We’re just a few hours away from one of the Friday Cheers shows I was most psyched about when the schedule was announced, and while it was Conor Oberst’s name that first got my attention (big fan of Bright Eyes, never seen him live… been enjoying Salutations…), I’ve been getting more and more jazzed about seeing Big Thief’s opening set.
Just a couple of days ago, NPR posted a new Big Thief tune called “Mary,” and I’m totally in awe of it. The word “perfect” comes to mind. It’s stately but not staid… carefully crafted yet natural… complex in spite of the fact it was recorded in one take… It actually reminds me of the Devon Sproule tune I posted last week, only it strings together the past instead of the present.
Fingers crossed we get to hear it tonight. See y’all on Brown’s Island.
Big Thief — “Mary” [Spotify/iTunes]
Just spent some time on the Wikipedia page for the term “equivocate.” Apparently, it has a very specific meaning related to logic and polysemic words, but I was planning on using it to say that I tend not to be very decisive. The fact that I couldn’t commit to using a word to describe my tendency to waver before looking it up takes this idea to a whole other level of absurdity. Or maybe it’s irony. I can’t decide.
The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that my enjoyment of Bright Eyes is rooted in Conor Oberst’s voice — more specifically the conviction he communicates. Like simply writing and singing his lyrics isn’t enough. Like he’s spitting them out so they’ll hit as hard as possible. Consonants are more percussive, and long notes end up wavering under the weight of all the emotion he’s putting into them. Pretty sure that’s ironic too, the wavering. It’s strength and weakness all tangled up together.
While I hopped on the Bright Eyes train around the time I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn came out, Cassadaga was the first full album cycle I was on board for, and it’ll always be a favorite. Gonna get real self-righteous in the You Hear Thatmobile this week.
Bright Eyes — “Four Winds” [Spotify/iTunes]