Bright Eyes

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Although many musicians joined the band's rotating lineup, Bright Eyes was primarily the songwriting vehicle of Conor Oberst, a quivery-voiced Nebraska native who first attracted attention in 1994 -- when he was only 14 years old -- as the singer and guitarist for Commander Venus. Oberst proved to be a prolific musician, joining multiple bands (including Commander Venus, the Magentas, Park Ave., and Desaparecidos) while also co-founding Saddle Creek, an influential label that helped broadcast "the Omaha Sound" to a national audience. Accordingly, rumors swirled that Conor Oberst had given up the Bright Eyes project for good, and he confirmed such suspicion that summer, stating his intention to retire the band's name after issuing one final Bright Eyes album in 2010.

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