From Rolling Stone's Best of Rock 2008
im feelin the fuq outa this into the wildish shot
ANTHONY DECURTISPosted May 01, 2008 11:00 AM
Finishing a song is still my singular favorite feeling in the world," Conor Oberst says, "more than records or shows. The creation of a song is what drives me."
Such passion shows throughout Oberst's songbook, which he began creating as a frail, spectral thirteen-year-old in Omaha, Nebraska. Visceral documents of self-unraveling like "Padraic My Prince," "We Are Nowhere and It's Now" and "Lover I Don't Have to Love" — the last featuring lyrics like "Love's an excuse to get hurt/And to hurt" — deliver an emotional wallop in part because they seem at once offhand and unbearably intense. In Oberst's vision, death, loneliness and social decay are themes at the heart of every day; he doesn't need to look far to find them — or to channel them. "Everything has been done by intuition and happenstance," he explains. "I still have no idea what I'm doing, or why I'm doing it. It just kind of keeps happening. For me, at this point, it's about accepting it all, letting it all go and moving forward."
As rendered by Bright Eyes, the name under which he records both solo and with a band of ever-shifting personnel, Oberst captures the sound of things falling apart — whether it's a love affair ("Lua"), the life of an itinerant musician ("Soul Singer in a Session Band") or the country at large ("Four Winds"). Sonically, he ranges far as well. On albums such as Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (2002), I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning (2005) and last year's Cassadaga, he fashions a jittery, open-ended folk rock that admits strings, horns, electronica, country music and found sounds, all in the interest of immediacy and surprise. The free-for-all arrangements often communicate a giddy sense of hope, however dark the topic at hand might be.
"At one point, I lost interest in writing about personal things," Oberst says. "You can only write so many songs about feeling lost, which is the way I feel most of the time. But I don't think there's a very deep line in the sand between writing about myself and writing about other people." In "Bowl of Oranges," on Lifted,, he tosses off a lovely metaphor: "But if the world could remain within a frame like a painting on a wall/Then I think we would see the beauty." But he can also be fiercely direct, as in "When the President Talks to God," a song about President Bush's confusion of divine will and his own stubbornness. "Does he ever smell his own bullshit/When the president talks to God?" the song asks, before concluding, "I doubt it."
The quality and breadth of Oberst's songwriting have provoked comparisons to Bob Dylan — an IED of a compliment that exploded the careers of many promising artists before him. Oberst is flattered but not fazed. Now twenty-eight, he pauses for a full ten seconds when asked how his songwriting has changed since adolescence. "It's strange how similar it is," he says with a laugh. "It's still mysterious to me."
also, i didn't know he dated michelle williams. strange. AND THE OMG HE IS NOT BOB DYLAN COMMENTS HAVE BEEN DONE.
UR FAVORITE BRIGHT EYES LYRICS?
Even if you hate the way he 'sounds', you cant deny the man has insane talent lyrics wise..... For example, *amy in the white coat......
but what's so simple in the moonlight by the morning's such a drag