Swapping Songs with Conor Oberst
From the Bullpen # 10
As far as I’m concerned, between Bright Eyes and his solo records, Conor Oberst is one of the greatest songwriters that has played the game. I remember hearing Fevers and Mirrors when I was 16 and feeling my sense of song permanently rewired. So it was a big deal for me when went on tour with Conor as the opening act as well as his band. To celebrate our worlds coming together we decided to cover one of each other’s tunes and release it as a limited 7 inch. We tried our best to make Easy/Lucky/Free sound like a Dawes song and Conor did the same thing to Million Dollar Bill. Happy to bring these recordings back to life.
Art by Ian Bush
We Have A Podcast!
When we talk to each other about our band, or just music as a whole, I feel like there is an added depth and level of comfort than there is when we’re talking to someone outside the band (nothing against interviews…I just think that’s the nature of conversations between people who know each other intimately). And yet, I don’t think we’ve ever brought anyone else into those conversations. So I sat down with each member of the band individually over the last several months and had a conversation. This first one is with Griff. We recorded it months before GLWW came out. The album barely comes up but we ended up finding several enjoyable threads to follow. Hope you dig it too…
LISTEN TO ‘EPISODE 1’ HERE
(Like this podcast image, designed by Michael Carney? It’s available on a t-shirt RIGHT HERE)
Catch ‘Free As We Wanna Be’ Acoustic + Live
Today we’re releasing Free As We Wanna Be as a single along with an acoustic version and a live version LISTEN HERE
Single version: Since this baby already clocks in at 3 minutes, you’ll be hard pressed to find any differences between it and the album cut. But I implore you to give it a re-listen anyway in this new context as a “single” rather than a Track-8-On-A-9-Song-Album. Who knows, maybe you’ll love it more. Maybe you’ll hate it more. Either way, the tiny space it takes up in your brain currently is begging to be re-shaped by this new digital packaging. LISTEN HERE
Acoustic version: When the Powers-That-Be hit me up again to record some sort of acoustic version of this song to include in this extended-single/mini-EP, I thought, “With MY pro-tools home rig? With these plug-ins? With THESE mics? No thanks!” But then I remembered I bought a 1979 Tascam Portastudio 4-Track Casette Recorder about a year ago but was too fearful to figure out how it worked. Until now. I dug into the instruction manual, I plugged my mic into my reverb tank, the reverb tank into the Tascam and did my best. You’re gonna hear a good amount of hiss, some weird ghost flares (maybe something to do with power in my house?), and way in the background you can sorta hear when I’m cutting in and out of overdubs. Suffice it to say: it’s scrappy. But I love it. It feels like a living recording. It’s the first thing I’ve ever made on this 4-Track and I’m damn proud of it. LISTEN HERE
Live Version: This was recorded the same day we made our North Hills live stream (for you Dawesians out there that were able to catch that set and know what I’m talking about). It’s live from the amphitheater at Griff’s and my old high school. Last time we were there was Griffin’s graduation when we were a few months away from recording North Hills back in 2008. Looking forward to getting this tune on the road so the live version can get hairier and hairier, but it feels good to have a documentation of what it sounded like the 4th time we ever played it live. LISTEN HERE
Watch! Dawes on Stephen Colbert
Happy we got to play this one for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert! #playathome