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" Sometimes I daydream about having a farm and a wife and some babies and watching the grass grow, but you have to meet the right person for that. "
" 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. "
" I really believe in the way the energy can consolidate in certain geographical spots. You can find it in a lot of different places, beautiful natural spots, or if you look at Islam or Judaism or Christianity, these ideas of holy places. "
" Although Omaha is my birthplace and the place I grew up, I don't see myself spending extended amounts of time there. I feel almost more comfortable and more at peace in New York. "
" Art is basically communication, and I think everyone who's a music lover has had that experience where a record or a recording has kept you company when no one else is around. And I think that is what I'm hoping that people get out of my music. "
" Life is always surprising to me. When you think it's going to get dull, it never really does. "
" I never camped as a kid, but I really got into camping and sleeping outdoors. I've also done some amazing river floats in New Mexico and Idaho. It's peaceful and awesome. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" I always embrace the worst-case scenario. "
" I like the Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park. I love how it's been rained on forever and looks worn down by time. "
" If there's a song that stops meaning anything to me, then I'll quit playing it. "
" So much of listening to lyrically driven music is projecting your own feelings and experiences into the music. "
" Once you realize that everyone is in the same boat, that everyone is just as insecure and childlike as everyone else, that all these jokers in D.C. ruining our world are just greedy kids grabbing for marbles - I think that realization means you're an adult. "
" I like to feel the burn of the audience's eyes when I'm whispering all my darkest secrets into the microphone. "
" Love's an excuse to get hurt. "
" When I run into a person or a kid that comes up and gives me the spiel about, 'Hey, I got your record at this time in my life, and it really helped me,' that stuff totally still rings true. If you're standing there talking to someone, it's really easy to tell if they're being authentic or not. And that's great. "
" One of my favorite modern American authors is Denis Johnson. I'm deeply inspired by all of his work - I rip him off constantly. "
" 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. "
" Music is unique because you can get behind enemy lines a little bit, get into people's houses and into their heads, on their stereos, and win hearts and minds. "
" 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 think that, with anything creative, you should have the freedom to experiment, and that experimentation means not feeling totally responsible for how other people perceive it. "
" I kind of go in waves with reading. Sometimes I read all the time, and sometimes I can't get settled enough to focus. "
" 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. "
" There's a lot of optimism in changing scenery, in seeing what's down the road. "
" 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. "
" I have a car in Nebraska. When I bought it, they gave me a satellite radio, and there's an 'indie-rock' station. It's just nothing I'm interested in. "
" It's glorious to be able to go onto the Internet and hear any kind of music anywhere, from anywhere, and get it instantly. But there's also something glorious about having a record with a sleeve and looking at the artwork, putting it on the turntable and playing it, there's still something romantic to me about that. "
" You can do a lot to shape the feeling of a song by the way you record it. "
" The way my life's structured, I don't stay in a place for more than a couple months. "
" My family is Catholic. I went to a Catholic school, that kind of thing, so that was my childhood for sure. "