Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In Which Okkervil River Ate Up Two Weeks of My Life

And it was a good thing. I had to face fears and stuff because when the editor asks "Do you want to interview Okkervil River" you can't really say "No, I don't want to talk to one of my favorite bands because it would just create all of this anxiety and let's just not and say we did." It's bad, social anxiety. I've had it forever, or at least since I was a fat kid. I still have that fat kid mentality. That I'm already judged enough, I won't give them any more so I'll just not say anything sort of thing. But of course I had to take it, and got to a point where I had all my questions and was totally ready to talk to Will Sheff (who's songwriting style and stage persona I mimicked when I was playing in bands that played shows and only realized after seeing their excellent show at the Granada last night). And then the interview fell through. Then the rescheduling collided with my unmoving work schedule and since Id already written up the questions, just sent them off for an e-mail interview which was kind of sad but it turned out alright.

You can read that over here at the Pitch.

Last night they played at the Granada and I wrote about that for the Pitch too. It was a great show, although I'm always partial to gigs where the band is forced to play through technical difficulties. It's like breaking the fourth wall. Seeing the nuts and bolts and, most importantly, realizing that the band are just people which is something that, if a show goes smoothly, you forget. Which is a fine thing I suppose, but when things go wrong it makes it kind of special. Especially if a band is as endearing as Okkervil River. Especially when you get to see something akin to this:

So sad when a band has to tell people to stop talking. Almost had to garrote some drunk teenager who kept talking about the Killers. Fortunately, the Granada staff are awesome and prevented this.

In the end, the stress was worth if if only because I finally got around to listening to Okkervil River's latest, I Am Very Far, and it's secured at least a Top 10 end of the year spot (my end of the year lists are very predictable. 1.) Did your favorite band put out an album this year? 2.) Was it good by anyone else's standards but maybe just great by yours via your bias? 3.) Top 10). The stress is always worth it, and doing professional writing makes coming back to this quiet little corner where I don't have to think about sentence structure or professionalism that much sweeter.

Thrill of Discovery: Ween concludes today or tomorrow, followed by a one-off Thrill of Discovery involving Arctic Monkeys (frontman Alex Turner did songs for the soundtrack for the excellent Richard Ayoade bildungsroman Submarine and those songs were so fucking good I figured I should give his band a shot and then write about it because that's the only way I know how to connect to music anymore which is kind of sad) and then onto REM or some other band that people love and adore that I've just never been able to understand. It worked for Ween, it might as well work for anyone.

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