Change Location × Asheville, NC

    Recent Locations

      Better Oblivion Community Center in Asheville

      • Better Oblivion Community Center Photo #1
      1 of 1
      April 5, 2019

      Friday   8:00 PM

      185 Clingman Avenue
      Asheville, North Carolina

      • No Performers Listed
      Better Oblivion Community Center

      with Lala Lala, Christian Lee Hutson
      You can listen to the duos self-titled debut out now, via Dead Oceans, on all streaming platforms and watch their performance on Late Night With Stephen Colbert here:'ll hit The Grey Eagle stage on 4/5 but in the meantime, A conversation with Phoebe Bridgers & Conor Oberst:Its so great to see you guys. Phoebe, I like your hair yellow like that. Is it Manic Panic?Phoebe: No.Its got a sort of grunge vibe. Did you know that in dream analysis the color yellow is symbolic of intellect, energy, agility, happiness, harmony, and wisdom?Phoebe: Of course.So, first things first: Better Oblivion Community Center. I heard you guys were visiting Forest Lawn Cemetery which well talk about again in a minute and you took a selfie to post on Instagram, up by where they have that statue of David there, its bigger than the actual statue of David in Florence, I think, and you guys noticed in the location tagging that there were a lot of geolocation options in other languagesI guessArmenian? Mandarin? Korean? Conor: Burmese.Yeah! Burmese. Right?And then you tagged your location but later on you typed those characters into Google Translate and it turned out not to be tagged from Forest Lawn. It actually translated as Better Oblivion Community Center. Is that right? Conor: (laughs) No.Really?! Cuz I heard that and I thought that was so cool! Where did the name come from then?Phoebe: Do people care where the name came from?Conor: Nah.Alright. We can leave that in, I guess we answered it So lets get to when you two met. It was a show at the Bootleg in LA, and Conor you were playing a secret show and Phoebe, your friend at the venue got you to open for them. This was July 2016, so before Stranger In The Alps was out, and Conor, you were there early enough to watch her set. And afterwards you asked her to send you her record. You mustve really been impressed with her set. Conor: Yeah. It was a weird thrown together show. A lot of people played short sets, like Gillian Welch and Jim James. Kyle, who put on the show, said Phoebe was his favorite songwriter in LA, so I was excited to check it out. I was immediately struck by her voice. There are not a lot of people whose voice stops you in your tracks like that.I bet you get people trying to send you their music all the time. Everywhere you go, right?Conor: Kinda.But you actually asked for hers. Conor: I did.And then you invited her to open for you on tour. Conor: Yeah.That was the Salutations t our? Conor: Ruminations.Right yeah, Ruminations. And you guys would do Lua together on the road? Phoebe: Sometimes.So then you guys would guest at each others shows, right? And Conor, you were spending a lot of time in Los Angeles around this time. Cuz youve been in Omaha mostly the past few years but you have a spot in LA, on the West Side.Conor: East side.Right, and so you guys would show up and guest at shows. And youre on Phoebes song Would You Rather. So really early on you started collaborating on music, right? That was kind of an immediate spark, this instinct to perform and sing together. And your voices, they really compliment one another. Theres something really special about when you duet. Particularly when you sing in unison, it really works. Phoebe, you have a really sweet, crystal clear voice and Conor, yours is more world weary and raspy, so theres something really striking about them together. Conor: I guess thats one way to look at it. I wouldnt necessarily say Phoebes voice is crystal clear. At least not in a Mickey Mouse way. I think its textured in a very unique and interesting way. In that she can sing anything and there is a certain gravity to it that other voices dont bring.Phoebe: I do agree that Conors voice is pretty raspy.Right, yeah. Thats true, gravity is a perfect word for it. And you know, I say in unison, its from the Latin. It means, literally, one sound but when you guys sing together its really not, its incredibly rich because you get both these different emotions from the exact same lyrics. The sort of clear eyed optimistic sound of Phoebes vocal and then the more seasoned sound of Conors. Conor: Sure.The first song you wrote together is the first song on the album, I Didnt Know What I Was In For and at that time you werent really thinking it would be a whole album but you knew you wanted it to be its own thing, not a Phoebe Bridgers & Conor Oberst album of acoustic songs?Phoebe: Yeah, we didnt know if it would be a single or an EP or what, but we knew we wanted to try writing together and for it to have its own identity with a band name.When youre out touring, youre on the bus and youre playing songs to pass the time, right? Theres a photo of you in the album artwork, Phoebe you have a guitar on your lap and youre both surrounded by this incredible mess of the tour bus. A lot of milk cartons, snack wrappers and piles of dirty clothes and just general mess. Is channeling the chaos of a bus tour into the structure of a song something you usually do? Phoebe: Im actually holding an acoustic bass in that photo. Conor: We wrote in LA, mostly.Ah, okay. But you wrote them together. Its not like Conor would have a song and send it to you, or you would have a song and he would just add bits to it. These songs you guys sat down and wrote together. In the same room?Phoebe: Yeah.You guys obviously compliment each other vocally, we talked about that, but you also feel an affinity with one another in that you admire each others songwriting. And you both generally write alone, right? Its not your usual thing to write a song with someone else. Phoebe: I write with my friends a lot. Conor: I dont have any friends.Did you guys ever sit down and talk about themes or how you wanted the album to sound? Did you discuss what kind of songs theyd be or did you just sit down and start writing to see what would happen?Phoebe: We knew we wanted to play with a band, so we kept that in mind while we were writing stuff.Did you see that Nick Cave documentary? Where hes in the studio writing with Warren Ellis and he says if theyre not having terrible ideas that they have to walk back they know theyre not getting anywhere? They call it the Walk Of Shame, when you have to walk back an idea that didnt work. Have you done the Walk Of Shame? Phoebe & Conor (in unison): Yeah.One of my favorites is Forest Lawn. People outside of Los Angeles might not know that its the largest cemetery in LA. And its very beautiful, I should add. Theres something so sweet about the song but its essentially about losing someone and wanting to get them back. Dig you out, you say. Its not really about exhuming someone. Or maybe it is? Maybe its the sweetest song about exhuming a corpse ever written? Phoebe: Its not not about exhuming someone.Music critics have spilled a lot of ink over your guys work. Im not even gonna try. But can you describe each others song writing in three words?Phoebe: Cis white male.Conor: (laughs)I think if I heard you two had made an album I mightve expected something a bit different. Because it sounds so much like a band, it might not be exactly what people would guess its gonna sound like. Its got a great synergy. And you put together an awesome group of musicians for it. You guys have got Nick Zinner from Yeah Yeah Yeahs he plays guitar on Dylan Thomas and Dominoes. And youve got Carla Azar from Autolux, shes also Jack Whites drummer, shes on about half the record. Conor, youve played with her before, havent you? She played on the last Bright Eyes album The Peoples Key.Conor: Yes. Shes great.And Nick Zinner is someone youve been friends with for years. He played a lot on your record Digital Ash In A Digital Urn and toured as part of Bright Eyes back in 2006/ 2007?Conor: 2004/2005.And youve got the rhythm section from Dawes, Wylie Gelber and Griffin Goldsmith, who youve also toured with. They were your backing band on the Upside Down Mountain tour.Conor: Yeah.And some other talented friends, songwriter Christian Lee Hutson on guitar, and Anna Butterss on bass. They both played bass in Phoebes touring band at different times, right? How would you compare them as players?Phoebe: Theyre both good, a lot different stylistically.And you produced it yourselves with Andy LeMaster. Andys someone youve worked with for almost your whole career, Conor. So hes someone you trust? Conor: Absolutely.Theres so many great lines on this album. A lot to unpack. You can really lose yourself in it. Do you have a favorite lyric? Or maybe a favorite lyric that the other one came up with?Conor: We pretty much wrote everything together, so its hard to remember who wrote what.Youre going to tour this record in March and April. Youre putting a band together for it now, right?Phoebe: Yeah.I wanted to talk about Dylan Thomas cuz thats the first single, right? Its the first single and the last song you wrote for the album. Theres a lot of death and ghosts on the album, and mentions of illness and feeling unwell and being anxious and those are things youve both written about a lot which is partly why this collaboration works so well. Dylan Thomas, we all know, is the esteemed Welsh poet who died in 1953 at the age of 39. Hes mentioned for dying on the barroom floor and you know, he was definitely a big drinker. He was drinking at the White Horse in the West Village every night he was in New York before he died. And he fell into a coma at the Chelsea Hotel and died soon after at Saint Vincents on 8th Avenue. Did you know that he actually died of emphysema, pneumonia and bronchitis? And that in November 1953, the month he died, over 200 people died in New York City from air pollution? He probably died from smog. Phoebe: Huh.I should ask why you released this as a surprise. Phoebe: We love surprises.I guess my last question is do you think this is a one off or do you think there will be more Better Oblivion Community Center albums to follow?Conor: Your guess is as good as ours.Guys, thanks for your time. Are you gonna eat the rest of that donut? Conor: Its all yours, man.Chester Middlesworth (PHD)

      Categories: Concerts & Tour Dates

      Event details may change at any time, always check with the event organizer when planning to attend this event or purchase tickets.