You’ve GOT to Hear This: “Conor Oberst”

As the winter nears I’ve prepared myself with a lineup of concerts to help the cold weather pass.  Among these upcoming shows there includes a performer whom I haven’t missed once in 7 years: Conor Oberst. Partaking in several projects including Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Monsters of Folk, Desaparacidos, and most famously Bright Eyes, Oberst’s repertoire is vast and filled with an array of pleasing music to suit many tastes.  Having been lucky enough to see Bright Eyes perform several times, I am lined up to see Conor Oberst yet again at my favourite venue, Massey Hall, on December 8th, 2012.  In light of my excitement, I thought now would be a good time to get in the Oberst mood and share some of his amazing music.
With Conor’s style varying and developing across the years I find it hard to do his music or songwriting justice through just one song.  For that reason, I’ve selected a couple of favourites, some that exemplify his musical composition and others that are just all around pleasing to the senses.  Their 2002 album Lifted or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground was the first Bright Eyes album I purchased, and still holds its rank at the top.  Including brilliantly political tracks such as False Advertising, Big Picture, and From a Balance Beam as well as stunningly poetical songs like Nothing Get’s Crossed Out, this classic album is a great way to introduce oneself to the music, composition, and writing of Conor Oberst.  Many of these tracks can be found on his LastFM page, with a total of 50 tunes to sift through.
A classic that I often find myself returning to is the 2005 single Easy/Lucky/Free off Digital Ash in a Digital Urn.  A song both great on the mind and the ears, the lyrics are clever and the tune catchy.  Check out the video here if you’re in the mood: 
A more recent track off their 2007 album Cassadaga, Hot Knives was Bright Eyes’ second single, and one of my personal favourites. Folkier, heavier, and just as witty and catchy, it’s hard not to love this song, especially with Maria Taylor on background vocals.  Check out the video here, it’s sure to please:
Like what you hear? Want more? Then check out Connor Oberst’s website for a complete discography and upcoming tour dates.  If you’ll be swinging by Toronto and feel like experiencing an amazing show then I’ll see you at Massey Hall on December 8th.

Nadia Kaakati

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