Called "The Silver Gymnasium". No other details really, but that announcement is enough to make 2013 a good music year.
which was a shame since pretty much every single one leading up to it was good to very good to amazing.
The last one was a borderline masterpiece imo. Much better than the Stand-Ins, which had a definite b-sides album vibe (probably because it kind of was) especially compared to The Stage Names. Probably in the minority but I think in hindsight both TSN and I am Very Far stand up better than Black Sheep Boy, which comes off a bit hear-my-sadness to these ears.
and the stage names not far behind
So Come Back, I'm Waiting... actually perfect.
But don’t songs like For Real sometimes sound a bit, I dunno, cringeworthy to you, lyrically? Not that I dislike them per se (this was probably the most spine-tingling performance I’ve ever seen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdlvDjl7PxQ - perfect) I just find the Stage Names and I am Very Far a little less emotionally contrived or something. Hard to describe I guess. Whatever, great band.
It's similar to the National in that with TSN and BSB it's pretty much a toss up between the album that got me into the band and the excellent previous album that was their critical breakthrough for a good reason.
As with the National and Bozer I reckon TSN just edges it for me, if only because Girl in Port is such a beautiful song.
Anything close to the quality of BSB/Down the River/Stage Names would be absolutely dandy!
Good to see there's something else for me, other than (presumably) the new Janelle Monae, to look forward to in the second half of the year.
Was a tad disappointed by I Am Very Far but it still had some awesome tunes and they are high up my "bands to see live" list.
And since they've been mentioned I can't resist linking to the utter gorgeousness that is Mermaid:
Don't quite get why it was only featured on the Australiam version of I Am Very Far...but I do still like Hanging from a Hit.
but I too thought I am Very Far wasn't that great - the only one of theirs I haven't gone back and listened inside out to.
Think Down the River might be my favourite album by anybody.
Maybe not though.
The rest of that record is merely excellent.
To be perfectly honest the only album that wasn't excellent since Down The River... was The Stand Ins, so it's difficult to say IAVF ranks...but that album is a treasure trove of goodness: ragged rockers (The Valley, Wake and be Fine), old-style Waltzy songs (Hanging from a hit), Sexed up older songs (Piratess), Gorgeous melancholy bands (The Rise, I Need a Myth), Springsteen singalongs (Rider). I digress but it's a really expansive record, really rewards expansive listening.
Oh and it's difficult to say WHERE IAVF ranks.
as offcuts/B sides collections go. Probably ended up hearing Lost Coastlines a few too many times (one of my old housemates got obsessed with it after hearing me play the album in the kitchen and played it incessantly for quite a while!) but there's plenty of other good tunes on there, Pop Lie and On Tour with Zykos spring to mind.
For most other bands, The Stand Ins would be a high point. For Okkervil River, it's a mis-step.
The Valley and Wake And Be Fine are great.
I've never listened to Black Sheep Boy though tbf.
Listening to that turned me from liking the band to being obsessed with them. Same happened for me with Kaputt by Destroyer.
#Not even my brother#
Still, I love this band so am excited about a new record!
They were my favourite band for a number of years. If anything, i've probably grown tired of waiting for them to follow up BSB + Appendix with something equally spectacular. Don't get me wrong, the last few albums have been good, but i find them so disappointingly forgettable. I reckon Sheff really needs to up his game (on this new record) if they are to have any longevity.
it was about Shearwater. Not sure why.
Now listening to Animal Joy
Good story. Cheers
the heirarchy of Okkervil River albums probably goes:
BSB > Down The River > Stage Names > I Am Very Far > Don't Fall In Love... > Stand-Ins
but they're all good. I've got a lot of confidence that this one will be good too.
And it led to this cover of Ex-Girl Collection by Will Sheff
Also really didn't like I Am Very Far - sounded too bombastic, loud and lacking in tunes. Still decent when they played Heaven in London on the tour for the album though, so I hold out hope.
I have to say OR are a band that will never let you down live. Will (Sheff) clearly cares about live music deeply and their back catologue is pretty rich by modern standards, so it should always be worth the ticket price.
They had two support acts and the first didn't start until nearly 9. Okkervil River came on stage at about half 10 and I was livid. The last train was at 11:15 and I expected them to fob us off with a 40 minute set and still cause me to miss the last train.
I kipped on my mates floor. They played until 1 in the morning. I hadn't ever been quite so okay with leaving covered by a singer's spittle, nor have I since.
Still not sure how they avoided curfews etc.
http://www.thesilvergymnasium.com and the new songs are sounding great
Glad you don't like it
More seriously though, I thought IAVF was great so if this is more of the same then that's fine by me.
Enjoying it so far, but I've liked all their records so perhaps I'm not the best one to give a fair assessment. I know there's a theme of nostalgia running throughout, but this really sounds like the happiest record they've ever releases. Lots of hands-in-the-air Springsteenesque moments. Highlights so far are Down the Deep River, Lido Pier Suicide Car, White and All The Time Every Day.
and it hasn't grabbed me much more. Below their usual high standards :(
they don't suit being content at all. Doesn't mean I don't think some of the songs are good on their own.
but there's some crackers on there
BUT over the last week I've been playing Black Sheep Boy constantly and it finally makes sense to me. That album long left me overwhelmed and a bit confused but it's fucking incredible.
JUST TAKE A REAL SHORT DRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE
really fallen for this band, one of the best
but I'm really enjoying this now. It's a really exuberant album, and it's good to hear the horns front and centre again. Probably one of Will Sheff's strongest sets of lyrics in some time, too.
Favs so far: It Was My Season, Down Down The Deep River, Where The Spirit Left Us
also, i kinda look like Will Sheff. I wish I was Will Sheff.
and y'all know they're playing London on 27th November right?
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