played a small intimate show at Joe's Pub last Wednesday. The set-up of the venue was an outlier to what I'd become accustomed to: everyone was seated at tables, their faces lit by the dim flicker of candlelight. It looked more like a poetry reading than anything else. But when Conor J. O'Brien took the stage armed with his miniature guitar (he calls her "Lola"), it all began to make sense.
O'Brien's lyrics are straightforward and terse, unfolding into linear tales about heartbreak, isolation, and "the human condition." Another photographer in the box described him as "Bright Eyes with balls," and though I don't necessarily agree with that rigid an assessment, it wasn't completely unwarranted. Songs like "Becoming a Jackal" and "Set the Tigers Free" strewed a diverse collection of storybook characters into cohesive, melancholy narratives, which O'Brien would deconstruct over lilting, lingering strings. Suddenly, the Villagers as a designation for one man made a little more sense: while it may take many to build a village, it only takes one man to tear it all down. - chris gayomali
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Pictures:Villagers At Joe's Pub
MP3: "Becoming A Jackal"
Villagers on Myspace