Tags: okkervil river


2011 was music heaven

argghh i hardly ever write a livejournal entry anymore. here are my top ten favourite albums of 2011:

10. krista muir, "between atoms" *
09. dream jefferson, "punch perm" *
08. jesse dangerously, "humble & brilliant" *
07. m83, "hurry up we're dreaming"
06. tapes 'n tapes, "outside"
05. okkervil river, "i am very far"
04. snow patrol, "fallen empires"
03. roddy woomble, "the impossible song & other songs"
02. john vanderslice, "white wilderness"
01. the mountain goats, "all eternals deck"

* Canadian

looking forward to 2012!

"no one wants to hear about your 97th tear..."

mofos, OKKERVIL RIVER & THE DODOS tonight @ bluesfest!

OKKERVIL MO****FU**ING RIVER! this will be my third time seeing them. YES.

♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫

i have nothing more exciting to say.

except maybe...

JOHN MO****FU**ING VANDERSLICE tomorrow & sunday @ bluesfest!!!


shit yeah.

♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫

thanksgiving okkervil weekend

Okkervil River @ les Saints
Originally uploaded by jacob earl
will sheff wants you all to know how much he loves you all. at least, those were his sentiments for montréal this canadian thanksgiving weekend.

despite having been sick all week, i summoned up the crazy immense energy to attend okkervil river at les saints in montréal on saturday night. and i am so happy that i did! this was not a show to be missed.

last year, i saw okkervil river at the salla rosa, and they did not go on 'til after 11:15p.m., so i only got to watch about 25 minutes of the show before i had to boot it to the bus station to catch the last bus back to ottawa. thankfully, this year it was a saturday night; no work in the morning...

and okkervil river were in top form, full of enthusiasm and energy, and a crazy setlist of brilliant new tunes and old gems; a perfect mesh, really. i even managed to snag one of the setlists from the stage after the show was over. i couldn't reach it, but a complete stranger decided to help me by crawling up on the stage and grabbing it for me. he could have kept if for himself, but apparently fellow okkervil river fans are generous folks.

the okkervil boys (and one girl now too) put on the perfect show! they opened with a girl in port, which was a great way to set the mood, and followed it up with rousing renditions of singer-songwriter and a hand to take hold of the scene. i forget what they played next because i think that on a whim, will sheff decided to deviate from the setlist, and i didn't recognize the song. but that's ok, 'cause then they played four of my favs all in a row; starry stairs, plus ones, john allyn smith sails, and pop lie.

most of the band then left the stage for a mostly-solo quiet tune by sheff, which i think was brand new was a stone (the setlist says maine island lovers, but i don't think they played that). a stone was stunningly beautiful. then came a tear-jerking version of so come back, i'm waiting, followed by black, and the beautiful new single lost coastlines (i could not stop dancing to that great bass beat! i really love the stand ins and this is probably my favourite tune at the moment; and the bassist sang meiburg's part while playing that crazy bass line at the same time!). then came the crowd-pleaser black sheep boy.

they finished the set with for real, a crazy performance of our life is not a movie or maybe (with a lot of crowd participation), and and equally explosive rendition of unless it kicks, where sheff was demanding that he see the whole crowd clapping their hands along to the tune; and we all happily complied!

the encore was perfect; blue tulip, okkervil river song, and westfall. what a night.

"rattling our swords in service of some fated, foreign lord..."

i've been sick for the past 48 hours. i hate being sick. i'm sure i've said that here a hundred times before. it still holds true. i might have to stay home from work again tomorrow, to fully recuperate. i really don't want to be sick on saturday, when i am going to see okkervil river in montreal! sadly, if i still feel crappy tomorrow, i may not be energetic enough to take in the cadence weapon show at babylon. :(

as miserable as i have felt the past couple of days, at least i have had time to sleep a lot, snuggle with my cats, and catch up on my episodes of dexter, as well as watching a couple of movies.

i was walking to the pharmacy last night, to buy cough drops and nestea and kleenex, and generally feeling sorry for myself in my malaise, when it occurred to me that i shouldn't be so depressed, even when i'm sick. i could be a lot worse off. i could be sick and homeless. i could live in an impoverished country. i could be jobless, and not have an apartment to sit in at my comfy desk, lamenting away on my LJ about how rough life treats me. like, complaining about the lack of heat. well at least i have a roof over my head, and can afford rent and bills and luxuries! (and hey, the heat is on now; i'm toasty).

so this is me chiding myself for my selfish self-pity. as i came back from the pharmacy last night, i passed a homeless man with a big cart of all his worldly possessions, and a big scraggly beard. here i am with a beard because i'm too lazy to shave; here he is with a beard because he lives on the street. i gave him $2, and he thanked me and told me "god bless you". as little as a god-blessing means to me, i got a sense of goodness from his words. it really meant something to him, as easy as it was for me to part with $2. to me, it's a nestea. to him, it could mean the world.

i leave you for now with that thought, and with this video, which is the best video i've seen in ages (for one of the best songs i've heard in ages), which has cheered me up a lot today:


coming to get you

today's run time; 13:06.28 minutes. i am a running madman! it was just after noon. it was 24 degrees out. i can still feel the awesome pain.

it's been a good long weekend. some resting, some socializing, some tv and movie watching. been sleeping in every morning since saturday. all around very restful.

i am stoked for sigur ros and james in montreal in a few weeks, and i'm going to buy the tickets to okkervil river this week (that will make for a fun thanksgiving weekend in montreal).

i'm off to a bbq now...

"'til he forgets the crawling way real people sometimes are..."

so now i have a bit more time for a further and more elaborate update on what's new in my life this week...

as mentioned a few hours ago, the new okkervil river album is pure awesome! it will certainly be a tough call to determine which 2008 release is better: shearwater's rooks or okkervil river's the stand ins. certainly they will both make my top 5 when i eventually compile my list of favourite albums of 2008. and i'm really looking forward to seeing okkervil river in montréal in october. so what does the new album sound like, you ask? kinda like a mash of black sheep boy and the stage names, with a bit of throwback to '80's pop (particularly in the bass lines). it's a definitely well-formed sister-concept to the stage names. i really admire will sheff's songwriting, both lyrics and musical composition. and i love the equally mellow and crazy extremes of emotion and sound. lots of nice crescendos, lots of lush orchestration. favourite tunes on the new album so far are "lost coastlines", "starry stairs", "pop lie", "calling and not calling my ex", and "bruce wayne campbell interviewed on the roof of the chelsea hotel, 1979". but oh heck, the whole album is great as a solid concept piece, much like the stage names. it's very cohesive. impressive.

another advance leak i found is calexico's new album, carried to dust. i will report back on that when i listen to it more, but so far so good. mellow. i like mellow. and characteristically calexico, so if you're already a fan, it's what you've come to expect from this great band...

also, i just bought bon iver's for emma, forever ago on vinyl. it's even better on vinyl! that goes without saying for most good albums though...

and, as not mentioned earlier, i have entered a running event! the cibc run for the cure on october 5th. i've already yielded $200 in pledges! i'm hoping i can run the 5 km, because the 1 km seems kind of wussy. this will be my first event! very exciting. you can pledge me if you want. :)

today i bought a tent and sleeping foam roll for camping out after the wedding on saturday night. that will be fun.

oh yeah. my dream last night. that was weird. i was at a party or get-together or something, with some people i knew in real life - from all periods of my life, some that i haven't seen in years - and people that were not real, who only existed in this dream. and i was talking with one of these imaginary people, a young lady, and she seemed so familiar. i knew her in the dream, i knew her enough to not have to bother introducing myself, and thus i never heard her say her name. we got into a conversation about body modifications, and i felt like an amateur with merely a few piercings and some tattoos. she was keenly showing me her scar art. she had an odd sort-of-tattoo on the back of her neck with deep rich colours that looked incan or mayan, and it was accented with a hole on each end, creating a tunnel under her skin - under the tattoo - that looked like a pencil could be inserted through. and then she showed me her back, on which was scratched/scarred the word "Bleeder". i was telling her about my plans for my upcoming tattoo. there were other weird things going on to, but that was the main thrust of the dream.

"we have lost our way..."

i just wanted to say, i found a leak advance of the new okkervil river album, the stand ins, and WOW. zowee. the perfect companion to the stage names.

more on that an other stuff later (including a really weird dream i had last night; remind me later to detail that more thoroughly, lest i forget).

i rearranged the furniture for a change...

i think this song got me through much of the latter half of this year. because life is a movie sometimes.

Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe
It's just a bad movie, where there's no crying - handing the keys to me in this Red Lion, where the lock that you locked in the suite says there's no prying. When the breath that you breathed in the street screams there's no science. When you look how you looked then to me, then I cease lying and fall into silence.

It's just a life story, so there's no climax. No more new territory, so pull away the IMAX. In the slot that you sliced through the scene there was no shyness. In the plot that you passed through your teeth there was no pity. No fade in: film begins on a kid in the big city. And no cut to a costly parade that's for him only. No dissolve to a sliver of grey - that's his new lady, where she glows just like grain on the flickering pane of some great movie. (Hey, I'd watch it.)

It's just a house burning, but it's not haunted. It was your heart hurting, but not for too long, kid. In the socket you spin from with ease there is no sticking. From the speakers your fake masterpiece comes serenely dribbling. When the air around your chair fills with heat, that's the flames licking beneath the clock on the clean mantlepiece. It's got a calm clicking, like a pro at his editing suite takes two weeks stitching up some bad movie.


apologies for not writing in awhile, things have been hectic, and real life has preoccupied much of my time, leaving less-than-usual procrastination time for internet dawdling.

news, in a nutshell:
  • i've been really ichy flu-bug sick since saturday night, and only felt [barely] well enough to head back to work today. so that made life even more hectic than usual.

  • i managed to drag myself to vote yesterday, but the rest of you idiots gave the liberals an overwhelming majority by voting for them - or worse - not voting at all [record lowest turnout since 1923]. congratulation, ontario. another four years of liar-face mcguinty. i hope you're pleased as punch. punch you in the face.

  • saw a couple of great concerts over the past couple of weeks; okkervil river with damien jurado and dukes of the archipelago in montréal [holy sheeeit okkervil river are crazy good, like who woulda thunk good music could come from texas, heheh], and magnolia electric co. right here in good ol' ottawa last week. jason molina is a muthafuckin' good performer, and him and his band are way too humble.

  • the plan this weekend [if my sickness is over, damnit] is to see two more great concerts; the reverb syndicate and my dad vs. yours at the black sheep, and rock plaza central back in ottawa! i have sadly missed RPC's previous few ottawa dates, and i do not plan to miss this one. they are amazing live.

  • i passed my certification examination from Disaster Recovery Institute of Canada. i am now an Associate Business Continuity Professional [ABCP]. take that, batman!

  • david cronenberg's new movie, eastern promises, is worth seeing. what are you waiting for, a personal invitation?!

  • i am [still] working on a bass track for littlegirltoast, i promise! i'm just having a momentary lapse of ability-to-come-up-with-anything-remotely-the-fuck-worthwhile. i promise, it'll come!

  • i am hard at work on my new album, and [hopefully] on schedule to release it by the end of the year, as it is meant to be a conceptually logical counterpoint to my summer 2007 release, make believe. i have 8 songs in various stages of completion, and i suspect this album will contain only 10 songs [my shortest solo effort to date], as it is meant to be a concise story, devoid of over-zealous pruning and/or out-takes / b-sides. i suspect that the principle reason for this is that make believe served the purpose of a nostalgic [if somewhat heavy-handedly illusionistic] survey of the past, taking the form of [perception of] reality-as-fiction, leaving room for new album to be a realtime [i.e. brief and fleeting] metaphorical story of fiction-as-reality in the here-and-now. make sense? no? oh well, that's the best explanation i can offer. it's not meant to be a rollercoaster through my psyche, so you don't have to read to much into it. what i do hope it turns out to be is an enjoyable listen. musically and lyrically it is not too much of a departure from make believe, but then, that does make it sort of new, since make believe differs from my previous work in some pointed ways. namely, as i further adopt different methods of production and recording, and rely more heavy-handedly on digital hybridization between real instrumentation and electronica [beats and samples], my attachment to conventional song structure weakens, becomes more tenuous. anyway, enough introspection and such for now. if you want to know more structured detail about the new album, i will post song titles and work-in-progress tracklisting to spaces.live blog soonish.

whew. i expected to be more brief than that. so you got a bonus. until next time...