin Meloy (The Decemberists), Conor Oberst, Joan Baez, Marcus Mumford, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Punch Brothers, Avett Brothers, Milk Carton Kids, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), and more, in addition to some of the film's cast, including Oscar Isaac, John Goodman, Carey Mulligan, and Stark Sands.
Concert flyer and film trailer, below...
by Bill Pearis
TOY @ BV SXSW 2013 (more by Sarah Frankie Linder)
UK motorik shoegazers TOY were supposed to play NYC back in March while the band were coming over for SXSW. The Austin shows happened (like at one of our SXSW day shows) but NYC didn't -- a personal bummer to this writer, as their debut album was one of my favorites of 2012. Good news, TOY will be stopping in NYC on their way to the Corona Capital Fest in Mexico City, playing Glasslands on October 10. Tickets to that show go on sale Friday (7/26) at 10 AM.
The Corona Capital Fest happens October 12 & 13 at Mexico City's Hermanos Rodriguez Autodrome. You can check out the line-up -- which includes Phoenix, Arctic Monkeys, QOTSA, Vampire Weekend, The xx and more -- below and tickets are on sale now.
TOY video and Corona Capital Fest flyer are below.
Titus Andronicus at Maxwell's - 7/16/13 (via @suchashorttime)
Titus Andronicus played their last three Maxwell's shows ever this week (7/14-16) as part of the final run of shows at their soon to close home state venue. The shows were all pretty special for the band, reaching the three-hour mark and hitting significant amounts of all three full lengths, in addition to non-album tracks, covers, and new songs. Each night also had a different special guest opener. On the first night, it was Liquor Store (who also opened Titus' Local Business release show at Shea Stadium), on the second it was Titus' friends/past tourmates Screaming Females, and finally on the last night it was Heeney, who were joined by Titus drummer Eric Harm for their set. (Heeney also plays Shea on Friday [7/19] with Roomrunner, Greys, and Weird Womb.)
Of the covers that Titus did, one of them, which they did on night 3, was Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" (joined by Heeney), which has extra significance because Bruce filmed the video for that at Maxwell's. You can watch a video of Titus covering that song below. Their setlist from night 2 is below too.
Earlier this summer, The Felice Brothers also played a Maxwell's show and had surprise opener Conor Oberst (who recently had Ian Felice open for him) join them for a cover of "Glory Days" too. You can also watch that video below.
photos by Tracy Allison
After Conor Oberst brought his old band, Desaparecidos, through NYC last Tuesday (2/26) for a show at Wester Hall on their tour with Joyce Manor and Thursday/Rival Schools-related project States & Kingdoms, they stuck around to play the venue again the next night. Their setlist was the same as the previous night, including the entirety of their only album, Read Music/Speak Spanish, the band's new singles, and covers of Joyce Manor's "Constant Headache" (joined by members of the band) and The Clash's "Spanish Bombs."
More pictures of all three bands and Desaparecidos' setlist from night 2 below...
photos by Guy Eppel
Desaparecidos' Conor Oberst @ The Stone Pony, 2/15/2013
Conor Oberst pulled his old band Desaparecidos out of retirement and their first East Coast tour in 10 years kicked off at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park on Friday night (2/15). Never without a good anecdote, Oberst reflected upon the time Desaparecidos played the nearby Convention Center opening for Jimmy Eat World. "It was one of the worst fucking shows of all time. Terrible. I laid down and didn't sing the last four songs, the crowd sucked so bad...and Jimmy Eat World's pretty terrible." In addition to their own songs, the band covered The Clash's "Spanish Bombs" and there's video of that, along with more pics from the show, below.
Desaparecidos will wrap up their East Coast jaunt with two shows at Webster Hall next week (Feb. 26 + 27) both of which are with Joyce Manor . Tickets are still available.
In other news, there's a new Desaparecidos 7" out that is available exclusively through the band's website. You can stream both sides below.
Desaparecidos at FYF Fest 2012 (more by Debi Del Grande)
As mentioned, Conor Oberst's reunited punk band, Desaparecidos will be touring with Joyce Manor this February. That tour hits NYC for the previously discussed show on February 26 at Webster Hall with States & Kingdoms, which is sold out, but the band have just added another date happening a day later (2/27) at the same venue. Tickets for the newly-added show go on AmEx and Fan (password: "backsell") presale today (12/12) at noon with a general on-sale beginning Friday (12/14) at noon.
The tour also hits Asbury Park's The Stone Pony on February 15 and tickets for that show are still available.
A list of updated dates and a song stream are below...
photos by Sachyn Mital
"Conor Oberst was nothing short of spectacular tonight at Carnegie Hall" - Conor Merryman
"conor oberst at carnegie hall was an amazing evening." - Dustin Hellinger
Conor Oberst has been on a solo tour which he brought to NYC's historic Carnegie Hall on Thanksgiving Eve (11/21) for a show with Ian Felice (of The Felice Brothers). Conor played a bunch of Bright Eyes cuts like "At the Bottom of Everything," "Lua," "First Day of My Life," and others. Check out the setlist below. Plus, he played material from Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Monsters of Folk, and a few new ones, including one called "Common Knowledge," which you can watch a video of below. Conor brought out a handful of guests on stage including Nate Wolcott, and others.
More pictures from the show, a couple videos, the setlist, and a list of all remaining tour dates, are below.
photos by Wei Shi
Conor Oberst / Jenny Lewis @ Fox Theater 10/3/2012
Last week, the prolific 32-year-old who primarily does business as Bright Eyes appeared at UCLA's Royce Hall, one of two seated, acoustic performances (the other was at Carnegie Hall) that cherry-picked his songbook and served up reworked gems occasionally abetted by friends like Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins.Conor Oberst and Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins played the Fox Theater in Pomona, CA on Wednesday (10/3) and there are pictures from that show in this post. Both Conor and Jenny are performing again today (10/5) at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park which is happening as we speak and free and open to the public if you're out that way. Also playing the fest, on the Conor Oberst-curated stage today is Ben Kweller, with whom Conor recently played in Austin.
I heard that was riveting, and foolishly arrived without earplugs thinking the same thing (albeit with different selections) was due to happen Wednesday night at the Fox Theater, where Oberst drew a wildly devoted, near-capacity crowd. Yet this again was something different: a full-blown, full-band show, with long-haired Oberst in wide-brimmed-hat mode, folky like the new-millennium Dylan he's always been but rocking out with the feel (and sometimes the intensity) of late-'60s Neil Young. [Orange County Register]
More pics from the Fox Theatre show are below...
50 Cent wants you to stop masturbating, and he's taken to Twitter to tell you how to do it:
Step 1. To avoid the urge to masturbate stop going to porn sites.And there you have it. In related news, 50 may share the stage with his rival Fat Joe for for a Chris Lighty Tribute at the BET Hip-Hop Awards.
Step 2. Make a conscious decision not to turn your head after people walk by you.
Step 3. Do not go to strip clubs
Step 4. Do not look at lust filled magazines
Snoop Dogg on Teen Son's Pot Use: 'He's Learning From The Master'. Catch Snoop Lion at Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ tonight. He goes on at 10 (or when he feels like it). Tickets seem to still be available.
We premiered a new Strife song today.
More importantly, we're pretty sure your cat wants this for his or her birthday:
Conor Oberst played a 19 song solo show in Austin, with help from Daniel Johnston and Ben Kweller.
Ben and Conor will again team up at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate park this October.
Obama and marriage equality supporters The National are currently in the studio (hopefully crafting the follow-up to 2010's High Violet), and have posted a six-second clip, titled "Jazz Brunch," to their new Soundcloud account. You can have yourself a "Jazz Brunch" HERE.
Steve Earle is playing an Obama fundraiser at Brooklyn Bowl.
When in doubt, do like Andre Williams says, and "Blame it on Obama."
26 years ago today, heavy metal lost one its greatest bassists and heroes to a tragic bus accident. His recordings are among some of the greatest albums ever produced in metal. Cliff Burton, you are missed.
Metallica's Kirk Hammett will be signing his new horror memorabilia book on 10/11 in New York, NY @ Barnes & Noble, 10/13 in New York, NY @ Comic Con, 10/25 in Los Angeles, CA @ Barnes & Noble, 10/26 in Burbank, CA @ Monsterpalooza, 10/27 in New York, NY @ Chiller Theater, and on 11/20 in San Francisco, CA @ Books Inc.
Speaking of the Ramones, a young Morrissey did not like them, at least the first time around.
Tumbull, CT tried to throw a Michael Bolton concert, lost lots of money in the process.
More stuff below...
DOWNLOAD: The Felice Brothers - "Lincoln Continental" (MP3)
The Felice Brothers at Culture Shock 2012 (more by Kellyann Petry)
The Felice Brothers just released a new collection of songs titled God Bless You, Amigo, which comprises 8 traditional songs and 12 originals that the band have written over the years but never released. You can purchase the album at the band's website at $5 minimum, or any amount through $100 at $5 intervals. The proceeds will go towards a new tour vehicle and studio time for the band to record their next full length album. You can download the track, "Lincoln Continental," form God Bless You, Amigo, which premiered on Rolling Stone this week, above.
The Felice Brothers have some upcoming dates including opening for Modest Mouse at their sold out Wellmont Theatre show on Friday (7/20), before both bands play Firefly Music Festival in Dover, DE. Ian Felice of The Felice Brothers will be back in NYC later this year to open for Conor Oberst at his Carnegie Hall show on November 21. Tickets for that show are still available.
A list of all dates is below...
In other news, Oberst has reformed his band Desaparecidos who only made one album -- 2002's Read Music/Speak Spanish -- and haven't toured together in ten years. Desparacidos are touring in August but no East Coast dates have been announced, at least not yet. All Oberst solo and Desaparecidos tour dates are listed below.
The Newport Festivals Foundation continues to celebrate the festival's historic past by featuring emerging young artists alongside some of folk music's most venerable names. This year's festival features: My Morning Jacket, Jackson Browne, Conor Oberst, Iron & Wine, Patty Griffin, Guthrie Family Reunion, Dawes, The Head & The Heart, Deer Tick, Punch Brothers, City & Colour, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Tallest Man on Earth, tUnE-yArDs, Tom Morello, Trampled by Turtles, Gary Clark, Jr., Alabama Shakes, Blind Pilot, Of Monsters and Men, original music from: Jay Farrar; Will Johnson; Anders Parker; & Yim Yames set to the lyrics of Woody Guthrie, Sharon Van Etten, First Aid Kit, Sara Watkins, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Brown Bird, Jonny Corndawg, Jonathan Wilson, Spirit Family Reunion, Deep Dark Woods, Carl Broemel, Ben Sollee, Robert Ellis, Frank Fairfield, The Apache Relay, Spider John Koerner & His Rag Tag Boys, Joel Rafael, Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons, Elizabeth Mitchell, honeyhoney, Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, The Kossoy Sisters, The Berklee City Music Choir and very special guests to be announced.The 2012 Newport Folk Festival lineup has been announced.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
"How the hell in the world did i end up at a dr dog/bright eyes show?" - Big Troubles
"dr. dog just slaughtered providence. bright eyes are mopping the floor trying to clean up the bloodbath that was dr. dog." - Deer Tick
"dr. dog is opening for bright eyes. oh. news to me.
what a wonderful surprise." - Josi Gula
"Bright Eyes/Williamsburg Waterfront has taken the #1 spot in my Best Concerts of 2011 list. Apologies, Ra Ra Riot/Prospect Park." - Jenny Owen Youngs
"$50 a ticket for dr. dog/bright eyes. i will never ever be a bright eyes fan now. I hate you conor oberst. hate." - Sarah M
Dr. Dog @ Williamsburg Waterfront
Bright Eyes @ Williamsburg Waterfront
Bright Eyes, Dr. Dog and Real Estate played Brooklyn's outdoor Williamsburg Waterfront on Wednesday night (8/31). A set of pictures from that show continues, along with Bright Eyes' setlist, below...
Conor Oberst (more by Chris La Putt)
Those hoping that Wild Flag might schedule a headlining NYC show on the day before they open for Bright Eyes at Radio City Music Hall, are out of luck, but Wild Flag did add a 2nd NYC show, as did Superchunk. They will both open for Bright Eyes at Radio City Music Hall on March 8th (on sale soon) and March 9th (sold out). Bright Eyes also added a bunch more dates, and they are all listed below.
Wild Flag also added some more dates since we last spoke. All of their and Bright Eyes' dates, below...
Ben Kweller just toured through NYC, hitting the Rock Shop in Park Slope for two performances on Saturday night (11/27). Those who chose the early show were treated to guest appearances by both Adam Green and John Shade (who has a show coming up with Mountain Man). Those who chose the late show also got Green and Shade, but won with an appearance by Conor Oberst who joined Ben for a rendition of Bright Eyes song "Another Travelin' Song." A video of that is below.
You might remember Bright Eyes as that band/project Conor led before he started calling himself by his actual name. You may remember seeing Ben Kweller and Conor Oberst play together on stage when Ben opened for Conor at Terminal 5 in 2008.
If my calculations are correct, it's been a bit over three years since "Bright Eyes" played NYC. That November 2007 show was at Radio City Music Hall with Thurston Moore and the Felice Brothers, and earlier that year Bright Eyes played seven nights in a row at Town Hall with special guests that included Britt Daniel, Ben Gibbard, and Ben Kweller.
On March 9, 2011 Bright Eyes will return to NYC and to Radio City Music Hall for a sort-of-all Merge Records bill that will include opening sets by Superchunk and Wild Flag (Conor put out a solo album on Merge and Wild Flag are signed to Merge too). Radio City tickets ranging in price from $25-$39.50 will go on general sale Saturday, December 4th, at 10am, but a presale begins somewhere on December 1st at noon for that show, and for Bright Eyes' only other scheduled gig: June 23rd at Royal Albert Hall in London. There's also an AmEx presale for the NYC show starting Wednesday at noon.
The UK and NYC shows will be in support of a brand new Bright Eyes album, that is coming out on Conor's label Saddle Creek on February 15th, 2011. It's called The People's Key...
"Since 2006 the once revolving cast of Bright Eyes players has settled around permanent members Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott, with additional musicians joining them in the studio and on tour. Fully realized and bursting with charisma, The People's Key is an assured and accomplished album, artfully arranged and filled with the engaging and mesmeric songwriting for which Oberst is renowned. Recorded in Omaha, Nebraska, at the band's own ARC Studios, The People's Key was produced by Mike Mogis and engineered by Mogis and Andy LeMaster.Full tracklist below.
Additional Bright Eyes players on The People's Key: Andy LeMaster, (Now It's Overhead), Matt Maginn (Cursive), Carla Azar (Autolux), Clark Baechle (The Faint), Shane Aspegren (The Berg Sans Nipple), Laura Burhenn (The Mynabirds) and Denny Brewer (Refried Ice Cream)." - Saddle Creek
The Radio City show is one day before Wild Flag (the Sleater-Kinney band) plays DC.
Ben Kweller opens for Pete Yorn at Terminal 5 on March 11th.
The Kweller/Oberst video, all dates, and the tracklist below...
As previously mentioned, My Morning Jacket landed some opening slots on the current Tom Petty tour including August 24th in NJ (though not MSG). Tickets for the tour are currently on sale (some with no service fee).
My Morning Jacket now has new dates that include Canandaigua, NY (outside Rochester) on August 28th (tickets on sale Friday at noon) and Philly on August 29th. On those headlining dates "the guys will be donating $1 from each ticket to a local charity." All dates and the list of charities are below.
Before those, Jim James will be a part of the Appalachain Voices tour with Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore in July. That includes a July 30th show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets are on sale Friday.
You can also catch Yim Yames on May 26th performing with John Prine on Letterman. MMJ is among those who contributed to a new Prine tribute album entitled Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Gayngs, Deer Tick, Josh Ritter, Conor Oberst, Drive By Truckers, Those Darlins and others have tracks on the CD too.
The full tribute tracklist, a video of J Vernon covering Prine at the Haiti benefit @ MHOW, and all MMJ tour dates, below...
photos by Chris Graham
Happy Holidays! I take on more than I can handle. That results in a lot of unposted content. In the name of catching up, while also taking it easy during this final week of the year, here's some of that lost material.
Sporting a beard that complements the music he's making these days, Conor Oberst and his Mystic Valley Band closed down [Outside Lands' Day Two] Sutro Stage with songs that are more down-home than downtrodden. One highlight of the set was when he brought out Jenny Lewis to perform Rilo Kiley's "Portions for Foxes," though Oberst outdid himself in the end with a beautiful rendition of the sparse and gorgeous "Milk Thistle." [MTV]Outside Lands, at SF's Golden Gate Park, ran for three days in August. The pictures here are from its second day, Saturday, August 19th, which featured Conor Oberst & the Mystic Family Band (with an appearance by Jenny Lewis), TV on the Radio, Deerhunter, Mars Volta, Bat for Lashes and Mastodon. (The reunited Os Mutantes also played but there's no pics of them; we did cover them at Webster Hall though.).
More pictures from Day Two, below...
The December issue of Q Magazine is an 'Artists Of The Century' special edition, covering all of the acts that the fine staff of the good ship Q feel are the most important of the century so far. As befitting a special edition of the UK best selling music monthly requires a special cover was commissioned world renowned photographer John Wright has spent over a year shooting 34 artists to fit on triple fold out cover.What do you get when you throw Pitchfork's favorite albums in a blender with NME's? Q's favorite albums of 2009 are (questionable & very UK-centric and) listed below..
The issue is packed to the gills with pieces written by Russell Brand on Noel Gallagher, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis on Coldplay and Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme on The Arctic Monkeys. In addition it also includes exclusive interviews and photos from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Dizzee Rascal, U2, Dave Grohl, Lily Allen, Rihanna, Sir Paul McCartney, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Brandon Flowers from The Killers, Elbow's Guy Garvey, Pink, Muse's Matt Bellamy, Murdoc from Gorillaz, The Kings Of Leon, Mark Ronson, Mika, Nick Cave, Robert Plant, Florence Welch, Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol and Tom Chaplin of Keane.
photos by Graeme Flegenheimer
DOWNLOAD: Monsters of Folk - Say Please (MP3)
Indie supergroup Monsters of Folk are currently on tour across North America to support their new self-titled debut (the second track of which is above). The tour comes to NYC for two shows, at United Palace on November 6th and Beacon Theater on November 8th. Tickets for both are still available.
The pictures here are from the group's Oct. 18th gig at the Greek Theater in L.A....
Monsters of Folk played a monster-sized set last night at L.A.'s Greek Theatre, running through 35 songs in just under three hours -- with no opener and no intermission -- in support of the indie-rock supergroup's self-titled debut, which came out about a month ago. The Monsters comprise My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James; singer-songwriter (and She & Him guy) M. Ward; and Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis, both of Bright Eyes, and at the Greek the band's set alternated Monsters of Folk cuts with material from each member's respective catalog. Simply put, if you ever wind up in a game of Name That Tune with one of these dudes, come prepared.More pictures and the setlist from LA are below...
Backed up on drums by Will Johnson of Centro-matic, the four musicians traded instrumental duties throughout the concert, with Mogis serving as something of a secret-weapon utility man... [Rolling Stone]
Tickets are now on presale (password = SAYPLEASE ) for the NYC Monsters of Folk shows. All dates HERE. Video of Conor Oberst, M Ward, Mike Mogis and Yim Yames (pre-MoF MoF) covering Bob Dylan on Austin City Limits, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Mac and Britt embrace (Triangle Music)
The much anticipated XX Merge Festival took place last week in North Carolina with a five-day (July 22-July 26), Wednesday to Sunday run of shows. Last night (Sunday)'s show with She & Him, American Music Club and Wye Oak was the only fully announced lineup. The other four nights (and one day) were a grab bag of any number of Merge bands past and present. Did you go? What were the highlights?
Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band, who recently played a pair of big NY shows, headlined the fest's first night (which also included Magnetic Fields). Superchunk, which features Merge founders Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan, topped the bill of the second night. The third night included the reformed/reunited lineups of Spent, Polvo and Pipe.
Mac McCaughan came out on stage before [Pipe] instead of the night's emcee and announced that there was a lone protester outside. He invited him up on stage and it was Jon Wurster decked out in Phillies gear as Philly Boy Roy. He was holding a sign that said "Boycot MERGE." He complained that Merge didn't have any Philly bands on their roster and Mac said that they have bands from Jersey, which is close to Philly. You never compare Jersey to Philly in front of Philly Boy Roy. It was hilarious.You can see the partial setlist from Spoon, who headlined that night, below.
All of this led to the introduction of New Jersey punks Pipe. As soon as they kicked into their first song, beer cans and plastic bottles started flying. Frontman Ron Liberti ate it up and even put himself in the line of fire, headbutting some of the cans while kicking some back into the crowd. Liberti bounded around the stage, essentially taunting the crowd. The crowd loved the band's antics as did I (but that may have been different if I hadn't managed to stay dry). [triangle music]
In addition to the Cat's Cradle shows (the venue for 4/5 of the night shows), Saturday featured a day show that included Julian Koster solo as Music Tapes and Mac McCaughan with violin accompaniment as Portastatic. A few videos from that set, below.
M. Ward, who's playing the Central Park Summerstage this Saturday (August 1st), played at the fest's Saturday night showcase. Zooey Deschanel joined him for a cover of the Beatles' "Birthday." Not too big of a surprise considering She & Him headlined the Sunday night show.
Other XX Merge artists who recently stopped in NYC include The Clientele and Richard Buckner (they played Music Hall of Williamsburg last Sunday), Versus and Superchunk (they played South Street Seaport last Friday), and Spent (they played Coco 66). Spoon didn't play a NYC show, but they were spotted in the audience of Paul McCartney's third of three shows at Citi Field in Queens. Destroyer is on his way up. He plays Bowery Ballroom on Thursday. Mark Eitzel (as American Music Club) played Le Poisson Rouge and Maxwell's before XX Merge, and now he's on his way back for a show at The Bell House.
Lineups for each night of XX Merge, with videos, and a bunch of setlists, below...