Thanks to terrifying extenuating circumstances, we have now reached a new golden age of artists, marooned on home quarantine, posting acoustic home-recorded covers of each other’s songs. The latest artist to join the party is Phoebe Bridgers, a truly great songwriter who is also extremely good at singing other people’s songs. Last night, Bridgers shared a song from her friend and Better Oblivion Community Center bandmate Conor Oberst, and she did it for a good cause.
On Twitter and Instagram, Bridgers has posted video of herself playing “Mamah Borthwick (A Sketch),” a song from Oberst’s 2016 solo album Ruminations. Along with the cover, she’s also posted a link to the GoFundMe campaign for LA’s Bootleg Theater. The venue, the place where Bridgers first met Oberst, has had to close during the coronavirus pandemic. In its GoFundMe campaign, it’s raising money for the people on staff who haven’t been able to collect a paycheck. Bridgers would like you to donate.
The song she’s picked to cover is a vulnerable meditation on emotion, architecture, and end times. It’s a beautifully written song: “Every time I tempt fate, there’s a major earthquake/ Heard the people scream as the ceiling fell/ Every building damaged, only one left standing/ It was Frank Lloyd Wright’s Imperial Hotel.” Bridgers’ version is soft and quiet and thoughtful, and she absolutely does it justice. Check out Bridgers’ cover and the original below.
— traitor joe (@phoebe_bridgers) March 30, 2020