Okkervil River – Don't Fall in Love With Everyone You See
Acquired: Love Garden, New, 2008
Okkervil River's first album. And it's pretty fucking good and totally makes sense that they would refine their self and put out a couple of masterpieces later in the decade. Actually, not a couple, a few. This band just keeps getting better, and this got them off to a great start. It was also the first Okkervil River record I heard. I saw them open for John Vanderslice at the Bottleneck in 2003 with my sister. The show took forever cuz Minus Story took forever to set-up, but it was worth it. Okkervil River played to basically no one and Will Sheff was going crazy, standing on the bass drum, almost falling off it, etc. I downloaded this record and the one they were touring in support of, Down the River of Golden Dreams, when I got home. It's got some pretty immediate stand outs. Opener “Red” is still one of my favorite songs of theirs and “Kansas City” I love for obvious reasons. Upon recent listens I've paid more attention to the lyrics. “Westfall” is pretty amazing and foreshadows the narrative structure of a couple of songs on Down the River. This record is actually pretty ambitious. They get Daniel Johnston to sing on “Happy Hearts,” however the song suffers a little bit. I always wondered why he was singing so funny. The B-Side kind of falls apart. “Dead Dog Song” is a mandolin-heavy attempt at a sort of old folkie stomp, however, “Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas” is a gem. Overall it's an incredibly solid debut.