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Does your own experience as an athlete help you as a sideline reporter?
"This here," says Conor Oberst, twisting off a turquoise-encrusted piece of jewellery, "is my Four Winds ring. If you read the inscription on the band it says in Hebrew: 'Father of the four winds fill my sails across the sea of years.'"Oberst, 28, is chatting outside the East London offices of Wichita Recordings, the label that puts out his work this side of the pond.
How are you prepping to work with fellow analyst Tim Tebow?
I remember watching him and saying, “Oh, not again,” like when he broke Herschel Walker’s [rushing touchdown] record.
Every now and then, another conference is going to have a great number one team.
But week in and week out, having to play a really tough schedule that’s preparing you for the postseason, there’s no better conference than the SEC.
"A native American friend of mine did it for me during a visit to the Pyramid of the Sun," says the diminutive, raven-haired singer.
"Now it feels extra magical and I wear it all the time." What was Oberst doing in Tepoztlan? Given that Cassadaga was named for a spiritualist community in Florida that Oberst had visited, it was only natural that he would be drawn to a small Mexican town famous for Aztec magic and its high incidence of UFO sightings; a town that is also the reputed birthplace of the feathered-serpent-god Quetzalcoatl. " says the singer of the locale that spawned his 14th album, Conor Oberst.
Conor Oberst is his first solo record in 13 years, a spare, predominately upbeat folk- and country-flavoured work that trades the apocalyptic, all-encompassing themes of last year's Cassadaga for more personal matters.
His big breakthrough record was the Bright Eyes album I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, partly a caustic attack on the Bush administration, and a US No10 in 2005.
His business concerns today including Team Love records, the New York City-based imprint that he co-founded in 2003, and which has since signed Tilly and the Wall and Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis, among others.
Today he's dressed all in black, and his boyish, almost elfin features are accentuated by a mop-top haircut.
He seems happy enough, his chilled-out stay in rural Mexico perhaps a salve for the panic attacks that have sometimes plagued him.