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obligatory bright eyes entry

Posted on 30 January 2005 by Caryn Rose (2)

I didn’t go see Bright Eyes when they were in NYC this week because I was in a temporary but brand new kind of b-r-o-k-e (which of course resolved itself the day after the show). But, I did write a review of the new album for Blogcritics, and my interview with Conor will appear in the next issue of Backstreets, which is out as of next week.

But the real reason for this post is the new song he’s been doing (which of course isn’t on any record) called “When The President Talks To God.” And in a stroke of absolute, utter genius, you can
download it for free at iTunes
. It’s a great, biting, eloquent talking blues, in the spirit of Woody and Arlo and Steve Earle. Writing a song like this is tough to do, it’s not just the lyrics that are important, it’s the tune and the performance and the delivery, and it’s freaking masterful.

Conor Oberst has gone so far past his original image that it amazes me that people can’t see it, and can’t let go of their vitriol and preconceived notions. I touch on this in my review, but he’s pretty much allowed himself to grow up, both personally and artistically, in public. To me there was always a visible progression evident, and I guess I’m the rare bird who never expects (or wants) an artist to remain static and in the same place making the same kind of record or music for their entire career. I thought he carried himself extremely well on the Vote For Change tour, and have been thoroughly in love with I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning since I got the advance back in October (when I interviewed Conor).

When The President Talks To God

when the president talks to god
are the conversations brief or long?
does he ask to rape our womens’ rights
or to send poor farm kids off to die?
will the president reccomend an oil hike
when the president talks to god?

when the president talks to god
are the words he chooses hard or soft?
does he resolute all down the line?
is every issue black or white?
does what god say ever change his mind
when the president talks to god?

when the president talks to god
does he fake that drawl or merely nod?
agree which convicts should be killed?
where the prison’s built and filled?
which voter fraud must be concealed
when the president talks to god?

when the president talks to god
I wonder which one plays the better cop
we should find some jobs. the ghetto’s broke
no, they’re lazy, George, I say we don’t
just give ’em more liquor stores and dirty coke
that’s what god reccomends

when the president talks to god
do they drink beer and go play golf
when they pick which country should we invade
and which heathen souls still can be saved?
yeah I guess god just calls a spade a spade
when the president talks to god

when the president talks to god
does he ever think that maybe he’s not?
that that voice is just inside his head
when he kneels down in the presidential bed
does he ever smell his own bullshit
when the president talks to god?

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2 Responses to “obligatory bright eyes entry”

  1. e.conrad says:

    Rare birds flock together (mostly?!).
    I dl’d the song from iTunes when I saw it posted on their homepage (I’m loving my iPod – if I haven’t mentioned this enough already to everyone I speak with) – very good songsmanship there.
    The Digital Ash album is great – just what I’ve been waiting for from him…some electronics ;-)

  2. Blogcritics says:

    Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst

    So who is this “voice of his generation” who’s been writing and recording introspective tunes since he was 14? The “next Dylan”? “Indie heart-throb”?