Okkervil River

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Which album should I buy?

Marc-, Thursday, 9 June 2005 14:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Sleep & Wake-Up Songs EP

Johnny Fever (johnny fever), Thursday, 9 June 2005 14:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I really like the songs "red" and "kansas city".
Are the rest in the same style?

Marc-, Thursday, 9 June 2005 14:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

If those are your faves, DEFINITELY DEFINITELY get Don't Fall In Love With Everyone You Meet. It is, imho, one of the greatest albums ever made.

After that, when you become an OkkRiv megafanatic, get Black SHeep Boy next (it's great).

The EPs are mostly quieter and less, i dunno, "folksy" than "Red" or "Kansas City".

Sean M (Sean M), Thursday, 9 June 2005 16:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

In other words, I def def def disagree with JOhnny Fever.

Sean M (Sean M), Thursday, 9 June 2005 16:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I guess I like my OkkRiv more folksy... in which case I guess I should just listen to Shearwater.

Johnny Fever (johnny fever), Thursday, 9 June 2005 16:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

If those are your faves, DEFINITELY DEFINITELY get Don't Fall In Love With Everyone You Meet.

Hehe nice, I actually bought it on ebay just after starting this thread.

Marc- (feminazi), Thursday, 9 June 2005 16:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

sean is otm. that album is totally captivating.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Thursday, 9 June 2005 17:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Down the River of Golden Dreams is their best album by a mile.
Full of great emotional songs.

Ludo (Ludo), Thursday, 9 June 2005 19:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I don't have them all, but I'll still say Black Sheep Boy in a walk. One of the most amazing albums I've heard in the past few years.

JC-L (JC-L), Thursday, 9 June 2005 19:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Their best songs are on the spilt CD with Julie Doiron.

Vic Funk, Thursday, 9 June 2005 19:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, get Don't Fall in Love with Everyone you See First (I like Westfall and Lady Liberty). Black Sheep Boy's good, too.

WillS, Thursday, 9 June 2005 21:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I only really know/own Down the River Of Golden Dreams and love that album, some powerful stuff. The new one, I have only heard a couple of times and like it so far. Looks like I need to hear some of their older stuff.

BeeOK (boo radley), Friday, 10 June 2005 05:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

six months pass...
I have had "Black Sheep Boy" for six months now and still haven't figured out why the fuss. How hard do I have to squint before I get it?

Mitya (mitya), Sunday, 11 December 2005 16:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

You shouldn't have to squint. But IMO it's the best album of the year. Cracking live show too, despite Will Sheff's strep throat and the drummer's fractured wrist.

Simon H. (Simon H.), Sunday, 11 December 2005 16:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

yeah, my Album of the Year as well.

BeeOK (boo radley), Monday, 12 December 2005 09:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

having had this in the archive for 6 months with little in the way of love from me - i suddenly yesterday decided i really needed to hear it again. great album, and one that is now in the current pile and no longer the archive. tis all a question of timining - when it came out the sun was shining and their moody alt.rock.americana thing didn't fit, now the days are shorter and grey this album is by far one of the most wonderful albums i have heard.

mark e (mark e), Monday, 12 December 2005 12:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i dunno, i can only listen to a few of this band's songs - and shearwater's as well. they work well in theory for me, but i get bored with much of their material.

black sheep boy is a great version though.

AaronK (AaronK), Monday, 12 December 2005 14:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...
this album is GREAT. same for me as mark e, more or less. song after song, really well sequenced, really melancholy, kind of angry. i think i passed it over so much because it seemed just clunky and straightforward (which it is). so i cooked some sidekicks and "zen garden" frozen vegetables and listened to it, not expecting much - not expecting it to be more than it is - and what do you know: it is more than it is (?). a string of songs that tease a variety of moods of themselves, but all of them sharing this melancholic oversoul. it would be perfect in december. BRAVO, OKKERVIL RIVER. bravo.

A Giant Mechanical Ant (The Giant Mechanical Ant), Wednesday, 23 August 2006 04:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

New song/album announcement last night:

http://consequenceofsound.net/2011/01/11/watch-okkervil-river-debut-new-song-album-title-on-fallon/

I don't know how popular these guys are here, but I'm excited.

monster_xero, Tuesday, 11 January 2011 18:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

seems like they don't have much of a following here but i love "black sheep boy" and "the stage names", so i'm game for this

fruit of the goon (k3vin k.), Tuesday, 11 January 2011 19:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

I'm excited, been a huge fan of the last several releases.

one pretty obvious guy in the obvious (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 11 January 2011 19:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

I'm also a big fan, I ran this poll a couple of years ago:

Our Life Is Not a POLL or Maybe: Okkervil River Studio Albums

There was some discussion on another thread about the album they did as Roky Erickson's backing band. My feeling being that whatever deficiencies that record had were down to him rather than them.

ban this sick stunt (anagram), Tuesday, 11 January 2011 19:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah I really like what they've been up to for the last few albums — dude's songwriting just keeps on getting stronger

new song doesn't blow me away but it doesn't really need to, y'know? definitely gonna check out the album

bernard snowy, Tuesday, 11 January 2011 19:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

He's also one of the best frontmen I've ever seen. Man he knows how to work an audience.

ban this sick stunt (anagram), Tuesday, 11 January 2011 20:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

I'd never heard Okkervil River so I just downloaded Don't Fall in Love, and I can't seem to get past the opener, "Red". What a stunner!

what does xd mean (rip van wanko), Tuesday, 11 January 2011 20:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

Black Sheep Boy is one of my favorite records of the last decade, and though the last couple were slight steps down, they haven't put out a bad record yet. Quite excited for this one. Also glad they took a little bit of a break between records this time; Stand Ins had some A+ material, but definitely felt rushed compared to its predecessors.

Evan R, Tuesday, 11 January 2011 20:46 (seven years ago) Permalink

Wasn't it recorded at the same time as The Stage Names, though?

ban this sick stunt (anagram), Tuesday, 11 January 2011 20:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

It was, and at times it felt like leftovers. Not as bad as Sujfan Stevens' post-Illinois clearinghouse The Avalanche, but still not the band at their freshest.

Evan R, Tuesday, 11 January 2011 21:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

excited! still love this band.

World Series champion San Francisco Giants (Bee OK), Wednesday, 12 January 2011 06:49 (seven years ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

Track-by-track preview of the new record here, supposed to be less "polished" and more "chaotic" than the last two:

http://www.spin.com/articles/exclusive-new-okkervil-river-track-track

The thing is, it's the way they walk the line between polish and chaos that makes them so ace in my view. Still, we'll see.

ban this sick stunt (anagram), Thursday, 10 February 2011 16:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

sounds okay to me, I could go for a little more chaos

there is a lout that never goes "aight" (bernard snowy), Thursday, 10 February 2011 16:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

New album The Silver Gymnasium on the way. Says Will:

On our last record, I Am Very Far, I was musically trying to both satisfy and to challenge myself; for The Silver Gymnasium, I wanted to write a record that was very much about trying to reach out to other people and show them a good time. I’d always wanted to write a record that was more based in autobiography, that spoke about my memories of how I felt and how the world around me seemed at a specific moment in the past, and it felt like a good time to finally do it. I thought John Agnello would be the perfect choice as a producer, not only because I’ve enjoyed his more recent records with people like Kurt Vile and Dinosaur Jr. but also because John is a much more old-fashioned producer who was actually involved with a lot of the music I listened to growing up, everything from Cyndi Lauper to John Mellencamp to the Outfield’s “Your Love.” John even worked on Born in the U.S.A. and was loitering around in the background during the making of Tom Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes; so he was actually present while they were making a lot of the music that inspired the kid version of me to want to be a musician and that inspired The Silver Gymnasium in general. Our goal with The Silver Gymnasium was to work quickly and decisively, to make a “band” record and not a fussy studio creation, and to make the most fun record we could possibly make.

- Will

The Silver Gymnasium tracklist:

1). It Was My Season
2). On A Balcony
3). Down Down the Deep River
4). Pink-Slips
5). Lido Pier Suicide Car
6). Where the Spirit Left Us
7). White
8). Stay Young
9). Walking Without Frankie
10). All The Time Every Day
11). Black Nemo

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Monday, 24 June 2013 13:56 (five years ago) Permalink

The last one took a while to grow on me but I really love it now, hoping for good things with this new one

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Monday, 24 June 2013 14:00 (five years ago) Permalink

tour also (obviously).

Porto for Pyros (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Monday, 24 June 2013 14:10 (five years ago) Permalink

i LOVE this band, thanks for the new album info. it has been a while so i'm quite happy for some new stuff.

Bee OK, Tuesday, 25 June 2013 01:08 (five years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

kewl

Treeship, Wednesday, 21 August 2013 15:54 (four years ago) Permalink

LP is really good, by the way. Great return to form after the last one

Evan R, Wednesday, 21 August 2013 16:27 (four years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

So yeah, this album is still great.

Evan R, Sunday, 15 September 2013 00:52 (four years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

I hope (assume) this is the appropriate place to post this: http://okkervilriver.com/goldenopportunities

regards to broad street, Wednesday, 18 December 2013 23:34 (four years ago) Permalink

thanks!

Bee OK, Thursday, 19 December 2013 02:33 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Yesterday, on a bit of a whim, I finally sought out the Tolstoya short story these guys took their name from, & I must say..... it was not at all what I expected!

Heroic melancholy continues to have a forceful grip on (bernard snowy), Friday, 3 July 2015 15:28 (three years ago) Permalink

in retrospect, "Okkervil River" the story has much less in common with "Okkervil River Song" than it does with the Stage Names/Stand-Ins twofer

Heroic melancholy continues to have a forceful grip on (bernard snowy), Friday, 3 July 2015 15:32 (three years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

I've tried so hard to love this band. I feel like if they'd put out about 50% fewer songs that were 15% better, then maybe.

rip van wanko, Friday, 21 August 2015 17:17 (two years ago) Permalink

Just give Black Sheep Boy one attentive spin from start to finish.

Evan R, Friday, 21 August 2015 18:32 (two years ago) Permalink

some of the music these guys have put out is so, so good. i just keep forgetting to check for new stuff

usic ally (k3vin k.), Friday, 21 August 2015 18:35 (two years ago) Permalink

still listen to the stage names once every couple of months

usic ally (k3vin k.), Friday, 21 August 2015 18:35 (two years ago) Permalink

Really loved them for a while, circa Stage Names and Stand Ins. There are definitely some knockout songs - "Unless It's Kicks" forever and ever please. But after while his bellow starts to grate. I burned out on most of the stuff I like, and the last couple of albums have not registered with me at all.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 21 August 2015 19:55 (two years ago) Permalink

I kinda loved I Am Very Far despite the maddeningly inconsistent production but the last album was such a drag

the naive cockney chorus (Simon H.), Friday, 21 August 2015 20:01 (two years ago) Permalink

I'm inclined to agree.

Really like every song but She Would Look For Me is the one that is offering up so much more than I initially thought would.

yugi ex, Monday, 3 October 2016 17:09 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

and of course, this is a perfect fall album

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Sunday, 23 October 2016 23:40 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

...perfect for every fall, it turns out. I picked up the 2xLP early this year; the fourth side features a sidelong field recording (including a patch of rain), which is a nice alternative to the "fourth side etching" most bands are doing these days.

Simon H., Wednesday, 25 October 2017 23:48 (nine months ago) Permalink

3 weeks out and i'm still listening to "Mary On a Wave" on repeat, this is the best song of his career

― ciderpress, Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:05 PM (one year ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

still stand by this

ciderpress, Thursday, 26 October 2017 00:12 (nine months ago) Permalink

not sure if I'd go that far but it is a blissful thing

Simon H., Thursday, 26 October 2017 01:00 (nine months ago) Permalink

couldn't agree more

niels, Thursday, 26 October 2017 13:29 (nine months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiOJBGjnV04

niels, Monday, 12 February 2018 10:40 (six months ago) Permalink

hmmmmmmm

Simon H., Monday, 12 February 2018 13:04 (six months ago) Permalink

while it's sonically completely different from Away, which imo was a masterpiece, I think the songwriting seems on point

niels, Monday, 12 February 2018 13:11 (six months ago) Permalink

dang i figured Away was gonna be a Final Album for the OR bandname

ciderpress, Monday, 12 February 2018 16:11 (six months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ7bMUsOu7w

Not exactly my taste but oh well, in many ways finding a new direction is a sign of life - long live Okkervil River

niels, Tuesday, 20 March 2018 19:43 (four months ago) Permalink

dad rock is cool in 2018

ciderpress, Tuesday, 20 March 2018 21:33 (four months ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG3YIoW_2zs

niels, Tuesday, 17 April 2018 09:16 (four months ago) Permalink

I liked Away a lot, and this is better than anything on Away

Evan R, Tuesday, 17 April 2018 15:07 (four months ago) Permalink

ooof I completely disagree, this is diminishing returns on the "sad tales of showbiz" Sheff vein of songwriting (despite the autobiographical addition)

Simon H., Tuesday, 17 April 2018 15:10 (four months ago) Permalink

this is better than anything on Away

https://i.imgur.com/sSgATjF.gif

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Tuesday, 17 April 2018 15:19 (four months ago) Permalink

it's got a good melody though

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Tuesday, 17 April 2018 15:22 (four months ago) Permalink

Sheff's "inspirations" playlist for this record features "Let's Go Out Tonight" which is not a huge surprise but unfortunately there's just a little too much going on for full-on Blue Nile worship

Simon H., Tuesday, 17 April 2018 15:29 (four months ago) Permalink

his is diminishing returns on the "sad tales of showbiz" Sheff vein of songwriting

Agree that he'd run that muse into the ground. But he finds the emotional core of each of these stories, and I am very there for those turns of phrase

Evan R, Tuesday, 17 April 2018 15:29 (four months ago) Permalink

i like the crispness and glossiness of the production. i wish that carried through to... the other two songs i've heard from this

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Tuesday, 17 April 2018 15:30 (four months ago) Permalink

though on revisit i like what's going on in "pulled up the ribbon" too. "don't move back to la" is borrrrrrring in a way that away never was

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Tuesday, 17 April 2018 15:32 (four months ago) Permalink

can't imagine he'll ever top Away for me though i think i thought the same thing about Black Sheep Boy a decade earlier and then my tastes changed

ciderpress, Tuesday, 17 April 2018 15:35 (four months ago) Permalink

I appreciate that Sheff is both restless and prolific even if the results have been wildly variable in quality for the last few records. That's a lot more than I can say for basically all the other big indie singer-songwriters who came up around the same time.

Simon H., Tuesday, 17 April 2018 15:37 (four months ago) Permalink

also I had no idea they covered "Candle on the Water" for the nu-Pete's Dragon OST. That must have been a nice little check.

Simon H., Tuesday, 17 April 2018 15:39 (four months ago) Permalink

So this compelled me to listen to the album, and there are times when it feels like a worthwhile sequel to Away but it loses the plot something awful in its second half. Lots of wild swings; tries to do way too much and breaks the spell, which I guess is the story of post-Stage Names Okkervil River. It's gonna be worth excavating though; there are a few knockout songs ("Love Somebody" and esp "Pulled Up The Ribbon") and even some of the long winded songs have these little moments of bliss scattered throughout them.

Evan R, Tuesday, 17 April 2018 16:07 (four months ago) Permalink

this is my favorite of the singles so far, love the dizzy melancholy vibe

diminishing returns on the "sad tales of showbiz"
otm but imo the autobiographical addition really lifts it

Simon, where's that inspiration playlist?

niels, Wednesday, 18 April 2018 09:37 (four months ago) Permalink

nice!

niels, Wednesday, 18 April 2018 12:37 (four months ago) Permalink

Also, someone asked me to make a representative CD80 and it's really tough! This is the best I could manage

https://open.spotify.com/user/suckerblues/playlist/4i8gfO0gt8LEFXnFlkpBpY?si=vTvBNF7mTXiC32Rfvxc_aw

Simon H., Wednesday, 18 April 2018 12:53 (four months ago) Permalink

Can't think of another band that can turn me both on and off as hard as OR

thots and players (rip van wanko), Wednesday, 18 April 2018 13:14 (four months ago) Permalink

I just realized both this record and the new Manics explicitly reference Caitlin Thomas

Simon H., Thursday, 19 April 2018 12:46 (three months ago) Permalink

nice coincidence, i listened to away yesterday during a very long commute. that could be a favorite album of all time for me in a few years. i can think of very few records that approach it in mood and ambition (the great american music club records come to mind and not much else).
i also kinda think van morrison should cover at least half of it

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Thursday, 19 April 2018 13:01 (three months ago) Permalink

Halfway through the new one and it's gonna take a bunch of listens to sort out whether the sonic pivot works or not. the Blue Nile influence is definitely palpable and "Love Somebody" even evokes the 1975 a bit, but I don't think I like Sheff writing in this deliberately broader lyrical mode. "Pulled up the Ribbon" has grown on me a lot though, their best single in a long time.

Simon H., Thursday, 19 April 2018 13:07 (three months ago) Permalink

Album definitely feels like work in away that Away never did. Also a classic case of "songs don't justify their length" syndrome

Evan R, Thursday, 19 April 2018 14:34 (three months ago) Permalink

yeah it's a really weird record. I liked a few tracks on first contact but like with Silver Gymnasium Sheff seems to be chasing down a set of ideas that don't play to his strengths

Simon H., Thursday, 19 April 2018 14:52 (three months ago) Permalink

otm and otm

niels, Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:16 (three months ago) Permalink

can one of you journalists call Will and ask how he cleared the Kinks riff?

niels, Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:17 (three months ago) Permalink

Sheff's "inspirations" playlist for this record features "Let's Go Out Tonight" which is not a huge surprise but unfortunately there's just a little too much going on for full-on Blue Nile worship

― Simon H., Tuesday, April 17, 2018 11:29 AM (two days ago

*clicks furiously*

k3vin k., Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:35 (three months ago) Permalink

which Kinks riff?

k3vin the BN influence is only really felt on maybe 3-4 tracks, fair warning

Simon H., Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:55 (three months ago) Permalink

haha I am an okkervil fan at baseline so it's not strictly necessary, was just making an in character post

k3vin k., Thursday, 19 April 2018 17:07 (three months ago) Permalink

The 'Waterloo Sunset' riff is in the new song.

xp

the word dog doesn't bark (anagram), Thursday, 19 April 2018 17:26 (three months ago) Permalink

"Famous Tracheotomies" is great, not least because while it references "Waterloo Sunset" structurally it most resembles "Celluloid Heroes."

Dangleballs and the Ballerina (cryptosicko), Saturday, 21 April 2018 15:23 (three months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
three weeks pass...

I've been so out of the Okkervil loop for the last ten+ years that I didn't even know so many albums had come out, but I decided to give the latest one a spin and it's quite nice. Never thought I'd say that in 2018.

Johnny Fever, Saturday, 2 June 2018 20:06 (two months ago) Permalink

The new one has its moments but, as discussed upthread, Away is a bit of a secret masterpiece.

Simon H., Saturday, 2 June 2018 20:24 (two months ago) Permalink

I really like "love somebody"

k3vin k., Saturday, 2 June 2018 20:54 (two months ago) Permalink

^ Yeah, that's the one that really stuck out for me.

Johnny Fever, Saturday, 2 June 2018 21:11 (two months ago) Permalink

great song, he talks a bit about it here https://uproxx.com/music/okkervil-river-interview-in-the-rainbow-rain-love-somebody-video/

album's a grower too, Sheff's such a humanist (reminds me of DFW, less mathematically rational, more spiritual)

niels, Sunday, 3 June 2018 10:15 (two months ago) Permalink

yeah he seems like a good dude for sure

k3vin k., Sunday, 3 June 2018 15:49 (two months ago) Permalink


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