Conor Oberst is a guy I’ve been fascinated with ever since I first picked up a Bright Eyes EP back in Norwich in my hazy but happy post uni days dating an art school girl, we drifted in and out of cd shops scribbling Dr. Frank lyrics on paper airplanes and throwing them into open windows….Anyway, that’s another story….Yeah, that first Conor EP “Every day and Every night” it was amazing, it pulled me into another world. Songs like “on my way to work” and “a perfect sonnet” capture your imagination and set your heart on fire in a way few others songs have done since. Then came “Fevers and Mirrors” which just breezed somehow making emotional despair, confusion and sadness feel not just arty, but universal and a gateway to golden eternity.. No wonder Mark Kozelek is such a fan.
So, he’s been around a long time. I saw him once in 2002, he was drunk it was crazy. He made some good albums, some bad ones, and then last year had a mental health breakdown which he captured so brilliantly and elegantly in Ruminations which was by far my album of year. He then went on tour and sang with my hero Mark Kozelek (musically only), and then he releases, quite by surprise, Salutations. This is the re-working of Ruminations, so ok it’s lost it’s rawness, but it sounds more complete – a whole band doing lots of things on it! There are also seven extra songs on. I’m still going through it all but you can listen to it over at NPR now. Meanwhile here are a few of my favourite Conor songs from yeas-gone-by
Glorious late winter days here, sun soaked fields flash by as the wind rushes through rain falls then eclipses into beautiful rainbows, and I keep running to find that pot of gold. At my writing club the other day we had to “rewrite” the owl and the pussycat. I had so much fun, turning into it a romantic speedway thriller. rewrite. It’s the time of year music starts getting interesting again. Last century there was a band called sunny day real estate. They were an almost perfect emo band, releasing two sensational records Diary and then Sunny Day Real Estate which really belongs in every record collection. Anyway they split up, tensions and the singer Jeremy Enigk turned to Christianity, which sounds amazing to me, but somehow the band was in freefall now and it all fell apart. They did reform a couple of years ago to play the “hits” but that was soon wrapped up and all was quiet. Interesting news then that the bassist Nate Mendal, who now plays for Foo Fighers,is releasing his first solo LP under the name Lieutenant US , and you can listen to it all on soundcloud right now. I got tickets to see the incredible Kathleen Hanna in a couple of months play in Brighton, and she also plays Leeds and London in May. Catch her if you can. Also on tour is the always awesome Sarah Brendel. She kicks off a intimate tour of North Germany on Friday, including dates in picturesque Hanover and industrial Dussoldorf. If you still have the energy after those two concerts, I’d suggest you check out modest mouse on tour. They’re playing lots of dates in America and Europe over the next couple of months. Every time I hear their new single on the radio I have to start dancing around the kitchen, and just let the soup boil over and the toast burn. The World Health Organisation said we should all limit listening to music to one hour a day to protect our hearing. Sorry WHO, I can’t do it. But if you want to, here are some songs from those mentioned above for your daily allowance 🙂
Only a few of us were there last night, somehow it didn’t matter. 20 people in Tunbridge Wells is about as good as it gets around here, it sure aint Northampton, MA, you know? Anyway we saw Matt Pryor, the get up kids guy (!) It was really a lot of fun. Anyway this rather sweet song he played is still in my head today, so now it can be in yours too.