New Music From Conor Oberst’s Band Desaparecidos

Conor Oberst must have a hard time keeping track of all the projects he’s involved in, but after ten years of silence from Desaparecidos, he started paying attention to them again. Desaparecidos takes Oberst’s music in a much different direction than his other projects. The songs are driven much more by anger than thoughtfulness (and more often than not sadness) as we’re used to seeing from Bright Eyes. The band released their first album in 2002, titled Read Music/Speak Spanish. Lasting controversy has sparked Oberst to reunite with Desaparecidos, with the release of a new song, “MariKKKopa.”

The song is a reference and a response to Joe Arpaio, a Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff. Arpaio thinks of himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff” and for the past fifty years has been loved and hated for his stout stance against illegal immigration. In a 2007 CNN interview after, critics compared him to the KKK; he responded by saying it’s “an honor – it means we’re doing something.” In the song, Desaparecidos criticize Arpaio with lyrics like, “We’re gonna round them up/Hiding in the semi-trailers/Knock knock knock/Beat it in their heads/We keep our word and keep Maricopa pure.” Desaparecidos also directly reference Arpaio in the song, as well as include a sample of the interview at the end of the song.

By Anthony Cantone Heinze

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