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5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening To with Conor Oberst

5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening To with Conor Oberst


1. Conor Oberst picks “Saint Dominic’s Preview” by Van Morrison

Every week we ask one artist that we love to talk about on song that they love. On the heels of his new album, “Ruminations” we catch up withConor Oberst.

Justin Barney: Conor, what is one song that you can’t stop listening to?

Conor Oberst: The thing I’ve been onto lately is Van Morrison. It’s called “Saint Dominic’s Preview” which is the name on one of his records, but it’s the title track of that record.

I love that cut. I mean, I love a lot of Van Morrison’s stuff.

Justin Barney: What do you love about Van Morrison?

Conor Oberst: I mean, he’s Celtic soul brother.

I saw him play once. My friend Sean used to work at this place Irving Plaza in New York and he called me up one afternoon and was like, “CO, you gotta get down here. Van’s about to play.”

It was like some weird corporate gig. It was close to my house, so I ran down there. He snuck me in the back door. And he was like a boxer going into the ring, dude. He came in with these cats, like Irish mafia guys, and he walks in, boom, through the front door. Encircled, and you know he’s a little guy. Walks through the front door, all the way up to the stage, comes on, SLAYS IT. At like 6PM, but yeah, he just came on stage and crushed it.

*sings* “The record company has paid out for the wine”


  • “Saint Dominic’s Preview” was released on Van Morrison’s album of the same name in 1972.
  • Listen if you like: Bright Eyes, Celtic soul brother music, the light and beautiful voice of the angel, Van Morrison

2. The Rolling Stones – “Just Your Fool”

The Rolling Stones have always been about the blues.

Ever since Keith Richards stood waiting for a train at 17 years old with a Chuck Berry album under his arm and his old primary school acquaintance, Mic Jagger, saw the album under Richards album, came up to him on the platform and told him that he loved Chuck Berry too and that he had every Chuck Berry album ever made, and told Richards that he should come to a meet up on a Saturday morning and play some tunes.

From the beginning, the blues has been their bond.

Since then they have casually moved with musical trends, Releasing Flowers at the peak of the hippy movement, slipping into psychodellia with “Their Satanic Majesties Request”, and even grazing disco with “Some Girls.”

But now, 50 some odd years after Mic saw Keith with that Muddy Waters album under his arm on the tube, the Stones are back to the blues.


  • The Rolling Stone’s new album, “Blue & Lonesome” will be out on December 2nd.
  • Listen if you like: the Stones doing what they do best, Chuck Berry, the blues

3. Vulfpeck – “Animal Spirits”

Vulpeck is a band that radiates funk, sunshine and joy. They might be the preternatural descendant of Stevie Wonder mid-1970’s work re-incarnated in 2016.

The lyrics in this song are a meta-commentary of love mirroring art as a story arc. With an easter egg reference to their song Back Pocket coming in as a wink to those hard core fans.

When listening to Vulfpeck, in an office chair you might find yourself wiggling uncontrollably and smiling unconsciously. If you are standing you might see that you are tap dancing while cartoon birds surround you in an ultimate vision of happiness.

Get ready to smile. This is Vulfpeck.


  • “Animal Spirits” is off Vulfpeck’s new album, “The Beautiful Game” which is out now.
  • Listen if you like: Stevie Wonder, smiling and generally being happy while listening to music, the funk

4. The Lemon Twigs – “I Wanna Prove to You”

Justin Barney: This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To and I’m here with our very own Sarah McClanahan. Sarah what is one song you can’t stop listening to?

Sarah: It’s called “I Wanna Prove to You” by The Lemon Twigs. Everything that I’ve read they’ve compared them to The Beatles. Not in like a, “They are the next Beatles!” but in like a, “They kind of sound like The Beatles.” So I love The Beatles, everyone loves The Beatles, but to me they sound like 1. The Mamas and the Papas, which I love.

And 2. This song in particular. So I was in the musical “Grease” in High School. I also watch “Grease” the movie, a lot. More than I would care to admit.

So, Sandy’s song, “Hopelessly Devoted to You” she proclaims her love to Danny. She says, forever and ever I commit to Danny, right? And then Danny, as musicals so often do, has a similar song. It’s called “Alone at the Drive-In” and it doesn’t even compare. It doesn’t even hold a candle to “Hopelessly Devoted To You.” I had to strain myself to think of the name just now.

So, if they were to re-make “Grease” which I don’t think they should do, they should stick this song in. Because in “Alone at the Drive In” he is basically just stating what happened to him at the drive-in. But in this song, I think it’s what Danny was trying to get across.  These guys are trying to get across these guys are singing about how they want to prove their love, how they can’t bear to live without this person, how they are devoted to them eternally. Which is what Sandy says, but then Danny doesn’t fire back with ANYTHING.

Justin Barney: Alright, re-writing “Grease” with The Lemon Twigs.


  • The Lemon Twigs album, “Do Hollywood” is out now.
  • Listen if you like: Grease, classic love songs, The Beatles
  • THIS SONG DOES NOT EXIST ON THE INTERNET. Listen to the player at the top at the 15:30 mark for conversation, or the 17:30 mark for the song itself.

5. Foxygen – “America”

For their first song since their, “Farewell Tour” the duo of Sam France and Jonathan Rado invited 34 musicians into a studio to create an orchestra in a pop song.

It’s a masterpiece of composition more than anything. Vocals are used discreetly over nearly five and a half minutes as the song gives way to a pastiche of musical styles from classical, to swing, piano balladeering and Brahms, it never stays in one direction, but pivots, jukes, and jumps from one style to another.

There really is nothing quite like this.


  • A new Foxygen album has not officially been announced. Yet.
  • Listen if you like: Scott Walker, The Beach Boys album “Pet Sounds”, a 34 piece orchestra

5. Video Producer Laura Kezman picks "Bird Set Free" by Sia


Justin: Laura, what do you do at 88Nine?

Laura: So, at 88Nine, I am the video producer. So all of the video content that you may have seen online is my fault.

Justin: So, Laura, what is one song that you can’t stop listening to?

Laura: Sia’s "Bird Set Free."

Justin: Ahh, totally.

Laura: I have been producing a documentary for the past six years; any burst of motivation or movement that the film has had in the past year has been kind of triggered by that song.

Justin: Really. How does it match to the documentary?

Laura: To me it’s a song about mental illness. And…

Justin: Is that what your documentary is about?

Laura: Yeah, so the documentary is a film about eating disorders. You know, there’s so much of it that it’s intended to be a voice for the people who can’t speak for themselves right now. And I feel like that is what this song is. I mean, I feel like it’s putting it into words. I mean, everything about it. Like, the melody, the rhythm, yeah. Like the visceral-ness of her voice, everything… It’s doing more than telling, it’s showing somebody else another person’s struggle. And it’s also making it universal, too. Because there’s a scream inside we all try to hide. I mean, that’s true for everybody, you know? I mean, and again, whether that is depression, or addiction, or an eating disorder, or any type of anything. We all share that as humans. But it’s the one thing that is so hard to talk about, and it’s so… Because it’s invisible.

Justin: Mmhm.

Laura: And it’s so hard to articulate. And I think that Sia does such a beautiful job articulating that through music.

Justin: Mmhm.

Laura: To me, it’s sort of the battle of the sufferer.


  • Sia reached a high level of commercial success and attention in 2014 with her album 1000 Forms of Fear, but she started her singing career in 1993 at the age of 17.
  • Listen if you like: empowering, inspiring, feel-good songs
  • The deluxe edition of Sia’s 2016 album comes out on Friday, October 21st. “Bird Set Free” is the first song on the album.

5. Jonwayne – “Wonka”

Justin Barney: I’m here with our intern Eddie, AKA Fast Eddie. Eddie you have been haranguing me about playing one artist and a song in particular. Could you tell me what is the song and artist you can’t stop listening to?

Eddie: First of all the artist is Jonwayne. And the song that I really want to listen to is “Wonka”

Justin Barney: Why Wonka?

Eddie: So basically the little history is that Jonwayne was allegedly retired. He put out an album saying that Jonwayne is retired so he hadn’t talked to anyone in like two years, and then all of a sudden he comes out of nowhere at the beginning of the summer with “Wonka” which is the single. And “Wonka” is basically an ode to the new Jonwayne, and kind of a scathing review of everyone who doubted him. It’s like a diss-track but in like a really powerful way.

Justin Barney: Like an affirmative diss-track?

Eddie: It’s an affirmative diss-track, but in his own manner. He did an interview right before he dipped out on the public and he was like, “I hate rap. I hate hip-hop. I’m not rap. I’m not hip-hop. I’m my own person. I’m a musician and I don’t care about what you want to say about me. I’m here doing this self-gratifying level of music, and if you’re gonna disrespect me for being a hip-hop artist I don’t care because I’m not a hip-hop artist. I’m a musician.”

And I love that.


  • Jonwayne’s single “Wonka” is out now.
  • Listen if you like: MF DOOM, dogma rap, affirmative diss-tracks