Oberst Graces (Another) Glossy

by | May 27, 2007

Matthew Fritch profiles Conor Oberst for Magnet Magazine’s spring issue. Magnet doesn’t offer their content online, so I’ll just share a few things from the piece I found interesting.

Fritch on the new Bright Eyes LP:

Cassadaga, the Omaha, Neb., native’s sixth full-length under the name Bright Eyes, is set against a bleak backdrop of American idiocy and imperialism, its 13 songs bound by lyrics about holy wars, Babylon and falling empires. Not to mention polar ice caps, hurricanes, poor black children and a frieghtened middle class. Cassadaga isn’t an album; it’s a federal disaster area.

That’s a funny last line, and also an indication of a job well done. Artists hold things up for people to see. Blinding as it is, present-day America is certainly a rich cultural and political milieu, and one begging for Obesrt’s brand of cutting criticism.

I also took note of Saddle Creek’s new economic development deal with the city of Omaha. The label–home to Bright Eyes, The Faint, Azure Ray, Orenda Fink, Cursive and others–is opening a $10 million dollar complex that includes a 500-capacity music venue, bar, movie theater, label office and retail and living space. According to label co-owner Rob Nansel, the city offered Saddle Creek a “ridiculously good deal” on their new lease in the industrial North Omaha arts district, so they “had to do it.”

[BUY Cassadaga from Amazon]