I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
Author: Falling James
While Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst is the indie-rock wunderkind of the moment with the simultaneous release of two new albums on Saddle Creek - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, which lopes/mopes along via oft-clever Paul Westerberg-style balladry, and the contrastingly electronics-flavored but equally laid-back Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (see Alec Hanley Bemis' Music feature for details) - it's Jesse Sykes who could end up leaving the most haunting echoes in the elegant old Orpheum tonight. The Seattle singer has one of those languidly intoxicating voices that really takes you places - otherworldly, dream-streaked places that feel more real than trudging, dull-life reality. Former Whiskeytown guitarist Phil Wandscher's and violist Anne Marie Ruljancich's spectral touches anoint deliberately paced incantations like the enigmatically chilling "Made of Wood" (from 2002's Reckless Burning) and the charming "House by the Lake" (from last year's Oh, My Girl) as Sykes' lulling vocals soar birdlike and unconcerned above it all. With Bright Eyes' fellow Nebraskans Neva Dinova, thru Mon.