When Oberst wrote and recorded the songs on Ruminations, entirely solo—with just voice, piano, guitar and harmonica—he intended to ultimately record them with a full band. In the midst of putting together that band, the passionate responses Oberst was getting to those first solo recordings, from friends and colleagues, encouraged him to release the songs as-is, in their original sparse form, as his seventh solo album: Ruminations, which was released in October 2016. Meanwhile, Oberst simultaneously moved ahead with his plans to record with the band. Salutations includes full-band versions of the ten songs from Ruminations, plus seven additional songs.
So that’s kinda weird, right? Feels like a rip-off. Like maybe they should’ve just held on to the ten demos on Ruminations and included them as a bonus disc with Salutations. Who does Oberst think he is, Ryan Adams?
Then again, who cares anyway since nobody buys music anymore, and we can just stream them together or separately or not at all. The concept of the “album” as a cohesive piece of work is probably antiquated and anachronistic (and rockist!) at this point. Or maybe not. The only scarcity left in the music marketplace is people’s attention, and I’d rather not spend mine on demo collections when your ultimate intention is to put out a full-band album. But that’s just me.
Watch Conor Oberst tool around the Nonesuch Records offices in a bad wig in his latest video from Upside Down Mountain. He reads the Bible, pounds a bottle of water, and trims his wig. The video is a little goofy, but the song is good: a character study of a classic fuckup. We all know the type. “Washed up, bitter, broken, busted / backstabbed everyone he trusted.”
It’s a sequel to the “Zigzagging Toward the Light” video, which was released back in May and concluded with a promise to be continued. Both were directed by David Altobelli.
Maybe we tweeted about this already—I don’t know, who can keep up anymore?—but it’s worth a few more than 120 characters. Conor Oberst links up with “his boy” Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and the gals from First Aid Kit to sing a truly lovely song on the banks of a lake. “Lua” is a Bright Eyes tracking going way back to 2005 but sounds like it could just as easily be from 1974 Laurel Canyon.
We love some Oberst here at GLONO HQ and if this is an indication of his new album then I guess we best get hopping and add it to the library.
“I know you have a heavy heart, I feel it when we kiss. So many men stronger than me throw their backs out trying to lift it.” That’s some deep shit there. We’re declaring this the last song of the summer of 2014. Grab a Pabst, smoke a J, and take a swim.
Jim James: The only rule was that the four of us play everything on the record. So we played all the drums, all the bass—we didn’t hire any outside musicians. Conor Oberst: And we all sing on nearly every song, even if it’s just backup. M. Ward: That was a fun part of process—layering the vocals; finding common ground between vocals. Mike Mogis: That’s one of the standout features of the record. The songwriting is great, as well, but the sheer sonics of hearing these three people sing together… Oberst: It’s that old folk sound. [laughter] James: It’s just like Peter, Paul and what’s his face. [laughter]
Sounds like they’ve got the right attitude—not taking themselves too seriously. We’ve got a couple of videos after the jump, including a live version of “Say Please” plus a song that sounds a lot like American Beauty-era Grateful Dead.
This 60-minute long documentary was made by Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band‘s guitar-tech Phil Schaffart over the past year and a half. Schaffart began video taping the band in Tepoztlan, Mexico in 2008 while they were recording their first album and continued filming as they toured around the world, up through the recording of their new album, Outer South, due May 5 on Merge.
The documentary is being made available as a free stream or HD download on Causecast.org, “in the hope that you will make a donation to a nonprofit or cause of your choice.” Additionally, IFC.com, The Huffington Post, and Myspace IMPACT will feature outtakes, trailers and live acoustic performances from the film.
Sounds like Bright Eyes, but it’s his first solo album since some cassette releases in the mid-90s. Why go solo now? Who knows? Maybe Merge made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, and since “Bright Eyes” is so historically tied to Saddle Creek, it wouldn’t have seemed right…
A Glorious Noise interview with the creator of the Emo Game.
By Derek Phillips
Sure, they got a rep for nerd glasses, perfectly messed hair and being sensitive and in touch with their feelings, but Emo kids have a darker side. Graphic designer, Jason Oda, created the Emo Game for those twisted bastards to live out their more violent tendencies and save their Emo heroes. Why? Because he hates Steven Tyler, of course. Glorious Noise caught up with Oda to discuss the Emo Game, crying, and selling out.