Bright Eyes, “The Calendar Hung Itself”
So as to not make this week on Wampoholic entirely about dance music, here’s a golden oldie. “The Calendar Hung Itself” was released on the album Fevers and Mirrors in 2000, making this song almost a decade old!
I won’t call myself an expert on the band, but this is the only angry Bright Eyes song I know of. Frontman Conor Oberst plays a very lo-fi and distorted guitar with a woodblock and what sounds like congas backing him up, providing a somewhat Spanish feel to the song. These frantic instruments indicate the hurried and jumpy nature of Oberst’s thoughts and lend power to the real indicator of anger: Oberst’s voice.
He opens the lyrics with a rant asking what his ex-lover’s new man does for her, before collapsing into himself and showing his current despair. The rest of the song is how he picks the pieces back up, but he never once stops gasping with a raw throat at the end of every line because he cannot forget the past no matter where he goes. Finally, the snarl heard at the end of the track in “where I was lain” is beyond intense- but not beyond repair. Somehow some of his friends stay behind and save him.
I think it’s good that Bright Eyes never wrote another angry song like this, because how could it ever compare? Everything about it made sense when I was 14 and it makes sense when I’m almost 20.. I don’t think it will ever stop making sense.
well the clock’s heart it hangs inside its open chest, with hands stretched toward the calendar hanging itself