I was driving home the other day listening to Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band. While they aren't awful, they are nothing to me compared to Bright Eyes. Conor just doesn't do it for me when he becomes all poppy. Maybe the lyrics are there, but the feeling is gone.
(I was going to post some Bright Eyes lyrics here, but I just can't find anything that does him/them justice. Go listen to Waste of Paint. Or, Lover I Don't Have to Love. They are beautiful. I will wait.)
Bright Eyes is most definitely the heart of my music.
It's hard to draw the line between heart and soul, as far as Tom Waits goes, though. This man is incredible, with a distinct voice to match. I could overhear him ordering a sub from Subway and just the sound of his voice would make me think I was in a dark, smoky bar in a bad part of town. I could smell the whiskey he'd be leaning over and see the blonde hooker who had refused to sit with him...or whatever. You get the idea.
I've always said that Tom Waits sings (and I'm now realizing, talks!) the way poetry should be read.His lyrics are incredible, too. I intend on getting some of the text of 9th and Hennepin done on my arm as my next tattoo. If you want to check out my favorite Tom Waits, I recommend the album Rain Dogs. I don't own it (yet!) but 9th and Hennepin, Gun Street Girl and Jockey Full of Bourbon are all on it, and they're awesome.
This is not to say that he's "no more than a pretty face", but I'm not entirely sure that I've ever really sat down and thought to myself, "No one [sings/writes/etc] like David Bowie does."
I mean, I love him. He is my favorite, and has been for, what, at least nine years now. And while sometimes a line will strike me, I'm not often wowed or moved by his lyrics. I've seen him in concert twice and loved every second of it, but I think he appeals to a less deep part of me. Maybe a part that's a little more concerned with looks and mannerisms. (And he was all about mannerisms! Watching his music videos is like a little timeline of "Oh, and right now David is obsessed with smearing lipstick. And now he likes this little dance move. And now he likes to pretend he's chewing." (Don't believe me? Watch the videos for Fashion, China Girl, Boys, Dancing in the Street and (maybe?) Time Will Crawl. I love the Till Will Crawl video. You should watch it regardless. This group of dancers literally throw David around like a rag doll the entire time.)
Also, the fact that he's British definitely helps.
As far as his music goes, my current favorite song is Seven Years in Tibet...probably because it has a darker sound. I want to make a music video out of it.
Well, there you have it! The heart, the soul and the face of my music. Probably my three favorite performers/writers ever, and a constant source of inspiration to me.
Who are yours?
(all photos yanked from Google images)