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" I read the newspaper online. Mostly 'The New York Times.' I'll still buy papers if I'm getting on an airplane or the tour bus, though. I like physical things. "
" I was raised Catholic, and I have an aversion to anyone who takes religion to the extreme. "
I Was Raised
" People resist change; if they like something, then they want you to keep doing it over and over - but I think if you like what a particular band or artist does, then you should want to see what they're going to do next. "
" I find that moving keeps me optimistic, the idea of what's going to be down the road a bit or around the next bend. "
" When I started writing songs, I was doing it for myself and a small circle of friends. And gradually, over the years, an audience became involved. "
" Joe Arpaio needs no help from me getting attention. For years he has been a beacon of bigotry and intolerance for all the world to see. The list of human and civil-rights abuses he's committed in Maricopa County is long and well documented. "
" Now I believe that lovers should be draped in flowers and laid entwined together on a bed of clover and left there to sleep, left there to dream of their happiness. "
" When you write a song, the goal is not to convey the details of your life. You should write a memoir or something if that's what you're going to do. "
" I don't really premeditate what I write my songs about; you know, they just kind of happen, and I can't start writing songs to please a certain group of people or propagate a certain message all the time. That's just not how my songwriting works - it just sort of comes out, and the songs are what they are. "
" When I try to explain to people the big influences in my life, or at least when I first started, the most important ones were my friends who were also writing songs and were typically four or five years older than me. "
" I like ideas, but I don't like being preached to. "
" Why are you scared to dream of god when it's salvation that you want? "
" Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of my all-time favorite writers. I feel spiritual when reading his words, even though they're translated. I wish desperately that I could read it in its original language. I already feel like I'm going to church when I read him; imagine if I could read it in the original. "
" Pronouns really don't matter in a song - 'I' or 'he' or 'she' or even subscribing a lyric to an inanimate object. "
" The first music I ever got into was the '80s alternative bands that my brother listened to, like The Cure and The Smiths and R.E.M. and Fugazi. I can remember specifically saying The Cure was my favorite band back in second grade. "
" I would prefer to be a little nervous, because when you stop being nervous is kind of when you stop caring. "
" Considering our history, I can think of nothing more American than an immigrant. "
" The best feeling I ever get is when I finish a song, and it exists, and it didn't exist before, and now it's there, and it makes me feel a certain way. "
" With science and reason throughout history, what people believed turned out to be false. So I like to keep an open mind to all perspectives and learn and become more fully realised as a person. I just feel we're never going to know what the full picture is. "
" I have many friends who are both Mexican and Mexican-American and others who, I guess you would say, are somewhere in between. The ironic thing is that all three of those categories often exist inside of the same family. "
" To me, a political song is also a personal song. Most political activism has been driven by empathy for other people and the desire for a world that's less divisive. Even if songs aren't overtly political, they can make a listener more empathetic. "
" One of my best friends, Mike, had a kid. Just seeing him go through it all was inspiring. It would be so nice to care about someone more than yourself. And Mike is a total delinquent, so if he can do it, I figure I can, too. "
" It's very strange when people get so focused on what a song means, what actual events inspired a song. That gets people really excited for some reason... But that's what's great about music - however people interpret it, whatever they see, is what I want to be there for them. "
" I think there's a danger, for me at least, in retreating and going inward and depression. I have to stay diligent against that tendency. "
" I always embrace the worst-case scenario. "
" On every Bright Eyes record, there's some kind of sound collage that begins it. Some of them have dialogue, some don't. I like it because it can kind of slow down the attention span a bit. It's a way to draw you in to the rest of the record. "
" When everything is lonely I can be my best friend. "
" There's a major underlying idea as you grow up that you need to just save your money and get that affordable housing at the edge of town where you're away from the city where all the crime happens or whatever. "
" I don't feel real confident expressing myself except when I'm writing. I feel kind of scatterbrained. I can see everything from both sides and that makes it hard to reach conclusions. Writing enables me to clarify things. "
" I think we should be pushing for amnesty and a path to citizenship for every undocumented person residing in the United States who has not committed a violent crime, with a special emphasis on keeping families together. "
" Let the poets cry themselves to sleep, and all their tearful words will turn back into steam. "