OBERHOFER

THE BEST OF CMJ
November 16, 2015 9:02 am

Another year, another CMJ. It’s no doubt that CMJ Music Marathon is one of the best music festivals held in NYC where you can discover both local and international bands. The city turned into a playground for bands and made millennials stay up all night dancing to some catchy tunes. Not only did CMJ offer great music to our city but also incorporated daytime programming where people could learn about music politics, attend Q&A sessions with radio promoters, and even have a cheeky breakfast with music industry individuals.

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Here at ATYPICALSOUNDS, we’re all about celebrating indie music so we curated three killer showcases with the best bands you need to know right now. Our first showcase on Thursday featured artists like Stolen Jars, Weaves, Methyl Ethyl, and IDGY Dean who slammed drumbeats along her soulful voice. Our biggest day party was on Friday at The Delancey and we had a lineup to fill all three floors. We managed to squeeze in Bent Denim to our lineup who were perfect to start the day with their calm shoegaze tunes. The rooftop crowd was amazed by Avi Jacob who nailed “Cannonball.” Wolkoff and Caveboy were also astounding artists who added an extra umph to the show. Beverly played at our last showcase at Cameo Gallery and performed smoothly with her breathy vocals. Lena Fayre, who’d been in all three showcases, closed the night with her deep, dark, and emotional tones that gave chills throughout the room.

Throughout the week there were many more artists we discovered that blew our minds. Australian band Good Morning played the Cake Shop on a Tuesday night and talked about their favorite video games after the show. We headed to The oberjikjDelancey later that night to check out City of the Sun who never fails to leave us in amazement with their rhythmic skills. Birch was playing on a Wednesday night at the Bowery Electric and energized the room with Michelle’s electric blue hair and dancy beats. Cosmo Sheldrake was a pleasant change from the guitar and drums we’ve been used to listening to. A multi-talented instrumentalist who creates a piece by putting together different sounds especially wowed the crowd with his improvisation skills. We headed to see the Brooklynite Oberhofer own the stage at Mercury Lounge and had a chat about his album Chronovision after his show behind the merch table. Saturday at The Delancey were dedicated specifically to bands from Australia. Gordi caught my attention with her acoustic guitar folk tunes and calming voice.

The BEASTS are are pretty damn good at this whole “knowing where to find good music” thing. Last month’s CMJ was an obvious reminder of that, and there will be plenty more where that came from. Just wait for SXSW….

OBERHOFER RULES THE NIGHT
October 20, 2015 9:06 am

Last Wednesday night was pretty crazy when Oberhofer took the stage at Mercury Lounge for CMJ. As a New Yorker, he seemed to have a lot of friends and supporters at the show to see some of the craziness he does on stage. At one point during the show he hopped off stage mid-song, grabbed a trashcan, sat on a chair and started throwing some shit out. It was bizarre, yet I was fascinated by his odd charm.

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How’s CMJ been so far? Is this your first one?

It’s been going really well. I’ve done it for 3 years.

So what was going on with that whole trashcan situation?

I saw a lot of trash on the ground and I just went out and found a trashcan. I brought it in and I just put some trash in it in front of everyone so they saw that it was a trash can. I saw a lot of people put trash in the trash can so they just didn’t leave it on the floor. I don’t do it at every show, I just noticed the trash tonight. Not some kind of metaphorical reference.

How’s the reaction to your latest album Chronovision?

It’s been great, I haven’t heard anything negative. I’ve only heard positive stuff from hundreds and hundreds of people.

How is it different compared to your first album?

I produced most of it and the vibe is a little bit more sophisticated, the feelings are more sinister yet optimistic, fatalist.

What’s your favorite off the album?

Don’t have a favorite, but I like “Listen to Everyone” the most. The two bookends, the beginning and the end are my favorite parts from that.

I heard you had to write 106 demos to create this album.

I didn’t HAVE to, I just did. You have to write a lot of songs to figure out what you need on your album, to figure out what you’re going for and for your label to approve of it. When you sign a record deal, you can’t release anything unless your label approves it. That’s just how it works. That’s just cost of being in a record label. You don’t get to release anything you want. It needs quality control. So it took me a long time to release a record, come up with demos and songs that I really liked and the label also liked. I would not be able to ever release something under contract that was only one and all the others. If you want to sign to a record label, then you’re making public music and you’re making music to sell other people for a living under contract. So you have to be at least a little bit concerned as to whether or not other people will like it. But you don’t want to write music with that in mind, which I didn’t do. I just kept writing songs and 12 out of the 106 that I wrote ended up being okay by everyone’s standards. And I didn’t compromise at all, and I just wrote music the way I wanted to write it until 12 songs ended up feeling right.

How long was the whole process?

4 years.

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Are you a fan of posting on social media?

I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan, but I use it because its a popular media and its a way to interact with people and a way to present your personality and your character. However if it didn’t exist, other people would pay more attention to other things that aren’t social media oriented. So I’m a fan of people interacting and people being passionate about artists and people paying attention to what artists do and listening to them. However, given the fact that social media is so heavily saturated you have to do hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of interviews for anyone to pay attention to anything, and it all just gets lost in a massive sea of social media. Everyone’s got hundreds and thousands of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter followers. It’s all there, its all in the open and everyone has a bunch and there’s not really much selectivity.

Do you always take care of the merchandise table?

I always go to the merch table so I can meet people, talk to them, and make sure they know that I’m available and let them know that I’m a real human who likes to interact with people and cares about other people.

Are you a vegetarian?

I’m a vegetarian- well, I eat fish. I’m a pescetarian. I don’t really classify myself, I don’t have rules so, I mostly don’t eat meat. For the most part.

For your health or ethical reasons?

Because of both, or for whatever reason. I haven’t eaten meat in a long time. I used to be able to eat white meat and now I just feel really bad eating it, and I can’t. I’ve just filtered it out of my life. I don’t need it, I don’t depend on it, it doesn’t really change the way I feel. And I’m really glad because it’s wasteful. I don’t need to support that industry. I’d rather support local farmers and people that make really healthy food and cook vegetables. I’d rather spend my money on that rather than spending money on crazy factory farm industry that just kills animals. If you go to farmers markets, it’s cheap as hell. It’s cheaper than non-organic food at the grocery store! I go to a farmers market every Sunday in New York and I get tons of vegetables and they’re so cheap I can’t believe it.

Oberhofer Takes Over Elvis Guesthouse
June 21, 2015 2:02 pm

When you say 85 Avenue A you immediately think, Arrow Bar. Or at least you should have, until now. Earlier this year, the team of well-known Williamsburg venue Baby’s All Right opened a new bar/club in the East Village, taking over the old Arrow Bar space (RIP). The newly remodeled venue (with legitimate bathrooms might I add) is our new favorite small band destination called, Elvis Guesthouse.

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You can imagine my surprise when I found out that not only was my once favorite bar being replaced, but now my favorite band was playing at this new replacement. Oh, the conflicting feelings! I stumbled in last Wednesday night, June 17th to see Oberhofer taking the stage. Since the space is small, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house; you could really get up into the faces of the band members, seeing every drip of sweat slowly sliding down their nervous faces.

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Never seeing Oberhofer perform live, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but after a shaky start the group killed the rest of the performance. Their garage band sound was a perfect match for the intimate space of Elvis Guesthouse. I felt like I was at band practice. The sounds weren’t perfect, but that just added to the charm of the evening as lead singer and guitarist, Brad Oberhofer, continued to drink his mystery liquid from a pitcher rather than pint glass.

Oberhofer can be categorized as a mixture of GIRLS, and Yellow Ostrich. The almost grunge, almost indie pop, and almost psychedelic, Oberhofer remains one of those gems you can still see in small intimate spaces. Listen up and get familiar. They’ll be back again to wow us this fall with the highly anticipated album, Chronovision.