7.30.2009

Pre-Screening: Modest Mouse

Album: No One's First and You're Next
Artist: Modest Mouse
Label: EPIC
Due Out: August 4th

Yes, I'm reviewing an EP today. No, it's never happened before here, which makes it all the more puzzling. It's been a hectic week, plus there's nothing I'm really all that jazzed up about, except this, coming out, so I figured why not? Now that that's out of the way-- Modest Mouse's new EP, No One's First and You're Next, explores some b-sides from the past four or five years, which as you might have guessed, span their past two studio albums. You'll notice that all eight tracks are obviously from the recent era from their accessibility alone, but in no way does that take away from them. Each is unique in it's own right, and though the songs may not have fit onto the released full albums, they flow very nicely together in this short collection. Let's begin.

We start with what is probably my favorite track of the release, "Satellite Skin". Like most of the record, I've talked about this one at length, but I'll take a stab at a bit more lengthy commentary. I really enjoy the raw, rock 'n' roll aspects of the song, as the upbeat, bouncy song shows choice traces of a more-reserved "Dashboard." Still, I find the emotion behind this to be a bit more heartfelt than almost anything you'll find from them, which among other things, probably explains the omission. Next, "Guilty Cocker Spaniels" features a fast-talking Isaac Brock in classic rambling form, flying over a stop-and-start background part. I've always been of the mindset that Brock is at his best when he's nearly lecturing the listener, usually while barking/growling, yet this one seems to accomplish the job with a minimal amount of volume to his voice (save the end).

If "Autumn Beds" had been released as part of any full album, it would have been the token indie slow song on everyone's mind for months, so I'm almost glad that didn't happen. This one gets by on some elegant, relaxed strumming, mixed with a bit of flute, and double-layered vocals. There's also a banjo, which I can always support, unless it's the instrument of choice throughout an entire album. Still, it's a bit interesting to see Brock so stripped down and sober, when I'm so used to the exact opposite. Then "The Whale Song" creeps in. The heavy bass introduces its brooding mood immediately, while its jagged guitar riffs have you cautious about the next place it will go. The first time I heard it, I had almost given up on there being vocals once the solo began spanning an entire minute or so. However, they are, in fact there, though repetitive. After the first few listens, it actually becomes a pretty cool track. Lots of noise elements, some grunge and some pretty cool, elongated guitar work we rarely see from the band. Sprawling solos from Modest Mouse? Yup, you've seen everything.

"Perpetual Motion Machine" starts with some horns, which is weird, because the song name evoked an image of Major Organ and the Adding Machine the first time I saw it. It's a lazy, shuffling jazz number that would have fit in pretty well with "Horn Intro," but besides that, would have felt quite out of place on any full-length. "History Sticks to Your Feet" is another song that can act a bit uncharacteristic at first glance. The high-pitched guitar part and straight-forward vocal part had me fooled somewhat at the beginning, and even by song's end, you're still not fully convinced it could have been a Modest Mouse song. It almost seems like a cover, but regardless, another track with some cool raw emotion.

Now "King Rat" gets back to a lot of that Western influence I discussed at the album's onset. Brock just seemingly bops along here, distortion up at times, and other times, jamming to his own personal pop track, complete with the requisite intermittent horn section. There's also that long-awaited tangent that finally pops up for the last two-plus minutes of the song. Quite appropriate. And then we come to a close with another semi-pop track, as it alternates between bright melody, electrifying chorus and a spacious (can't believe I'm describing them like this again) bridge. Whatever got into the band for these, I sure wouldn't mind seeing some more occasionally.

For a b-side EP, Modest Mouse does themselves quite well. All of the tracks would have been obviously out of place separately, yet, they accomplish a great, engaging vibe together. All seem to really push Isaac Brock's usual common man's struggle aesthetic, so I liked the continuity there. To be honest, this is probably one of the better non-album compilations I've ever listened to, but then again, I am talking about some of the better musicians in indie rock today, so what did I expect? Nothing earth-shattering, yet it does the job of giving fans a look into what else goes on during the creative process, so credit is due, but not overbearingly. Similarities will include Built to Spill, Neutral Milk Hotel and Wolf Parade.

Rating: 7.5/10

Best Track: "Satellite Skin"

Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper Now Streaming

Interpol's Paul Banks has a solo side project coming out next week, so in anticipation, he's allowing for the speculation to end, and streaming it for fans. The project, entitled Julian Plenti, sounds a hell of a lot like Interpol, but hey, a lot of other side projects sound like the original too, so I won't judge at this time. If you're into it at all, head over to Rhapsody to stream. If you'd like to purchase next week, Is... Skyscraper is out August 4th via Matador (I feel like everything's out on Matador these days).

More New Things From Beck

Beck has more stuff going on over at his revamped, and very improved website. As is the usual practice every week, he's got a new acoustic version of a song off of 2008's Modern Guilt, plus Velvet Underground covers and some DJ-ing. I'll put up the video for the title track, "Modern Guilt" now, and then add the VU cover to this post tomorrow (probably) tomorrow. There's also a couple new Planned Obsolescence features, as well as "Chem Trails" (which Stereogum's only getting around to now), and a tribute to the late Merce Cunnigham. Head over to the site to enjoy.

Matt's Track of the Week: "I'm A Terrible Person"

Song: I'm A Terrible Person
Artist: Rooney
Album: Rooney
Year: 2003

Every once in a while I get into a mood where I don't feel like listening to anything. When I find myself in one of these moods, more often then not, I listen to Rooney. I don't know what that says about the band, but I guess it's not the worst thing if it gets me listening and writing about them. The thing about their debut is that listening to it takes no mental commitment. The songs are so catchy and straightforward that you don't even have to concentrate to enjoy every second of it.

"I'm A Terrible Person" is one of my favorites from this set, and like many of their tunes, it has an unstoppable hook and a decent helping of offhanded tongue-in-cheek humor, which I personally find entertaining in a 60s "neat-o gang!" sort of way. It's got everything you could ask for or expect in a poppy california indie rock song, and paired with the rest of the record, you can't go wrong. Take a listen for yourself below.

Weekly Top 10: Road Trip Songs

As you've probably figured out by now, we've relaunched our playlist feature. In keeping with that, it's Thursday, so we're due for another one. This week, the theme is road trip music, or at least, music that you can enjoy while traveling. Sit back, enjoy, and understand that The Beatles are included yet again, partially because the song is extremely appropriate, and partially because I love The Beatles. And as always, props to Imeem.

New Super Mash Bros, Album, All About the Scrillions

I saw this over a week ago, but wanted to save it from posting up here until my feature about it on 20 Watts ran. Now that that's happened, we're good to go over here. If you were reading this site awhile back, you may or may not have caught my post about Super Mash Bros.' first album, Fuck Bitches. Get Euros. At the time, I claimed to enjoy it more than Girl Talk, and maybe even thought it was better than GT's Feed the Animals. Alas, regardless of that argument, their new album takes the cake as far as mash-ups go. All About the Scrillions is phenomenal. It's on another level combining more 90s pop with hip-hop, school dance hits and even The Beatles (!) Trust me, you're going to love it. For real. So go download it for free, courtesy of the artist, over at their website.

7.29.2009

New Washed Out, Tracks, "You'll See It" and "Feel It All Around"

Happened upon these two tracks a few days late, but figured they'd definitely be worth sharing for everyone, since it seems that all we've done is talk about new songs today (in contrast to yesterday, which was all about videos). Yes, I'm well aware that they've been everywhere else already. It's just too good to ignore. Washed Out, as much intrepidness as the name may (does) lack, is in fact, a very adventurous artist. Or rather, it just know how to stand out. "Feel It All Around" screams Grizzly Bear, but might even be up to par with some of the best moments of Veckatimest. It's gleeful chamber pop that hooked on the first listen. "You'll See It" is a different animal altogether though. It's loud, busy and maybe even has a dance element to it. It resembles a more techno-oriented version of Animal Collective. Unsurprisingly, I can easily support this idea. Chances are you'll be able to to. If Washed Out actually put together a full album before year's end, we may be looking at a real Top 10 contender for best of the year. Tracks are courtesy of Hipster Runoff, which borrowed from GorillavsBear, just like everyone else did.

"You'll See It"- Washed Out

"Feel It All Around"- Washed Out

New Neon Indian, "Should Have Taken Acid With You"

I'm pretty sure Alan Polomo has no plans on making money from music. Either that, or he just enjoys giving his songs away for fun. Believe me, I'm not complaining. After tossing "Deadbeat Summer" and "Terminally Chill" out to the masses, along with this morning's Silent League remix, you'd think he was done. But, it ends up he's still got more for us. Next up is the brash, bells-filled, extra-processed "Should Have Taken Acid With You". I'll assume the space age floater either chronicles sitting in a room with people who've used acid, or in fact, using the drug. Regardless, the effect is felt, as Neon Indian once again captures my attention with a dreamy and contagious track. Below you'll find the track for yourself, courtesy of Pitchfork. Neon Indian's debut LP, Psychic Chasms, is out October 13th via Lefse.

"Should Have Taken Acid With You"- Neon Indian

New Mountain of One, "Bones"

Spacey psychadelic pop rock. Not sure if that aptly describes A Mountain of One, but hey, I tried. They've got so many things going on, it's a surprise I'm able to peg them as anything. The duo, comprised of Mo Morris and Zeb Jameson, is about to embark on their first full album of new material (their last effort was sort of a compilation looking back at their career to that point), Institute of Joy. Maybe that title describes it best. When listening, especially to new track, "Bones," you get completely caught up in what's going on, so maybe the only option is joy. Expect effects, rising action and soul. That's all I can offer in terms of this one. Enjoy below, courtesy of Pitchfork.

A Mountain of One- "Bones"

Not-New-At-All Crystal Antlers, "Tentacles"

You may recall us (me) talking about Crystal Antlers at length several months ago. Their noisy, thrashing psychadelia was one of the many pluses of a first half of the year in music which none of us will soon forget. As you may also remember, first single, "Andrew," was fairly radio-friendly, or at least as radio-friendly as this band gets. That is not the case with second single, "Tentacles". It's quick, biting and electrifying, spiraling out of control at various points, much to the listener's delight. You'll probably enjoy this if you liked today's track of the week. And yes, I'm still mad that I missed them at Williamsburg Waterfront recently. So lame. The song is below, for your enjoyment, courtesy of Stereogum.

Crystal Antlers- "Tentacles"

New Silent League, "Here's A Star" (Neon Indian Remix)

So this is awesome. Both The Silent League and Neon Indian are coming out with albums in the next few months, and something like a "Here's A Star" remix is definitely a great way to create some hype leading up. I haven't talked about Neon Indian here, but I've touched on them over at 20 Watts. Basically, it's 20-year old Alan Polomo of VEGA, making fantastic, dreamy synth pop... really, really well. I'm a fan, and am greatly looking forward to his debut, and though I didn't have The Silent League on my radar for September before, I certainly do now. For those who like things that are, dare I say-- groovy-- indulge yourselves below, courtesy of Pitchfork, by way of Stereogum.

"Here's A Star" (Neon Indian Remix)- The Silent League

7.28.2009

John's Track of the Week: "California Goths"

Song: California Goths
Artist: Wavves
Album: Wavvves
Year: 2009

It's always tough to pick the best track off of a very complete album, so how does one approach Wavves' Wavvves? You skirt around the issue and just pick a track that you enjoy that hasn't been talked about ad nauseam. And that's how we've arrived at "California Goths". Though the internet has been aflutter about Wavves all year, I just felt like this was the best option of the moment, and was a bit less talked about (though not necessarily avoided) than some others. This many months after the albums' release, I'm still seemingly mesmerized by how this album (and this song) kicks so much ass.

On Wavvves, it's hard to escape the lo-fi buzz and static that Nathan Williams creates to counter his surf rock landscape. The crackling, effects and basic muzzle he adds to his voice are something to be embraced, amidst the sometimes-ghostly texture of each track. Out of all of the songs though, I think that "California Goths" is the noisiest, and most powerful. From the beginning, you're inundated with grinding, pulsing bass and enough fuzz to send you spiraling out of control. It's a chaotic and ferocious mess, and that's what makes it so notable. For the few who may not already have, check it out below.

New Kid Cudi, "Call Me Moon Man"

I thought we were done today. Guess not. Kanye West decided that he was going to give away one of Kid Cudi's tracks on his blog, which I'd say is pretty newsworthy. The song, "Call Me Moon Man" is nowhere near as catchy as "Day N Nite," but hey, it's still good. It's missing that heavy club bass that the former had which really pushed it over the top, at the same time though, there's a sort-of collective cool here I can appreciate instead. Obviously Kanye's a fan, so maybe you'll be too. Partake below, courtesy of Mr. West. And don't forget that Man on the Moon: The End of Day comes out on September 15th via G.O.O.D./Universal Motown. No, this track isn't on it.

Kid Cudi- "Call Me Moon Man"

New Yo La Tengo Video, "Here To Fall"

Well, this is fun. To end (I think) our day full of videos, we've got one more-- Yo La Tengo's "Here To Fall," which, as you might know, is off of their new album, Popular Songs. The track is set to a pretty cool video full of psychadelic skywriting, dizzying enough to make your head hurt for a few. It's a bit uncharacteristic of them, to be honest, but hey, what do I know about making music videos? It's definitely something cool to watch though, so I'd recommend it. If you're keeping track at home, Popular Songs is out September 8th via Matador.

New Miike Snow Video, "Animal"

Some readers might know of Miike Snow. The fun electronic pop band, consisting of Andrew Wyatt and Bloodshy & Avant's Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, released their debut earlier this year to mixed results, and now they finally have a video to go with it. The record's best track, in my opinion, is first single "Animal". It's erractic, goofy and fun, plus their main visual representation is a jackalope, so who can't love that? The animal theme continues on the video to much success, meaning you should probably take a gander below.

New YACHT video, "Psychic City (VooDoo City)"

With their latest album, See Mystery Lights, being released today, YACHT figured it would be a good idea to premier their video for first single, "Psychic City (VooDoo City)". For the most part, it was. The video's a bit odd, but then so is the track. It basically revolves around cults, the Church and Satan, amongst other things, getting progressively more odd as it continues. Interestingly enough, the band issues a disclaimer at the onset denouncing any belief one may assume they have in the occult, due to their own personal feelings/belief system. That's fair. If you're still following along, feel free to check it out.

UPDATE: Apparently there's an issue with the video on Pitchfork's end, which is causing the issue on our end. I'll update when resolved.

Tuesday's Releases (7/28): Now Streaming

In a fairly new feature here, we'll be letting you know the albums that we care about streaming over at Spinner. Every Tuesday, we'll be putting up somewhere between 4 and 10 links, depending on what's out, so you can check out all of the week's great music before buying it. As I mentioned last time, this is a rough couple weeks for new music, however, there's still enough out there for us to talk about, and it will get a lot busier by mid-August. As always, credit for the initial idea goes out to LargeHeartedBoy.

7.27.2009

Music Video Monday: "Lover I Don't Have to Love"

Track: Lover I Don't Have to Love
Artist: Bright Eyes
Album: Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
Year: 2002

In light of the recent announcement that Conor Oberst would record one more Bright Eyes album, then retire the name, I figured it would be appropriate to sort of discuss the genius that is/was Bright Eyes is some way. Regardless of my recent issues with him, Oberst did a lot of great things in the late part of the 1990s, up until last year. Most notably, my favorite albums of his, Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground; I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning; and Digital Ash In A Digital Urn, all manage to strike a chord seemingly untouched before or after. They're interesting pieces of art, each unique and innovative, producing much higher quality work than many of the indie hipster variety will ever give credit. Still, I'll always enjoy those records, and his other work as Bright Eyes, for the entertaining and creative moments which seemingly came so often.

On the surface, the music video for "Lover I Don't Have to Love" isn't interesting, astounding or even high-minded. It's just simple. However, one can, and should appreciate the thought behind such an effort as this one. The karaoke word format, and silly "relaxing" backgrounds are a testament to the artist. Recording under Bright Eyes, there was a certain edge to Oberst's songwriting that has disappeared a bit by this point. He was young, vulnerable and at times, tragic, and it showed in his work (very positively). His statement here, to me, shows either a disdain for his own song/ideas, a blatant mockery of the track's fans or simply a calculated snub towards music video culture. Regardless, it's a brilliant and entertaining spectacle that can only be appreciated when executed by a short list of artists. Check it out below.

New Artctic Monkeys Video, "Crying Lightning"

So the Arctic Monkeys are pirates now? Apparently that's the case. I like the sound of their new material quite a bit, but I'm getting the sense that the band is about to turn into U2 or Coldplay. Maybe it's just me. Still, this often goofy, kind of Harry Potter-ish video is kind of cool, if you like being on a boat. Yup, I just did that. Check it out below if you're still interested.

New Woods Video, "Where And What Are You?"

I love crosswords, so this one's automatically intriguing for me. Woods' latest release, Songs of Shame, has been getting a lot of attention this year, and rightfully so. Their videos have also been just as interesting, and this one is no exception. "Where And What Are You?" is the album's finale, and a creepy one at that. Thus, it makes sense for its accompanying video to be equally as weird, off and strange. Still, I'm intrigued by what makes this odd doodle come about, and what the crossword means (if anything). Check it out below if you need to kill a minute and 20 seconds.

New Jay-Z, "Run This Town" (Feat. Kanye West and Rihanna)

Some may recognize many of the news items we'll be posting in the early goings of today. That's because I was away from Thursday night until last night, so as you may have guessed, I was not around to post news items of any sort. However, figured I might as well catch up before proceeding.

As the date for the release of Jay-Z's much-anticpated
Blueprint 3 draws nearer (I know, I know, we're still six weeks or so away), the hype will reach the inevitable fever pitch sooner or later. Maybe that time is now. The album has experienced another leak, this time in the form of "Run This Town," a typically confident track where Hova and who else, but Mr. Kanye West, declare their dominance over everybody and everything, with a supplemental contribution from Rihanna. Supposedly, this will be the first intentional single from the album, and rightfully so. It's infectious, and will be gaining radio play for months. And since when do people let Kanye on a track that's not a single? Thought so. Enjoy it over at Stereogum, and as you probably know already, The Blueprint 3 is out on September 11th via Roc Nation.

7.23.2009

Pre-Screening: YACHT

Album: See Mystery Lights
Artist: YACHT
Label: DFA Records
Due Out: July 28th

Since 2003, Jonathan Bechtolt has been producing electronic music under the YACHT moniker. Drawing on themes of the current indie rock and folk scenes, on top of today's conventions of electronic music (literally changing everyday at this point), he's been able to accomplish what many others have seemingly failed to. He's appealed to a broader spectrum of music listeners, out-performing his peers, due to his (correct) realization that you can't simply sell electronic music without blending other genres into the fold. It's those type of things that differentiate someone in today's crowded, and sometimes dreary, music scene. Bechtolt has done it with a flair all his own, and his latest release, See Mystery Lights, is no exception.

"Ring the Bell" starts us off with a string of subtle confidence. Tropical percussion, shakers and of Montreal-esque vocals create a warm welcome, always a valuable asset, and the stopping and starting of the track keep you guessing, and prevent you from getting too bored. The use of a freak folk-type group chorus also aids in relating it to the indie crowd. "The Afterlife" is an equally brash and abrupt track. The prominent female vocals (Claire Evans) do a very fair impression of Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, and if it weren't for the goofy synths in the background, perhaps I'd even take it for a SY b-side. The second half bounces between that vibe and a club hip-hop hit, an odd vibe that only works because I've talked myself into it beforehand, but is interesting nonetheless. Next, "I'm In Love With A Ripper" is obviously a take on T-Pain's "I'm In Love With A Stripper," which, as you may remember, was a pretty big hit a couple of years back. Jumping in between that, a slight Ra Ra Riot impression and something that sounds like a Girl Talk beat, you're one part confused and one part elated for the full four-plus minutes.

"It's Boring/You Can Live Anywhere You Want" is actually anything but boring, mixing what sounds like a cliche metal riff and name-that-chick-punk-band into a dynamic and rolling track that sticks out as one of the album's best. It's also the album's longest, by nearly four minutes. Half of which is basically a cover of SY's "Silver Rocket". I guess that's the grunge/noise influence? Afterwards, we finally reach "Psychic City (VooDoo City)," the track that just about everybody's heard, due to its infectious bubble gum pop background and groovy (yup, I just used that word) bass line. Though I like this one, I've got to admit, it's not the big deal everybody's hyped it up to be. Then we embark on "Summer Song," which is (SPOILER ALERT!) my favorite track on the record. It's funky, in a sort of Sly and the Family Stone way, while also employing the type of odd background noise one might find on an Animal Collective record. What's not to like about this one? I, for the life of me, can't find a thing. Except maybe the clapping. But that falls into the background enough to get past it.

"We Have All We've Ever Wanted," in comparison, resembles the worst of Montreal b-side ever. Sorry, but I can't, and won't, even indulge in it. However, we're saved by "Don't Fight the Darkness," sort of. Building on the simple opening beat, the song expands into a stripped down Vampire Weekend demo mixed with The Flaming Lips' "Fight Test". Choppy, yet still both listenable and enjoyable, it does a great job of cashing in on the tropical influences which pop up from time to time. The remainder of the album is simply two alternate versions of songs already on the record. "I'm In Love With A Ripper (Party Mix)" could actually be better than the original, with some awesome high-pitched synth parts that would blow my mind if I hadn't experimented with them myself at one point. The auto-tune also gets some bonus points since it was cautiously, and appropriately used. "Psychic City (Version)" isn't even really a remix, but rather just a crappy demo that should have never seen the light of day. I think that's the first time I've ever levied that harsh of a judgement on a song in this space, but I still mean it.

For all of the good YACHT does (and there is plenty of good here), there's a lot of stuff that goes on here I just can't support. Too much sounding like Sonic Youth. Too much unnecessary experimentation. Ugh. I didn't hate the record. On the contrary, it had its moments, and for those moments, I thank it and levy some praise. My recommendations for next time? Change it up a bit. Be a little more creative. Enjoy making the music, which it seemed like he did for portions of the record, and other times, just going through the motions. It was different enough to stand out, but not capable enough to get out of its own way. Still, I suppose it was solid enough to give a listen to. Similarities include Sonic Youth, High Places andHEALTH.

Rating: 6.5/10

Top Track: "Summer Song"


P.S.- You'll probably be looking at an abbreviated Friday this week, just because I'll be taking a slight vacation break. However, no worries. I'll be back for next Monday, when hopefully I'll be introducing another new feature to the blog(!)

New Fiery Furnaces Video, "Charmaine Champagne"

Two days removed from the official release of I'm Going Away, The Fiery Furnaces present to us their first video from the album. "Charmaine Champagne" is one of the more fun and interesting tracks, toeing the line between jazz and rock, and presenting a choppy pop number which you're sure to enjoy. The cartoon elements only lend to the overwhelmingly retro vibe, as splashes of color bring up images of the 1970s. As far as videos go, this one is great; a fair representation of the track, and a constructive visual expression. Check it out below.

Weekly Top 10: Summer Songs

In keeping with the feature we relaunched last week, we'll be posting up 10-track playlists on Thursdays every week from now on. These playlists are themed in some way, and this time we chose summer. So enjoy. Oh, and my apologies for not having the actual Beatles version of "Here Comes the Sun". Imeem doesn't have most of the band's catalog, so hopefully George Harrison and Paul Simon will suffice.

New Yo La Tengo, "Here to Fall"

I was never a huge Yo La Tengo fan. It's not that I didn't like them, it's just that before seeing them put on an awesome live show last week, I was never all that impressed. Of course, it's all different now, so I'm actually quite looking forward to the September release of their new record, Popular Songs. The fact that the band has released another track for us to listen to is also a plus. "Here to Fall" is a Yo La Tengo song in the truest sense. It's noisy and sporadic, yet also has a dedication to melody that I, for one, appreciate. Plus, who doesn't love a good Mets reference every now and then? Anyway, it's pretty good, so you might want to give it a listen for yourself below. Popular Songs is out September 8th via Matador Records. The track is courtesy of the band, via Stereogum.

Yo La Tengo- "Here to Fall"

7.22.2009

Conor Oberst To Do One Final Bright Eyes Album

Well, this has been in the works for quite awhile. I said it after his 2008 collaboration with the Mystic Valley Band, and then reaffirmed the claim after this year's miserable effort, Outer South. Conor Oberst is, in fact, done with the Bright Eyes moniker... after the next album. According to an interview in The Rolling Stone, and this article in the Omaha World-Herald, he's got one more album in him, slated for 2010, and then it'll be retired. To be honest, this is a bit saddening for me, and I'm sure many others. I understand that he's past the mindset that allowed him to create music for Bright Eyes for so long, but I just hope that this last release is as inspiring as his work in the first half or so of the decade (up to and including I'm Wide Awake It's Morning and Digital Ash in a Digitial Urn), rather than the second half (Cassadaga). The last thing I'd want to do is remember Bright Eyes with a bad taste in my mouth. Hopefully Oberst feels similarly.