Tag: Will Sheff


    Last year, Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff produced an acclaimed comeback album by psych-garage burn-out Roky Erickson, and the experience appears to have impacted Sheff’s stuff for the better: On the Austin group’s just-released I Am Very Far, Sheff and his bandmates adopt a newly ramshackle vibe that helps make his wordy folk-rock songs feel […]

  • All Roky Erickson Needs Is Love

    It’s Record Store Day, and Roky Erickson has just finished signing autographs at Waterloo Records in his hometown of Austin, Texas. Now, he’s treating himself to ice cream—rocky road!—as his partner, Dana Morris, shows him a book of bumper-sticker photos she just bought. One is written upside-down. “If you can read this,” Erickson begins, reciting […]

  • Okkervil River’s Sweetly Sung Songs of Meta Self-Loathing

    Where Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff really breaks new ground is in his recognition of the bathos and self-absorption required to fuel a song that resonates anymore—what bastards his kind must be. The hardest to suss out of the New Literary set (the shticky Hold Steady, garish Decemberists, and wordsmith’s-wordsmith Mountain Goats), Okkervil River has […]

  • The Mendoza Line’s 30 Year Low

    Artists usually dis fans who pick apart their “break-up albums,” but denial’s pointless with this Brooklyn band’s powerful ninth (and final) record: It’s the gruesome aftermath of a contact-sport affair. If singers and ex-partners Tim Bracy and Shannon McArdle matched their music to their emotions, they’d be grinding out ear-pounding death metal instead of 30 […]

  • Separation Saturday Night

    Stripped of the purloined loam of 2005’s Black Sheep Boy (which took its iconography from a Tim Hardin song), Austin’s Okkervil River turn out to be more like My Chemical Romance than we thought. The Stage Names shares the frenzy of preā€“Black Sheep songs like “The War Criminal Rises and Speaks,” and if it isn’t […]