okkervil river

Recent content on Elsewhere by Graham Reid tagged as okkervil river.

Gary Louris: Vagabond (Ryko/Elite)

Gary Louris: Vagabond (Ryko/Elite)

Louris was a founder of the cornerstone alt.country band the Jayhawks whose career in the 90s saw them weave their way from country-rock to post-grunge rock and sometimes pure pop They were hard to get a bead on but that was the great pleasure of their career. With the Jayhawks seemingly on hold Louris steps out for a debut album under his...

Okkervil River: The Stage Names (UN Spin)

Okkervil River: The Stage Names (UN Spin)

At his most dramatic, OkkRiver singer Will Sheff sounds like a heavily caffeinated Richard Thompson (the ripping opener Our Life is Not A Movie) or Morrissey with a very nasty attitude (on Unless It Kicks which is like a seriously angry Smiths). His voice is pushed to its upper register and he sings with a passion that is rare. That both of...

Shearwater: The Golden Archipelago (Matador)

Shearwater: The Golden Archipelago (Matador)

The problem as I see it with this sonically fascinating and musically dramatic album is that it lacks a lyric sheet and the poetic words are frequently difficult to distinguish because singer Jonathan Meiburg's vocals are often buried behind those odd instrumentations, or sung in soft high Anglofolk voice which is hard to decipher. Because...

R.E.M.; THE EARLY YEARS: Mumbling into the future

R.E.M.; THE EARLY YEARS: Mumbling into the future

When R.E.M sneaked up in the early 80s with their debut album Murmur, few could have anticipated what the band meant – and would become. Just as Talking Heads had become the banner-waver for emotionally distant New York art-rock a few years previous, R.E.M were the band which announced college rock radio could be as influential as...

R.E.M.: Collapse Into Now (Warners)

R.E.M.: Collapse Into Now (Warners)

Thirty years into a career and with this, their 15th studio album, it seems a bit rich for REM bassist Mike Mills to say this one is somehow different with really beautiful slow songs, some nice mid-tempo ones and three or four rockers. That pretty much describes every REM album in the past two decades, and for this one -- despite them...

R.E.M. LIFES RICH PAGEANT REISSUED (2011): The turning point

R.E.M. LIFES RICH PAGEANT REISSUED (2011): The turning point

When R.E.M. re-signed to Warners for a reported US$80 million in 1996, it was hard to know whether to stifle the gasp or the guffaw. Although that figure bandied about was doubtless inflated and involved complex deals regarding recording, promotion and royalties, it wasn't the number that was so significant. It was what Warners thought...

Okkervill River: I Am Very Far (Jajaguwar)

Okkervill River: I Am Very Far (Jajaguwar)

The last appearance of Texas' Okkervil River was them providing emotional support and the musical context for damaged cult figure Roky Erickson on his exceptional, moving True Love Cast Out All Evil. Their singer/songwriter Will Sheff is one of the smartest around (he writes the most extraordinary and emotionally insightful ballads) and...

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