The Oblivians were a garage punk band formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1993. The band consisted of three members -- Greg Cartwright, Jack Yarber, and Eric Friedl -- who alternated between instruments on stage and in the studio, each member serving as vocalist, guitarist, and drummer, in turn. The band recorded three LPs, as well as a number of EPs and singles, using a direct, unpolished style, typically recording songs live in the studio. The band broke up in 1998 after the recording of their final album, ...Play 9 Songs with Mr Quintron.
The Oblivians began performing together in the summer of 1993. At the time of the Oblivians' inception, both Greg Cartwright and Jack Yarber were members of the garage-rock band the Compulsive Gamblers, however, following the departure of most of the band’s members from the band’s home base in Memphis, the two decided to continue playing together in a more compact incarnation of their former band, recruiting Shangri-la Records employee and future Goner Records founder Eric Friedl to round out the three-piece. Within a short time of the group’s formation the band had written much of the material that would appear on their first recording, the posthumously-released “On the Go.” As almost the entire album was written over the first weekend following the group’s decision to play together, Yarber, who had been staying in New Orleans with former Compulsive Gamblers Drummer Rod Thomas hoping to continue with his former band in some form, felt the Oblivians had enough promise for him to return to Memphis. Upon Yarber’s return, the Oblivians got a gig opening for Southern Culture on the Skids, their first show as a three-piece.