Since 1995 Conor Oberst has been using his band, Bright Eyes, to spread misery and pretentiousness to the world. For some reason, the world has thanked him for it.
Bright Eyes is the "band" and vehicle for Singer/Songwriter Conor Oberst. Despite having two other permanent members and rotating line-up for the four to fifteen other instruments Conor Oberst likes to use to drown out his own terrible musicianship. Unfortunately for the rest of us; nothing can drown out the sound of his voice. Like a choir of warbly cats and recently dumped teenagers, it was Conor's voice that gave the band it's recognition, fame, and just about all it's fans. The band first gained national attention with his album Lifted, or the Story is in the Soil, so Keep Your Ear to the Ground, largely because it winded the chain smokers and fat-asses at Rolling Stone, but is best known for one track off of the album Letting off the Happiness, (a title that is strikingly self aware) Padraic My Prince; a song about a baby drowning and not a love song to his gay lover (as this would actually be a welcome change of pace.)
Formed in 1995 the first few albums were recorded on a 4-track recorder and released by the label he started with former bandmate Tim Kasher at the age of 13 years old. This is all very amazing when you consider that despite his success and all his achievements he still acts like a miserable sad sack.
His fans are, of course, single mindedly driven to the worship of their miserable messiah, a skinny Nebraskan kid who can't stop sing about failed relationships that never happened. This fact is, despite what most of his fan base will tell you, the truth; albeit something of a shaky truth that is hard to keep straight. Oberst is known to tell the media, while smirking, one thing and then the next just moments afterward. He thinks he's clever, but he's just annoying. Recently interviews have become much more consistent, probably because he realizes that people are actually taking him seriously and that he may actually want to fulfill some of the claims that they have been making. The most obvious of these being that he's the next, or new Bob Dylan. They may well be right, both are American folksingers with a cult of personality all the while spearhead a Neo-Folk scene. But one is a unintelligible old stoner while the other is a unbearable young alcoholic. The differences are remarkable.
Despite being known for his folksy-emo style Oberst simply refuses to limit himself. In fact all but one of his albums begin with a weird experimental electronic introduction usually leading into a longwinded folk-narrative explaining his current socio-political mindset. The one album (I'm Wide Awake It's Morning) blissfully devoid of his electronic mindfuckery was released alongside Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, an album of songs composed of static, incomprehensible samples, and a crying baby used for melody then ran through an effects filter and a phaser. We're not kidding (1:39), although it is when you think about it, it is kinda awesome.