Friday, June 12, 2009

Hey Look, Another Conor Oberst Band

By Evan Rytlewski
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It looks like that long-rumored Conor Oberst/Jim Jones/M. Ward collaboration is actually going to happen: Monsters of Folk—wow what a name—will release their debut album on Sept. 22, according to a press release sent out this morning that promises this album will bring peace on earth:

Monsters of Folk began as folklore of sorts, when James, Obert, Ward and [Mike] Mogis did their first run of shows together in 2004. Like the musical revue shows that went town to town when rock 'n' was newly born, the tour was called "An Evening With: Bright Eyes, Jim James and M. Ward," although amongst friends and crew, it became affectionately known as the "Monsters of Folk Tour." While entertaining audiences coast to coast with gorgeous acoustic melodies and world-weary tales, the foursome vowed to make their way to the studio at some point after the tour's completion. Instead, the songsmiths went on to individual release some of rock's most exciting and essential albums of the last five years ... Never ones to forget their promise, when downtime presented itself, they convened in the studio multiple times over two years, with Mogis at the helm of their first recorded effort. The result is as stunning and storied as you would expect it to be.

­The record hasn't even been released yet and its already storied! Now that's impressive.

I'm cautiously optimistic; Conor Oberst's touring bar band Mystic Valley Band brings the goods in concert but falls a little flat in the studio, but intimate folk has always been a better vehicle for Oberst's rambling, loquacious prose than electric roots-rock, so Monsters of Folk—save for that ridiculous name­—seems a step in the right direction.

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