Bobby Bare Jr.’s 5 Favorites List
By Bobby Bare Jr.
Weather Systems – Andrew Bird
Andrew is the most talented person I’ve ever seen perform. I asked him once if it freaked him out to be able to do what he does with strings and his voice and he said, “No, I’ve been this good on violin since I was 6,” and he wasn’t bragging. His layers of melody tear my heart out. I make every A&R person I meet go out and buy this CD because he deserves to be known by everyone, and he’s the only person I know who has sang the word “palindrome.”
I See a Darkness – Bonnie Prince Billie
Will Oldham was one of 15 people who came to our last show in Louisville, KY. The audience consisted of Will, his girlfriend, Jim James of MY MORNING JACKET and his drummer PATRICK, and PAVEMENT, along with five or six people who just happened to be sitting at the bar that night. We did seven or eight songs and then the PA blew up and Will still said nice things about the show and let me hug his sexy girlfriend. But that’s not why I like his songs. His subtle way of singing not-so-subtle songs makes me rethink everything I do. This album sticks in your mind like grape BubbleYum on hot asphalt.
American Water – The Sliver Jews
Just this past summer I was given this album by The Silver Jews. The first line out of DAVID BERMAN’S mouth on American Water is “In 1984 I was hospitalized for approaching perfection.” His words are always a happy surprise – he challenges everything and it sounds like he’s trying to fake you out with every line but I always seem to know what he is trying to say, so you’re not left with the cold feeling of being cheated. The backing band (PAVEMENT) is pretty good at keeping up also, “playing tambourine for minimum wage.”
Soft Spot – Clem Snide
The best compliment a songwriter can give someone else’s song is to kick one’s self in the ass for not writing the song first. I wish I had written almost every one of his lines but it’s too late; we played with them this past summer in Chicago and it was grand. Eef knows how to escort a listener perfectly through his songs.
My Morning Jacket is My Favorite Band
We did some shows with My Morning Jacket as a favor to their manager over a year ago and they were stunning. I got a copy of At Dawn which came out year before last and now it never leaves my side. Jim James has a very special gift of melody along with a voice that makes me wanna quit singing and THEY ROCK live. But you have to get the CDs to hear the harmonies, cause they don’t do them live.