Saturday, February 05, 2005

Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst

OK, so the first time I really started paying much attention to Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes' was last fall when he was out on the Vote For Change tour.

Last month, I caught Bright Eyes on Austin City Limits with Wilco and was intrigued enough to dig a little deeper.

So I learned the standard biography background stuff like Conor Oberst refuses to record for major labels, shuns corporate radio and won't play venues owned by Clear Channel Communications. OK, so cool.

And he's got a couple of new CDs out -- I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn.
Then I heard the NPR Live Web-Cast of the Bright Eyes concert at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club. One song in particular struck me which sounded like the ranting of an angry - yet wise - young man. A song written specifically for our hometown's most famous resident.

So who is this "voice of his generation" who's been writing and recording introspective tunes since he was 14?

As Caryn writes on Jukebox Graduate the "obligatory bright eyes posting" of the new Conor Oberst song "When The President Talks To God" lyrics:
"It's a great, biting, eloquent talking blues, in the spirit of Woody and Arlo and Steve Earle. Writing a song like this is tough to do, it's not just the lyrics that are important, it's the tune and the performance and the delivery, and it's freaking masterful."

And the indie press has been all over him and bloggers are ga-ga.
Rather than the usual Bob Dylan comparison, recently we got a comparison to Eminem in Technician Online?! Grayson Currin writes on Conor Oberst, the "precocious poet laureate of the indie world":
"Eminem is restating both his popularity and his ability to hold a large part of the American youth in rapture, hanging on his every flip and slam. Marshall Mathers -- a 32-year-old rapper from Detroit -- commands an obedient, trusting audience, and he knows it.

And, as strange as it may sound, Conor Oberst -- a 24-year-old singer/songwriter from Omaha -- isn’t that different. Oberst, who has recorded with a revolving cast of band members under the name Bright Eyes since 1998, commands an equally attentive if smaller audience. Both writers are fully aware of their character flaws and prodigious talents, and both of them bleed through in striking four-minute poses. Mathers and Oberst are separate, incomparable beasts, of course, but -- when it comes to finding an audience and making it shut up and listen -- they are ironically equivalent masters. "

conor-oberstAt last month's concert in Toronto, Frank on writes:
"But that's not the curious thing about the show. I went down onto the floor between the main set and the encore to retrieve my camera from the coat check, and some of the audience down there were behaving like they'd just witnessed the rapture (the Biblical event, not the band). There was one girl I saw crying through the whole encore, and others who looked on the verge of tears or ecstasy. It was as if they were experiencing a completely different show than me - they were taking it in on another level entirely... It's sort of hard to explain, but it was strange. I felt like a tourist."


Not enough Conor yet? Here's a recent NPR chat with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes.

More Bright Eyes photos from Austin City Limits.

(This article originally published on Blogcritics.)


At 2/11/2005 02:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im sick of this introvert garbage ... he has a horrible voice, he claims to be depressed about something .. maybe his middle class parents not giving him enough pocket money.
Ive heard alot through my brother .. its uninspired drivel ripping off those with no aim in life but to cry themselves to sleep.

At 2/19/2005 03:17:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

See more comments on Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst ... some nice... some not so nice.

At 3/24/2005 08:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i read the other comment and got pissed at the ignorance of "anonymous", who didnt even have the guts to state their identity. conor is amazing, and anonymous needs to learn that some people need more out of life then financial stability...therea re more important things in life then money, and its good to know theres an artist out there who can see that.

At 4/06/2005 09:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's music. Who cares who makes it and who cares what other people say about it. You like it so good. He dosent so he can shut up and listen to something he does like. I think people could enjoy music, ANY MUSIC, more if we could just sit back and enjoy it and quit anylizing it, and the people who make it, all the time. ... Diane

At 5/18/2005 04:20:00 PM, Blogger Gloria said...

I enjoy and will keep enjoying Conor Oberst's music. Granted it's not for everybody. So shut up and turn away from it if you hate it so much. No one welcomed you anway.

At 5/20/2005 02:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't that everyone's aim in life? I know it's mine.

At 6/14/2005 08:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I Made this for a friend from 7 images taken @ the show in orlando 2005.. You all can have it if you want it.. I like the way it turned out hope you do too.

At 6/14/2005 08:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 7/23/2005 09:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha, I think its funny that you all take this so seriously. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and entitled to share it, so don't jump on someone becasue they see it differently. Even though Mr. Anonymous probably intended to piss people off with his comments. I personally don't think that Conor can sing, but I like his music anyway. He's insightful and bold. I don't agree with all of his views but he expresses his them so well that its always a journey to listen.

At 4/30/2006 01:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first time I have ever heard of Bright Eyes was from Austin City Limits. I do not normally watch the show, but sometimes I will surf, and see if there is someone worth listening to. Conor Oberst totally captured my attention. I was first drawn to his outer beauty. I kept watching, thinking "don't be shallow, is it his music or appearance?" I still don't know. All I know is that I enjoy listening to him. There is something honest about his lyrics and voice. I am glad there are musicians who aren't so cookie cutted. Its very raw and unique. Love it!

At 6/14/2006 10:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

conor is beyond music. he is a genius. What he sings is like poetry that creates this awesome imagery and the deep message that he brings leaves me breathless. Only those who are ignorant are unable to understand conor's greatness. I LOVE HIM!

At 10/17/2006 02:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually connor has alot to be sad about if you actually look at his whole life but we all have something to be sad about most of us just dont have the creativity or energy to express ourselves and just cause it may seem kinda whiney and and sad its just him being true and blue and it sounds way more whineing to talk alot of trash about some ones life


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