First Bright Eyes song released from captivity; Kyle Harvey’s Space Christmas tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 3:38 pm December 21, 2010

by Tim McMahan,

It was only a matter of time before we got the first Bright Eyes song from the new album, The People’s Key, and here it is, “Shell Games.” In various interviews over the past few days, Conor Oberst has been saying that he’s walking away from the played out indie/Americana/folk sound of his past two solo albums for a new rock sound, and for the most part, that’s exactly what he’s done. You’d never mistake this song for Americana. But then again, it isn’t exactly a “rock song,” either. It does, however, sound distinctively Bright Eyes-like, and that’s a welcome sign of things to come. The song feels like something that could have come from Cassadaga, but with the heavy synths toward the end of the track, there are some overtones of Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (an album that got lost beneath the shadow of I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and marketing that stressed its “modern sound.” But with songs like “Take It Easy (Love Nothing)” and “Gold Mine Gutted,” Digital Ash still holds up as one of Bright Eyes’ better albums). This Pitchfork link also includes the album art for The People’s Key, and unless my eyes deceive me, it’s the work of Zack Nipper, who took home a Grammy for the Cassadaga album sleeve. The paper cut-out-style design and color scheme is reminiscent of the gorgeous art Zack did for the Every Day and Every Night EP.

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Tonight at The Barley St., it’s a different kind of Space Oddity when Kyle Harvey hosts the First Annual Merry Christmas From Outer Space. Join Kyle and his fellow space aliens as they celebrate the release of his new holiday album. Songs include “Crop Circle Christmas,” “Happy Birthday Baby Jesus, Merry Christmas Alf,” and “Baby, It’s Cold In Space.” “Come dressed as spacemen, astronauts, aliens, men in black, Santa Claus, or any other galactic or holiday themed gear and receive free admission!” How can you beat that? Show starts at 9.

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Kudos to the fine folks at Silicon Prairie News for today’s shout out. No one in town covers Fast Company-style, next-generation entrepreneurial business quite like those guys. Keep it up, gentlemen. (And yes, Kurt Anderson would call this “logrolling in our times,” but at least it’s heartfelt).

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Tomorrow we take another trip down memory lane with a feature on Slowdown Virginia and Polecat, just in time for Thursday night’s big reunion show…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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