January 25, 2005


Old man winter came and blew my DSL off it's hinges, and so the internet reality only exists when I go play office at Biz3, or now, where I am sitting in Miles' bedroom ciphening a signal from the Empty Bottle offices next door. I know you are longing for the days when I was posting bi-hourly -- those days will return soon, my pet.

Without the realm of 'the web' to use as avoidance device hours a day, I was forced to read hard-paper magazines. Seeing as I had about four tubs of unperused magazines to look at for "work" -- I got around to that. I read all six major national-publication articles on Conor Oberst, barring the Rolling Stone one, and I learned almost nothing. Really nothing. Jaan Ulhelski's in Harp (or was it paste?) was the most in depth, but also made the most loving references to his hair, and was light on Q and A. Jon D.'s SPIN article was straight ahead, and I wanted him to put the pinch on him, dismantle the myth (is there one?) -- but it was still up on the boy genius is still genius tip. Boy genius is still drunk, and together we got drunker. Jon Dolan, whose writing I like, who is in fact my Friendster (is that a conflict of interest?) says he was convinced that Conor is truly unassuming and has no bent towards media manipulation, of towing something other than barstool-warming bluecollar prolific prole. Dude, it's true, because he is giving everyone the same non answers. Or maybe just no one is asking him THE QUESTIONS. But as Kiyoko Lerner said in the Henry Darger doc last night, sometimes just because there are questions, it does not mean there are nessecarily answers.

I feel some fifth gear sympathy for Conor, I do. Everyone is gagging to come up with clever "boy genius"/ "new Dylan" sub headlines, with quasi puns in them - he's 24, when does he stop getting to be the boy? Is the next record going to be "boy genius grows up" -- when do we qualify his genius as adult, or at least pubescent? What if he's not the New Dylan but the new Dylan Thomas? Or what if he is simply Ryan Adams with out the rumpled streak and punkness to prove? I, like all hungry Americans, want to see the idol fall as much as I want to witness acendancy. I would love Conor to age ungracefully and turn into Jim Morrison, self-immolating and assholish in leather pants - expatriating and covering us in beer spittle, of perhaps more gracefully - ala Greg Dulli - undulating and singing about fucking and race, hirsute and freaking us out when we happened to remember him. The closest he gets to opening up is the closest he gets to admitting eminent mess - to our own Trevor Kelley - in AP "Whats the word? Functioning alcholic. I think thats what I am." Sweet revelation to put out in the teen mag: not sure whether to chastise the bad example or applaud the honesty.

I am wondering, does Conor get the soft questions because people cannot unearth enough in these double albums ( I have not heard them, I spent all my CD trade money on catfood, man)? Are his politics armchair and schemes ungrand? Or are we just grateful that he has the sentiments (post emo's John Kerry?)? Is he just at the point of fame where being famous is the story? Are people unwilling to call him to the carpet because they see him as the fragile baby Jesu Christu, so we do not question his will? I just figure that if this tandem album shiz is bold and relevent enough to get such in-depth play, something would be said. Instead we get his since jr. high discography, everyone buying him drinks, Winona jokes, discomfort with fame, saying something that belies an innocence, saying something about his beyond his years-ness, his admitting he drinks constantly and hates Bush, then pushes his long Danzig like skater bangs from his pretty eyes and dissappears down some New York City street, sloppy, tender, rising to heaven like a mist - what? I wanna know, is it the writers fault, or is it Conor's fault? Why am I left with only the unknowns I do not know here?

I wanna know how he feels about being white. I want to know how it feels to be a rich anti-capitalist. I wanna know just how normal of a kid he was, and why he went to camp so many summers in a row. I want to know if he ever wishes that he sang like Desmond Dekker or Nico instead of like a riot girl on hormones (not a bad thing - Ed.). If he was this sort of hedonistic and drunk before he was famous or is it a coping mechanism. Can he ride a skateboard? How does it feel to be responsible for the Omaha spotlight, and that he's towed the fiscal come-uppance for good bands, bad bands, his brothers, his life long freinds, and people who are counting on his pony to ride them into the sunset. Thats the shit I have to ask.
Conor, babe, if you are listening, please, illuminate. Tiny Unicorn minds wunna know.

Posted by Jessica at January 25, 2005 12:26 AM | TrackBack