Saturday, June 2, 2007

Okkervil River--The Stage Names (deluxe edition)

So the new Okkervil River drops on August 7th, 2007. And true to the current trend, it will also be released as a deluxe edition. But unlike other "deluxe" editions, this 2XCD set will offer more than a few extra pictures and a hard back book. According to the description at, the deluxe edition will contain a solo version of each of the tracks. That's good stuff folks.

The track list follows and I have included the link from pitchfork to download the first single. If you have not heard it yet, you're in for a treat. All of the trademark Okkervil River is there, but Will Sheff's voice sounds a little cleaner to me. And I don't think it's a bad thing, just something to get used to. Check it out!

1. Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe
2. Unless It's Kicks
3. A Hand to Take Hold of the Scene
4. Savannah Smiles
5. Plus Ones
6. A Girl in Port
7. You Can't Hold the Hand of a Rock and Roll Man
8. Title Track
9. John Allyn Smith Sails

Friday, June 1, 2007

Okkervil River--The band and thier music

Okkervil River has an incredible bio posted on their website. It is very lengthy, but well worth your reading. So check it out here.

But for my purposes here's a little synopsis. Okkervil River are currently a six piece that hail from New Hampshire. They make moody keyboard driven music that David Fricke of Rolling Stone describes it as music that, "pines and crawls with enriched instrumentation… and a gripping cross of drowsy understatement and lightning bolts of anxiety, like Pavement bursting through the middle of REM’s 'Country Feedback." They make music that I just can't seem to get enough of. I have purchased tons of music this year, but it seems like every time I turn on the old IPOD, I want to listen to Okkervil River. I have been purchasing everything I can find from their back catalog and the good news is that they have a new record coming out in August (check back soon for more details). This is what I have found listed as their catalog. There may be some other things available and if so, please leave me some comments so I can find it too.

Stars to Small to Use--1999. I'm fairly certain this is out of print, and I do NOT have a copy.

Don't Fall in Love with Everyone You See--2002. A great release. It is not my favorite, but in it's defense, I just bought it in D.C. a few weeks ago and have not given it a fair shot.

Julie Doiron/Okkervil River (split EP)--2003. It's on order. More soon.

Down the River of Golden Dreams--2003. Amazing record. Enough said. Just go buy it. MP3 Check out Blanket and Crib Here

Sleep and Wake-Up Songs EP--2004. Again It's on order.

Black Sheep Boy--2005. My favorite Okkervil River release. I already posted Black as an MP3. Check out the MP3 For Real Here

Black Sheep Boy Appendix--2005. Oh man. If ever an appendix to a record was needed. This is it. I strongly suggest when you purchase Black Sheep Boy, you buy the deluxe edition as it contains this appendix. I'll have a full write up and an MP3 of my favorite track up soon.

For Real (EP)--2005. On Order

The President's Dead (12")--2006. Two tracks. The title one is priceless. Get the MP3 Here

The Stage Names--to be released August 7th 2007. Pre order here. There is an MP3 for the first single available from pitchforkmedia here.

Okay so you too can purchase all this music from the various internet sites, but I suggest you get it from the Okkervil River website.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

New Featured Artist: Okkervil River

photo credit: Jean-Marc Luneau

I'm not going to apologize for being absent for past month or so. I'm not even going to pretend that many of you are still reading this. I do however realize that Shelby at Shifted Sound has been so very supportive for the past month and I understand that I would basically be starting from scratch had it not been for his constant promotion of this little project here at A Better Offer. So if somehow you still read this blog and don't subscribe to Shifted Sound, it is your duty to do so.

Onto the music. I was turned onto the brilliance of Okkervil River from Jeff at Out With the Kids (another shameless plug) and I was instantly shocked that I had not heard their music before. In fact, here is an excerpt of the email I sent Jeff after he so kindly sent me their music...

Okay so I am a complete and utter failure when it comes to music. I've got somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500 cds and another 300 records or so, and throw in a couple hundred cassettes and countless downloads from the internet and somehow, someway, the sweet sounds of Okkervil River have never found their way to my ears. I am so utterly blown away by their music. It has been awhile since I have been so enamored with a band.

If you are wondering about their sound. My best description is that they fall somewhere between older Bright Eyes, Pavement, and a little Wolf Parade for good measure. Check out this track below to get you started and then check out the links to the right and download those MP3s and then buy everything you can find from them, because it is all amazing.

Okkervil River--Black