Conor Oberst started writing songs around age 10, and has released countless albums since, many as his Bright Eyes moniker, then under his own name, right up to his latest-greatest, Upside Down Mountain.
It’s a fact that so many of those songs on so many of those albums connect with so many people. Conor Oberst is one of the great songwriters of his generation. Those songs are so open, lyrically, musically, emotionally; it’s a wonder of the world how he can tap into The Source so directly, so deeply, and express it so…humanly.
“The kingdom of music is not the kingdom of this world, it will accept those whom intellect and breeding and culture have alike rejected. The commonplace person begins to play, and shoots into the empyrean without effort, whilst we look up, marvelling at how he has escaped us, and thinking how we could worship him and love him, would he but translate his visions into human words, and his experience into human actions. Perhaps he cannot, certainly he does not, or does so very seldom.” (EM Forster, A Room With A View, 1908.)
Conor Oberst does.
Live, he combines songs from his entire catalogue in performances, and his band at GP9 will be those troublemaking troubadours the Felice Brothers. Recently he has been playing Bright Eyes classics in the set; we can only hope.
“A true American original: the ghost of Walt Whitman setting up shop in the wraith-white, rail-thin frame of a acoustic-strumming Nebraska Cure fan” – Rolling Stone. Two of Conor’s albums made their 100 Best Albums of the 2000s.
“Conor lives in his own world,” says Emmylou Harris. “Sometimes you find yourself saying ‘What is this song about?’ but ultimately it doesn’t matter because you get caught up in the words and the melodies.”
“He holds on to his mind just like a kite.
A good strong wind will keep you honest
Fill you with some common knowledge.”
He’s Zigzagging toward the light; he sees It more clearly than most.