Pastoral Genocide

For What It’s Worth.
July 14, 2008, 7:39 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , ,

As many of you may know, this blog is in love with all things Okkervil River. And, we’re not talking love in the “I love you mom and dad” sort of way. No, this is the type of love that results in you showing up to your date’s house with flowers and candy. And with an entire box of Durex. And a ball gag and horse whip. And three Russian prostitutes that you ordered off Craigslist. And your next door neighbor’s border collie. You know, real love.

Ahem. Anyway, as many of you also may know, Okkervil River has a new CD, entitled “The Stand Ins,” coming out on 9 September 2008. Obviously, this is quite exciting. Arousing, even. As songwriter Will Sheff has delineated on countless occasions, “The Stand Ins” is, for all pragmatic intents and purposes, a companion release to 2007’s “The Stage Names.” Meaning, of course, that the songs appearing on “The Stand Ins” were largely written at the same time as those songs appearing on “The Stage Names.”

Several months ago, Okkervil River did a live guest appearance type of thing on Cincinnati’s WOXY. They played several songs, including a new song, titled “Lost Coastlines.” You can download the songs individually, by right-clicking and saving the following links, (mostly) provided via The Futurist:

(1) Lost Coastlines (2) A King and A Queen (3) A Hand to Take Hold of the Scene (4) It Ends with A Fall (5) Full Set w/Interviews.

For whatever reason, the WOXY site is missing the link for “It Ends with a Fall.” So, that particular song is furnished via the weblog Hearsay.

Notably, the Live at WOXY version of “Lost Coastlines” is a bit different than a version appearing on Youtube. Check it out below:

From my particular vantage point, I like the Youtube version marginally better. The dualing vocals and rustic feel of the banjo give the song a pleasantly rural vibe. Both versions, however, sound really fantastic, for whatever that’s worth.

That’s all for now. Until next time, take ‘er easy. And, if she’s really easy, take her twice.


Will Sheff – Cedar’s, Youngstown Ohio
July 7, 2008, 3:57 pm
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Download Will Sheff, Youngstown OH, 28 Febuary 2008

This recording is a meandering and fantastic gem. The sound quality is close to impeccable. The set list [comprised of Okkeveril River songs, mostly] has that certain sort of quotidian magic. For his part, Sheff twists and turns each song into a crashing force, a tidal wall of emotion and emergent purpose. There is an individual taste of auetership; replication is an impossible and distant idea. As Sheff’s pitch and poise teeters and wavers, often being pushed to an undefined but readily apparent line of demarcation, we understand that this is something remarkable, something important. To me, this set is why we listen to music, why we drive two hours to go to a dirty venue on a Tuesday evening, and why we wake up the next day half-drunk and late for work.

Songs About Dancing Bears, Etc.

Dancing Bears. By no means would I consider myself a Randy Newman fan, but this cover of “Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear” is unreasonably spectacular. The original song is, in itself, something of a masterpiece. Keeping in mind that this song was written by a grown-ass man, check out the lyrics:

I may go out tomorrow if I can borrow a coat to wear/Oh I’d step out in style with my sincere smile and my dancing bear/Outrageous, alarming, courageous, charming/Oh who would think a boy and bear/Could be well accepted everywhere/It’s just amazing how fair people can be/Seen at the nicest places where well fed faces all stop to stare/Making the grandest entrance is Simon Smith and his dancing bear/They’ll love us, won’t they?/They feed us, don’t they?/Oh, who would think a boy and bear/Could be well accepted everywhere/It’s just amazing how fair people can be/Who needs money when you’re funny?/The big attraction everywhere/Will be Simon Smith and his dancing bear/It’s Simon Smith and the amazing dancing bear

Etc. Here are some Muxtapes that are, perhaps, worth checking out: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Etc, Etc. (1) Matt Pryor posts a new song – titled Loralai – here. (2) You can stream Kevin Seconds’ new album, “Rise Up, Insomniacs!” here. (3) Scenepointblank recently posted a cool Ted Leo interview. (4) Sigur Ros is planning an upcoming world tour in which, unfortunately, they say “fuck you, guy,” to the vast majority of the United States. (5) The Gaslight Anthem have finished recording their upcoming full length, “The ’59 Sound.” Tentative release date: August 19, 2008.

Boom. Cops and crackheads and tranny love gone awry.

it’s late august, a hot summer night//and the red and the blue dance in frenzy of light//frozen, two men stand like pillars of salt in the street//they’re poor and they’re black and they’ve both got the bug//one’s dressed like a woman but you can see he’s a man//the other has been stabbed in the arm and he’s obviously mad//they both claim they’re in love//and though its hard to see, maybe they are//but they seem so desperate, and covered in sweat//the cops, they mumble quietly and shake their heads//wondering, just slightly, how two beating hearts became this

Okkervil River – The Showbox, Seattle WA
May 6, 2008, 4:55 am
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Okkervil River, The Showbox, Seattle WA, 18 March 2005.

Okkervil River – Castle Clinton, New York NY
May 1, 2008, 1:27 pm
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(1) Okkervil River, Castle Clinton, New York NY, 13 June 2008

(2) Okkervil River, Castle Clinton, New York NY, 13 June 2008

Okkervil River – Schuba’s Tavern, Chicago IL
May 1, 2008, 5:09 am
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Okkervil River, Schuba’s Tavern, Chicago IL, 13 May 2005