Tag Archives: Conor Oberst

I Believe In Symmetry

Your song that’s a story this week comes from Bright Eyes, also known as Conor Oberst, also known as a member of the most anticipated super group since, at least, Cream.

It’s “I Believe In Symmetry.” It starts out describing a wedding and, well, ends up at this line later on: “The arc of time, the stench of sex.” So it’s basically Mad Men, in a 5:24. But better.

Song here.

Lyrics below.

Some plans were made and rice was thrown
A house was built, a baby born
How time can move both fast and slow
Amazes me

And so I raise my glass to symmetry
To the second hand and its accuracy
To the actual size of everything
The desert is the sand
You can’t hold it in your hand
It won’t bow to your demands
There’s no difference you can make
There’s no difference you can make
And if it seems like an accident
A collage of senselessness
You aren’t looking hard enough
I wasn’t looking hard enough

An argument for consciousness
The instinct of the blind insect
Who makes love to the flower bed
And dies in the first freeze
Oh I want to learn such simple things
No politics, no history
Till what I want and what I need
Can finally be the same

I just got myself to blame
Leave everything up to fate
When there’s choices I could make
When there’s choices I could make
Yeah, my heart needs a polygraph
Always so eager to pack my bags
When I really wanna stay
When I really wanna stay

When I wanna stay (x4)

The arc of time, the stench of sex
The innocence you can’t protect
Each quarter note, each marble step
Walk up and down that lonely treble clef
Each wanting the next one
Each wanting the next one to arrive
Each wanting the next one
Each wanting the next one to arrive

An argument for consciousness
The instinct of the blind insect
Who never thinks not to accept its fate
That’s faith, there’s happiness in death
You give to the next one
You give to the next on down the line
You give to the next one
You give to the next on down the line

The levity of longing that
Distills each dream inside my head
By morning watered down forget
On silver stars I wish and wish and wish

From one to the next one
From one to the next right down the line
From one to the next one
From one to the next right down the line

You give to the next one
You give to the next on down the line
You give to the next one
You give to the next on down the line

More music

Matt Yglesias thinks summer blockbusters (most recently, Public Enemies) are too long:

I feel like it’s way more common to walk out of a theater feeling that a movie was too long than to walk out feeling like I wished there’d been 15 more minutes. I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling. So what’s going on?

I can’t speak for Mr. Depp’s film, but Up is a great recent example of a short movie that doesn’t need to be any longer. Pixar wound the story, the jokes, the visuals so tightly that any more screen time would have watered it down. Just ask George Lucas: the second trio of Star Wars flicks were, on average, ten minutes longer than the originals.

I’m not sure the same applies for music. Off the top of my head, I can come up with a handful of songs I like, that I wish were a verse or two longer: the first and third songs on In the Aeroplane over the Sea, Carry That Weight, and Conor Oberst’s NYC-Gone Gone, to name a few. This last one is the worst offender: a ripping guitar riff, that only lasts 1:12. Perhaps the song would have been ruined by an extra minute, but in sticking with the musical theme of the week, I offer the King as evidence: Billie Jean, Man in the Mirror, Thriller, and Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough were all over 4:50.

So there you have it. Movies should be shorter; songs should be longer.

And The Songs

And my ten favorite songs, none of which I’m embarrassed to admit (here’s looking at you, No. 3):

1. MGMT – Time To Pretend
2. Bon Iver – Skinny Love
3. Beyonce – Single Ladies
4. TV On The Radio – Lover’s Day
5. Girl Talk – Feed the Animals (the whole darn thing)
6. Blind Pilot – One Red Thread
7. My Morning Jacket – Highly Suspicious
8. Lil Wayne – Tie My Hands
9. Coldplay – Viva La Vida
10. Conor Oberst – Moab