Jandall's Memory Box:
Article no. 10/???
The songs of Conor Oberst have always been the pinnacle of storytelling for me. He played at the Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale in November of 2008 with the Mystic Valley Band. The show was great but Conor seemed visibly annoyed by something. My guess was the sound was a little off at the venue. He shouted his way through a bunch of the songs at times turning his soft country ballads into acoustic punk songs that with a bit of distortion could have been reappropraied as Desaparacidos tunes. After the show, I stepped outside and found a sizeable group of people gathered around the tour bus. It was a hot day and after hanging around for 10 minutes or so I decided to cut my losses and grab a beer at the bar across the street. I took a seat and to my surprise, Conor and the whole Mystic Valley Band were sitting at the bar having drinks. This was the first time in my life that I was "star-struck." This man meant so much to me. I'd been listening to his songs daily for the past 5 years. It wasn't easy but I mustered up the courage, walked up to him and said, "Amazing show tonight, I'm a big fan of your music... Can I buy you a beer?" He said, "Thanks man, but you don't have to buy me a beer... I'm a rockstar... Let me buy YOU a beer." My mind shattered, I accepted his offer, pulled up a chair and proceeded to drink/hang out with the band. I talked to Conor about his performance. I asked if everything was alright and that I noticed his shouting throughout the songs. He said in an apologetic way that he "lost the plot a bit." I also told him that he and the band should put together a visual album of some sort. A whole bunch of half-baked brainstorming ensued as we all came up with weird visual concepts including animals smoking cigarettes. I don't want to claim that I had any influence on this but a couple of years later they released a dvd. Just sayin'.
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