Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Stand-Ins

The group of fellows above are the band known as Okkervil River, and today is probably not any of their birthday's, but since my first attempt at a hero (see below) failed so badly, I thought I would give these guys their collective time on the hero podium.

They were formed late in 1998 by Will Sheff, Zach Thomas, and Seth Warren, three college buddies with a desire to become professional failures. They relocated to Austin, Texas where they played there first gig in early January, 1999. They take there name from a short story written by Russian author Tatyana Tolstaya. Okkervil River is an actual river outside of St. Petersburg, and I am pretty sure none of these guys have ever seen it. That doesn't stop them from making some pretty fucking awesome music. This isn't your headbanging, drive fast, hate life type of music. This is music with a story to tell, some extremely complicated lyrics, and some wonderful production values. Like most bands, their line up has changed, but it is Sheff that is the constant. I am not sure if he is classically educated or not, but he certainly seems that way. Some of their song's are just amazing. Some of the best lines I have heard from a band in a long, long time. I highly recommend them, and suggest you get thee to iTunes, and start downloading their stuff. Start with "King and Queen Song" then try "Calling and not Calling my Ex" give "The Velocity of Saul at the time of his Conversion" a listen and see what you thing. I warn you these are not the bubble gum chewing, pop diva bullshit that is poisoning the airwaves of America all the time, but if you listen, and put some thought into their songs you will be richly rewarded. Part of the reason that I decreed these fellows as today's stand in heroes is because their last album (their 5th) is titled "The Stand-Ins." So for standing in for my failed hero, and being a damn fine rock band in their own right Okkervil River (1998-present), you are my (336th) hero(es) of the day.

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